In the article, "In Search of a Road to Reality," Denyse O'Leary argues that the latest evolutionary cosmologies are not shedding much light, except on the sheer power of the human imagination. O'Leary therefore wonders if whether the basic substance of the universe is actually information.
In other words, if the basic substance is information rather than physical matter, does this make physical matter an illusion (maya)? Does it mean that reality is inside the skull, as Orwell's Big Brother declared?
This way of thinking is captured by Orwell in his book, “Nineteen Eighty-Four” in which negation of the physical world is an integral part of the social and political philosophy of Big Brother and his despotic Party. At one stage in the book, Winston stumbles upon the shocking realization that,
“…in the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later; the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy.” (Orwell, “The New Spirituality and its Hallmarks, Alan Morrison, SCP Journal, Vol. 30:4-31:1, 2007, p. 19)
When the Thought Police agent O’Brien tortures Winston for “wrong thought” he states,
“We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull. You will learn by degrees, Winston. There is nothing that we could not do. Invisibility, levitation---anything. I could float off this floor like a soap bubble if I wish to….You must get rid of these nineteenth-century ideas about the laws of Nature. We make the laws of Nature.”
Big Brother is a demon-possessed pagan sage (a Hermetic magician), an Eastern Guru (god-man) in a long line of magicians and gurus going back to Ham in the post-flood world followed by Nimrod and the Egyptian magus Hermes Trismegistus, the early Christian-era Simon Magus and the Gnostic Valentinus, Eastern Tantric sages, Yogis, and god-men on through to Renaissance magicians such as Agrippa, and Paracelsus.
In this way of thinking, it is through the soul or perhaps the divine spark that the universal substance (super-consciousness) knows and expresses itself. The magician (the imperial Me, Myself, and I) is no longer a mere aspect of the one substance as the masses of human kind are but the form in which the universal substance has its' life. The magician is therefore the point of concentration of the super-consciousness. He is God: reality is in his mind.
The idea that reality consists of one substance predates the Christian worldview with its' interfacing, interacting two-dimensional view of reality by thousands of years and belongs to the family of naturalism.
Naturalism refers to a one-dimensional view of reality grounded in a monist/Advaita pagan philosophy holding that only one substance consisting of void, matter and evolutionary (developmental and change-making) energies exists. Therefore void, matter and energy are the Ultimate One Substance of which the universe consists and with which all life is in continuity, thus "all is one" and "everything is perpetually evolving and ascending."
Both scientific evolutionary materialism and its Eastern oriented new age evolutionary pantheist counterpart are the two main types of naturalism. The former view affirms that life and mind are emergent properties of physical matter while the latter holds that life and mind are aspects of divine energy.
Marxist Communism is the sociopolitical form taken by the former. In his analysis of Marxist Communism and its' alter ego, scientific materialism (evolutionary biology), Frank Meyers, an early conservative intellectual concluded that Communism is the state form,
"....taken by a materialist faith determined to rule the world." Godless Communism is the "final synthesis of all heretical tendencies that have pervaded Western civilization for many centuries." It is materialist scientism of which, "Communism is the culminating hubris of the Promethean man who reaches out for the world and means to remake creation. It is scientism gone political." (The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America, George H. Nash, pp. 251-252)
The main difference between the two types resides in whether matter is thought to be physical (i.e., Greek Atomism) or spiritual (i.e., Buddhism, certain forms of Hinduism, Teilhard's conceptions, New Physics). However, both views share in common the following:
1.Negation of the supernatural God of Revelation and of man as His spiritual image-bearer as necessitated by one-dimensional views of reality.
2.An inverted account of origins and history lending itself to the notion that since there was no fall then the devil is not the devil and men are not sinful but in process of evolving from primitive hominids into gods
3.Natural science, the study of the one substance.
4.Evolutionary conceptions: These serve two main functions. First, as a mechanical process of development and second, as a mechanism for purification of matter
Jesus Christ to Buddha,
"...you took God away (and) your espousal of an absence of self is the most unique and fearsome claim you made." (The Lotus and the Cross: Jesus Talks with Buddha, Ravi Zacharias, pp. 59, 67)
Life and being are only with the living God of Revelation, the creator and upholder of the life and being (soul/spirit) of men. But if He does not exist, it logically follows that there is no ultimate source for life, conscious being, meaning and purpose; or for the sanctity of human life, worth, dignity, individual liberty and personal property. Without God the Father Almighty unalienable (God given) human rights are as meaningless as America's founding documents have become in our Godless neo-pagan society.
If man is not God's spiritual image-bearer then he is less than nothing, a conclusion Buddha reached long before Jesus Christ God Incarnate walked this earth:
"Six centuries before Jesus Christ, the Buddha already knew that if God does not exist, then the human self cannot exist either...Therefore, he deconstructed the Hindu idea of the soul. When one starts peeling the onion skin of one's psyche, he discovers that there is no solid core at the center of one's being." Thus your sense of self becomes illusion, "Reality is nonself...You don't exist." Liberation, the Buddha taught, "is realizing the unreality of your existence." (The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization, Vishal Mangalwadi, p. 6)
Mangalwadi and Ravi Zacharias know that the supernatural One God in three Persons created the living souls of all men, hence the soul of Western civilization. Equally, both men clearly see the soul-and-mind destroying nihilism involved in the West's rejection of its' Biblical foundations in favor of one dimensional views of reality posited by natural science, natural psychology, academia, and today's burgeoning 'new' religions grounded in evolutionary naturalism.
Having escaped the nihilism inherent in naturalistic views of reality both men are shocked and dismayed by the West's maddened determination to plunge into the abyss.
In conclusion, the answer to the author's question regarding if whether information is the universal substance of reality the answer is "NO." If all that exists is one substance then man is less than nothing. He is a walking dead body that somehow speaks. Or as the OT prophet Jeremiah put it, a cistern without living water.