[Random Arrow has suggested I move Hear and Act to the top of the blog from time to time (something I hadn't known to be directly possible and don't mind any of us trying later!!!) but I think the discussion we've been having is on the nature of the universe we're embedded in...]
Specifically, we were talking about "How does communication work." Stephen Gaskin discussed two basic models:
1) An academically-fashionable one that works like this: RA gets an idea and codes it into words. He writes the words on a note, attaches the note to a handy rock, tosses the rock over the figurative wall to where my mind lives. I pick up the rock, unwrap the note, read and decode. From this I construct something in my mind vaguely similar to RA's.
2) "We're all telepathic." My ideas and RA's, the underlying meanings and understandings, are in the shared mental space Zen Buddhists call "Big Mind." Both of us access this space but are typically unconscious of the bulk of it. We enjoy a pastime much like model #1, because doing this helps us expand the domain of Big Mind we can consciously appreciate.
I mentioned an old friend who'd self-identified as "a psychic," whom I used to say "couldn't read his own mind." And realized that in Gaskin's model, this tends to be our common condition. We "see in a mirror darkly". We painstakingly draw in words, much as a working mathematician may scribble notes and doodles.
But if you take walks in the early morning, when there aren't too many people around, when all you're saying is at best "hello"... You may notice a semi-tactile 'aura', a feeling-tone to these varying encounters. Even when neither of you say a word, you go on feeling a little of who they are at the moment, and vice versa. [Capital-s "Skeptics" would insist that this is entirely done with subtle visual cues and imagination, but then there's a lot such people imagine not to happen. If life can't convince them, all I can suggest is that they occasionally look through this telescope, eyes open, just to reassure themselves it doesn't work!] We don't commonly send/receive text in this mode, because that isn't the sort of mental content that truly interests the part of our 'mind' that does this.
One troublesome implication is, as Gaskin says, that "This changes everything!"
If you posit a clockwork universe, there's no mechanism in it to carry those signals. (And neither is there a credible mechanism available in it for consciousness. For highly-complex, innovative, even 'creative' data-processing, yes. For the generation of entirely-convincing "personalities", yes. For someone "inside" to "read" and experience the activity and content of our own mind/heart/soul, no. We are the data who overthrows 'materialism'.)
We can still have a lawful universe, just as we can agree that "Pawns don't move sideways on this chessboard." But we may occasionally find ourselves playing Fairy Chess. If we don't cheat other sentient beings, there may be allowable forms of 'cheating'.
Working out the ramifications: "What are the ethical rules for telepathic beings?" Gaskin concluded that our common world-religions had already done the groundwork with rules-of-thumb like the Golden Rule & "As you sow, so shall you reap."