Book Club Musings: Unpacking ‘The Romance of Reality’

Milan Kordestani
47 min readJul 9, 2024

Notes on How the Universe Organizes Itself to Create Life, Consciousness, and Cosmic Complexity.


  • Azarian did all the reading. He cites so many people in here that I’ve been reading: Tegmark, Kurzweil, Bostrom, Harris, Robert Wright, Carthart-Harris, etc etc.
  • Azarian is a neuroscientist, but honestly, his sections on consciousness are the weakest. He’s a brilliant interdisciplinary thinker who came up with profound ideas about physics, philosophy, and biology that he uses to serve as the foundation for some boring ideas on consciousness, when it’s really all the stuff around that which is more interesting.
  • Azarian proposes to make a “theory of everything” which he calls the Integrated Evolutionary Synthesis. While there are some weaker moments, his theory does feel very encompassing: it applies from the quantum level up to the multiverse level; it solves the problem of the origins of life; it covers both living things and the machines and social structures that living things make; it defines god as a process in a compelling way; and it is self-reflective, in that it takes itself into account when discussing the nature of knowledge.
  • Azarian ties in a few of my favorite topics: humanity’s destiny, AI and embodiment, psychedelics and the entropic mind, and the nature of knowledge.




Milan Kordestani

Social Impact Founder, Investor, and Author l CEO at Ankord Labs