One possibility is that, instead of being produced by matter, consciousness is a separate element, added to physical systems. This can be modeled using the idea of a virtual reality, in which a human subject enters a computer-simulated world through a sensory interface. In this book, virtual reality is used as a metaphor for our situation as conscious beings. The basic theme is that what we can imagine doing in a virtual reality system may actually be happening in nature on a vastly greater scale. Nature may be like a computer simulation interfaced with conscious observer / participant .
This groundbreaking book shows how conscious beings could interact with a physically realistic virtual world. It shows how both paranormal phenomena and religious experiences can be reconciled in a natural way with the laws of physics, and it sheds light on paradoxes of time, on life beyond the body, and on cosmic and terrestrial evolution. In a sweeping synthesis, the ideas and data of modern science are used to illuminate the ancient theme of consciousness in a world of illusion.