Before I begin, I would like to be very clear that I am not a scientist, mystic or philosopher capable of producing an acceptable argument about the topic in question, neither should I be considered any authority on the topic. I must also be honest that my opinion here has greatly been influenced by my religious beliefs and personal speculations influenced by those beliefs.
The question, "Is this life a Simulation?" or if put more simply, "Is this life Real?" has been floating around since the very beginning of man and has been addressed again and again by scientists, mystics, religious scriptures, religious leaders and philosophers during the course of history. The concepts that I am about to share have been floating in my mind for a while now but due to recent personal and worldly developments in the NFT (Non Fungible Token) space and the possibility of a digitally and physically integrating world, I felt a stronger urge to share with the world about what I thought.
"This universe could have been created by some super intelligence in another universe."
Even though concepts like virtual reality and augmented reality have been around for a while, being used mainly in video games and movies, it is after the explosion of NFTs and the digital creator economy that more and more people have taken an interest in such technology. It is has gone so far that recently a piece of digital land in a game was sold for a staggering Million Dollars. My interest in the digital economy lead me towards researching more about the Simulation Hypothesis and launching my company, The BIG. Ventures, working to innovate and improve existing technology with a major project being DIPHY (Digital & Physical Integration). After seeing the realistic graphics being used in games and movies, one tends to think how far it can go.
Can we be people creating worlds where we create the physics of those worlds and we create avatars the lives of whom we control, with the ironical possibility of ourselves being a part of a similar system, only a million times more sophisticated. Imagine creating a digital world with the most complicated and multilayered laws of physics while using the most advanced form of artificial intelligence to create the avatars while giving those avatars freedom to use the AI resulting in free will within that world. Someday, your avatars learn to code and create their own digital worlds. There is an undeniable possibility that we are those avatars and according many philosophers and scientists today there is so less of a chance that we are in base reality that the possibility of it can all together be ignored: like a speckle in a desert of sand.
"If the Simulation Hypothesis is correct, one realizes there is a superior being, an architect who created and designed the world, which we might in other words know as God"
By using the example of video games and digital worlds, I am in no way claiming that I believe in this world being a real video game created by a game developer but I am just using it as analogy so that most of us today might be able to understand the concept. In history when we did not have the this technology, the concept was still discussed using other analogies like 'The Allegory of the Cave' theory by Plato where he discusses people who are born, trapped and chained inside a cave and what they can see of the outside world are shadows of items through light on a wall and they construct an elaborate idea of the real world based on those reflections. Plato said that we were like the residents of that cave. Ray Kurzweil a technologist, futurist and award winning author said in an interview, "This universe could have been created by some super intelligence in another universe."
This is where this becomes interesting specially for people of religion or people who have gut to entertain the concepts of possibility. If one allows the analogy of religion and if the Simulation Hypothesis is correct, one realizes there is a superior being, an architect who created and designed the world, which we might in other words know as God. Religious beliefs from those of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism are more in alignment with this hypothesis than modern academics and science. The popular movie 'The Matrix' tells a story of the world being a computer code. Many theories claim that the movie is based on the concepts presented in the Bible itself where when some people like Leo and Morpheus realize the fakeness of the world are able to perform miracles in that computer code just by believing that it is not real. Religious scriptures like the Quran and the Bible are full of stories of people who performed miracles that the normal human was unable to recognize as necessarily being possible in this world like the walking on water of Prophet Jesus and the splitting of the moon by Prophet Muhammad.
"That which our intelligence can encompass, how can it be Infinite; That who comes in time and is perceivable, How can he be God"
According to religious beliefs, the universe including our bodies have been created and are not real but, the Soul or the Rooh or the Consciousness(even though I believe that consciousness is only a part of the Soul, not it entirely) are the only reflection of the thing that is real from a parallel universe discussed in Islamic and other Abrahamic scriptures as the world of souls or the Aalam e Arwah. The famous author from MIT, Rizwan Virk talks about the world as a game, the Great Simulation and us as PCs (Player Characters) in the game being controlled from a parallel reality. If we are able to consume this concept, we reach the conclusion that the rules of this world are rules to us, not rules to the base reality. The world we know as the world is limited within the realm of time and space. According to us Muslims, the Architect, God is the only reality (the soul was created by God using His own entity and intelligence thus it is to be there forever and that is from where we get many of our traits and an AI or Limited Intelligence) and is the only being beyond time and space and He has created several parallel worlds(like those of angels, jinns, hell, paradise) with characters that have their own jobs and tasks to fulfill and that these worlds might interact with one another when the God will it. The Quran says, "Have they not thought about their own selves? God did not create the heavens and earth and everything between them without a serious purpose and an appointed time, yet many people deny that they will meet their Lord". We can clear off to some extent, the concept of predestination and free will here as well because to God we might be in this world and the world of souls and heaven or hell and many other parallel realities all at the same time. And to God the past and the future could be physical and the physicality timeless, something that was conceptualized in the movie 'Interstellar' where the astronaut moves through different rooms created by a superior intelligence to reach different times. We shall show them Our signs on the far horizons and in themselves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that your Lord witnesses everything? (Quran). God being beyond time and space also makes him unperceivable by all means to us as it is mentioned in another verse of the Quran "... God is far above the things they say".
"Of course it's happening inside your head Harry, why should that mean it is not real!"
There are only signs around for us to realize the truth and there will never be clear proof of it being the truth. This is I believe the rule of the game where you will be given signs of this world not being real and the existence of only one base reality, God and it is up to us to realize those signs and become true believers of the only truth without understanding it completely, as the famous Urdu poet and philospher, Akbar Allahabadi writes, "That which our intelligence can encompass, how can it be Infinite; That who comes in time and is perceivable, How can he be God".
The details of this concept and affiliated concepts like parallel realities and quantum physics can be talked about for centuries with no end, although I will try to briefly share my take on these topics in future writings. Meanwhile I would like to urge my readers, specially religious people like Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Jews to read your religious scriptures while realizing that at many points the meanings are not very literal and are mostly multilayered and after understanding this you will see clear signs and references to the parallel reality theory, quantum physics and simulation hypothesis that will in term lead you to realizing, accepting and believing in the only reality; The Creator (Al Khaliq), The Artist (Al Musawwir), The Boundless (Al Waasi), The Infinite (Al Hayy - Al Baaqi), The Originator (Al Baari), The Master (Malik ul Mulk).
While concluding, I would like to end on a thought. This world being unreal does not make it unimportant. As the famous writer J.K Rowling writes at the end of her last 'Harry Potter' book when Harry asks Dumbledore, "Professor, Is this all real, or is it just happening inside my head?", Dumbledore replies, "Of course it's happening inside your head Harry, why should that mean it is not real!". We need to realize the world's fakeness but be in it and live in it because it is a maze created for us by our Creator and it is the only reality might have experienced. We need to do this while keeping in mind the existence of other realities and the existence of the Architect and live by the rules of the game set by Him.