So, let's suppose that there's no entity behind our thoughts, choosing them, no entity behind our actions, it's all happening by itself (by an infinity universal force that is common to everything, that infinity intelligence would be the real you, the same for every body or being or appearance). So "you" don't exist, your body and mind is just an spontaneous and effortless expression of this universal intelligence. Even the sensation of being someone controlling and choosing the thoughts, controlling the actions is happening by itself, also an expression of this infinity common intelligence. Until someone or some event, like this post, allert you to this possibility and you are open to it and decide to check it out.

How we can verify if we really exist as an separate entity that is in control or not? Notice that, in this scenario, even the verification of such fact will be happening by itself.

Another good question would be, if it is really the case, it will be possible to prove it to other being that are still dreaming in the illusion of being in control? If yes, how?

  • Hi, Mulamb0! Are you talking about the "origin of life", "free will", "existence of God", or all together?
    – Alexander
    Nov 5 '18 at 19:07
  • It sounds like a variation on "if we are a computer simulation, how can we find out?". Heres an example article about it: scientificamerican.com/article/…. Some people think that time dialation around Black holes for example shows its a simulation, as you require more computer power to calculate what happens so it slows down to have time to do it all. In this question is changes from "can we find the limits of the machine that makes us" to "can we find the limits of the being that thinks us". We could try to wake it up...
    – Demigan
    Nov 5 '18 at 19:18
  • 1
    From what I can tell, this is a philosophy question, but worded terribly. You are basically asking, how do we know we actually exist. Am I me, or am I just the result of a trillion little atoms moving around.
    – Shadowzee
    Nov 5 '18 at 23:50
  • John Gall once said: The following four propositions, which appear to the author to be incapable of formal proof, are presented as Fundamental Postulates upon which the entire superstructure of General Systemantics... is based..: Everything is a system. Everything is part of a larger system. The universe is infinitely systematizable both upwards (larger systems) and downwards (smaller systems). All systems are infinitely complex (the illusion of simplicity comes from focusing attention on one or a few variables.)... In short, you can't prove the system you've described. Cheers.
    – JBH
    Nov 6 '18 at 1:30
  • To clarify: I approved the migration since it seems to be a question that comes down to radical scepticism à la Cartesian Demon and Brain-in-a-Vat. Considering this, there are elaborate discussions and few distinct positions.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Nov 6 '18 at 15:30

I came up with a tidy test of this recently that I think you will appreciate.

Are you planning on reading a good book soon? Before you start, read three pages from the middle. Try to memorize some key facts from those pages.

Now read the whole book. Naturally those pages are the same, but when you read them they will make sense.

If your mind were inventing things, it would be super-difficult for it to pull-off the trick of creating words from those middle pages and then start at the beginning.

  • Another method is just to listen to great Baroque music, like Bach's fugues or even Beethoven's symphonies. There's an internal logic to these works that's really an achievement... I know I couldn't invent this. Nov 6 '18 at 16:17
  • Actually, I'm very good at coming up with explanations for things that don't appear to make sense, and there's got to be people better at it than I am. Given three pages from the middle of a novel, I can construct a novel with those three pages. For that matter, so can most competent novelists. It's fairly common to have ideas for scenes and events without knowing quite how the'll fit in. It's sometimes possible to write those down, and then write a novel incorporating them. Nov 8 '18 at 19:10
  • @DavidThornley, but this is a "hard problem".... a smart mind can solve it, but it can't be done efficiently. A whole bookcase full of books would overcome such a mind, I suppose. Nov 8 '18 at 19:21
  • @DavidThornley, especially if the test were on a collection that had a unifying history... it would work for the first "Harry Potter" book, but become more and more unstable as you repeated the exercise for each subsequent book. Nov 8 '18 at 19:55

One way is to experience nature. This could be going to nature, or bringing something natural to yourself, like a well-preserved leaf or bug, or even a fresh perspective on a human hand.

When you look at the bug or the leaf, your hand, the view, or the environment, do you feel the same way you would be feeling during a session of an immersive solo video game or when you watch a spectacular movie? Or is there something different?

Not that a simulated universe would be the same between simulation-nature and simulation-manmade-simulation-nature... but the way simulation-nature makes you feel, I believe, would be fundamentally similar to simulation-manmade-simulation-nature.


You can be sure that if you experience the love of another person, that you are you and the other person is the other person. It would cost nothing for the one-person universe to send one of its organs (your friend) in support of another of its organs ("you"). If the costs to love are significant, then it is likely that more than one person is involved.

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