Consciousness & reincarnation

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#1
Why you are experiencing consciousness in your current body now does need an explanation. One explanation is that your consciousness now is a continuation of your earlier consciousness.

But why this body rather than some other body?

This can be explained by something like reincarnation, the mechanism behind this is not clear but some mechanism is needed to preserve cause & effect. There are multiple current theories of consciousness but it's not clear which if any of these are actually correct.
 

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#2
Interplanetary reincarnation
One common objection against reincarnation is that the number of humans alive today is far more than in the past, this however is not actually a real issue since our planet can be just one of infinite many (given some cyclic model of our universe).

It is very difficult to know how life on other planets would be but the research on the island Madagascar has uncovered convergent evolution. In Madagascar an animal called fossa has evolved into having many similarities with cats despite belonging to the Eupleridae family, a family of carnivorans closely related to the mongoose family (Herpestidae). Thus even on another planet life may still have similarities with earth, there are many ways in which something like humans can evolve.

1628545937396.png


The number of lives you live as a human is finite, eventually humans will go extinct or evolve beyond recognition. Before there were many humans most of us lived as other animals or organisms on other planets. 6.5% of the humans who ever lived are alive today.

The number of intelligent animals also varies with time, there was a time when no intelligent life existed on Earth and for vintologi to be correct interplanetary reincarnation is needed.

An intelligent extraterrestrial organism will most likely have males and females like humans and other mammals, hermaphrodite life is a possibility but not likely, even less likely is some exotic solution such as 25% males, 50% hermaphrodites and 25% females. Evolution does not lead to the optimal results since each change needs to be beneficial for survival and replication, the eyes human have are worse than the ones of many animals but evolution will not give us better eyes since we are stuck in a dead-end, only genetic engineering can give us that.

The probability to reincarnate into a different planet is infinitesimal unless there is a shortage of brains to reincarnate into on Earth for a long period of time(thousands to billions of years). Cases where children have memories of living on another planet is very rare and impossible to verify, cases where children have memories of being animals are much more common but very difficult to verify.

There are some very interesting cases about children having past-life memories, often these children talk about having a violent early death, they died early with unfinished business. It's very unlikely that the children actually remember past-life memories in any of these cases 216 217 218 219
 

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#3
Our universe
If no new big bang takes place in the future Boltzmann Brains could still emerge via quantum fluctuations 220 221 thus you would be infinite times more likely to have a conscious experience in a Boltzmann brain than an actual biological brain given infinite time.

Current research suggests that dark energy is getting stronger 222 223 224 225 226 227 and if true our universe will end via the big rip allowing for a new universe to emerge with different constants of nature 228 229 230

The “hubble tension” could also be due to astronomers failing to properly measure the expansion of our universe opening up the door for the (big bang, big crunch) cyclic model 231 There are many proposed cyclic theories of our universe that currently cannot be falsified. In conformal cyclic cosmology it is assumed that all fermions in the universe will become totally massless resulting in the universe forgetting how big it is and a new big bang will follow 232 233 234 while this theory is highly unlikely to be correct it's difficult to completely rule it out 235

Recent observations point to our universe being closed but it's still vastly bigger than the observable universe 236 237 with the other possibility being a universe with an infinite amount of matter 238

The apparent fine-tuning of ‘fundamental’ constants of nature suggests that our current universe hasn't been the only universe.
 

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#4
Mechanisms for reincarnation
If your soul is tied to a quantum system said system will eventually take a form that results in you becoming conscious again, in this picture the collapse of the wave function is the manifestation of free will and every quantum system is an independent soul. One solution is to assume the collapsed wavefunction is a continuation of the old wavefunction.

The no-cloning theorem would then make it impossible to copy your soul since the wavefunction collapses when it is measured.

It is also possible that your quantum soul can emerge somewhere else in the universe not directly connected to your old collapsed wavefunction.

If your consciousness is tied to brainstructure said structure will eventually emerge again.
 

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#5
Classical theories of consciousness
If consciousness is just classical computations there could be multiple physical manifestations of the same mental state.

If you made a perfect replication of a brain and the environment then we would have 2 brains for the same conscious experience meaning it would still just be a single consciousness. Then eventually at some point the two brains would diverge and it's unclear which of them would truly continue the conscious experience assuming it isn't both xor none of them.

A brain would merely be a physical manifestation of something more abstract that is your subjective experience (unclear how assuming it's even logically possible). Your consciousness would be mathematical in nature and just like other maths it can emerge physically in the world from evolution, random chance or conscious design.

If we assume a cyclic universe a sufficiently similar brain structure to your old brain would emerge an infinite number of times and thus you would reincarnate an infinite number of times from a given point and thus your conscious experiences would branch out like a tree. Your conscious experience now would be the natural continuation of an infinite amount of conscious experiences from the past. Thus there wouldn't actually be separate souls, instead they would all be connected mathematically via a web of continuations and you having a conscious experience in just one body would be an illusion.
 

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#6
Quantum theories of consciousness
Quantum information cannot be copied or destroyed, only transferred, thus you cannot copy or destroy a quantum soul, it can only be transferred.

You cannot measure a quantum soul since a quantum state will collapse when you try to measure it.

One quantum theory of consciousness is “orch or” 239 240 241 it was developed by Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff, there are many issues with orch or and similar approaches 242

Roger Penrose has suggested that the collapse of the wave function(quantum mechanics) occurs by itself after a time depending on how large the separation in space-time is. There are many issues with the “orch or” theory. "orch or" builds on the "penrose interpretation" of quantum mechanics which hasn't been confirmed yet experimentally, it is very likely that the “orch or” interpretation in particular is wrong.
When we understand consciousness we will also understand reincarnation(if possible) and also understand ourselves better. Maybe the lemmings are people whose true consciousness failed to develop, i have never been a lemming so i do not know. In any case i doubt this hard problem will ever be solved in our current corrupt society, even if someone comes up with the solution the other people will be too stupid to see it as the solution(same with other fields in science).

Interestingly Roger Penrose's interpretation of quantum mechanics implies pantheism since the self collapse of the wavefunction would happen everywhere.

Recent advancement in AI has shown that artificial (classical) neural network can outperform all humans on earth at specific tasks, we may not actually need quantum computations for general intelligence either.

243 244 245 246 247

Generally the problem with orch or is that it might not be possible to have quantum computations of that scale at that temperature, Hameroff mentioned that spin has properties required to work on large scale. Even if quantum computations on large scale(brain) aren't possible in normal temperatures it does not mean that quantum computations don't happen in the brain. A molecule capable of creating quantum entanglement in the brain was discovered year 2015 248

http://arxiv.org/abs/1508.05929

Quantum entanglement is a very strange quantum mechanical effect where the measurement of one particle affects the state of the entangled particle directly(faster than the speed of light), which would allow quantum cognition in the brain.
 

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#7
Free will
Free will is simply indeterminism meaning the outcome cannot be known in advance, quantum mechanics seems to work in such an indeterminate manner 249

If our consciousness itself is quantum mechanical we will have conscious free will since our conscious decisions themselves would be unpredictable to a degree.

Consciousness as an emergent property from classical computations would not allow for conscious free will and would also make it possible to copy the consciousness or uploading it into a powerful enough computer. Even in that case however actual decisions by humans would still have a degree of unpredictability since the classical computations would be potentially impacted by quantum events.

If our universe itself is deterministic then there wouldn't be any free will at all since the future (including all our decisions) would already exist and there would only be an illusion of choice and randomness.

While the outcome cannot be known some outcomes/decisions will still be far more likely than others, you could theoretically calculate these probabilities but you would never be able to always correctly guess what decision someone would make.

In a lot of situations (such as poker) being a bit unpredictable is actually preferable over always doing the same thing in the same situation. Thus free will may not actually be an evolutionary liability.
 

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#8
Free will and criminal justice
Punishment is about social control, it's not about fairness.

0. Deter people from doing actions you dislike.
1. Rehabilitate people
2. Prevent criminals from continue doing things you view as bad.
3. Personal gain (such as having someone reduced to being your slave with no rights).
4. Mob satisfaction (such as people cheering as someone is publicly caned).
5. Societal good (such as forced medical experiments for science).

None of these require that you could have made another decision (such as not killing).

Let's say we have a pedophile that will rape children compulsively (he cannot control himself) does that mean we shouldn't sentence him? of course not.

Ideally a dangerous individual should be locked up before he is able to harm others. Requiring formal conviction of a crime does not prevent the government/courts from judging people based on their character, you can use selective enforcement of laws to target problematic individuals.

If someone could have neurologically have done otherwise then giving out a punishment is less important since he/she will be less likely to re-offend without intervention. Instead of judging by action you would judge people by their character meaning their probability of taking certain actions.
 

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#9
Rational character vs rational decisions
In a situation where you are judged by a character you might end up in a situation where taking what seems to be the rational decision actually isn't since your character itself is being judged.

Let's have the option to loan 1000$ that you really need for something important (worth 100000$) but there isn't actually any penalty for you not paying back the money you were lent. While the best outcome for you is getting the 1000$ and then not paying it back what's actually important is that you get the money and if then your character is being judged by decent accuracy you trying to win by getting the money only to not pay it back really isn't a great strategy.

If the probability of you paying the loan back is X then your expected value/$ Y is the following

Y = 1000(1-X)B+100000B

Where B is the probability of you getting the money in the first place.

1628547326153.png


The person lending out the money might be able to find out if someone is neurologically prone to paying it back (or not paying it back) and base their decision on that. Human decisions are predictable to a degree.

https://vintologi.com/threads/newcombs-problem.647

If you are unwilling to retaliate against people treating you badly when that comes at personal cost people will be more likely to abuse you knowing you are not going to do anything back. If people know you are capable of acting on your hate to get revenge at high price they may not abuse you in the first place.

Instead of just looking at each isolated decision we need to realize that decisions are based on physical conditions inside and outside the brain that will be predictable to a degree, the more your decisions can be predicted the more important it will be to have an ideal character in terms of your propensity to make certain decisions rather than just doing what seems to be best for you at the moment.
 

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#10
The flow of time
The real flow of time is the irreversible collapse of the wave-function, until the collapse takes place time has not truly moved forward and thus what seems to be spooky action at a distance will be observed 250 251

To you it seems like time is moving forward smoothly but that's not actually what's happening fundamentally. Time only really moves forward when quantum free will is exercised. If something is already determined it already exists and then there is no real passage of time.

The reason why the second law of thermodynamics cannot work in the other direction is because the future isn't determined and thus it's unlikely particles will spontaneously become more ordered. Thus as time increases entropy will also increase, temporary entropy drop is possible but unlikely.

Thus there will be a flow of time in one direction despite CPT-symmetry.
 

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#11
Special relativity and reincarnation
It is assumed that your conscious experience is linked to a time-irreversible collapse of the wavefunction. What you do in a future life isn't allowed to affect a past-life in any way.

You cannot reincarnate anywhere in your past light-cone.

If you reincarnate to another planet it will be a time where light from that planet cannot reach your planet until the time where you died. The path light takes in the universe will be determined by General Relativity, thus if you find yourself in a black hole where your consciousness will have a hard time escaping since all future timelines point to the singularity.
 

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#12
Solution1
You can only reincarnate into a future lightcone. Thus your conscious experience now must be the continuation of a conscious experience in your past lightcone. This can be explained by your consciousness being tied to a particular quantum wavefunction. Thus the collapse of the wavefunction must be linked to a specific collapse of the wavefunction of the past lightcone resulting in the continuation of your conscious experience.

This may theoretically result in a wavefunction not collapsing since there was no matching last collapse in the past lightcone, this will quickly change since a matching past lightcone will become available in your past lightcone as you move forward in time. This will also result in "spooky action at a distance" similar to the quantum entanglement problem since you can only reincarnate into a single future brain.
 

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#13
Solution2
You can reincarnate into the future and this can be outside your lightcone. The past is what's determined and the future is not determined.

This allows for instant reincarnation to a location 10 billion light-years from your current location, this can both be both forward and backward in time depending on your reference system. This would mean there is some type of absolute time that we cannot currently detect with any experiment.
 

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#14
Reincarnation without death
It follows logically that there is a nonzero probability that you end up reincarnating even though your body didn't actually die, the probability for this is greater with solution2 since there isn't any time delay.

If you were to switch body you may not actually notice it since you may end up only with the memories of your new body and thus you wouldn't be able to tell you only have controlled your current body for a year.

Even if memory preservation would be required for reincarnation a body switch could still occur due to 2 brains having very similar memories, then you would experience a memory continuation even though your brain is now different. The memory continuation may not be perfect but you would not notice that since there wouldn't be any actual transfer of memories.
 

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#15
Is your consciousness universal?
Since you wouldn't notice your consciousness having switched location you wouldn't notice if your consciousness was constantly switching location. Therefore it cannot currently be ruled out that there is really only a single consciousness in the entire universe but you do not have memories of your conscious experiences in the other bodies since these memories are left in the brains you currently do not have any conscious experiences in.

Since caring about other humans can be a liability you might be better off thinking you only have a conscious experience now in your current body and that no switch will take place prior to your death.

Otherwise you will have to do what needs to be done knowing that you yourself will suffer from it.

Some people will be more willing to inflict harm to other people if they think that they are just hurting themselves since the notion of hurting others make them very uncomfortable.
 

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#16
Reincarnating as a human
If any human consciousness is also your consciousness then you will keep experience life as a human as long as humanity itself exist.

If instead the continuation requires specific conditions such as a new brain sufficiently similar to the old brain or some continuation of quantum information humanity may die out completely before you can be human again.

If it's impossible to reincarnate directly as a human child at least one intermediate incarnation would be required such as a Boltzmann brain.

Since there isn't any theoretical limit to the number of Boltzmann brain reincarnations you could still eventually end up as something completely different even if each new brain has to be very similar to the old (now destroyed) brain.

For solution2 an intermediate Boltzmann brain would have to emerge somewhere in the universe. Our current universe is at least 250 times bigger than the observable universe but there is currently no upper limit for the size of our total universe.

For solution1 Boltzmann brain reincarnations would be restricted to a volume expanding 299792458m/s which would be a very severe restriction given the total size of our universe and the low probability of a Boltzmann brain similar to a human brain emerging.

An intermediate brain may also emerge via an already existing human brain but instead of a permanent switch it would only be temporary, you would quickly lose control over the body you got for a limited time.
 

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#17
About past-life memories
No information can be transferred to a brain outside the future lightcone and memories cannot magically be transferred to a brain within the future lightcone either, you may still be more likely to reincarnate into a brain that already has similar memories as your old brain but it may not be required.

There is no known mechanism in physics that would allow for actual memory transfer directly from an old dying brain to a new healthy brain. Thus given our current understanding of physics any past-life memory must have already been in place before the incarnation takes place.

The continuation of your conscious experience requires few if any of your memories, it only requires a sufficiently similar mental state to be recreated and even if some memories were to be kept these are very likely to be lost later due to how children develop neurologically.
 

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#18
The infinite chain proof of reincarnation
You having a conscious experience now in your current body can be causally explained by you having an earlier conscious experience and this being a continuation of that, if there is no earlier conscious experience then you having a conscious experience now in your current body begs explanation.

Why should your consciousness end next if it already go back an infinite amount of time?

The probability of your individual incarnation being the last is at most 1/∞ = 0

If it is possible for a consciousness without beginning to end the number of souls of the universe would have to decrease over time with no new ever being created.

Having the number of souls strictly decrease over time results in at least one of the following 2 things

0. The probability of you having a conscious experience at a given moment decreasing with time meaning you would have been infinite times more likely to have a conscious experience in the past rather than now.
1. The time between each incarnation increasing as you wind time back tending to infinity.

Making the causation chain infinite both backwards and forwards in time resolves these issues, thus we can conclude that consciousness has no first beginning or final end.
 

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#19
Why further progress is physics might be needed to figure out consciousness
One issue with quantum theories of consciousness is that we do not actually know what the equations for quantum mechanics actually mean, there are many ways to interpret these equation and it's unclear which if any of the current interpretation are correct.

https://vintologi.com/threads/explanations-for-quantum-entanglement-spooky-action-at-a-distance.557/

Physical collapse theories are relatively straight-forward and not too hard to understand but that might not actually be how quantum mechanics works fundamentally, the good thing with these physical collapse theories is that we can actually test these experimentally (in theory) which is nice.

sciencemag.org/news/2020/09/one-quantum-physics-greatest-paradoxes-may-have-lost-its-leading-explanation
 

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#20
A closer look at the quantum soul theory of consciousness
It's unclear what a quantum soul would even be. I did discuss it with a physisist and it does seem like these theories are near unfalsifiable (at least until we make further progress in physics, this makes me less motivated to properly look into it (requirering me to spend many our studying advanced quantum mechanics) since it's very unlikely i would be able to make any real progress.

https://archive.is/wip/zlsS7

He did ask me to clarify what i meant with "quantum system" (in the case the soul is tied to that) and i came up with 2 possible definitions (does not seem to be equivalent):

0. A quantum system is separate if it will not be affected by any measurements done only on the other system (such as measuring the direction of spin) meaning no entanglement.

1. Outside the quantum system the wavefunction will behave like a probability distribution (described by the born rule) instead of https://www.nature.com/articles/nphys2682

A quantum soul cannot be copied or destroyed

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-cloning_theorem

https://phys.org/news/2011-03-quantum-no-hiding-theorem-experimentally.html

Physix_R_Cool said:
For example, you could say that a free electron is a quantum system. There's not really any doubt about that right? But two electrons together is also a quantum system, and specifically it is a SINGLE quantum system. So now we have that the first electron is a soul by itself, the second electron is another soul by itself. But then because we choose to regard them as a system together, suddenly we have induced a third soul.
In a quantum soul theory that would be 2 souls merging, i am not sure if that would be a problem for the theory, it could also be a feature (you being more likely to be conscious as a particular human than a particular insect due to larger brain size).
 

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#21
Sould-merging and free will
Would the possibility of souls merging mean there cannot be free will? not necessarily, we can just take a look at the XOR operator

Code:
A B   A⊕B    
0 0   0
0 1   1
1 0   1
1 1   0


A B C   A⊕B⊕C
0 0 0   0
0 0 1   1
0 1 0   1
0 1 1   0
1 0 0   1
1 0 1   0
1 1 0   0
1 1 1   1
In the tables above the symbol "⊕" means "xor"
 

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#22
A closer look at classical theories of consciousness
First let's look at a simple case where there are only 10 possible mental states. Let's generate these at random:

715846575833479036174727937062535656003154736795131177261396548177232403081634582358230424705199039586984757217632321459596039396822326597528300237753475027572905262358744503459462550727189358810095856827844864572608044529384764143253184062

If your soul is tied to one mental state then there will be ten souls. If instead your consciousness if the sequence 0123456789 (and then back to 0 again) then there only be one soul with the following sequence of mental states:
Code:
78465758334790361747279370625356560031547367951311772613965481772324030816345823582304247051990395869847572176323214595960393968223265975283002377534750275729
78          90  1   2  3               4     5       6        7        8                    9 0            1   23  45   6              7  8                  9
                           2 3
                                    3
                      9  0           1                                                  
                                              1     2  3   4                5                      6   7                       8      9     0
                                  0             1               23 4            5                                                            0
                                   0             1                2  3     4              5
                                                                          3          4           5
  4 5          6 7                                          8                                9
                  7                                                          8
   6                  7                                  
            7
      5
1628970759418.png

Here even though the next mental state is already pre-determined theoretically (independent of the actual universe) the frequency of the various mental states will depend on material conditions inside our universe.

If instead the the mental state following N is N+2 (mod 10) we instead get 2 souls in the universe.

Soul0
Code:
78465758334790361747279370625356560031547367951311772613965481772324030816345823582304247051990395869847572176323214595960393968223265975283002377534750275729
8           0      2                  4  6                 8       0         2      4             6 8                   0      2                   4   
                         0 2                         6                0           2                                       
  46   8                          0                 2      4             6   8      0 24                     6                 8            0 2
          4    6                                                                 8       0                2        4    6
                                   0                            2  4                                           2
                                                                                                                 2
                            
                                                                  2        4                                                                 0          2
                  4       6                                               8
                               6
                                 6
                                                         6                                                                                8            0
                                                                                                                                    6   
                                                                                                                                 2
                                                                                                                                                            2
                                                                                                                                         2
                                                                                                                                   2
Soul1
Code:
78465758334790361747279370625356560031547367951311772613965481772324030816345823582304247051990395869847572176323214595960393968223265975283002377534750275729
7           9   1      3    5           7   9 13          5   7                             9              1  3     5                  7                     9
                             35            7            9    1   3          5           7    9                    1               3  5          7
                                5                 7                                             9
    57                9              1   3   5     7                                                9
      5    7                                                                                     
        3                             5                        7
         3
              3
                                    3                                           5                      7
                                                 1     3                                  5              7
                                                      1               3                           5          7
                                                                        1 3                             5                                        7                 
                                                                                3                                                                 5  7
                                                                                   3                                                                  5  7
                                                                                               3                                                          57
                 7
                   7
                     7
                        7
                                                                                                                                                   3
 

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#23
Response from reddit
The following reply was posted on reddit by omfalos

The best argument for reincarnation is that anything that can happen once can happen again. I believe in reincarnation, but the version of reincarnation I believe in is pantheistic and highly randomized. If I reincarnate, it will be as a strange alien creature many trillions of years in future. Reincarnating twice within the same universe should be unlikely, let alone within the same species.

It is assumed that your conscious experience is linked to a time-irreversible collapse of the wavefunction. What you do in a future life isn't allowed to affect a past-life in any way.​
You cannot reincarnate anywhere in your past light-cone.​
If you reincarnate to another planet it will be a time where light from that planet cannot reach your planet until the time where you died. The path light takes in the universe will be determined by General Relativity, thus if you find yourself in a black hole where your consciousness will have a hard time escaping since all future timelines point to the singularity.​
You can only reincarnate into a future lightcone. Thus your conscious experience now must be the continuation of a conscious experience in your past lightcone. This can be explained by your consciousness being tied to a particular quantum wavefunction. Thus the collapse of the wavefunction must be linked to a specific collapse of the wavefunction of the past lightcone resulting in the continuation of your conscious experience.​
If consciousness is the manifestation of a quantum system, that to me suggests solipsism. A quantum system can potentially be very large, encompassing multiple people. Either everybody has overlapping quantum systems, or there is one large quantum system that happens to be centered on a particular human brain.

It follows logically that there is a nonzero probability that you end up reincarnating even though your body didn't actually die, the probability for this is greater with solution2 since there isn't any time delay.​
If you were to switch body you may not actually notice it since you may end up only with the memories of your new body and thus you wouldn't be able to tell you only have controlled your current body for a year.​
Even if memory preservation would be required for reincarnation a body switch could still occur due to 2 brains having very similar memories, then you would experience a memory continuation even though your brain is now different. The memory continuation may not be perfect but you would not notice that since there wouldn't be any actual transfer of memories.​
Since you wouldn't notice your consciousness having switched location you wouldn't notice if your consciousness was constantly switching location. Therefore it cannot currently be ruled out that there is really only a single consciousness in the entire universe but you do not have memories of your conscious experiences in the other bodies since these memories are left in the brains you currently do not have any conscious experiences in.​
If consciousness can jump across the universe into another body, or island-hop across Boltzmann brains, then that opens up a lot of possibilities. I will try to use the analogy of a slide projector to describe increasing degrees of freedom in the way consciousness can jump across time and space.

1. Slide projector with slides in sequential order

Moments of experience are cut up into slides and fed into the projector in sequential order. The laws of physics govern the order in which slides are fed into the projector. Each slide contains a memory that links it to the previous slide.

2. Slide projector with slides in random order

The slides are now out of order and the projector cycles through slides randomly. The slides are still nevertheless experienced in sequential order, because each slide contains a memory that links it to another. Memory sustains the illusion of sequence where none exists.

3. Overhead projector with room for multiple slides

There is an overhead projector with a surface that can hold multiple slides. The surface is very large and projects every slide at once. The slides are still experienced in sequential order because each slide contains a memory that links it to another. Memory sustains the illusion of time even when every experience exists simultaneously.

4. There is no projector

There are no laws governing which slides are projected or in what order. Every experience is a prime mover that pulls itself up by its bootstraps from nonexistence. Experiences are self-caused with no physical chain of causality. The governing principle of the universe is Murphy's Law: every experience that can exist, does exist.

This final version dispenses with the problem of overlapping quantum systems. Each conscious experience is a universe unto itself outside which nothing exists. My belief is that there are an infinite number of conscious experiences arranged in one long sequence. The sequence cycles through every person's life one-at-a-time, with alien lives mixed in for good measure.
 
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