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Consciousness is finite

In addition to assuming consciousness is all that exists I assume it is finite. This is the second fundamental assumption of this book. Consciousness is always specific and unique. You cannot add or remove something from a conscious experience without changing it. This is not true of an infinite set. For example you can take all the integers in an infinite set and double them. You can then add in all odd integers and you will be back to the original set of all integers. The universe may be potentially infinite. Consciousness may expand without any specific limit but it will always remain finite. There is no final state or ultimate destination. There is only an ever expanding deeper and richer conscious experience.

This vision of God as the evolution of physical structure and consciousness differs from the views of most religious traditions. Chapter 13 develops the idea that our spiritual instincts evolved biologically to connect us with the deepest creative forces in evolution.

Mathematics is crucial to understanding this creative process. Through Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem (see Section 5.8) we know that the creative evolution of structure can never be captured in finite form. It is an open ended ever expanding process. There is a hierarchy of mathematical truth that characterizes levels of abstraction or self reflection such as the self reflection that is a defining characteristic of human consciousness. Gödel proved that this hierarchy cannot be finitely described[22]. However it can be fully developed by exploring an every increasing number of paths without selecting a best or correct path. Biological evolution randomly explores possibilities through natural selection, becoming more diverse over time, if sufficient resources are available.


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