Um, I might sound like an idiot or something; so don't hesitate to call me out, and additionally, I convey no feelings of malice. Just curious. I viewed the understanding of the universe as a giant moving variable with loops and unfoldings; with potential trans-humanism being a kind of multiplier; though, I could be wrong; as the understanding of our universe could be non-linear, and thereby using trans-humanism (brain implants, computer integration) could yield in going "off-course". So, we have the non-linear mapping of understanding that fluctuates, and meanders. But then, what of the are fluctuations in the universe as well? I'd probably get called out by referencing this, but I recall some fringe scientist referencing minute changes within the constants of the universe i.e speed of light, and the like. Given these alterations actually occur, I wonder to what extent these changes would change a given model. So, then we have the chasing of a moving target so to speak.
But additionally, what if there was a hypothetical way to somehow integrate enough of the perspectives and viewpoints regarding the universe i.e collaborations with extraterrestials to somehow spew out an abstract general view of the universe? Then, it would make the overarching view a little less anthroprocentric; but we run into another issue of making it life-centric? And who's to say that any of them are even remotely correct? But then, I suppose technological breakthroughs i.e practical applications stemming from the theoretical work could in turn give credence to some aspect of a given model? I would view this as another multiplier as well.
I don't want to sound pessimistic, but I actually don't think it's likely that we'll ever meet any aliens. I can't really prove this, but if I had to make a bet, I'd say there are no aliens anywhere in our galaxy or in any of the neighboring galaxies. And I think the reason is probably that some event responsible for our existence now is astronomically rare (Again, if I had to guess, I'd say abiogenesis, but I can't prove that either).
I'm not sure if you're familiar with the Fermi paradox? If the universe is full of aliens, why haven't we met them already? The Earth has been around for a long time, and there is no evidence that any aliens landed here. There is no evidence of "intelligent" radio transmission anywhere we can observe (and we can observe a large number of galaxies).
I think the idea that we might create a new form of life (AI or whatever) is much more likely than us actually meeting one that exists "out there".
This is even more far-out, but maybe a kind of collaboration with beings in other universes assuming they even exist at all? Another multiplier.
And yes, I know, far-out hypothetical mumbo-jumbo; but maybe we could get at least a little closer if we were able to do the things aforementioned; given that advanced extraterrestials with their own GUT (Grand Unified Theories), and beings in other universes actually exists; and the assumption that we're even able to contact them.
Regarding consciousness; I was under the assumption that it was a pattern of brain activity; but really a kind of pattern of activity in general with emphasis on recursive feedback loops. And Pansychism would be interesting; the idea that everything has mental properties; or some kind of primordial proto-consciousness. Seems consciousness-centric, but oh well. Wonder if there's something else other than consciousness?
Pansychism is not consciousness-centric at all. The reason I think pansychism makes more sense than idealism, is because idealism is by definition consciousness-centric (It's really hard to prove it wrong by the way!). What are the other options?
Dualism? Well, that's extremely anthropocentric. What makes a human being more special than, say, a rock formation, or a star, to have this "extra thing that isn't really made of substance" (a soul or a spirit).
Materialism? (or Physicalism, the idea that the universe is made of whatever building blocks the Science of Physics tells us it's made of. And everything else can be completely reduced to those building blocks). My issue with Physicalism is that I've never seen anyone explain how consciousness can possibly emerge out of highly complex collections of physical particles. What is so special about complexity? How does the universe "know" that a human brain is much more "complex" than any random collection of physical particles. And how does the universe "know" that the human brain should have a single "I" or first person view? It's really hard for me to imagine how that can happen.
Pansychism is an extremely vague position actually. Because no one really has any idea what proto-consciousness is, or particles interact, and what laws determine "which" systems are conscious and which systems are not.
Is an electronic functional replica of the human brain conscious? Are insects conscious? Are laptops? Are thermostats? Is a person's immune system, or their digestive system conscious? Is your spinal cord conscious? Is society conscious?
The intuitive answer to most of those is no. But for me I just don't see how a human being or a human brain is different from any of these systems. I think the laws that govern how consciousness arises must apply to everything, and it should be a completely blind process, depending on basic properties of the building blocks of the universe.
So, to give an example. A ball has mass, and it exerts gravitational force following the same law that governs how a planet attracts objects. The gravity of a planet doesn't "emerge" simply because we added a lot of particles to a small region of space. Every particle exerts a gravitational force. It just only becomes noticeable if you have a huge mass.
So, I'm not saying that every electron has a personality, or that particles are aware of their existence. I'm just saying that whatever makes us conscious, is probably rooted in some property in fundamental particles that we cannot describe using Physics. And that we can never study the laws that govern how that property "adds up" to form conscious creatures like ourselves using Physics. (We probably can't study those laws, period. Since I don't think consciousness can be detected or differentiated from blind empty-from-the-inside intelligent behavior).
I think another theory that makes more sense to me than Dualism or Physicalism is called Monism, which says that both the physical and the mental are made of the same stuff. (which sounds very close to Panpsychism imo).
I am of course a layman, and I my understanding of these things is probably inaccurate. So, don't take my word for any of this.
I think the philosopher that made me really skeptical of the prevailing Physicalist worldview is David Chalmers. I really like some of his writings.
If this is true, it makes me wonder about the states of other universes, given that they exist. Given that there's matter in those universes, does proto-conscious essence exist inside of it? Or maybe it's something entirely different, and like you mentioned earlier, something incomprehensible. And why would there be a protoconscious essence within matter anway? Maybe due to certain patterns of development in a given universe? And why are universes developing anyway? I don't know.
I have no idea if other universes exist. If I had to guess, I'd say there is probably an infinite number of universes. Why do I say that? Mostly because of how it seems like the Physical constants seem fine-tuned in our universe? Also, the fact that it doesn't go infinitely back in time. These two facts make me wonder about our existence. It seems pretty unlikely if only one universe ever existed, and isn't eternal. I mean what are the odds?
Of course speaking of odds and probability when talking about universes is probably not very meaningful. I just find it more intuitive to assume that there's an infinite number of universes popping into existence all the time, and that there's nothing really special about our universe (where stars can form) or our existence (see: the Anthropic principle).
Anyway, I think regardless of whether or not other universes exist, I think that we will never know the answer or come into contact with them. (because if we do, it means those are just parts of the same universe). I think for something to qualify as a separate universe, it has to be unreachable by definition. Otherwise, it's not a very useful distinction.
Sorry for the long-winded post, and sorry if this is annoying or dumb. I was just curious, and thought I could learn a thing or to and explore some ideas.
It's okay, lol. I haven't formally studied philosophy or cosmology. I'm pretty sure my opinions on these issues are mostly intuitions and impressions rather than justifiable philosophical positions. But anyone can have an opinion, right? : P