Here I will explain that The Cosmic Fugue (TCF) extends to all conceivable reality, or at least everywhere possible. Regardless if we are discussing planets or universes, continents or species, DNA or data, wherever conditions arise for the transition from mere things to “I am”, (from mere events to lived experiences) TCF is expressed. It does not matter the conditions of this transition, the transition will occur and is TCF in action. Recognizing this, we can come to see that the existence of struggle itself is an inherent part of the Fugue, and is how ultimately the Fugue comes to know and expand itself within the limits imposed by nature, again, whatever the conditions.
The “anthropic principle” is an important concept here. It holds that the existence of natural laws that support life and consciousness (and in particular intelligent consciousness) is a prerequisite for said life and consciousness, and therefore, it is no surprise that the natural laws on Earth and even in our universe support life, since we are here to observe it. Some variants of this principle suggest that in a “multiverse” (a universe of universes, of which our observable universe is one) only those which have the specific conditions for the emergence of life, will have life emerge… and ponder the specificity of the laws in that universe.
“Universe” vs “Cosmos”
For the sake of clarity, I use the words “universe” and “cosmos” differently.
From here on “Universe” will refer to a realm with a specific set of natural laws, and where those laws end, so to does that universe. Conceivably, our universe could be infinite, or finite. It could have laws we do not know of, ever deeper than the ones we are familiar with. It could be one of two, a billion, or infinity universes. It may be a universe settled within a universe, or even have smaller universes inside it. Human beings do not know for certain, and this blog also accepts that uncertainty.
“Cosmos” is simply defined as all that exists and which cannot but exist. The cosmos is literally everything, and is also (if we were to fully grasp its nature) absolutely necessary. It has to exist and there is no conceivable way it could not exist (again, if we were to fully grasp it). If there is a “multiverse” then it would still be a part of the larger cosmos, with our universe a smaller section of it. If you were to discover something “outside” the cosmos, you would have merely extended the known limits of the cosmos.
Our universe and our cosmos might be one in the same. We do not know. Yet having these distinct meanings is essential to understanding TCF in relation to the anthropic principle.
Lets now assume, for the sake of argument, that ours is just one of an infinity of universes in the cosmos. There would also be an infinity of sets of natural laws, most of which would just entail nonsense with little or no cause and effect. A great many would have stable laws, yet these laws would not permit the emergence of any life. It might be as simple as, say, the rate of expansion of space being much, much to large for any particles (or whatever constituent parts there may be) to ever interact with each-other, carried along with space much too rapidly for any other natural laws to have any meaningful effect.
Then there are the tiny subset of this infinity which do harbor the conditions for the emergence of life. Our universe would be one of them. For the purposes of life, this picture of multiple universes is not meaningfully different than what we can see through our telescopes: multiple planets.
An infinity of planets exist in our universe, most inhospitable for life to emerge, too hot, too cold, whatever the conditions may be. A few will have the conditions for life, and out of those, not all will have the same conditions, so thus comes different life. The only difference between an infinity of planets, and a infinity of universes (so far as we are concerned) is a matter of scale. The only thing that matters for TCF is that nature becomes aware of itself through an evolution that starts with nothing, goes forward with something, and ends with everything possible within the bounds set by nature.
Now in our hypothetical, there are endless universes which can never reach self-awareness directly. Within the bounds set by the natural laws, it can never become aware of itself without (again, hypothetically) an outside influence. There are universes which can reach self-awareness, and this is enough. TCF takes what it can, and, with all the powers possible within the natural laws, brings itself from nothing to “I am”.
Whatever the conditions, in any universe that permits it, here is TCF. The same would apply (if we go a level deeper) to virtual beings on a powerful computer that runs a whole virtual universe. These beings are not any less “real”. If they actually have experiences and actually go through a process of evolution by which, given the bounds of the simulation, they move forward, then you will find The Cosmic Fugue.
Are we, human beings talking, laughing, begetting, and fighting on the Earth, in a simulation of a more powerful civilization? If we understand ourselves fully, the question becomes irrelevant. Might we be “turned off”? Perhaps, but that would not be meaningfully different from any mass extinction out of the control of the beings subject to it. Does that diminish the value of our lives? Of course not! You are still there breathing and reading, with your own set of plans. Being in a simulation would make as little difference as if we were one universe of a trillion universes, should they exist. Being “turned off” would be the same as experiencing a false vacuum. Regardless, we are still alive.
The Cosmic Fugue ignores all barriers of this sort. What ultimately matters is the bringing to fruition the absolute conscious life allowed by nature, including, possibly in our future, the simulation of virtual beings on hardware as allowed by nature. Its all about overcoming the obstacles set upon us by our own separation from nature, and indeed ourselves. First we were born. Now we have to live before we die. As much as we possibly can!