Following is a reply this author has posted at 'The Economist' article,'The hard problem'( September 12th,2015)
The hard problem is there, primarily because, Science's not accepting the reality of the parallelly existing organization of the'self' of man,system of having his consciousness etc. She is obsessed with a physical origin of everything.
Imagine an intelligent group of monkeys trying to visualize a car ,from the collection of its parts found in a jungle;They might be able to conclude that,it might be a device that moves with passengers.But till they do not get to know the parallel energy system ( the theory of combustion, the fuel,role of firing it, transmission of that power to the wheels etc)that moves the car fast, their knowledge is incomplete.
Very similarly, Science must first accept, that there could be a parallel system, a very real and sensible one, that Nature has devised to constitute the 'self' of a human being, with the sole intention of giving him 'unique' experience of life/existence!
Leave all theories of divinity and God here, but simply accept that, it is another realm of reality that runs parallel to the physical realm, and it makes the much-needed sense of the world and life. To help open minds to have more info on this, love to share here a blog post:http://anatomyofrealities.blogspot.in/2013/08/thinking-understanding-it-as-internal.html
Author: Abraham J.Palakudy
An ardent seeker and researcher in subjects like Mind& Reason, Spirituality, Metaphysics and polity of the world
contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter handle: Voice of philosophy@jopan1
Profile and other blogs:https://www.blogger.com/profile/14249415589712707293
Can we ever distinguish actual reality from the synthetic models that mind create ?
Or, can we ever know any reality other than what our minds create ?
If we clinically analyse the total contents of our mind, we will find that it is a mix of many things that we consider as real, and equal number of things that we know as mere manufactured products of we,or that of the human community in general.
What we naively consider as real are objects and relations that we have seen, heard, touched,tasted or smelt. We had learned this criterion of assessing reality from our primeval days when mind was not developed to perceive anything beyond what were just in-front the sense-organs. Animals are still in such worlds of reality.
Now, this category of man's reality also consists various scientific facts that we believe, our prestigious men of science must have either directly observed through their special instruments, or inferred over strong evidences they must have collected through their various false-proof methods. For example, the moon-rocks are real because NASA has its samples displayed at their facilities, or it is Sun at the center of solar system, and earth and other planets are revolving around it. We believe that Science has adequate proof of these real physical facts. Though these scientific facts are quite different from the reality of a horse or a mountain that we actually see, we generally do not distinguish them as different and separate because our mind has now got much developed than the animal species, and it accept more complex concepts also as immediate realities.
Now, in addition to the above physical objects and 'relations'( relations such as blossoming of flowers in the spring, or revolving of planets around the sun) in the world that we consider as real, there are other objects and relations also that many of us consider as real, such as God, His benevolent nature, salvation of souls after death etc, with equal degree of conviction that we accord to real objects and relations in the physical world. Though these men know that the former category of physical objects and relations are seen and verifiable by mind, the religious objects and relations can't be. Still there is no rigid distinction made or formed in their minds as to the strict logical or philosophical difference between these two categories of objects and relations.
It is better that we consider the latter category objects and relations as 'mind-created', as there are no observable physical-counterparts representing them in the known world.
In the above line of religious objects and relations, men of science also have built their own similar 'mind-created' objects and relations, beyond the observable and verifiable range of the mind, such as their 'model' stories about the beginning of the world, origin of life on planet earth, origin of time and space etc.Their such models of speculative realities enjoy more prestige and acceptability than the similarly made models of religions because, in the modern world, opinion and views of science has more social weight and value than similar weight and value enjoyed by religions in the past. (This refers especially to Catholic church, whose word had enjoyed similar weight and value prior to its great fall in 16-17th century) Otherwise, in strict logical sense, both the models are 'mind-created', born from similar logic and motives. More and more men and women of today wish to be known as followers of science because it has prestige and glory today.
Man lives his life with the above mix of varied realities, often not distinguishing them as real or mind-created.
But the real issue is, on what ground we could consider our real as actually real ? Mere proximity to our sense organs is sufficient to qualify certain class of our routine realities as really real ?
What should be true definition of truth/reality ?
There are two distinct stands in the modern world as to what should be called reality:
1) Due to our familiarity with the solidness and the 'here and now' aspect of life around us, objects like pieces of rock, trees, animals around us, or our pains, pleasures, blood, sickness, injuries and death etc.are tend to be defined as real. We have already discussed above why mankind happened to consider this category of objects and relations as real. To put it differently, this kind of reality is something that we could experience in the 'here and now' realm of time and space !
We have seen at the initial paragraphs that we have no hesitancy now to accept the laws of science also as reality similar to what is before the eyes and ears, because, though we can not see or observe them directly, the direct effects of them like day and night,( due to revolution of earth around Sun) rains, ( due to heat of sun evaporating sea water and the resultant formation of clouds) the fixed arrival of seasons etc are in the 'here and now' realm of time and space. In other words,if the effects are real for their being in front of us, there is no hesitancy for us in accepting the reality of the corresponding CAUSES too, though they are far away in time and space !
After our finding corresponding CAUSES for every things that we experience here at far away realms of time and space, we made the law of 'causality' an important paradigm of human reality. There would be a 'cause' behind every effect that we experience here on earth.
Man learnt to use 'reason and logic' system to accept such causes as real. This exercise of using reason and logic is the art or even science of 'relating' or linking something already established as true ( say, the effect) with those objects or relations at far distances.(say, the cause) While faculty of reason 'senses' such relation, we apply Logic and its rules for 'relating' them to the already known, or observed facts. Most of our scientific theories and discoveries are in this category, like for example, the laws of thermodynamics. There are ample proofs for the veracity of such laws in our day-today life realm.
When the DISTANCE between CAUSES and effect increases much further, say only vaguely known for their causing any present event, or an array of present events, our major theme of this paper crops-up; that is, should such supposedly remote causes be accepted as base REALITY ? The most disputed of such bottom causes is the ultimate reality of GOD, or the ultimate cause of life and existence in general ! Though we have the EFFECTS of such ultimate CAUSE in our 'here and now realm', by way of our life and its infinite complexities, there is no known or accepted reason or logic to prove the reality of such ultimate cause.
So, it is the DISTANCE factor from a present event, or present reality, and its presumed ultimate CAUSE that pose as the real hurdle in the way of defining and accepting such realities. Man does not have any known and accepted logic to relate such ultimate causes with any of our present reality ! We only can 'create' in the mind, models of such realities, as done by science, as well as religions.
As once mentioned above, our inherent sense of reason is embedded with the sense of CAUSALITY; ie. a compelling urge to accept that, nothing can BE, without a CAUSE. This inner inherent compulsion does not permit man to sit idle without finding the ULTIMATE CAUSE that could explain everything in life and existence, as the interim causes are good only to explain certain interim 'effects'. Life and existence as one single object or event always look for a singular, all explainable ultimate CAUSE !
When considering such inherent logical necessity for an ultimate cause that could explain each and every interim cause, and the 'here and now' end reality of life, we are left with not much option but to either outright reject the necessity of such ultimate cause,or go for making synthetic models of ultimate reality as once referred above. While men of science go with Darwin's evolutionary principles to believe that there is not any single cause ( like God) behind what we have as life and existence in the ' here and now' realm, religious men believe that nothing can be there without a single, all explainable cause such as God. Darwin's men are here with their mind-created models that say, universe has come into being from virtually nothing, and from an imaginary event called the Big-Bang, our present universe had a beginning in time. Religious models say that God was there from infinite time, and it was His will that caused everything that exists. The entire dispute on ultimate reality, hence, is around such all pervading first CAUSE. If we come to some basic understanding or consensus about our ability or non-ability to have direct knowledge about such CAUSES or reality beyond our range and faculty of sense-mind mechanism, this dispute will come to an end.
The end purpose of this paper is to arrive at such a consensus, or understanding.
2) What we have seen above was one of the popular stands on reality, ie. reality is whatever there are in the 'here and now' realm of life. Now there is another distinct stand, popularly adopted by the men of science who do not support the above metaphysical stand on reality. For them, what is real is the unchanging physical stuff that constitutes the world.They claim that what appears to man is his mental stuff, that has nothing to do with the hard-core,deterministic laws of matter behind reality. In other words, what is real is the physical. Mind, life etc.are mere manifestation of the physical. The reality of the said physical stuff is independent of every observer. A.N.Whitehead explains this stand clearly:" the intrinsic character of the observer is merely relevant in order to fix the self-identical individuality of the physical entities. These entities are only considered as agencies in fixing the routes in space and in time of the life histories of enduring entities' ( his essay 'science and philosophy,1925)
Though the above stand was totally negated in the latest experiments and findings at the subatomic particle world of high-energy physics*,( *see details from a following para down) ordinary man of science on the street as well as the mainstream world ruled by Media is unaware, or plainly reluctant to accept the said discoveries. This group still hold the dogma that ultimate reality is the hardness of the mile-stone that hurt your foot when stumped, and the firing of electrons behind every thought and behaviour of man and animals. For this group, world originated from the Big-Bang, and life from the accidental falling of a ray of sun on an ocean mineral molecule that had formed the first life-cell.
Any discussion of on any 'cause' is blasphemy for the above group.For them, life and universe is self-sustaining, with its inherent compulsion for energy based, or information/knowledge based evolution.In one of the sub-themes below, we discuss our interim faculty of reason as a seat of order and unity, that helps us in ascertaining truth and falsehood of whatever we entertain in our mind. There we shall discuss why such speculations not akin to inherent sense of reason should be scraped as plainly hypothetical.
Does it mean, nothing 'real' could be perceived by the human mind ? From whatever we have deliberated above, it would perhaps appear that whatever human mind observes is unreal. Though the objects in the immediate 'here and now' realm may appear real, it does so only on the strength of our familiarity.
The other objects and relations at a distance appear real because these speculative 'models' are also very familiar to us, as they are also part and parcel of modern mainstream world.
There is no doubt that our scientific theories are mere 'models'. As Stephen Hawking says; ' I take the simple-minded view that a theory ( of science) is just a 'model' of the universe'. ( Brief history of time,p.10) If this is the case with theories of science, better say less about other versions of our truth and reality !
The objects and relations in front of our eyes and other sense organs appear real only on the strength of their time and space based proximity with our knowing mechanism. They are only effects, or 'end objects' in the long-chain of events whose other end lies at far away, in the remote, un-accessible and unassailable realms of reality. In other words, what we call as real are only tentatively real, either on the strength of their proximity with our sense organ in space and time, or as immediate 'causes' of such reality in the 'here-and now' ream, verifiable by reason and logic.
Those far away causes behind our 'here-and now' realm can be known only as speculative 'models' created by men of science, or men of religion. While many believe what men of science say, and many others believe what the men of religion say. What we entertain in our mind is a mixed package, fit for our moving ahead with our lives, an inevitable and irrefutable reality !
About the above unreal package of our realities, reputed philosopher Immanuel Kant also had asserted that, our sense organs create only a phenomenal (and also subjective) picture of the objects in the world, and we can not ever know those objects in their 'in-itself' reality. When you and me, and a thousand other men see an elephant, we all create and store in mind our own subjective picture of the animal.None of such subjective image is the replica of the real animal. So, the real elephant will remain forever an unknowable enigma in existence ! This is true with every other object that man perceives in the world. When science deals with these objects as real objects, they do a correct job, because, their routine applications neither demand nor need any better reality than what appear as true before the sense-mind mechanism. They simply do not recognize any other realm of reality than what appear to our sense-mind mechanism. Kant also had saved science by declaring so.
In short, whatever we have deliberated above compel us to conclude that true-reality is un-accessible to human mind.
Therefor, in the subsequent part of this paper we shall explore, in what all way man could gain at least glimpses of true reality on life and existence.
The ONTOLOGY factor : Who is the seeker of reality ? As the representative of blind human collective, will modern man of science make a true 'participatory- seeker' of ultimate reality ?
Now-on in this discussion, we shall attempt to explore and explain, what all factors prevent man from acquiring glimpses of ultimate reality. It requires verification as to who are we that seek reality ?
Man usually infer and define his realities at his individual capacity, and at times, he goes for adopting ready-made truths, or principles of the society, or the world at large. The modern world at large, or our collective realm always despise individual versions of truth as 'subjective', whereas, whatever the collective institutions such as State or Science declare as truth and reality are treated as 'OBJECTIVE'. We have seen above how the mainstream world still hold the view that physical reality of the world is beyond, and irrespective of the subjective observations of individuals. This sharp division between the mind and matter realm took roots from the time of Descartes during the 17th century.
The collective political, religious and economic institutions of the world play vital role in establishing or breaking of such speculative theories of truth and reality, often to suit their ideological goals. When men haplessly internalize those collective world-view/life-view, it act as 'canvas' for making the self-identities of men, and henceforth they lose their strict individual sense of truth and reality. Best examples of this phenomenon is abundant in history, such as the crusades, the holocaust etc. Men transformed as ' mere pieces' in mass-crowds, losing their individual moral judgement. These behavioural aspects of man deserves equal or more serious academic attention of Science.
Though liberalism is the hall-mark of modern world, due to the collective marketing needs of politics-industry ruled world, large,impersonal masses who think less in their individual capacity is a specific need of the world. Hence the direction of modern world is more toward individuals' succumbing to mass propaganda
Now the central question that arise is, can there ever be something like a 'collective MIND' to look at life and universe differently from that of a single individual, by avoiding his usual subjectivity errors ? The firm answer is NO. Only single individual can ever have experiences. There can not have anything called a single 'collective mind'. Such a concept is plainly mythical, like unicorns. Experience of causes or truth could be only that of individual minds.Scientists are individual minds,but looking through their Binoculars and microscopes as synthetic representatives mankind, ontology-wise, a 'mind- created' synthetic object. There can not be any knowing mechanism called the collective mind, and whatever we know by that name is only a creation of our mind, hence, unreal.
Existence looks like a one to one unique contract with every individual.How and why it does so is the real mystery of life. Medical science will vouch this uniqueness of every individual. Every patient react to medicines differently. A particular medicine fit for one patient may not always work for another patient with the same diagnosis. The pattern of recovery from illness, the chances of mortality after major diseases etc. are not similar for every patient.
What is true is that, our collective institutions like State and Science adopt a wholesale policy with citizens of the state, for governance convenience.In the same spirit, individual subjective findings/discoveries of scientists are made 'objective' reality, by making them part of the collective beliefs. What makes the subjective, 'objective' is the SHARING factor by human community.
*What happens when scientists collectively attempt to find such all pervading and all explainable ultimate cause/reality was well exemplified at our experiments at the subatomic particle world. A senior high-energy physicist Fritjof Capra says in his best seller book- ' The Tao of physics';
"As we penetrate into matter, nature does not show us any isolated 'basic-building blocks', but rather appears as a complicated web of relations between the various parts of the whole.These properties always involve the observer in an essential way..and can be understood in terms of the object's interaction with the observer" ( p.71)
Niels Bohr supports the above view : " isolated material particles are abstractions,their properties being definable and observable only through their interaction with other systems" ( Atomic physics and the description of nature, Cambridge university press-1934,p.57)
The above deliberations on the role of the COLLECTIVE, or mankind's collective institutions such as political, religious,scientific,cultural or economic, in the making of the objective KNOWER- MAN- and his MIND has been undoubtedly established. Simply look at the various cultures prevalent in the world in the past and present, and their influence on individual men and their world view: the Chinese mind gained their unique features from their exposure to Buddhism and Confucianism. Fritjof Capra states: " The Chinese being practical people with highly developed social consciousness, all their philosophical schools were concerned, in one way or the other, with life in society,with human relations,moral values and government"
( Tao of physics,p.107) The collective myths and beliefs of a society make-up the mind of the individual, and it is what that makes him creator of his realities.
See the Africans, or the Arabs. The collective religious or tribal myths factor is well evident in their respective making of the concerned citizens. Man, the reality maker, is thus gains his base mind material from the collective aspects of society/country/culture. The Western society, with their direct exposure to the development of rational tendencies and science in the 16th-17th centuries, has resulted in their gaining a mind more tuned towards materialism. Today, a good percentage of Westerners are hard-core atheists, believing in the base-reality of matter. In short, the seeker of reality, MAN, is greatly influenced by the collective myths and beliefs about reality.
When reality is NOT a static something, but an end-product of the synergy between the seeker and the sought, as exemplified in our sub-atomic particle world experiments, the vital role of mankind's collective institutions in the making of individual minds gets greatly exposed. As man gains his preliminary entity ( his self, or ego) exclusively on the strength of his being a tangible 'object' before others in the world, it is hardest of tasks for individual man to shed all his feathers of the world and be a virgin, isolated entity, directly under the umbrella of existence !
Mind is a two way mechanism; a transmitter, as well as a receiver.
We have seen above, how our collective institutions contribute towards the making individuals the creators of particular realities. The myths and beliefs in the society makes man generate particular kind of thoughts, and such particular kind of thoughts would build-up 'knowers' and seekers of a particular kind of reality.
When mind create particular kinds of thoughts, it is a kind of building-up, or construction. Cultures and civilizations are the results of such different build-ups. When reality is sought with such artificially build-up thought structures, on the already seen principle of REALITY being generated as SYNERGY between the observer and the observed, the seekers get particular kind of synthetic truths and realities.
Now the question arise: can man keep his mind PASSIVE and THOUGHT-FREE, and keep the mind only as a RECEIVER ? Or, is it the already 'filled' minds of individuals with such constructed realities that make them incapable of sensing/knowing actual reality ?
Thoughts are acts of transmission. By thoughts, mind attains colour, shape and attributes. When he seek or approach reality with these already loaded mind, as per the law of synergy, only particular kind of REALITY gets produced. But when mind is kept strictly as a RECEIVER, switching-off its transmission mode button, and then man seeks reality, it is an unclouded, virgin mind, and then probably un-cooked reality may land-up in such minds ! There are many schools of thought in Indian and Chinese culture and philosophy that advocates such mindset to have glimpses of true reality. A Zen poem says:
" sitting quietly,doing nothing,
spring comes, and the grass grows by itself"
Indian God-man Osho shares a similar way of life when he states the advantage of living with 'NO MIND'.
Jesus Christ also emphasizes similar thought-free ways in New Testament: "Look at the birds flying around: they do not sow seeds,gather a harvest and put it in barns: Look how wild flowers grow:they do not work or make clothes for themselves" ( Mathew-6, 26,28)
What we discussed above was the relative nature of reality, depending upon who, and with what stuff in mind that man approaches and seek it. If the mind is kept thought-free and virgin, probably nature would open Her doors of reality to such minds ? At such states, mind becomes a different organ, with different properties.
After all, what-all efforts of man, by way of his thought and action can be termed as his own product of free-will ? When we attempt a clinical analysis of the irrefutable, inherent behavioral DRIVES of man,( please see blog: http://unrecognizedobjectsofthemind.blogspot.in/ ) that are instrumental in making him think and act in particular ways, we might wonder how could we claim something like free-will ! What are the gains of our so called construction of synthetic realities by way of thoughts? It aids only in the making of our preliminary entity called 'ego'. Ego creates itself by using whatever stuff available in its immediate world,like birds build their nest from dry grass and plant-strings from its surrounding.
What about the virgin reality of 'emotions' and other similar internal objects of our mind ?
Now we shall discuss the genus of reality that we seek. Should that be only a physical reality, a solid, something 'out there', the truth and reality ? The present dogma that reality of life and existence could only a physical might be only a 'category of thought' peculiar to our age, and not an absolute,unchangeable notion applicable to mankind at all the ages. It is a learnt or accumulated thought pattern derived from the particular leading philosophy of the age-scientific method- similar to the accumulated,or learned behaviour of German men during the Holocaust to annihilate the Jewish community. The net cause was mass propaganda !
When someone is in love, the greatly swaying emotion does not enter the mind through any of the external sense organ, so it is free from the routine conversion to 'phenomenon' that our external-sense organs do with external objects.Hence, why shouldn't we treat emotions like love,rage, empathy,euphoria, and also encounters with extreme pain, sudden misfortunes,diseases etc as virgin realities, unadulterated and un-tampered in the lives of men?
Unlike the subjective difference in the mental-picture of the elephant, ( in our example above) these emotions are more or less experienced as the same stuff by all men, except in the degree of intensity from person to person, or situation to situation. We should also consider the crucial relevance of these internal objects or experiences to our minds than the passive relevance of the physical objects in the world, which, more or less, contribute only towards the structural aspects of our entity as persons/entities. In comparison to the swaying effects of emotions like love,rage, euphoria,empathy, and experiences like pain,misfortunes etc in the constitutional make-up of a person, and the way he experience them in a zero adulterated form directly from the mind, we have no option but to pass them as absolute realities of life and existence !
After all, in life as referred above once, the role of emotions and painful experiences is much central, as they make or break man's very entity in life ! We observe that they are indeed the very subject matter of life. Hence, we might have to completely alter our initially taken stand that we can not perceive anything real in life and existence. These emotions and other similar objects within the mind does not suffer from any 'impurity' that the external objects are allegedly suffer due its sense-organs route.( impure by way of giving them our own subjective mental picture) Our very mental set-up is in such a way that certain emotions get generated on their own when human beings reach various age-stages in life, and no man can ever escape undergoing of these emotions at some time period or other. Painful experiences and encounters in life virtually drop from the blue, irrespective of gender, age, or economic and social positions !
What we have to abandon is our age's hard-core obsession that, if anything that can be called REALITY, it must be an external reality ! As crowd and collective are false, and existentially non-existing entity, what projected as collective experience also are subjective mind-creations.For such collective experiences to become real, each individual has to 'opt' or choose to 'internalize' them in his mind. We shall take up later in this paper, why such an obsession ( to generate collective euphorias in society) has gripped modern world.
To accept these emotions as reality do not require any logical deduction or inference. They are always in the 'here and now' realm, hence they are free from the 'remoteness in time and space' drawback also, that some of the objects and relations in the external world suffer.
Why emotional predilection of an object or a system is the most real, and supposedly the 'essence' of every object ?
We mentioned in the above paragraph that our age is obsessed with physical nature of the absolute reality, that if there is an absolute reality about life and existence, it would be in the form of a physical, mathematical or chemical equation. What science expect is that by discovering a unified theory of all our known form of energies, such an equation will be in place, and we would be able to solve the ultimate question of how world had originated. Answering such a an ultimate question would lead to answering all further questions such as why life, and what is the ultimate meaning and destiny of mankind as well as the universe !
But it might be helpful if science realize that every known end-product in the objective world ( every life and inorganic form or object ) appears to have been made to fulfill certain purpose, or it exists as a means to some end. Every system is a 'structure' at the overt level,altogether a different entity from its molecular composition. Getting to know them meticulously at the component level of the structure also will not help us is understanding its essence, as both systems function under separate laws. But if we know the 'essence' of the system beforehand, it might become very easy to relate such essence or purpose to each component, and get to know the system completely. An example is our car getting into the hands of a curious alien team from another galaxy. They may analyse each component of the car metallurgically and chemically, but till they realize it as a means of fast travel on the surface of earth by the earthlings, the alien team will not make any sense of the object before them. This is the very reason why man is not able to make any sense out of the mad-dance of the assorted particles at the subatomic particle world ! We have not laid our hands on the essence of life and existence, hence our structural or component level knowledge does not end the deadlock.
We can not refute that the end purpose of a such mad, apparently unrelated and chaotic dance of the sub-atomic particles is 'life in its given sense. It was naive for mankind to devalue the end-stuff, and gone after the structural building block of the whole. Like the mystery of the building block of matter, the metaphysical aspect of the evolvement of life and momentum in universe in the form of life, also was to be taken up by science with equal vigour. Origin of consciousness and intelligence also deserved an equal or more serious attention of science, as it was from this development that science was able to have 'entities' ( we, men) who sought to probe the secrets of matter as well as life!
Why the emotional predilection, or property ( predisposition) of any entity is more profound and fundamental than knowledge about its structural aspect could be ascertained from the following example: A father, and his many children: let us take the father as an entity, or the object that his children attempt to study and describe.For each son or daughter, his/her father would be a different person, as every relation is a unique two-way phenomenon.For each partner in the relation, the other person is uniquely different, means, no one else would be knowing him exactly in the same fashion.
As a structural entity, or as a collective entity in the family and society, the father might have a common statistical, or objective image, but it is his general predilection, or predisposition that could be called as the real he in every sense ! While his photo or real physical features will never make his real person in comparison with his general predilection and predisposition, in every sense and meaning, what he really is, is the latter dimension of him. It would be totally senseless to proclaim that he was his physical properties and features. It may serve special collective purposes such as for statistical data etc., but such a reality of him for the collective world has no relevance to his reality as a person, in metaphysical sense. .
What explained above was the real nature of the account of science about its realities. They are only accounts based on the external study of the physical properties of the objects and events; NOT anything close to actual REALITY. Such reality should exclusively comprise the predilection or predisposition of the object or entity of the whole universe. Such predilection or predisposition will always be an 'emotional' substance in every case. When science claims that existence is cold and mathematical, it is equal to attributing a certain predilection. So, in a way, the question of ultimate reality is not about its final equation, but about the nature of its ultimate predisposition. It is about whether life and existence is purposeless and senseless, or does it have certain 'sense', purpose and meaning.
As science as a whole is a collective, impersonal body, it can never have subjective experiences, as once mentioned above, hence, it could never access reality of the whole in its predilection sense. It could only consolidate various accounts of the physical or structural properties, which has nothing do with REALITY even in remote sense. As Stephen Hawking said in his " Brief History of Time, (p.12) " If everything in the universe depends on everything else in a fundamental way, it might be impossible to get close to a full solution by investigating parts of the problem in isolation"
The predilection of the object or entity is the final and absolute cause,that would be capable of explaining every sub-event, and every sub-structural system. A reverse process, that is, explaining the substance by describing the structure of isolated systems and objects would be always futile, naive and impossible !
The metaphysical properties of existence are conspicuously two: its corpulence and tininess at the same time. While the essence is a tiny dot, its structure is clumsy and corpulent. As emotional content, the essence of whatever that exists, could be sensed by mind at one go, as it is a tiny mind-thing. It is similar to the reality of the father in the minds of the children in the above example. The net essence of their father is an emotional connect in the children's mind, a tiny connect. Probably the ultimate reality behind life and existence could also be such a predilection connect, instead of its' being a grand theory around its structural corpulence.
This organization can be further grasped by the way of another example. A rabbit, when science wants to study it as an object, it kills and dissects it in the lab, organ by organ and cell by cell. When its complete anatomy is ready in a graphic fashion, medical science gain complete knowledge about the object.
But if it ( science) had decided to keep the animal alive, feeding and nurturing it, it would have produced many baby rabbits and filled the lab with life and momentum,thus leading to another equally valid reality about the object ! Such a step is opposite to dividing the object to sub-components and system. It is accepting the 'end system' as the final reality of the object. While modern science goes after the building block of matter, it is at the cost of ignoring,or sidelining the mysterious proton-neutron unity inside the atom
( the nuclei) that gives stability, shape and form to the world, and its organic and inorganic contents.
The above are always the two options before seekers of reality;whether to have structural knowledge about the object of study, or the more wholesome and holistic knowledge about the object, adopting different approach and paradigm. Today's science is centered around the former method, leaving the other option to different field of studies, where the required degree of accuracy, and predictive ability is vague, hence their social acceptability is also far less.
A closer re-look at man's tools ( not yet recognized !) of gaining knowledge on reality, both structural as well as substance aspect of it: ( Can they let us know reality, free from the mind created stuff? )
Any talk on truth and reality must touch man's faculties,or capacity of his cognizing tools to know it. Otherwise such talks would be futile.
Most of the matters that we have deliberated above, in strict sense, are not in the routine knowing range or properties of our 'sense-mind-reason' mechanism. While sense organs get us raw data of the world from external world, mind as we understand it, process it, and make ideas, concepts, conclusions and knowledge. In many cases, it avails the help of our faculty of reason, to infer or deduct new conclusions based on the strength of our already gained and stored previous data, or conclusions.
Most of the matters that we have discussed above, such as the axiom of existential relation between 'structure and substance', existential inevitability of pre-dispositions for whatever that exists, the originality of mental events such as emotions and traumas than external objects in the world etc. are not typical themes the sense-mind-reason apparatus of knowing. They are about very intrinsic existential relations that control life, behaviour and destiny of humankind.Are they mere blind,fantastic speculations ? They strongly appeal to our inherent sense of what is true and sensible !
Though these axioms have no similar precedence in human experience,our knowing apparatus still accept the axioms on the very strength of its logical validity !
These outcome of mind that can not be attributed to any known faculty of our routine knowing mechanism compel us to conclude that, our mind apparatus does possess many yet unknown knowing faculties other than what we routinely aware-off. We have a series of dedicated blogs that deal with such yet recognized hidden faculties of our mind-reason mechanism at link: http://philosopherskorner.blogspot.in/.
One of such faculties that deserves special reference here is the PRISMATIC function of our faculty of reason. When we closely ponder over any given ray of thought or idea, with adequate attention and silence, we will come to observe that the action of splitting the given question into all its sub-ingredients, sub-possibilities etc.is an 'automated' function of our faculty of reason. It is not cases of grand efforts put-in by us for finding the truth as the world generally believe, but when proper silence is provided, it is the above said 'prismatic' function of reason that does the whole job on its own ! A new spectrum of knowledge evolves automatically before the mind. Such new spectrum provides supportive as well as negative data, in the form of new evidences. If such automated reasoning process reveals more negative spectrum, the proposition or hypothesis in question gets rejected as short of reason. Or, if the spectrum provides more supportive sub-data, it reinforces the given hypothesis, and then helps in its turning a theory. This yet to be recognized function of our faculty of reason is what is behind most of man's intellectual marvels and progress. It is the most creative function of mind, instrumental for every form of human development. Experiments are mere 'mode of cooking the facts for the sake of exemplifying the law', as stated by A.N.Whitehead, veteran scientist.
The other distinct role of reason is well recognized and accepted, ie. the sensing of the 'sense' content, or the 'consistency' factor that necessarily exist between the evidence ( or the universal premise) and the question that requires proving. This particular role of reason, as that of distinguishing truth from falsehood, is universally recognized, though how does it manage this task is yet a grey area. In our above referred blog we have shown that, it indeed functions like a 'sense-organ' that detects the 'order'/unity/consistency/'sense' content in every instance of human inference.This order/unity/sense factor is not a product of the mind from its past experiences. It often produce such 'sense' out of blue, and guide human action and thought in matters unrelated to past experience. Enough examples and evidences have been provided to prove this point at the above referred blog.
A lot of confusion exists today between the meaning and role of reason and logic. While we have seen the actual role and function of our faculty of reason, Logic is concerned only about the form of connecting an evidence with the point being proved. It is about the 'forms' and intellectual and even linguistic rules of such linking. The 'form'has nothing to do with the 'content', like the grammatical structure of a sentence has nothing to do with the actual content of the sentence.One can have full knowledge of the 'form' without zero knowledge of the content. Bertrand Russell was specific on this: " We may have knowledge of the form without having knowledge of the constituents" ( 'logic as essence of philosophy'; Lowell lectures, 1914)
Even eminent men of science and philosophy routinely mistake logic for the natural faculty of reason.
Only when mankind recognize and accept the not yet clearly understood,hidden tools of gaining knowledge by man( especially on ultimate realities) that the real reach of his mind would be gauged, and the nature of veracity of its finding could be judged correctly. ( please refer blog:http://philosopherskorner.blogspot.in/ for more details on man's such hidden tools of gaining knowledge)
As evident from the above referred set of blogs on reason, it is evident that the property of 'order' or ' 'sense' provided by the faculty of reason is an alien property, not worked out by our mind from the world and experience, but it precedes mind and experience. This sensing of the 'order' and 'unity' or 'sense' content is the crux of of the process of every act of 'understanding' by man, hence, more studies and research is the need of the day and age, to redefine our knowledge about our realities. When man recognize the real ( often mysterious !) role of our faculty of reason in our acts of inference, deduction and induction, the question of whether man could ever lay hands on truth and reality would also be at least half answered.
One thing needs no two opinions; what man has as his final abode of differentiating true from false is his faculty of reason.When thousands of minds together work on the above proposition, many new doors of knowledge will emerge around its higher possibilities.
Consolidation of what has been deliberated above:
Our original issue was whether man could ever know ultimate truth and reality other than the synthetic 'models' that he creates with his mind.We have concluded that we could do it once we abandon our dogma that the ultimate reality should always be a physical or mathematical one.It is a fact that we could not so far successfully relate the 'infinity' factor of space and time into our physical explanation of life and existence. No criterion of 'physical' would ever be able to explain an infinite space and time. So, science could always open its doors towards accepting a non-physical beginning of life and experience, but not necessarily going in the typical religious way, but by accommodating non-physical entities and energies also into its grand,open realms of enquiry.
We have also seen that a collective mind can never be a knower of truth and reality. It is a false entity, or center. Individual mind is the sole route towards relating itself to realities of absolute sort, as it is with his uniqueness that existence has made Her synergy with. Remember Soren Kierkegaard's axiom; 'Truth is subjectivity' ( and the crowd is false !)
We also have referred to science's revolutionary findings at the subatomic particle world experiments. It almost suggests that science may have to altogether abandon its claims of knowing 'objective' truths about the world. Their experiments suggest that man could know reality only as nature's reaction to him as a participant in the events he observe. He can not know reality as an 'object' out-there, that exists irrespective and independent of the observer.So, the ontological factor, as to who and what that seeks, would distinctly affect the outcome of the probe, as he is a live ingredient in the event under observation.
Finally, we have touched the issue of man's 'knowledge' tools to seek and grasp reality.The mysterious role of our faculty of 'reason' in the act of every inference and deduction has been deliberated upon. We have seen that reason in fact is 'sensing' the order/unity/sense/consistency factor in every cause-effect, analogy and evidence-conclusion paradigm in inferences.
This 'order' factor is an alien property, and not a creation of mind and experience.Even if the 'relation' has been taken from past experiences, what 'reason' does is the 'sensing' of such relation with the inference in question. This vital role was what eluded our mainstream understanding and awareness so far. Hence, we can not rule out the hint that, it might be a not-yet-recognized door of nature/existence towards revealing glimpses of ultimate reality to man, because whatever knowledge we have, it first comes through as a property or category of life/existence that one or other of our sense organs detects. ( Eg. eyes see, ears hear) Therefore, sense organs are basically doors of nature through which She imparts glimpses of Her properties to minds.
Nobody can say that life and existence is a bad dream of our minds., except at the cost of negating everything including mind and life. There definitely exists reality, at the 'cause' level. Our deepest sense of having 'sense' of things and ideas ( provided by our not yet recognized work/ faculty of reason) vouches for it live, every moment. It is only a matter of knowing it right. Whatever deliberated above strongly indicate that, we have the tools as well potential to know it in the right way. To make the task easy, what is required first is to escape from our animal like close-mindedness that, there exists nothing beyond our way of knowing.An Octopus might be feeling that every other animal grabs its victim by tentacles, the way he does. Same way, elephant may not be aware that other animals does not have his type of unique organ- trunk, or in other words, his way of knowing the world. Similarly, man seems caught-up in the illusion that his way of knowing is the ultimate way of knowing. But he possess intelligence and reason much greater in degree than any animal. Or, the same connection can be explained with the example of a blind or deaf person. For a blind person, it might be extremely difficult to imagine how other men blessed with sight see the world. A deaf also, similarly, will not grasp how a normal person experience the world of sounds. Above examples have been given to carry the argument that our way of experiencing reality may not be the ultimate way of knowing it. Our ways are merely one in a multitude of ways in which reality gets expressed among beings.
So one must realize that the ultimate reality may not always be a typical 'object' or relation akin to his unique way of knowing. Fortunately, man is able to move beyond his own 'self' ( transcending of self) for realizing such difficult intellectual task. He must reach-out to grab such unique potentials so that ultimate reality stuff gets into his 'possible' realms of knowledge.
Now, have our deliberation helped us in answering our questions in the beginning ? Can we distinguish between actual reality and mind made synthetic realities ? The answer is yes... provided we thoroughly and clinically analyse the ontological positions from where we have so far been seeking to know reality. Was our definition of reality sensible and universally applicable ? We were approaching reality from our narrow platform of self-assumed,all observable, objective knowers !
Can we ever know reality other than what mind creates ? Yes again...provided we are ready to alter our basic concept of we as seekers, and alter our basic understanding of our knowing apparatus. Our base 'sense' of reason advise us that Nature wouldn't have abandoned us on this isolated planet, without any door toward knowing the ultimate realities about ourselves and our existential environment.
The final conclusion is, that we have a lot, a lot more to know about ourselves, nature,and the basic relation between the two parties. The only way-out is to leave our rigid dogmas about what we are, and what knowledge is.
by: Abraham J.Palakudy
Conscience of the society: a non-profit organisation in the field of independent research on mind,metaphisics and philosophy.
contact us at: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
www.conscienceofthesociety.com, and its blog sub-menu
Introduction Is thinking an internal conversation?
This small paper intends to show and claim that man's act of 'thinking' is in fact an internal conversation between two real spirits within,as the Greek master Plato had envisioned 2000 years ago. The great man did not specify as to between who such conversation takes place, as any conversation requires two parties. Here, who are the two parties within human mind that undertake the conversation ?
This paper identifies these two entities, ( spirits, as they have no physical entities) and hope that this new understanding would pave way for better understanding of our mind, and many new research projects around the said theme would be initiated throughout the the world to improve upon the base idea!
It was Freud who had introduced the concept of 'super-ego' for the first time in psychology, to denote an inner-spirit within man that makes the mind-function 'dynamic'. He thought superego represents the 'conscience', or the moral content of the society, and it advises ego from time to time, to abide by its compulsions. For want of a better word to denote the 'spirit' involved in the internal 'conversation' called thinking, this paper would use the term 'spirit of the world'( SPOW) for convenience.
The paper also touches another central point about thinking: its relation with language. Is thinking possible without language ? It depends upon the question who is the thinker. Ego is an objective product of the world, and when it is the thinker, it is always a conversation in 'language' form with the 'spirit' of the world.But when the rest transcended entities or selves indulge in the act of thinking, it does not use language as its only medium.
Paper also touche basic questions as to what was nature's plan behind creating egos, and then its operation realm a duality with the 'spirit of the world' ( SPOW) etc.
ego, as per Freud’s interpretation, was the ‘conscience’ element of the mind,
derived from society’s concepts of right and wrong, and parental sense of
morality conferred to child. This author, who was into rigorous self analysis
and studies for more than 3-4 decades around how mind works, has arrived at an
altogether different conclusion on the functions of ego and its 'dialogue' enabling counter-part within, the 'spirit of the world' (SPOW). This write-up is a brief attempt to probe the serious existential questions, such as why nature had devised the ego-world duality, or the matter-mind duality.
are always internal conversations as believed by Plato
wrote :(Plato,web,2013)) ‘Well, thinking and discourse are the same thing,
except that what we call thinking is, precisely, the inward dialogue carried on
by the mind with itself without spoken sound’. American Philosopher Charles
Sanders Pierce had also accepted this version of Plato.
understand this proposition, we may have to first accept that, man and his self-mechanism are some kind of a ‘MEANS’ in the plan of nature to achieve her
hidden purposes. It is to be believed that emergence of independently thinking
and knowing ENTITIES was the first and foremost goal in this plan, as what man
in existence ultimately is, a KNOWING organization !
finding that man’s ego emerges during the 1st 3 years of his birth
was a breathtaking observation ! Born as an exclusive physical only entity,
starts developing a unique ‘self’ and a mind in due course ! The baby identify
himself first as an object in the eyes of ‘others’ around him,(especially its
mother) and a receiver of external sense data. The sense data precedes the
origin of the self. Ego is born as the ‘owner’, or simply the ‘receiver’ of
these external sense inputs.Like the absolute 'subjective' way each external objects and events are internalized by the mind of man, the ego also is made the same subjective way: one's thoughts could always mould the nature of self this way or that way. In short, both the self and the external world are the purely subjective products. This observation explains why every human being is different and unique.
Late Indian God man Osho (Rajneesh,1974,p.8,para.3,chap.1)) describes beautifully, how and why the external world moulds our ego, in his
book ‘ Beyond the Frontiers of mind’ : “when a child is born, the first thing he becomes
aware is not himself; his eyes are opened outwards, the hands touch others,
ears listen to others…all these senses open outwards…the ego is an accumulated
phenomenon, a bye product of living with others”.
as inevitable existential condition for the origin of knowing entities
Why origin of knowing
entities the central goal of nature ? The above seen process of the origin of
ego will give the answer. The external world as well as the knower entity- ego,
were products of each other ! A flesh only entity, thanks to its inherent sense
organs, could receive inputs about an external world, and in this process, has
given birth to a mind entity, the ego. Without these knowing entities, the
existence as a whole would have been invisible, hence a VOID ! There would be
millions of celestial bodies and events that mankind is still unaware of, hence
for us, they are non-existing and void.
What is ‘known’ to us
could only be termed as reality for us. What lies outside our knowledge
boarders is at least ‘equal’ to non-existing, hence, for all practical purposes
and meaning, unreal. Hence, there arose the inevitability of the ‘duality’ in
existence, that of the knower and the known, an irrefutable precondition for
everything that could be termed as ‘existing’, or existing only by its
precondition of ‘knowing’ . Once this unbelievable existential scheme (or chemistry of energies) is once understood
and realized, we would be able to accept the new role of ego and SPOW in
this wonderful scheme !
the birth of a knowing entity out of something virtually unknown before, was an
unbelievably creative and original idea of nature. It should pave way for
the exciting conclusion that the very scheme of existence was devised for it to
know itself, by creating other KNOWING entities, as the act of knowing is
closely associated with BEING, as already found by many philosophers and
thinkers in the past.
the ego, something external to him as an ‘other’, is an existential necessity
for its own very ‘sense’ of self. It can not ever stand on its own, as it is a
VOID without something there to relate to. The reasoning here is, ‘I am real
because something outside me is real’. One of the first ‘others’ in the life of every one - mother-, and the general world outside, sends its
signals through the senses of the baby, to constitute his ego, or the ‘spirit’
of the mind . Unlike inorganic objects in existence, this ‘ethereal’
spiritual body, is the one feature that distinguish living entities from
non-living objects. Living beings have some or other knowing mechanism, according
to nature's plan as to what each unit of life should know. Hence, as Kant had
rightly professed, what each living being, and each of its individual unit
knows is, pre-set by the nature !
of this existential plan in the physical realm also, at the sub-atomic particle
This unbelievably smart plan of
nature for originating knowing entities or ‘selves’ in existence reiterates Her
base scheme; for every unit of existence, whether it is a unit of matter or
mind, it gains its identity from some ‘other’ entities outside him. Leave here
the ego, a mind entity, take-up the case of sub-atomic particles in the world
of matter. There too, what the quantum physicists found after 50 or more years
of repeat experiments is that, no such particle exists as an independently
observable unit, or as building block of matter. They are identifiable only in
relation to other similar particles in the vicinity, or to the observing
scientist with his probes !
A senior scientific figures of
our times, Fritjof
Capra says;(Capra,1979,p.71,para.2,chap.4) ‘‘quantum theory thus reveals a basic oneness of
the universe. It shows that we can not decompose the world into independently
existing smaller units. As we penetrate into matter, nature does not show us
any isolated ‘basic building block’, but rather appears as a complicated web of
‘relations’ between the various parts of the whole. These relations always
include the observer in an essential way.
.the properties of any atomic object can only be understood in terms of the
object’s interaction with the observer’.
above fundamental existential scheme was narrated for our further understanding
of the role of ego and super ego in our thought process. There is close
similarity between the identity of sub-atomic particles, and the identity of
men in society. Both could be identifiable only with reference to their
relation with ‘other’ units around.
is observed that once the ego is born, and the child starts identifying itself
as an independent entity in the world, when ever he/she conceives
himself/herself in his own/her own mind, it is in the ‘form’ of him/her in the
mind of the most important person or group in his/her life ! This form, or
image is based on the child’s subjective impression of the form or image that
people outside him/her keeps about him/her, but, for the process of self
identification, every ego depend upon this process through out his/her life !
has this peculiar existential feature of self-division within, into two
different entities, and conform to the existential need of DUALITY for having
self identity ! In other words, ego can not conceive itself as a stand alone,
independent entity, as it does not have any ! It was born out of a vacuum, ie.
out of the unprecedented ‘sense’ signals from a phantomic external world. It
could conceive himself//herself only on the base of the certainty with which
the other person looked at him/her. The child could see, smell and touch that
other person, the first ever object in his world, its mother, through its
senses. Whatever objects that the mother
wanted him/her to see, touch and smell, the child also could experience, words
indicating such objects learned in word form, and thus the formation of a new
entity becomes complete.
Is every form of thinking uses language as its medium ?
This question is a very central subject of great disputes among philosophers: is thinking possible without language ?
The simple history of the origin of language would answer this question directly. Man was not a talking animal in the beginning. He thought millions of years without any language, before he could finally develop his primeval language forms ! This very historical fact proves that thinking in its initial stages of development was in some or other 'symbol' form. Even now, in this modern age of highly developed languages, except the form of thinking referred above, as an internal conversation between the ego and the spirit of the world, all other forms of thinking is in some kind of symbol form. Mind seems to possess some kind of symbols for each existential 'categories', similar to what Kant's ' categories', and thinking is an extremely fast form of inter-exchanges between these categories, to finally result in the formation of ideas, or concepts. When one attempt to self-analyse and self-observe the act of thinking, especially about the creative type of thinking and inference, he could notice it an empirical fact.
What is said above is most true when one observes the function of his 'reason' organ, in its PRISMATIC mode. When any ray of new thought, or idea is fed to Reason, it always automatically splits it into all available sub-ideas, options and possibilities. This is what we usually recognize as 'creative thinking'. This is the mother function of thinking that results in the origin of new ideas, concepts and hypotheses. Newton could invent his theory of 'gravitation' and Einstein, his theory of 'relativity'by this creative function of our PRISMATIC function of reason. In the other important function, reason detects the 'order'/consistency/unity, or the 'sense' factor between the causes and effects, analogy and its object of comparison, and evidences and arguments with their respective conclusions. Readers may refer to our blogs that deal with this dedicated functions of Reason at links: http://thesparkleofhumanreason.blogspot.in/, http://philosopherskorner.blogspot.in/2010/12/consciousness-beyond-ego.html etc.
As said at the introduction para of this paper, the entity or the self who indulge in the act of thinking determines whether it is using language or not. As we have seen, ego is the primary as well as the most predominant 'entity' of man that deals with the world. It is the objectively real entity in the world, for itself as well as for 'others', its thinking is always 'conversation' between itself and its image, or the 'spirit' of the world.(SPOW) When the ego 'transcends' itself, by using the wider canvas of ' existence' as whole to place itself and identify itself as a different entity other than the ego, it often indulge in 'thinking' in 'symbol' language.
At such different modes of the self, man uses language only as 'stepping-stones', or 'consolidating' all previously pondered ideas into language form. This act is similar to a mountaineer's act of building temporary sheds at each point of his climb. This saves himself from falling back to the bottom, and needing to start the climb from zero once again. A word form, or a statement form in language helps him to identify his already arrived at conclusions a consolidated tangibility and form.
Insisting that thinking is not possible without language is equal to insisting that what is created could control and determine the creator itself ! Thinking always preceded language, and it was what created language, to systematize the acts of the former !
Introducing the 'spirit of the world' (SPOW)
this external world, the ego is an existential vacuum. So, it seems that ego
always stands divided into two entities, one, as his/her own self, and the
other, as the ‘spirit’ of the OTHER, or the spirit substance symbolizing
everything external to him/her, the collective spirit of the world, including
its other human beings ! Or in other words, what this new spirit represents is
the life itself, that ego experiences as an external reality. This writer has arrived
at this conclusion after his pains-taking, hard-contemplated self-analysis of
many years, or even decades ! When ever ego is not in the company of other
beings, or when ever it is alone, its thinking is nothing but a conversation
with the above subjectively observed SPIRIT of the other, or the world ! This
spirit alters its character, or form very frequently, depending upon moment to
moment reaction pattern of others around it, or the support, or antagonism it
receives from the world/others.
is because of this special feature of the 'SPOW' ( spirit of the world ) that whenever man experiences
harsh criticism and accusation from the world for a considerably long period,
ego finds it difficult to maintain its normal mental state, as this spirit of
the world constantly is with the ego, as its existential necessity of ‘other’. This
is the route by which bitter memories haunt the ego. He is hard-pressed to
adjust him self with the oppressive and accusative world, and many fail in the
task, and turns neurotic. Means, the constant conversation of the ego with the
spirit of the world, or, say life, does not allow him to escape from its bitter
reality. This spirit of the world, or the others, often breaks-up the ego, and
the person goes mad ! After committing grave crimes like a murder, the SPOW turns-up in the sense and concept that Freud had visualized 'super-ego' ; as the
‘conscience’ element, and it torment the ego endlessly.
the opposite example, when the external world offers the ego beautiful and
pleasant experiences, the spirit of the world gets formed that way,
and it gives a healthy disposition to the ego. In the most swaying human
relation of romantic love, the spirit of the other would be centered around one
single individual, its love interest, and the ego takes a fresh, new birth in
the midst of all the beautiful, unprecedented
experiences ! The new ‘other’ in the life of the ego creates another
world for lovers, thanks to all the unprecedented attention, devotion and
commitments mutually shared. This example of romantic love would be the best
bet to understand SPOW as the ‘ spirit’ of the ‘other’ for the ego ! It
proves that, the integrity of EGO is predominantly shaped by the SPOW.
is a very central observation about the nature of man’s ego and SPOW, and
their formation and functioning ! The big difference between Freud’s finding here
is that, SPOW does not constitute the right and wrong aspects of social life
alone, or the ‘conscience’ of the mind
alone , but it is a SPIRIT that lives ever along with ego during the entire
tenure of man’s life, giving him the much essential existential inevitability
of the ‘other’, without which ego can not sense its own entity ! It was born
out of the external, and it can not do without it even for a single moment of
the wake state, or even during sleep state.
as an inevitable ‘mode’ for the mind to experience reality
said ‘space’ and ‘time’ are inevitable modes for man to experience reality, and
they are NOT ‘objects’ of our senses as previously thought. If we infer here
that it is NOT ‘space and time’ that act as inevitable modes of mind to infer
reality, and IT IS THE WORLD outside that acts as the inevitable mode of
experience, it would only make better sense, because both time and space are
naturally integrated into our world idea. Every language is impregnated with
sense of time and space. So, when we think and communicate in language,
naturally ‘time and space’ gets into it without special effort.
needs to be repeated here that, all what has been said above again and again
reminds us that there is a lot more to be learned and accepted about the
working of our mind, improving upon the theories and notions that the great
philosophers of past had established.
too are internal conversations
too, it should be believed, are conversation between these two divisions of
man’s self, without the active participation of the ‘conscious mind’ that is
conscious of its ‘real’ time-line. Mind, which depends upon the live entity of
ego with its active memories for constituting the sense of self, should depend
upon the DREAMS mechanism in a priming like action, similar to that in
water boosting pumps. For the water boosting pumps to operate for the first
time, the empty space in the pump must be filled with water first, to empty the
vacuum within the pump area, and then link with the line-water in the pipe . Similarly,
dreams could be there to avoid mind from going vacuum during sleep. Otherwise,
there will arise ‘booting problems’ for mind when man wakes-up in the morning,
detached from the world and ego for 8 to 10 hours ! Freud’s approaching dreams
as indirect means for wish fulfillment might have been prompted by his base
leniency towards sick minds and its cure. He did not approach mind and its
functioning as part of a pre-set, intelligent existential scheme of nature. He
approached it from the stand point of a psychiatrist first and foremost.
continue explaining SPOW, it is the constant spirit of the world that act
as both ‘space’ for the ego to place itself in, ( like the essentiality of
‘space’ for physical body to occupy itself) as well as ego’s spirit of the
other to converse with, in the ‘conversation’ based thinking process.
The ‘moral’ and ‘conscience’
agent in human mind is NOT the ‘super ego’ in this new study, as once said
earlier. As Kant had rightly observed, this moral agent is inherent in the mind
as the ‘categorical imperative’, at its bottom layers. This author differ with
the great philosopher (Kant) in this respect, and attribute this role to human
‘sense organ’ of reason. Human reason is depicted as an internal ‘sense organ’
that detects, or senses ‘order’ content, or the very ‘sense’ , or even still in
other words,’ the ‘consistency’ factor between causes and its effects,
arguments or evidences and its conclusion, and finally, analogies and their
object of comparison, in his book published at Amazon.com, at link:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008NOEE9I. Recently, 'Journal of Advances in Psychology' published the same theme is a different way, which could be seen at link: http://www.cirworld.org/journals/index.php/japs
Nothing more is added about the ‘conscience’ function of super-ego here, as it
is outside the purview of this small paper. The above referred book/paper attribute this important area of mind to
the ‘sense organ’ of reason.
Other important functions of the SPOW
SPOW, as we have seen, is the subjective ‘replica’ of
one’s world image, or the life image, or the ‘other’ image ( in the meaning of
everything external to the ego)that every man carry within. It is an important
spirit that determines the form and
integrity of the ego. It would be the chief factor that determine the so
called ‘health’ of the ego, means, if what one keeps as his ‘image’ of the
other, or the world, is too large an image than his own self - the ego, then he
is not ‘rooted’ well in his ego. He will always attempt to live by the
standards of the world ,and the wishes of the ones around him. In other words,
his self is grounded more in the external world, than at the center of own ego
energies and priorities. His self confidence level would be low in such cases.
In opposite examples, wherein one’s world was too passive,
or even obedient and submissive to him, such ego gets more and more rooted
within, and such persons will show authoritarian, or totalitarian tendencies.
In between the above two extremes lies the NORMAL and HEALTHY mind.
Modern man lives in a world where the external is more
powerful than his own self, thanks to the exceedingly powerful mass media
outlets like tv and news paper. This excessive assault of the ‘external’ spirit
over the egos of men in the modern world makes man either more submissive and
meek, or more aggressive and violent, as ego has more fundamental life energies
working in him, that are self protective, self-sustaining and self-glorifying.
Due to this positive energies within, man many times is capable of fighting with
his own thoughts, and with the process of image making of the world. He often succeed
to alter his behaviour, and gain mastery over others and circumstances, and
strengthen his SPOW. This way, SPOW often acts like a mirror for ego,
to reflect itself !
The central role of ‘world image’ that has been created by mass
institutions, in the Ego formation of men
Whatever has been said in the above paragraph emphasis the
central relevance of our mass media institutions that depicts world in
particular ways ! These institutions, including the educational, management and
political ones that deals with the external world image of man, have a central
and great role in shaping the ‘integrity’ of the egos of men in the world, as
this world image is what shapes one’s SPOW. The EGO often falls helpless
victim to the powerful collective agents of the world. The intentionally
created world images by the mass media, or by the political entities through
mass media, as it happened during the time of Hitler, could alter the selves of
man, or their ego, in undeniable degree and fashion ! The well evident
influence of modern advertisements on the minds of man is a distinct example.
It clearly shows that the collective, or the institutionalized agencies of the
world such as political, educational and corporate realm can alter the mental
make-up of man in sure and certain ways. A small minority of men might be able
to resist such mass assault of the institutionalized agencies, but it doesn’t
count much in the larger context of the world.
Every man has his naturally set sense of reason also in
place, to guide him through each of life’s situation, but when the assault of
the greater mass-world is excessive, every one often falls victim with others,
NOT always able to utilize his individualized sense of reason in every
situation. If responsible political institutions permit the individuals to keep
and develop their natural sense of reason, as per the declared tenets of
liberal political ideology, each individual would be able to integrate and
improve his super-ego realm considerably, and in turn integrate their egos too
in the long run. But unfortunately, the existing economic and political
institutions in the world do not find much advantage in achieving such improved
and integrated citizenry in modern states. Individuals, as little impersonal
pieces of the mass, serve their purpose more efficiently. Hence, modern human
societies rot a lot in the modern world.
The crux of the matter that derives from the above
understanding of the SPOW is that, what each individual carry as world
image in his head is not the image of any good for all, singularly objective
image of the world. But what each man carry along with him is his own
subjective world image. When mass media publicize a common for all world image,
no doubt, during their daily interaction, men refer themselves as members of
the said singular world for convenience and uniformity sake. Such world images
are forced upon the minds of man, although we can not write off the power of our mass media agencies to
create better and healthy world images one day, for the betterment of mankind.
Its power is like the power of nuclear energy; its potential is both
destructive and productive at the same time. The result will depend upon the intention
of the users.
In conclusion, SPOW is the ‘subjective’ replica of
the external world, including its men, beliefs and values, or whatever constitute a man’s life-image, that every man carry
within him throughout his life, as a constant companion of ego. Realities
originates when ego and super-ego engage in their constant conversation, in what
we usually call by the name ‘thoughts’.
Capra F ( 1979) The Tao of Physics, Suffolk, U.K.,
The Chaucer Press)