It should be no mystery to us that spirit matter may have already been detected by our instruments. In the scriptures, we read that spirit is equivalent to truth and light. "For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ." (D&C 84:45). We also read that intelligence is equivalent to light and truth. "The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth." (D&C 93:36). We learn that intelligence is eternal. "Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be." (D&C 93:29). We also learn that truth somehow has agency, that manifests itself as reality. "All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence." (D&C 93:30).
Another characteristic of intelligence is that it can be added together. "Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come." (D&C 130:18-19). Intelligence and light can be added upon until the individual reaches perfection. "That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day." (D&C 50:24). Intelligence can be taken away or lost too: "For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have." (2 Nephi 28:30).
Indeed, we are told that intelligence was organized before the world, and some of those spirits became noble and great. "Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;" (Abraham 3:22). Some assume that "intelligence" in this context is a self-contained being with personality. However, understanding that intelligence has the capacity to be added together, one begs the question of what part constitutes a fundamental self-contained personality, and what part is added thereto. This interpretation implies an underlying complexity that is not supported by scripture. A more logical alternative is that "intelligences that were organized" refers to primitives of spirit matter that were assembled together into a personality. We can then interpret the "noble and great ones" in two ways that are equally applicable:
A) the noble and great ones can include spirits of men and women who had increased their intelligence to a superior status in their progression, and thus were called to be the leaders of God's children in mortality.
B) the organized intelligences could also refer to all spirit creations of God, including spirit plants and animals -- the noble and great ones could then refer to the spirits of all men and women, since their calling is unique on the face of the earth -- to govern and manage all other intelligence.
These two distinctions are not discriminated in the scriptures, but allowing for (B) opens up a very interesting set of possibilities that we will discuss hereafter.
Knowing that intelligence and spirit are building blocks of a pure form of matter that can be added together, we can analyze the nature of it by studying its equivalent -- light. We read that the light that is discussed in the scriptures is the same light that is defined by physics. "And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space -- The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things." (D&C 88:11-13). The implications of this is astounding. If intelligence, light, truth, and spirit are equivalent, then the effects of it are visible to us every minute of the day using our naked eyes. It also means that every interaction we have with the environment is a spiritual transaction first before it is a physical transaction. It is proposed that the photons and leptons that we observe in the matter around us may be spirit matter.
How can light be the same as truth? The scriptures define truth as "knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come." (D&C 93:24). We become aware of things by an excitation of our senses, by way of electromagnetic energy, or in other words light. Although it may appear that the objects around us are static constructions of unchanging metal, stone, and other materials, in actuality there is a lot of activity constantly occurring all the time. A one kilogram rock contains approximately 10^25 atoms that are in continuous motion, sharing electrons back and forth, changing particle spins, and generating rapidly moving electromagnetic fields. The activity occurring in the particles that make up the rock is identical to the computation that occurs in a computer, even if it is not meaningfully organized. Research has shown that 1,024 bits can be stored in the magnetic interactions of the protons of a single molecule containing nineteen hydrogen atoms (Bennewitz et.al. 2002). Therefore, the state of the rock at any one moment represents at least 10^27 bits of memory. Considering the electromagnetic interactions, there are at least 10^15 changes in state per bit per second going on inside the rock, which represents about 10^45 calculations per second. That is about ten trillion times more powerful than all the human brains on Earth (Kurzweil 2005, p131). By all accounts, in spite of the tremendous supercomputing capacity contained in the one kilogram rock, all of it is random and not of much use to us -- or is it? What could all that processing power be calculating that is so important? The rock is calculating truth about itself. All objects around us are calculating truth, and broadcasting their current state to the rest of the universe. Objects in the universe are participating in the generation of reality.
How can light be the same as intelligence? The uncertainty in quantum particle behavior opens up the possibility of free will among individual particles. Conway and Kochen (2006 & 2008) claim that experimental results for fundamental particles cannot be determined by prior conditions, implying that a deterministic prior cause may not connect to the results. The Free Will Theorem suggests a disconnect that may be interpreted that free will may be possible in quantum particles. Conway and Kochen also prove that randomness is inadequate to explain the nondeterminism. Others (Zaman 2002) have addressed a non-mechanistic view of particle interactions, and suggest that it might be useful to think of fundamental particles as having primitive intelligence. By primitive intelligence, it may be no more than the capacity to choose one quantum state or another when prompted by participatory prompting of the universe; a collapse of the wave function in the Copenhagen Interpretation, or the selection of an single state in a Many Worlds Interpretation (Everett 1957). Regarding agency, we read, "All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence." (D&C 93:30). Also we read, "The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;" (Moses 7:32). If we interpret these passage literally then the capacity for gaining knowledge, and the capacity for agency is an attribute given by the Creator and not innate in the creature. Is it possible to build genuine agency or free will out of a foundation of quantum uncertainty? It is proposed that free will, agency, and the capacity to gain and process knowledge may depend on a function for extracting quantum states to inform macro structures. Tentatively, we may want to label this capacity as "intelligence", and any small degree of calculation occurring because of an exchange of light between particles may be defined as such. From the LDS perspective, the concept that all matter has some degree of intelligence is advocated by many. Bruce R. McConkie wrote, "Abraham used the name intelligences to apply to the spirit children of the Eternal Father. The intelligence or spirit element became intelligences after the spirits were born as individual entities (Abr. 3:22-24). Use of this name designates both the primal element from which the spirit offspring were created and also their inherited capacity to grow in grace, knowledge, power, and intelligence itself, until such intelligences, gaining the fulness of all things, become like their Father, the Supreme Intelligence" (McConkie 1966, p387). Spencer W. Kimball also discussed this concept when he wrote, "Our spirit matter was eternal and co-existent with God, but it was organized into spirit bodies by our Heavenly Father" (Kimball 1969, p5). Marion G. Romney explained, "In origin, man is a son of God. The spirits of men 'are begotten sons and daughters unto God' (D&C 76:24). Through that birth process, self-existing intelligence was organized into individual spirit beings." (Romney 1978, p14). The exact meaning of Abraham's term 'intelligence' is not known, and the idea that our spirits were constructed from primal intelligent matter is controversial in the Church. However, we do understand that light and intelligence are equivalent, and if visible and spiritual light are also equivalent, then we can reason about the existence of intelligent element as a building block for greater intelligence.
How can light be spirit? Understanding that light is equivalent to intelligence and functions as an informational medium for mechanical and energy transfers, we can finally make a discussion about what spirit matter may be. A spirit is defined as "the vital principle or animating force within living beings" (spirit 2003). If we literally look at the physics of how living beings are animated, exchange of light between particles characterized by chemical reactions translate into cell stimulation and muscle movements. If we trace the signals from the muscles back to the brain, electromagnetic energy is involved every step of the way. Complex physical structures in the brain control the computation that naturally occurs in all matter (as we have previously acknowledged), allowing the organism to monitor and react to its environment. Fundamentally, each atom may be an individual in possession of a spirit, where the leptons in the atom animate it and allow it to interact with others. Indeed, we read "there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon." (2 Ne 2:14). It is proposed that these transfers of energy may be considered spiritual transactions.
Earlier we discussed how the "noble and great ones" described in Abraham 3 may be interpreted two ways. If we consider the second interpretation, that "noble and great ones" could refer to the spirits of humans among all the spirits (including those of plants and animals -- and rocks) who were called to serve and govern all the lesser intelligence, then some interesting possibilities present themselves. If we acknowledge that we must eventually learn all truth line upon line, then we will realize that even the nature, technical workings, and function of a "spirit" will eventually be made known to us, and we will learn how to create them. We posit that this exercise may already have begun and that the method for creating primitive spirits may have already been revealed to us for our benefit. It is our argument that computers and software have not only been invented for the purpose of building up the Lord's kingdom in the Latter Days, but may also be an introduction to how matter and spirit work together. We can metaphorically think of computers as bodies and software as spirits, but a true technical interpretation of physics and physiology could help us understand that every computer program we write, from Photoshop to CAD may indeed be genuine primitive spirits -- each bring together light signals, or truth, to do a specified work, and can be designed to store up data for future retrieval. Where the simple calculation of truth is performed by a rock and broadcast to the rest of the universe, simple spirits may all perform simple tasks, and we complicate things by drawing a line between spirits created by Heavenly Father or those created by ourselves. The capacity of humans to write simple computer programs may be a gift and a necessary step in our progression toward godhood.
Spirit and physical bodies:
If we consider light to be equivalent to intelligence, then the energy transfers that occur within and between atoms are also spiritual in nature, and bring joy to the intelligence involved. Spirit and element temporarily connected receive a certain degree of joy, and "... spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fullness of joy;" (D&C 93:33). In this model it is proposed that the spirit and intelligence of atoms may consist of the electrons belonging to that atom that obey the law of light (D&C 88:13) and form bonds or break bonds according to the commands received through the light. In this way we can perhaps find a motivation for intelligence to stay organized -- the greater the organization the more access to light, and the greater joy it will experience. From this perspective, a creative act can be viewed as a work of charity, and the satisfaction we get from creating things may partly be because our actions are charitable toward the materials we have brought together and assembled.
However, we understand that it is not possible to construct a form out of electromagnetic energy or leptons that will remain coherent without being dispersed. Light is always traveling, and electrons cannot form bonds among themselves, but indeed repel each other. Light can store up memory by impressing itself into the states of a physical substrate, but cannot store truth in itself. Likewise, leptons use massive particles to stay anchored in space, otherwise they would be swept about by every electromagnetic field. We propose that all spirits, including our own, are subject to the same limitations -- spirits are incapable of growing, gaining intelligence, or indeed staying coherent without a physical medium.
When the premortal Jesus Christ appeared to the Brother of Jared he explained, "Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh." (Ether 3:16). We interpret this to mean that our spirits and physical bodies have the same form, and it is commonly understood in the LDS community that the Spirit World resembles our own in many ways. Some have thought that the spirit is supernatural and therefore exists in a realm that may overlap with our own world, but is invisible to our natural eyes. The LDS perspective does not allow for supernatural elements but insist that God and all aspects of reality conform to immutable laws of the universe. This means that the Spirit World must also be subject to the laws of the universe, and therefore our spirits and the realm beyond would maintain its form in some way. Our spirits and the Spirit World must be contained within a physical substrate in order to exist.
The common LDS view is that our spirits are co-located with our physical bodies. "The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple." (D&C 93:35). This view could fit with our model, because the body would provide a physical medium for the spirit. However, several problems arise if we insist on a co-located spirit constructed of electromagnetic energy and electrons. First, extra leptons in our bodies have not been observed, and indeed, given the laws of physics, how can extra electrons stay coherent without massive particles to anchor them? Physics only allows for a fixed number of electrons in each atom -- any others would drift away. Second, we may say that the electrons already in the matter making up our bodies might be the spirit, but this would not work either -- what happens if the body dies and all the particles making up the body are scattered? There must be a place for the spirit to dwell. "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." (2 Corinthians 5:1).
In this model, it is proposed that the Spirit World may consist of an advanced simulation, computed within a physical substrate. Where that physical medium exists, whether it be on or near the earth we cannot tell. However, we can make some observations that will help us understand the spirit world better, and realize why resurrection and the permanent joining of spirit and element is so important. If we consider a computer simulation where various agents are allowed to interact with each other, we know that if one of the agents begins to behave in ways that endanger the others, the simulation can be stopped, a backup downloaded and restored, and the simulation can be restarted from the time the agent began to misbehave. With a little bit of prompting, we may be able to influence the agent to make better choices next time. Though we don't know the true nature of the Spirit World, it may be that the same rules of cause and effect are not applicable -- consequences may be infinitely more devastating in the physical universe where a backup is unavailable, and our spirits would need to understand that. The only way for us to understand the connection between action and consequence would be to physically experience the real universe first hand.
This model would allow for the spirit of a person to reside safe and sound in the Spirit World simulation, and link back to the physical body via "wireless" coupling. Indeed, through this interpretation radio and wireless technology already proves that there can be a physical case for prayer and communication with divine authority. Assuming that we must eventually grow to be capable engineers just like our Heavenly Father, then some of the advanced engineering techniques that we already employ may provide an illustration along these lines. If we are designing an advanced fighter jet that has sophisticated software for automated piloting and control, we would provide the necessary hardware to interface with the environment -- sensors and actuators. Actuators would allow the sophisticated computer system access to the control surfaces of the aircraft so that it may influence the state of the machine and thus react to the environment. The sensors would read and observe the environment and monitor how well the actuators had performed. We would not install the only copy of the control software into the machine without a backup, nor would we cut off all communication with it -- we would probably build in the capacity to remotely monitor or control the aircraft. In the same way, the technical interpretation of Mormon physiology suggests that scientists can look for such technologies in our own bodies.
In another example, there are already cases where exact virtual CAD models of products have been used as a pattern for manufacturing the physical counterpart, then once the physical product has been put into operation, the CAD model is used as an interface to remotely monitor and control the actual product through sensors and actuators via direct digital control.
But if the spirit were actually present in a simulation somewhere, wouldn't such "wireless" communication require the distance between the transmitter and receiver to be quite close anyway, due to speed of light constraints on the signals? And wouldn't such "wireless" communication be detectable via our modern instruments? It has been observed that many cell structures, such as ribosomes, microtubules, and other enzymes and proteins may use quantum effects in their functioning (enzyme catalysis 2009; Hagan et.al. 2000; Hameroff & Penrose 1999; Hwang & Warshel 1996). In this model, a spirit in the Spirit World would have a "back door" into all the important parts of the body and individual cells -- controllers, sensors, and factory manufacturing aspects -- to allow for "wireless" communication and a total immersive experience via quantum means such as tunneling (quantum tunneling 2009), entanglement, or quantum Planck-scale wormholes (Shen & Chen 1999).
In this model, the spirit only borrows the body in mortality. Once the person is resurrected and the body is no longer subject to death (or particle dispersion), then the spirit can permanently remain co-located in the body in order to receive a fullness of joy.
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