Are humans part of one huge, cosmic brain that never stops receiving knowledge?
To answer your question; "We are the universe experiencing itself." That's probably just about the best response I can offer, because your question's answer may be unknowable, at least certainly so in this period of our species' development.
I found the original article incredibly thought provoking, and I'm still reeling from some conceptual offshoots that I'm integrating into my own knowledge base.
There are several related ideas that I've seen surface repeatedly regarding grand unification theories. Here is a recent link in the chain.
Consider that as best we know (regardless of several recent "what if" arguments hyped up by media), the universe did originate in a "big bang", where all known matter and energy in our universe was contained within a sphere of Planck length diameter, or whatever. Infinitely small, and possibly infinitely massive/energetic.
Now my thoughts: It should logically follow that every resulting particle, every point of spacetime, the entire structure of the universe is entangled with itself, albeit in an extremely complex way (if you're really interested, I can explain my logic here, but this will serve as a wrapper script of sorts). As the universe interacted with itself, especially during the "quantum fluctuations period", on the order of 1x10^-44 to 10^-36 or so seconds, it decohered and formed a structure, which we're trying to formulate in some kind of n-dimensional interpretation, i.e. string theory. Perhaps there are an infinite number of dimensions to consider, and our current models are only a rough approximation, we don't know yet. Perhaps the conditions are localized to our point in the universe, and perhaps the exact specifics are constantly evolving. The metaphysical implications of something like this are worse than confounding. To quote myself:
"Interpreting" what quantum mechanics "means" has been a fucking nightmare. Accordingly, the metaphysical implications of a particular unified theory of everything will probably be infinitely more confusing. In fact, I'm going to stop typing and go cry now.
Anyway, black holes seem to serve as some kind of codex for theoretical constructs to be tested against. I doubt whether actual experimental data can be gleaned from them, though. That would probably mean literally dying, crossing the event horizon yourself, as an observer. This is especially curious to me, because of the possibility that both could yield some semblance of transcendence.
Anyone else's related thoughts or inquiries are welcome, having to condense ideas into coherent (quantum pun lol) text is always good for a person.
P.S. Stick around! I hope you like it here. Sorry for the one sentence response earlier, life's been lightspeed for a solid 3 months for me.