17 Apr Totem147
One track mind and the direction of thought.
Science describes the world as a quantifiable object, logical, coherent, applicable to measurement and available to be modelled and verified.
On the other hand, we know the world within a personal framework of experience, more than an ‘object’.
This is because we experience things that are not objects; dreams, imagination, creativity, emotion, and thoughts. This is ‘subjective experience’, which science discounts and overlooks in its ’estimation of reality’.
The scientific view is that time/space/matter are the fundamental basis of the universe, that the physical is the ultimate truth, and wholly available to understand.
From a scientific standpoint; what could be more ultimate than physical reality?
What could be more undeniable than physical reality?
The answer is consciousness.
Consciousness is ‘more undeniable’ than physical reality because it is not secondhand. The objective world is a product of our sense perception and is, therefore secondary. Our perception of the world is not ‘the world’. Its the perception. In other words, our mind is always between us and the outside world. This is a subtle distinction, but ultimately true.
And you may disagree.
You may view physical reality as the highest fact of existence. However, science has shown that matter on atomic scales is fundamentally uncertain. Not in a bad way as if it was going to disappear, rather it is not a collection of discernible parts, i.e. the certainty of ‘this and that’ does not exist on atomic levels.
So, do I contend that mind is the fundamental basis of the universe?
Even before we attempt to answer that question, let’s ask if the mind is adequate to encompass the totality of the universe.
Here’s a path to that answer:
Science is the systematic study of the physical world.
It is a system based on observation and experiment.
Observation is human experience, based on sensory perception.
We use observation, mathematics and scientific methods to create models of reality. To prove the physical world within a logical framework.
This proof then is independent of human experience. Not muddled by feelings and/or skewed by the limitations of perception.
Human experience, on the other hand, is perception. Our faculties naturally working to convey a model of reality so that we can operate in our lives.
All in all, the personal and the scientific are both ‘models of understanding’.
Question: does it seem reasonable, then, that the totality of the universe can be contained within ‘models of understanding’?
We are conceptual thinkers.
It is the foundation of how we interface with the world. Our mind and senses infer objective reality, and from this we create concepts so that we have knowledge.
But does that mean that the entirety of the universe can apply to ‘knowledge’?
Before Copernicus, we believed the Earth was the centre of the universe. Then, we discovered the Sun was the centre of our solar system. Then we learned there were many suns and many galaxies. As a consequence of learning more about the universe, the idea of what was the ‘centre’ began to disappear.
This grew into a much bigger totality. One that we struggled to intellectualize. And then science discovered the ‘Big Bang,’ the centre of all creation. But even now, this is losing its status as the ultimate origin.
It seems the further we refine our knowledge, the further from the truth we get.
Does this mean there is a problem with knowledge?
What if consciousness was the ‘centre’?
The undeniable vantage that we view the word from?
We keep pinging the depths of the physical for evidence of the ultimate answer. We search farther and farther outside our minds to know the truth. Because, of course the truth is out there. But maybe it isn’t. Maybe its in here, closer to us than we could consider.
Maybe the answer is not even about ‘knowing.’
I don’t mean to discount our mental abilities; our faculties of logic and reasoning are astounding achievements, all attributed to sophisticated intelligence. Science is proof of this.
But if all this sophisticated reason and logic are constantly ending in false ‘centres,’ how much value is there in knowledge, and its temporary conclusions?
My point is; perhaps its the conceit of mankind to believe absolute reality can be known, that it applies to knowledge. That it can be modelled somehow by science, logic or religion based on our ‘privileged account’ of physical reality.
That we have access to all the answers.
so, instead, may we know this…
knowing is appearance.
And appearances aren’t the ’ultimate thing’.
That’s why there is no ‘centre.’
A centre is an intellectual distinction.
Ultimate reality is not intellectual.
We put mind, science, and religion, on pedestals as the great agents that bring the ultimate answers, but the totality of the universe can not be expressed as an ‘answer’.
Because answers are relative.
The totality of the universe is not relative to anything; that’s why it’s the totality.
There is nothing outside totality.
And if you believe there is, that is conceptual. A concept. Born of mind.
But maybe that is all you need. And that’s totally fine. Especially if all you seek is to know.