I am fascinated by Marc Lanza's Biocentrism hypothesis. He argues that the universe is constructed for biological life and self-aware entities to emerge. A similar theory is put forth by the physicist Amit Goswami in The Self Aware Universe, but without the biological focus: Consciousness evolves more sophisticated vehicles for self-awareness, for the experience of itself.
With these theories, we approach the integration of quantum physics and Eastern mysticism, with profound implications for the future of our world. This integration is the secret mission which all of humanity is, secretly, and for the large part without knowing it, working toward in our time. This is the alchemical "Great Work," which brings about the conjunction of opposites, the return of the Goddess, the birth of the Divine Hermaphrodite.
I am a huge fan of Jean Gebser's The Ever-Present Origin, which looked at the evolution of consciousness through different "structures," such as the Aboriginal, Magical, Mythological, and Mental-Rational. Gebser proposed we were on the cusp of a "mutational break" into a new structure or form of consciousness, which is a way of relating to time and space. He called this new form of consciousness, the "integral structure," characterized by "space-time freedom."
Underlying the manifestation of the physical universe is quantum foam - pure potential - or consciousness itself, not yet split between experience and experiencer: without a subject / object distinction, devoid of temporality. This could be called the Zero Dimension or the 10th Dimension ("the infinity of infinities"). It is also Nirvana, the Void. You can have a direct experience of it by smoking the psychedelic 5-meo-DMT, which God, with sly humor, decided to hide in the secretions of the homely, burbling Bufo toad. Nirvana is perfect, ecstatic, and all there is - but there is no "you" there to enjoy it.
The physical universe comes into existence when the observer notices it - otherwise it remains pure potential. That underlying foaming unity of super-consciousness, thus, innately seeks to build increasingly complex and self-aware containers for consciousness to have an experience of itself. It can only do this by constructing the "hardware" - the illusion or dream of a space-time universe - in which a process of evolution or development must occur, to bring about the manifestation of self-aware entities of some sort (we use the term biology for it on this world, but even the term "life" doesn't have a fixed definition). Underlying this process is the always/never, nothing and everything, quantum foam or loom of vibratory super strings.
We are at that part of the continuum where consciousness becomes aware of itself - aware of itself aware of itself - as it develops the technological capability to transform or undergo metamorphosis into... We don't know what know yet, but potentially, anything we dare to imagine. The imagination is becoming the next frontier of human exploration and discovery.
We are graduating from the Mental Rational consciousness, which perceives matter as solid, space as a physical thing, and time as a linear, spatialized extension, to a form of consciousness that melds Eastern mysticism with Western science, recognizing the universe is an illusion or hologram, and space-time is a necessary construct of the mind that allows that free-willing consciousness to have this experience of separation and reflection. Most people are still not aware of this - but as more scientists, like Lanza and Goswami, parse it in their different ways, it becomes more available, until a tipping point is reached.
As Dion Fortune put it, "God is pressure." I find a numinous correspondence between what is happening to the Earth's ecology - we are literally approaching the edge of annihilation - and this gathering realization, this mutation into a new structure of consciousness. You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, noted Robert Moses. I believe that this Integral consciousness - like the enlightened state of Buddhism - can only be purely empathic and compassionate, realizing the inherent unity of the cosmos. All of us participate in, express, the same consciousness, the "one without a second." Therefore, it makes no sense to perpetuate suffering.
We are on the parabolic curve from individuation, multiplicity and differentiation, back to source, oneness, and unity. Thus, the "machine elves" encountered in ayahuasca and DMT trips can only be us - aspects of consciousness - looking back at ourselves, from a further position on the arc from the illusion of this space-time continuum, back toward pure potentiality.