Humans are made up of a certain type of duality: free will and limitation (self-direction and fate). The free will comes from consciousness and limitation from physical existence. Thus, the free will-limitation duality is the reflection of the mind-body duality. Our ultimate goal is to have as much free will as possible and as little limitation as possible.
Limitation comes from the basic evolutionary need to survive and reproduce and from a physical form developed through evolution that is intrinsically limiting. Free will comes from the privileged ability of humans to ask questions instead of being fully guided by instinct like most animals. By asking questions, free will aims to uncover truths about the world. The purpose of free will seems to be reducing limitations. By definition, limitation is not being able to do, be, and know everything. Free will, by questioning and finding out truths about the world, enables us to know, do, and be more than before – it reduces limitation. Therefore, the ultimate goal of free will is full freedom from limitation – absolute freedom – which coincides with the uncovering of all truths.
Ironically, the physical body that has enabled us to have a mind has become a barrier to the attainment of all truths. Humans may eventually figure out the truth about the physical world through science but this will not answer questions about the meaning and purpose of life. We already know how humans came into being through evolution and while this has led some to adopt the stance of nihilism – the belief that there is no meaning or purpose of life – questions about existence persist nonetheless: why did existence come about and why is there change(time)? Therefore, even if humans can uncover all the truths about the physical world (the how questions) through science while remaining within the physical bounds of the body, the ultimate truths that we have been seeking since we became self-aware will remain elusive. Science is out of its depth when dealing with the question: “Why do I exist and why do I change?”
Can we, then, ever answer the fundamental ‘why’ questions about existence and change with absolute certainty? What is preventing us from finding these truths is that we do not know what we do not know. As a famous saying goes, “There are known knowns, known unknowns, and then there are unknown unknowns.” Humans are intrinsically limited by their physical body and the brain that evolved in this four-dimensional (space-time) world. Theories in physics have already discovered up to eleven dimensions. While this can be calculated by mathematics, we simply cannot grasp the concept of a fifth – let alone eleventh – dimension. This discovery was possible because there are tools – mathematics and science – to uncover the physical world that can go beyond human experience. The physical world – at least the one we know of – follows laws and things that exist within it have certain properties, which enable tools such as mathematics to discover truths about the physical world. However, consciousness is limited neither by laws nor by properties. In essence, all thought is possible – logical or not; therefore, there is an infinite set of thoughts, which can be called universal consciousness. In other words, the world of consciousness – the endless ocean out of which all thoughts arise – is inherently not fully knowable to humans because not only can we not experience it fully because of physical limitations but there also exists no tool to calculate and ascertain its ways.
Universal consciousness – a subset of which is the collection of all possible thoughts – by definition contains all truths. Only by tapping into the entirety of universal consciousness can we attain the ultimate truths about existence and change. Therefore, the only way to uncover all truths – to end the quest for knowledge once and for all – is to transcend physical limitations. However, it seems that without a physical container of the mind, the mind cannot exist as an individually identifiable mind. Further, an individually identifiable mind is by definition finite, which, in turn, means it is limited. Therefore, no individual person can ever uncover all truths because individuality can only exist in the physical world that is inherently limited. The only way to know all truths is to become only consciousness – without a body. By becoming only consciousness, one automatically becomes infinite – a set of all possible thoughts – as consciousness is not limited by any laws or properties. Therefore, the only thing that can know all truths – know the entirety of universal consciousness – is universal consciousness itself. The transcendence into a state of only consciousness by leaving the physical body is what the Hindus call Moksha and the Buddhists call Nirvana – considered the ultimate goal of humans, gates to absolute freedom, where the human journey forever ends.