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A Tech Giant Discovers Transcendence

The Twin Revolutions of Federico Faggin.

Dr. Federico Faggin invented the microprocessor—thus helping to launch the modern technological revolution. Later in life, he had a remarkable experience that afforded him profound insight into what he believes is the next arena of human evolution—consciousness and transcendence.


Adam Jacobs: Good afternoon, Dr. Faggin. Thank you so much for being on Beyond Belief today. It's a pleasure to be speaking with you. How are things in California today?

Federico Faggin: Actually, sunny contrary to most of the past days where we had terrible weather.

Adam Jacobs: Yeah. Well, in New York, we have ongoing bad weather for about 10 months, but good weather is coming.

I have just completed your book Silicon, which I will go ahead and recommend off the bat to our audience. It is a very engaging account of your whole life, your experience as one of the people who invented the microprocessor, which is pretty wild, I think to most people. And then, you know, describe yourself as having four or five lives, different stages of your life. I'm going to be honest and say it's the latter ones that are most fascinating to me, and I'm hoping that we can focus on that. Although I'm totally open to hearing about your scientific discoveries and technological discoveries as well if you want to throw that in. But can I ask you some things about your, let's call them, spiritual or transcendent discoveries?

Federico Faggin: I was born in Italy in 1941, and I came to this country in ‘68. So I was 26 years old. And I describe in my book four lives. The first is the one of basically learning, going to school, and my early experiences of work that I had in Italy, and the second life, the one that I had in Silicon Valley starting in ‘68. The life of an inventor, a scientist, a developer of technologies and products. And then, in ‘74, I started my first company, and that was the life of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneur, meaning having to do much more than just developing products. You had to know how to choose people they know, marketing, sales, administration, production, you name it. And, of course, you need to know a bit of that stuff yourself. Otherwise, how can you choose the right people? So during that life in my third company, I became a serial entrepreneur.

I was fascinated by neural networks, and I wanted to develop a computer that learned by itself using artificial neurons, of course, structures that are similar to what we have in our brains. And it was in that at that time that I was studying books on neuroscience, and biology, trying to understand how the brain works, that I ask myself; but these books, they only talk about electrical signals, biochemical signals, as if those were identical to our conscious experience. But my conscious experience is different. I feel something. I don't see electrical signals, I don't know them even. So what is going on? How can electrical signals become experience, the taste of chocolate or the colors and the shapes of objects, and so on. That was the beginning of my awakening, that reality is probably not what I was told. It is when I study physics, which is what I did when I was young.

Adam Jacobs: Right. And you used the word awakening just now. And I think that that is the exact right word. And I want to quote something from your book on that topic where you say, “After my awakening soul, the word soul had come to me in the living scintillating loving substance of which everything is made.” And I just made a note to myself. I'm like, I wrote so much to unpack in this one sentence. So question one, and this may be very foreign for certain people, but I think that you have the credibility as a scientist, as somebody who thinks very rationally and has proven it over the course of time. What does it mean that a substance can be loving? And also, what does it mean that we're made from it? Are we the same as it, or are we distinct from it? And finally, is this your true self that you're describing?

Federico Faggin: Alright, so well, love is clearly something that we feel. So yes, we recognize it as love because since we were children, we felt love. But the love that I felt in the awakening experience, which is described in the book, there is not time to go through it. The love was immensely vaster and bigger than the love that I knew. Most importantly, it was coming out of me like a beam of light. It was scintillating light. So I didn't know that I could generate this energy, this scintillating light that I was feeling. And then this beam of light that felt like unbelievably strong love and joy and peace. And then it exploded. So all of a sudden, this wise light is everywhere. So all of a sudden I, I'm confronted to see that the love that was coming from me is actually everywhere.

But not only that but then I recognize myself in that white scintillating light. So that experience then implied that I was a point of view of that light upon itself. So I was a point of am a point of view of everything that exists because I felt like everything that existed is made of this white scintillating light that feels like love and love that is intense like I’ve never before felt. So it was the coincidence also of my physical body that was vibrating when this experience was going on; my heart was unbelievably open and full of love and joy and peace. And my mind was saying this is the stuff that everything is made of. So everything was resonating, so to speak. And in this sense that I am, that I what I'm seeing what I'm experiencing, but I am also a point of view of the world upon itself.

So there is now more to impact that you said earlier in a way because it took me 35 years after that experience, more or less, to actually come to a beginning of a theory that explains how reality can be such that I had that experience. And, of course, I had many more experiences as I started studying what consciousness is and that you can only do by experiencing because we know by experiencing. So through many years of work, the last 12 years or 15 years, and before 30-40% of my time since the awakening experience, I came to the conclusion that consciousness, which is the capacity that we have to have an experience and to know by feeling to get the meaning of things, that consciousness is fundamental and that we also have to have free will because that consciousness is what allows us to understand and therefore to guide our experience and to do so, we need to direct our experience with free will.

So consciousness, as in free will, must be fundamental. They must be there before there is even matter, must be what created matter. So in this concept then, matter is the symbolic aspect of reality, where the semantic aspect of reality is what we feel within. And now I have a theory that I created together with Professor Dano, who is an authority in quantum information, that says that a quantum system, which is in a coherent state in a, they're calling quantum physics pure states, but we don't want to go into the details, the technicalities of it. But a system that is in that state has the experience of its own state. So there is a property of nature that the stuff of which everything is made, and the self-reflection is the experience of itself.

Adam Jacobs: I do have a question about that also coming up that specific point, but I realize we probably should take one step back because, for the audience, you're describing an awakening that you had. But at that time in your life, from what I understand in the book, you were an entrepreneur, you're working, you weren't seeking out altered states of consciousness as far as I know. It almost seems like it just sort of happened upon you. Can you just briefly tell us what happened, literally what happened when this all came about?

Federico Faggin: Basically, at that time, was it my late forties. I was suffering. I was suffering for the previous 10 years, but I didn't know until a little later when I started Synoptics in ‘86, I was 45. At that point, I had achieved everything that the world says that if you do, you should be happy. I had a beautiful family, everybody was healthy. I had more money than I needed to live for the rest of my life without having to work. I was famous, I had done many things in my life, but I was not happy. What's wrong with this picture? I check all the boxes, and I still wasn't happy. And I realized that for many years I pretended to be happy because I didn't want to look where I felt I was suffering. And at that time also, I was trying to make computers that learn and understand that can self-program.

So also in my outer life, which was all that I was concerned about at that time except for this feeling, this suffering that I had inside, I wanted to understand how consciousness works. I had, as I mentioned earlier, I came across the fact that electrical signals cannot be consciousness. So how does it work? So I was intensely intellectually trying to understand consciousness and learning the cognitive aspect of ourselves, the inner stuff that we have. And, of course, I was suffering, which was what consciousness allows you to know. I knew that it was not, that something was amiss, I didn't know. So I needed to find out. And it was in that intensity because I really wanted to know. I wanted to know, not because I wanted to make a better product or to do something with it, I only wanted to know, I wanted to know. And I was intense in that. And it was in I think, the world, the universe, I don't know, called whatever name you can give it to responded maybe myself a faster me responded to that need to know with this experience. So this experience was an answer to my quest, to an answer to my situation.

Adam Jacobs: Well, in a certain sense, you're very lucky in the volume of experiences that you've had. Vivid dreams, deep intuitions, other states of consciousness is an amazing gift. It seems to me that many people would love to have such intuition, would love to have the clarity of these visions. And I think that's part of what drives the renewed psychedelic drug interests and other meditative disciplines, and other people are looking to have these breakthrough kind of experiences that you had. And I think it's one of the most important aspects of life. I think that most people are consciously or subconsciously are looking for these kinds of things. You used words like peace and love and joy; what more universal terms can we have that people constantly seeking out?

And I think that they would like to do it in a more direct and effective manner. So a question on everything that you were just saying is let's talk for a minute to a skeptic. I talk to people online a lot who are absolutely certain that physical reality is the only reality. In fact, they're very dismissive of anything that smacks of a metaphysical aspect of reality. What would you say to a skeptic if they said, oh, come on, Dr. Fagen, you're like, you either had a dream, you had a hallucination, you have a very creative imagination. But what am I supposed to do with it? Is this, is it some provable what happened to you or happens to others, or how would you answer them?

Federico Faggin: Well, first of all, I would say that I was exactly like them before this experience. I thought that when we die, that's the end of the game. That we are basically machines. And I had bought the entire framework and description of how reality works. I'm a physicist, after all. So I would say, Hey, I understand exactly what you're saying, but I can also tell you that once you have an experience such as this one, you realize that there is a way of knowing, which is what I call direct. I call it direct knowing right now that allows you to know through the experience; you don't know the details but the overview, you have the overview of something that must be right because the self-evidence of being right is within the experience. When we decided that a postulate that we make is self-evident because it is coherent with what we actually experience.

After all, it is our consciousness that allows us to know even the simplest thing that we do when we do physics. And so the only way for you to agree or not with me is to have a similar experience. So open yourself up if you trust that I'm not crazy and that I'm not stupid, but that I'm just telling the truth the way I lived it. And if you believe that, then open yourself up. And if you don't open yourself up, you will never have such an experience because if you don't believe that it is real, why should you have an experience? You will block it. So that would be my answer.

Adam Jacobs: Although sometimes people have experiences thrust on them, for instance, a near-death experience, though someone could be completely not expecting it, and it just happens, and then all of a sudden they're confronted with the same types of reality that you're describing.

Federico Faggin: Absolutely. In fact, this experience was thrust upon me the same way. I mean I wasn't aware such an experience existed. I didn't want it in the sense that, oh, I read a book, and I fell in love with what I read, and I wanted one too kind of thing. No, I couldn't even possibly imagine that I could experience what I experienced. So what can I tell you? But by trusting my experience, I now have a theory which is a theory of physics because I trusted that experience. I follow it, I believe in it because the belief I could not be, I believe it now we have a theory that is actually explaining what consciousness is. I think this is a major step forward as far as I'm concerned.

Adam Jacobs: It sounds like it. And as you're describing it, I'm finding it very enticing and compelling. Well, I mean, I read your book, so I know something about it, but I'm very interested in the exploration of this concept and the promotion of the exploration of this concept so that more people could have the potential benefit. But I want to ask you a couple more things. One, you talk about the inner journey, and as you just said, as you would say to a skeptic, listen, you have to have the same experience that I had. And that means you have to be open to some kind of inner exploration. As you say in the book, “I gradually began to realize that the truly important journey is the inner one. And with the same dedication I had showered into technological and scientific research, I committed to discovering the truth about myself beyond the perceptual distortions fostered by prejudices.” So you described something called “transpersonal psychology.” What is that, and how did it help you on your journey?

Federico Faggin: Well, transpersonal psychology is a psychology that believes that we may not be just machines that may be something transcendent in us. And so, those psychologists are more keen to giving much more value to inner experiences than the normal psychologists, especially by behaviorists, that believe that we are simply not only a machine but there is nothing to learn by looking out inside. There is only an outside, so that's it, right? That's what they are. And early on that was very, very valuable to me to have some guidance from them and they got some books to read and some concepts and so on. But much of my learning was through experiencing, through meditation, different schools of psycho-spiritual work, and so on and so forth. And a lot of thinking, a lot of journaling, and lot of a self-exploration because consciousness is what allows us to know.

We know because we are conscious. If we did not have consciousness, we could not know anything. They would be dark inside. So even the people that don't believe that consciousness exists, how do they know that they don't? That the conscious does not exist? It is because they're conscious that they know that they don't exist. The machine doesn't need to know anything. The machine simply does. But it was programmed to do or what we told them to learn about the world that then programmed them to do something. But they are creations. They did not create us. We had more than a machine.

Adam Jacobs: Sure. I happen to agree with you, although I think there's a lot of folks out there who certainly harbor the notion that in time machines will become fully conscious, and when they reach the Kurzweil point of singularity, then all of a sudden, something will flip on, and they will go from being simply machine to being like us.

Federico Faggin: But I can tell you immediately that that is not possible. And anybody can understand it for simple reason number one, our consciousness is private. You do not know what I feel, and I do not know what you feel. And there is no way to know. You open up this call, and you're going to find signals. You're not going to find experience there. You don't find quality, do not find what it feels like anything. Okay?

So yes, if a computer were conscious and we could download our consciousness into a computer then you could make many copies of my experience. So it will no longer be private. And in fact, indeed, consciousness and free will are purely quantum phenomena. And they're purely quantum phenomena because they have exactly the properties of quantum information. Quantum information cannot be clonable, meaning it cannot be known from the outside. In other words, it’s private, exactly like our experience. Exactly like our experience. It is a definite state, my state, that is non-reproducible. So the theory is saying that the quantum system, which is in a pure quantum state, is conscious of its state. Why does it make sense? Because the phenomenology of consciousness is exactly the phenomenology of quantum information.

Adam Jacobs: You said that you were unhappy despite having everything, despite having all the material convenience that you couldn't want and family life and everything that something was missing. And you describe it often in the book as a kind of estrangement from yourself and from the whole. Whatever is the ultimate consciousness. And you say that this and other experiences “made me realize that I had almost always repressed my true feelings. I convinced myself that I was strong, pretended that everything was fine when all I really did was estrange myself from my own heart. What I had done was to not recognize reality anymore.” That's pretty intense, it seems to me. And I wonder if you feel that that is the state of most people walking around today, are most of us living in these repressed states? And you also say that it leads to the inability to recognize reality. How do the two things go together? How does not understanding my own feelings lead to me missing reality itself?

Federico Faggin: Well, what I said at that time was already with the sense with hindsight of my further work after the awakening experience and all the other experiences that I had. So before, I didn't think that what I was feeling was reality because that's what science is saying. It’s saying that there is no free will because the body makes the decision that informs your consciousness of the decision that it has made. And so there is nothing there. So it is science today that is saying generally that there is nothing inside. Everything that exists is outside. In fact, quantum physics is considered an epistemology theory that allows you to predict what you can measure in the real world, which is the world in space and time. And only when you make the me and is only make sense if you can check with what you can measure in this space and time.

And that was pretty much it until more recently when we are making quantum computers, and all of a sudden quantum computers are doing computations that cannot be made in this space and time. In this space and time, we have the answer, but all the actual computation cannot occur in space and time. So where is it going? Where does it happen? So already the existence of quantum computation is telling you that quantum physics is describing a vast reality out of which this space-time reality that we up until most recently we thought was the only reality, cannot be the only reality. And now, with this theory with we are saying that reality is what appears to us as the interiority, as the inner experiences that we have. So all of a sudden quantum physics deals with something that no physicists that before accepted, which deals with interiority.

There is an interiority out of which exteriority happened. So the meaning of the symbols is more real, which is your experience is more real than the symbols that you use to communicate the meanings. All of a sudden when all of a sudden we see that comprehension meaning is more fundamental, the symbolic aspect, the symbolic aspects are simply reductions of an experience that cannot be known if not by the experiencer. Only the experiencer can know their own experience. And that's why quantum information is not; it explains something that physics, that physicists cannot understand because how can you understand that there is information that cannot be copied, the classical information can be copied. Why can we not copy quantum information? Because it doesn't represent symbolic information. It represents inner experience which is private. That's what we are saying.

Adam Jacobs: I like that. But let me ask you this, why should it be that there's a correlation between the fundamental drives of humanity? By which I mean I believe personally that everybody at all times is looking for love, joy, peace, harmony, meaning, and so on and so forth. And as soon as people plug into this interiority as you're describing it, but this otherworldly aspect of reality, it seems to comport exactly to what we're looking for. In other words, when we look in the physical world to satisfy our deepest needs, we don't find it, and there's frustration and no matter how much we have, there's fear and darkness essentially. But when we do find this state of consciousness that you're describing, it aligns perfectly with the deepest desires that we have. Why should we expect that? Why shouldn't the ultimate reality be something that's just neutral or something that's negative? Why does it make us happy to be there, so to speak?

Federico Faggin: The way I read it is that we are essentially becoming conscious of our true nature. And our true nature is not about suffering, disasters, and killing each other and what have you. I mean, our true nature is to cooperate, not compete. We have created a world here now that has stressed the survival aspects of reality that we believe is the only aspect that matters, and this part of being unhappy generally, why would you go to war if you were happy? So to me, these types of experiences point the finger to our true reality that we need to explore and understand. And we need to do that now with the rationality of science, together with the capacity, the openness of a child that has the spontaneity and the capacity to experience, which is very deep. So we basically had moved away from ourselves exactly like I moved away from myself, and I became very, very unhappy.

And my suffering was because I'd never paid attention to my interiority. I simply brushed it away because it was on my way to what I was I wanted to achieve. And so if we keep on doing that, all we're going to gather is more unhappiness. So the only way to be happy is to recognize that we live in two realities, one inner and one outer, and one reflects the other. And so the symbolic aspect of the inner reality of what we feel is, in a way, reflecting what we feel. So war reflects unhappiness within greed, whatever you want to call it.

Adam Jacobs: Well that as you're outlining it, could there be any more important thing to be engaged in? If this is a formula to end war and unhappiness, it seems like it's certainly one of the most critical things that anybody could be doing. Would you say that's fair?

Federico Faggin: Absolutely. I mean, why would you want to be unhappy? Just because you want to make more money. I mean, is money really the measure of our humanity, of our capacity to really feel because joy or suffering are the inner states of our soul, and our soul is not a machine because the machine doesn't feel anything. So what are we doing by insisting that we are machines is sort of confusing ourselves.

Toward the interiority, toward goodness that I just cannot comprehend. But I was embedded into this same kind of mindset that made me unhappy 30 years ago, well, a little more than 30 years ago. And fortunately, this experience, these experiences started with the first one allow me to now be much, much happier. I mean, I'm doing what I want to do. I love what I'm doing. I'm 81, and I have the energy when I was 40 because I am in my own groove, so to speak. I know what I want, and I don't want more money, but I can use money to fund; I can do good things with it.

Adam Jacobs: Right. I was going to ask you about that. You started a foundation with your wife. What do you hope to accomplish with the foundation? What are the goals for you ultimately?

Federico Faggin: To accelerate the research about the nature of consciousness. Because consciousness until 20 years ago was considered unspeakable in science. And you don't talk about consciousness; let the philosophers worry about that kind of thing. And fortunately, now there are a few people, even among scientists, that are beginning to see that consciousness is a fundamental nature and they want to study it, but nobody gives them money. And so what are we going to do? So I started a foundation so that at least I can fund some research in this field in order to help people wake up.

Adam Jacobs: I love it. And in many ways, that's what my platform Beyond Belief is about, the promotion of these ideas, the exploration of these ideas. We're certainly open to anyone's opinions, and we've had people on from all kinds of backgrounds, atheists and theists, and people who believe that consciousness is fundamental and people who don't. But I feel like we're all on a journey together to try to comprehend what we're all doing here and what it's all about, and how to be in a much better state of mind overall. So I thoroughly commend you on everything that you've done and are continuing to do.

And I have a couple more questions. These ones are veering more into the realm of the theological. You describe a kind of what I would say is a universal evolution. And I have one more quote from you, in which you say, “Try to connect the various ideas in a new vision of reality in which the engine of evolution is the desire of a consciousness to know itself.” So what is that consciousness and well, let's start with that. What consciousness are you referring to?

Federico Faggin: I'm referring to is sort of the consciousness of One, the totality of what exists. If consciousness is fundamental, yes, then you know, don't get conscious. When you are a complex system, you get a complex system because the complex system represents the symbolic aspect of what you have learned. What you know about yourself, is the self-knowing that grows in complexity and reflects itself in the symbolic aspect of nature, which are the symbols, classical information that we use to communicate as conscious entities. But we, as conscious entities, don't exist in this space-time. We exist in a vast reality that contains space and time as a reflection, as a projection. So we exist exactly where quantum computation is done, so to speak. So we don't exist in this space-time that is really of a lower level of information. And the only way that we, and another thing that I'm going to say, is that we as conscious entities control a body which is a quantum and classical system.

It's not a classical system; a quantum and classical system, and a body quantum and classical can control a computer, which is a purely classical system made of bits zero one. So the body is essentially a bridge between our conscious entity, which doesn't exist in this space and time that controls the body like a drone. But we would control a drone in a simpler reality in a not-as-complex reality, which is this physical reality in space and time. And the experience that we have in the quantum reality is what is based on the signals that the body creates. So once we are embodied as consciousness, we experience reality because we pay attention primarily, if not only, to the signals that the body takes on the environment in which it is and processes it with this sensory brain system and creates output information that we as conscious entities see as the objects, the moving space and time, which is our experience.

But that is not any different than when you wear a headset, and you have bits that come from the computer, and you see a virtual reality. Look at that. Where is the space that you see in virtual reality? Where is it? It's just, yeah, there's just bits that flicker on and off in the display that you see, or they go on and off in what produces the sound that you hear from that virtual reality.

So we already know now that what we see, what we perceive, is not even close to what's out there. So all of a sudden, our computers are allowing us to open our eyes that what we thought was real, like this table or this glass or whatever that is around me, are simply figments of our imagination. Not really, but they are constructions of our sensory brain system according to rules which are the rules of our body, the body of a body, it, and will produce a completely different world, which we have no idea because we don't know enough about their sensory brain system to know how the world appears to them, the same world that appears to us, the way we all recognize it and believe to be the only reality.

Adam Jacobs: So that One that you're referring to, what’s that?

Federico Faggin (41:00): That's the totality of what exists. That's the One that, in a sense, created us as conscious entities. But what does it mean? It means that anytime One knows itself, this is now we are speculating. Now this is not part of the theory that I was mentioning before. This is speculation, but it provides a narrative that can allow us to make sense of things and then test them and then modify them, and so on. But when One knows itself for the first time, the point of view with which a new itself is the point of view of a new entity that it creates. In other words, knowing when One knows itself, brings into existence a new part of itself, but before, it didn't exist. So knowing itself means bringing into existence something, so existence and knowing are two faces of the same coin.

We reproduce like an organism, but we are physical organisms. But One reproduces itself anytime that it has a new experience of itself; it creates an entity, a conscious entity, which is the essence of who we are. But the entity has the same desire to know itself that One has to know itself. And so we continue to do that, and we create new entities, and these entities create new entities exactly like one. So the reality in this view is built of parts, in other words, parts that contain the whole within the potentiality of the whole, exactly like each cell of our body contains the genome of the entire organism which created the cell. So you see, if you look at life the way life is structured, it is a representation, a symbolic representation of the way we are structured as conscious entities that are beyond this physical reality. And our creations are One, the totality of what exists.

Adam Jacobs: And if somebody wanted to call the one God, would you object to that?

Federico Faggin (43:36): No, of course not. But call it what you want. But also, God, if you are a monotheist, God is the world, the totality, the universe is everything that exists. But I don't want to, I try to avoid getting any kind of religious connotations because I'm trying to do science here. I'm trying to understand how things work. But by starting, though, by giving reality to what science has erased from reality, which is the interiority.

Adam Jacobs (44:12): Yeah, no, and I appreciate that. That's the way you're doing it. And what I find remarkable is all the people that I speak to who say similar things, and they have their own scientific language to describe what I think the mystics have their own language to describe. But it sounds very much to me; they'r describing very similar kinds of things. And that's exciting for me. And I do believe that people like yourself and scientists who are open-minded in this capacity are leading the way towards ultimately a kind of merging between the theological and the scientific worlds that I personally think will be beneficial for humankind. But I have time for, there's a lot in there, I know, but we're a little bit running out of time, but I just wanted to ask you one more thing. And honestly, I could have this conversation for 2, 3, 4, or five more hours probably, and maybe someday I'll get the chance.

But you described qualia before, and qualia is an actual experience of something. It's not just the information. You mentioned bats before. We know that, famously bats have echolocation and that there's some feeling of having the capacity of echolocation, which humans don't understand because we don't have it, or the smell of vanilla or the taste of chocolate or anything. So you say that there are four categories for classes of qualia, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

I'm coming from a monotheistic perspective, and we have a holiday coming up called Passover. And the thing that just struck me, it's next week, there are four aspects of freedom in Passover that are specifically in the ritual of the Seder that takes place on Passover night. Would you believe me if I told you that the four kinds of freedom that we seek to emancipate ourselves from is physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, and so are you're discovering ancient ideas, it seems to me, and giving them a license to them, a permission like a foundation, a backing that is so important. But I can't help always, every time I speak to one of you guys, I'm struck by some aspect of a correlation to some mystical idea that I know about. But in just a couple of words, because I only have two minutes left, but what are these four levels of qualia, and what can we learn from them?

Federico Faggin: Well, they seem to point to four levels of reality. One that gets to the next level. So the spiritual will be a form of connection with the All, meaning that is similar to my awakening experience, where I was experiencing the universe with my point of view and having a sense that profound sense of unity with what I was, I was the experiencer and the experience, and there was no separation between the two. But my experience, however, had a single point of view that I call identity. My identity presumably is the same thing that was created with one new itself, the moment that I was created, for example. But these are speculations. But the important thing, though, is that this allows me to maintain the connection with my experience and use my rationality and try to bring physics into the explanation of also what has been considered metaphysical and finding that my God, one, two, physics is actually a proper representation of what I'm talking about.

Then, of course, there is the mental, which is, which many people don't even think, but the mental is the ability to conjure up a structure of a thought that, before it becomes verbalized, is actually an image unbelievably complex image that can only be perceived from the inside because it is not a symbolic form yet, but then it can become turned into a symbolic form, and it can become therefore part of that level of reality.

And then there is the emotional, which is love in a sense, is primarily perceived as an emotion, but all these things, but by the way, they're not disconnected. They're not layers with boundaries between, I mean, in reality, One is a holistic reality. There are no separable parts like machines. So that's another area where physics and tends to, tends to be reductionistic. They tend to think that things are made of parts, and you can study the parts, and then when you assemble the part, you have the whole, which is not the case, even in quantum physics.

Quantum physics is a holistic reality because you can have properties of the whole that are none of the properties of the part. And this is not possible with classical physics, with the machines that we make. So we have an unbelievable sort of homomorphism between the inner world and the world described by quantum physics, and then, of course, the physical quality. There are the qualities of senses and so on. They're related to the information that the body creates, that we will have a color with our capacity of feeling with the colors that appear to us as colors for of light or the objects or taste or sounds and what have you. So clearly, we exist in all those four levels simultaneously, but when we do science, we believe that we exist only on the physical level. And so we're basically throwing away the best that we have, which is the highest level that we have that creates the one that we give it reality. And only to that.

Adam Jacobs: Dr. Faggin, this was a tremendously interesting and inspiring conversation for me. I think what you're doing is really of critical importance. I'd love to speak to you at some other point regarding how to get these ideas further out into the public sphere, and maybe we'll be able to do that at some point. But I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to be here today and for your very important work. I want to recommend that people go check out Silicon, especially The last chapters are very, very important and really interesting and just want to invite the audience to please subscribe to our YouTube channel and also to go and visit And you can subscribe there. We have all, if you like, this kind of stuff. We have a lot more on our page and a lot more interviews, and a lot more to explore. So thank you for being here, and thank you, everybody, and Dr. Faggin, have a great day.

Federico Faggin: You too. Thank you. It was a pleasure.

Feed Your Head
Feed Your Head
Adam Jacobs