You Are Dreaming

While chopping wood earlier today, I listened to this FLI podcast with Joscha Bach in which he says:

We obviously live in a dream universe. And the dream is dreamed by a mind on a higher plane of existence and that is implemented in the skull of a primate. In the brain of some primate that is walking around in a physical universe. This is our best hypothesis that we have. And so we can explain all the magic that you’re experiencing by the fact that indeed we live in a dream generated in that skull.

And now the question is, how does consciousness come about? How is it possible that the physical system can be experiencing things? And the answer is no, it can’t. A physical system cannot experience anything. Experience is only possible in a dream. It’s a virtual property. Our existence as experiencing beings is entirely virtual, it’s not physical. Which means we are only experiencing things inside of the model. It’s part of the model that we experience something.

For the neurons, it doesn’t feel like anything to do this. For the brain, it doesn’t feel like anything. But it would be very useful for the brain [to know], what it would be like to be a person. So it generates a story about that person. About the feelings of that person, the relationship that this person has with the environment, and it acts on that model. And the model gets updated, as part of that behavior.

This is quite dense and almost incomprehensible without a lot of prior knowledge that is not yet obvious to "normies" like myself. I had to turn down the listening speed to 1x, which I rarely need to, but I think I got the gist of it.

It reminds me of Anil Seth's TED talk where he argues that coscious awareness is a hallucination contrained by reality, whereas a dream has no such contraints.

Mind-blowing stuff to think about, maybe literally so.

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