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The Conscious Mind And Judgement

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Posted by Harvey on October 28, 2004 03:43:29 UTC

Recently I've given thought to the idea that the path integral requires there to be many kinds of universes. Like Dante's Hell, there are many kinds of hellish worlds, and so likewise, there are worlds of heavenly delight. Perhaps earth falls somewhere in the middle (which we might expect if we consider the Copernican principle).

Which in my mind raises the question, can our conscious mind migrate into different universes after death, perhaps settling in the universe which matches the character that we lived whin the universe that we live in (I know this is pretty tough to consider, but bear with me...)?

Well, the driver for this kind of notion is consciousness. That is, consciousness 'decides' the world it is to live and experience, and therefore in a sense consciousness experiences the world that it is best suited to experience.

As an analogy, think of the collapse of the wavefunction in reverse. There is a probability that a particle will be found in such and such a state, and when measured, the particle is likely to be found in that eigenstate. If you reverse the process, then the particle's current eigenstate becomes a likely location for the wavefunction prior to measurement.

Applying this analogy to our conscious mind, consider our minds and bodies as collapsed into a certain eigenstate. If a measurement is responsible for us being in this particular eigenstate, then 'prior' to this measurement, we are actually in all *possible* eigenstates, but not necessarily every eigenstate that exists. In other words, if our current position rules out certain eigenstates from ever having been possible, then our conscious minds do not exist in those uncollapsed states 'prior' to the measurement - ever.

So, let's widely assume that a judgement takes place at the point of our death ('cessation of consciousness', let's just say...), then in the case our conscious existence is ruled by some kind of quantum logic, then our conscious minds assume their uncollapsed state into every possible eigenstate (with this lifetime in this universe being a likely place for us to have existed at this particular time).

Now, it's all well in good to say this, but this is appealing to a reverse collapsing process, whereas quantum mechanics is not in reverse. The measurement happens and then the collapse happens. A wavefunction doesn't start out collapsed and then into a superposition state.

Here, though, is where temporal order has to be considered. In our world, we are exposed to the direction of time's arrow, and it naturally follows that we see collapses following the state of superposition/measurement. However, in the case of the super World view, this might be misleading. Actually, there's no universal rule that says that collapse follows the state of superposition/measurement, rather the only rule is that you cannot algorithmically get from a collapsed state to a superpositioned state since the wavefunction only tells you the likely state of a particle after collapse, it cannot tell you the superposition states of a particle in a certain eigenstate. To know this information you would have to know the wavefunction.

Here's then the trick. If the wavefunction is determined from a judgement process that only God could know, then a reverse collapse is indeed possible. And, if a reverse collapse is what indeed occurs, then the wavefunction (or 'soul') of a conscious mind is no longer in one eigenstate, but is in superposition of many states.

In the case of worlds that are heavenly, an individual who's soul (wavefunction) is judged to be in those states (however unlikely), then that soul is in those heavenly worlds - that is, they are in Heaven. Those souls who are unfortunate to be judged to be found in some of the 'lower' worlds, they have just found themselves in hellish worlds - or Hell.

Of course, this is just a concept of what awaits those after death. But, it would be indeed interesting if we all await a judgement process that determines our wavefunction that puts us into a superposition of worlds.

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