[This fragment was dated 11/16/97. I am not sure yet what was supposed to have preceded it. In any case it is resurrected and temporarily placed here.]
I suggest something metaphysically more economical and more palatable than either of the above alternatives. This third alternative is a primordial experiential chaos. Logically there need be and could be only one such chaos which contains within itself, in some virtual form, all possible experience. This could be the end of the story. My momentarily present experience would be one of those possibilities. The illusion that my existence entails long and relatively coherent sequence of such experiences could be just that, an illusion.
We can impute a greater reality to our world by ascribing its emergence to some robust bootstrap process. We can reasonably postulate a tendency toward coherence. The most economical way to do this is to simply adopt a relational metaphysics. The relational view is that all existence is relative, or to put it another way, to exist is to relate. No one or no thing can be an island unto itself, and presumably that would include God. Applying this notion to our experiential chaos we see that the path from virtuality to reality is by spontaneous aggregation toward a relational coherence. This last move is in the spirit that if nothing is forbidden, then everything is possible. Centers of coherent experience would be proto-egos or spirits. These would be the virtual subjects of virtual experiences. Already there has crept in an implied temporal directionality, but that should be seen as an artifact of the limitations of our language and imagination. Space and time would remain virtual constructs until later (sic!) in the emergence process. Or one could suppose that 'originally' both space and time are infinitely dimensional.
One might have simply supposed that virtual egos would be built into the original chaos, but there would still need to be an aggregation principle for egos to combine with experiences and with each other. In some sense the ego is that principle in action. The egos act to enhance the coherence or relational depth of their experience. They would tend to do this by interacting with other egos, and so a primordial virtual society bootstraps itself toward a more coherent reality. Obviously the relatively strong coherence of our world places us at a remove of several 'generations' from that original social reality.
One principle of aggregation, operating below the level of ego, would be the so-called 'identity of indiscernibles.' Singular indistinguishable 'atoms' on molecular chains of experience would automatically fold into one another, creating more complex structures.
I was becoming so entangled in the experiential chaos that I nearly forgot about the physics. In part 2 I will endeavor to make amends.
[And I'm not sure what was to follow.]