If this world is more than merely physical, it must exist in parallel with some other dimension, possibly information itself, which by nature cannot be tracked from the physical world directly. Either another space creates our space, or ours and it are part of the same larger thing.
For us to see more of the world than the immediate, tangible, and sensual we must first see the beauty in some part of the world. That induces us to believe that the whole thing must be good, in order to produce this moment or thread of beauty.
At that point, we are on our way to transcendentalism, a philosophy which embraces reality as it is but believes that this is the best possible option to enable beauty. A transcendentalist sees error, conflict, and even death as necessary for great beauty.
Like most philosophies that touch on the meaning of life, transcendentalism is fundamentally an aesthetic philosophy, but unlike the others it does not attempt to hide this fact. Instead it simply finds pleasure in beauty and in that, the proof of goodness behind the mixed good and bad of this world.
It is also an esoteric philosophy. This means that it consists of infinite levels, with each one unlocked only by the mastery of the prior one, which means that appreciation of beauty is the first level in a worldview that quickly expands to see much more.
Once one has traveled down the transcendental path for some time, a few general principles of the universe emerge which can be used as initial approaches to any mystery. One such golden key is the concept of parallelism, or that similar structures exist in different parts of the system.
For one to appreciate this, the initiate must already have some concept of structure underlying reality, or mathematical and informational tendencies and patterns or forms that appear out of necessity through the interaction of those fundamental universal principles.
Parallelism states that, if we peel back the layer of appearance, we see similar structures serving similar functions in different areas of existence, such as these things found in parallel:
In the parallelist view, humans exist in multiple forms in parallel across mind, matter, energy, and information. When the body ceases to exist, the pattern transmutes and carries on in other forms, in turn manifesting somehow in the material world although not necessarily in the same visual form.
Nature wastes nothing. Patterns of information are the product of this world: it constantly refines, through processes like evolution, the designs/structures of its plants, creatures, and ecosystems. When a design becomes optimized, it endures, even when instances of it are destroyed.
In the same way, the self that is parallel across mind, matter, energy, and information can exist in multiple instances and pop up again where needed like an avatar. The loss of one physical instance does not change its essence, which has been coded into other areas by its physical interactions.
The Platonic view holds that the material world is an effect of a larger, more complex informational world based in logic, or the “forms,” from which come the patterns for the objects we see here, including people. Our origins are elsewhere but parallel to what we are here.
For most ancient thinkers, the understanding that a feedback loop existed between the material and the incorporeal served to explain the role of physicality in the first place: the abstract needs application to test itself and refine itself, at which point its pattern uptakes that information.
This implies an ascension in death, but only for some. Those who are complex enough to intermesh with the world and give of themselves in struggle attain a residual component outside the physical, or the enhancement thereof, and as a result persist.
Those who choose emptiness and personal convenience retreat further into themselves and end up being almost entirely creatures of stimulus-response, at which point they are not distinct from the form of stimulus-response itself, therefore do not persist.
The outerworld — the larger space of data in which our physical world exists and of which it is an effect — most likely operates by the same basic rules and logic that we see in the physical world. It must in order to gain benefit from the physical world as a feedback loop.
In all likelihood, however, the outerworld is beyond our comprehension as physical beings because it is encased in fear and doubt in our minds, and therefore we have trouble grasping a space and time that is truly infinite but bounded by function through the principles of logic.
This suggests an afterlife which is not so much eternal, or a permanent moment of no conflict and perfect satiation, but infinite and ongoing, much like our daily lives here but taken to new levels in new places.
Ironically, this view seems to be held in common not just between religions but folk faiths. We see body and soul as parallel, and believe in a “happy hunting ground” after death where we continue the same processes that gave us meaning in life, just with higher stakes.
If the outerworld is consistent with the process by which the physicality we know has been formed, it will contain multitudes of other existences in which the struggle for order and goodness — a desire to enhance the pleasure, sensibility, and efficacy of life — plays out in Shakespearian drama.
This suggests that in all ways, life parallels the life beyond, and therefore that what we see before us is not an eternity of statis but an infinity opening, giving range to our ability to strive and struggle for what is meaningful and in doing so, to know and define ourselves.