What If: Black Holes == Consciousness

David L. Day | Oct 3, 2023 min read

Photo by Omid H on Unsplash

I love playing “what if”. I’m willing to believe more things before noon than most people do in their entire lifetimes.

Well, maybe not “believe”, but I’ll entertain any notion for at least a few minutes. Not because I need more beliefs in my life, but because it’s fun. So take this as me having fun, not me throwing a serious, fact-based, well-vetted idea out. If you think I’m wrong, I probably am.

I’ve been thinking a lot about consciousness lately. It’s always been a fascination for me, but the book I’m working on right now touches on the concept in places, and so it’s been more at the forefront of my mind than usual.

What is consciousness? Where does it come from? Why does it exist? I have no fucking clue. One interesting idea I recently came across is Tom Campbell’s “My Big TOE” (TOE == Theory of Everything). His theory basically says the physical, known universe is a virtual reality run by the Larger Consciousness System (the server) and being played by Individuated Units of Consciousness (the users). It’s not a simulation being run by our future selves or some mysterious race of beings far in the future. It’s a virtual world, and like all virtual worlds, the thing that runs it (server) and the things that use it (players) must exist outside that virtual world. And to be honest, his theory seems logically consistent and plausible, at least on the surface.

What does this have to do with black holes? I dunno. Let’s find out.

Forget about that dude’s big TOE for a minute and follow me over here. Let’s talk about the idea of “being one with everything”. I’m being broad, I’m misquoting several religions, and I’m just playing a word game here. But, there is this grain of wisdom in the idea that separation of self is ultimately an illusion. And consciousness, at least in some schools of thought, is that thread that binds us all together. Or rather, it’s the cloth we’re all cut from.

Before the big bang, there was nothing. After the big collapse, there will be nothing. Everything in between is temporary (and yet fun and interesting).

But what is “nothing”? If the entire universe is compacted into a singularity, then everything == nothing. And nothing == everything. They are where the two ends of infinity meet.

Black holes get smaller the more stuff you throw into them. They’re not very well understood, but we know that we can’t see inside of them. They’re incredibly destructive, gobbling up anything that gets too close, smushing its meals into an indistinct mess of uniformity.

If everything is nothing, and the universe started as a singularity and will return to a singularity, and black holes are themselves singularities wandering around until the big collapse, then to me that says black holes are tiny bits of consciousness acting as “garbage collectors” of this virtual reality, taking everything back out of this universe and returning it to the origin. That origin is consciousness.

Big leaps of logic in there. More of a brain dump than anything else. Maybe I’ll fill in the gaps as I continue working on my novel. This isn’t meant to be earth-shattering or enlightening. Just a quick little game of “what if” to keep me working on the book.

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