Sunday, 24 April 2011

Mr Whippy's cannibal adventure

I will have to rewrite this post eventually as the ideas are under developed.
The piece is pertaining to the philosophical problem of other minds and divisions in reality. I needed to make a distinction between the following types of reality.

Meta reality - that which is beyond our sphere experience and would include Kant's conception of noumena.

Mesa reality - taken from the Greek word for middle and a unique piece of word smithery by my own hand. An example of a mesa reality would be the type of reality you would experience if you were plugged in to the matrix. You would believe it was the totality because of the limitations imposed.

However, this distinction came later and as such, this post is a bit of a word salad and comes off as confused because I only used the word meta reality and did not distinguish between the two. Ghost 2014

First of all, we know there is existence. This is one thing we can be certain of. There is a body that is writing these words right now and I'm pretty certain that there is a body reading these words on a screen, although I could never be certain, without experiencing it for myself. I can picture someone reading this but I could never be sure they were experiencing it. For all I knew, the whole world is an illusion being fed in to the neurons of my brain that was in a stasis jar! I can not know anything for sure apart from the fact that everything I perceive exists in some capacity. Imagine if you were sat in front of me reading this, all there would be from my point of view, is my experience of watching you read the words, I can never know your experience.

Now read back the preceding paragraph again, to make sure you get it. You will see from this, the nature of the experience each of us has in existence, actually leads us to believe in a division, or separation in reality. Reality is divided in to your experience and my experience of this situation. Your experience is the reading of the blog and wondering what I am thinking about you, while I watch you. My experience, is of watching you read the blog and wondering what you think about it. With this division in reality labelled “you” and “I”, it completely makes sense for us to make this distinction and label our experiences as separate.

So whilst I could never say our experience is the same (of course it most certainly is not), we do have to make some kind of distinction and the system of language we have in place, is perfect for this, we use pronouns to denote a subject. But... in doing so, we have actually created a paradox.

How can we divide reality?
It is actually indivisible, it contains everything that exists. Even if we cannot be aware of certain things in our experience, they exist in reality, it is simply we are unaware of them. God could be a good example of this. Suppose it did exist, no one has ever seen it and so whilst it could be imagined that it exists, it would still have to be contained in reality.

No one has seen heaven on the way to outer space

but... if it did exist, we would be oblivious to its existence. It would still have to exist in reality though. There may be many things we are not aware of but they are all contained within reality. We can go the opposite way and look at things that we are aware of within our reality. Virtual reality or cyberspace are good examples, they are contained within reality.

Where is the division in reality for these things to exist in?

They exist in the digital realm and without transistors, there would not be a digital realm. But there is no division in reality, the digital realm simply exists within our reality, there is no division at any point. Cyberspace is a part of reality, virtual reality is not a separate reality, it just exists within reality. There is not a reality within a reality, we can only have one reality. We could perhaps make up a new word and call them “meta-realities” but in reality (sorry couldn't help myself) they are not realities, they are just objects that exist within reality. They are not separate in any way from reality, we are only making a simple distinction between objects in reality.

Suppose we had a child who was plugged in to “the matrix” from birth. It would be living in its meta-reality but it would be contained within reality and there would just be the rest of reality it was totally unaware of. Therefore, there never can be a division at any point in reality.

This is an impossibility

Each of our experiences is contained within reality, there are only things that we are aware or unaware of, within reality. In other words, the only limitation on a meta-reality is imposed by that perception within a meta-reality. Or to put it even more simply, the confines of a meta-reality, are simply that, which we are not aware of in this reality.
We can delve in to quantum physics if you like and we can go with the multi-verse theory, where every story has played out from every decision ever made by every creature in the universe and these are all being played out in their own universe. Even if this was true, (it has been debunked) then each parallel universe would have to exist within reality. There would be no division in reality, as they would all co exist in the same reality. In each universe we would simply be unaware of the other universes but they would all HAVE to be contained within reality, or they would not be real. We can go with string theory which stipulates 10 (or 11 for M - field theory) dimensions in reality but we are only aware of four of these. These other dimensions would still have to be contained within reality, even though we were unaware of these other dimensions.

Reality therefore is all encompassing, all that is in existence., exists inside reality.

How does this relate to our experience? Basically our experience must also be contained in reality, yours, mine, our mothers, everybody's is contained inside of reality. We cannot divide it because it is all encompassing. Nothing can exist outside of reality. If it is not in reality then it can not be possible for it exist, by the very nature of reality. It is either real, or unreal, it either exists or it does not exist at all. It is really that simple. Luckily for us, this IS black and white, there are no shades of grey involved in this equation, we have found some pieces of universal truth.

Nothing can exist outside of reality
Reality can not be divided
All experience is contained within reality
A double ice cream cone can have two flavours simultaneously co-existing on the same cone

But wait, we are missing one thing we have already discussed, from this list and that is that each of us has our own experience. I am not going to include that on the list for the simple reason being that it is not universal truth. I am sure there is another person experiencing life in the world but without ever experiencing your point of view I can never be 100% sure.
I can go back to the brain in the jar example or use the matrix metaphor again. I could never 100% prove that there is anything other than my direct experience because I could never know what is not my own direct experience.

For all I know, I could be a brain in a jar, that is projected in to a prime time comedy TV show on an alien world called “Humans”. I'm certainly convinced this is not the case (99.99999% recurring) but I could never know this for certain, because anything outside of my direct experience is not knowable to me at all.

Another simpler example of this, is pain. I can imagine your pain but never experience it. I can only experience my own pain but not yours.

Whoa!!! Don't worry this is not rocket science, this is reality we are dealing with so luckily we can not break the boundaries as discussed.

You could ask the question “What about the earth then, can you be sure that exists, can you be sure the sun rises and sets?”.
Well in my experience it exits, even if it was an illusion projected on to the brain in the jar, it would be a meta-reality, which would be contained in reality anyway. The experience exists, the experience of an illusion exists in reality. It is in existence because it is being experienced, that is as far as we can really boil it down: There is “the experience of” that, which “exists in reality”, whether illusory or not. Illusions are actually “real illusions” that are contained inside of reality.

So to some degree we all have a meta-reality but it is all contained within reality. We cannot have our own reality and there are always things that we are unaware of. But wait a minute. Very often, we talk as if we have our own reality, how can this be?

We cannot have our own reality this is impossible. Not one of us can own reality. To own reality means to be separate from reality. This is impossible. Ok then, maybe we can have the thoughts and feelings that occur. In order for you to have a thought, you must be separate from thought or else you cannot have a thought. It is the same as saying I'm having an ice cream. Either you are the ice cream or you are having the ice cream. If your having ice cream, you can not be the ice cream unless you were called Mr Whippy and decided to chew your arm off.

So what is the deal with thought?

Can you have thought? Well if you are a body, the body can not have a thought. Let us say this again, a body can not have thought. Thought occurs within the body, the body does not have thoughts, how can the body be separate from thought? Can thought be separate from the body, or by necessity does there have to be a body present for thought to occur? Does there have to be neurons firing in the brain in order for thought to occur? It is physically impossible for human thought to occur, without a human body, does that make sense?

What about “you?”
Do you have thoughts and feelings? Can you be separate from them to have them? Or do they just arise? We need to think about this one. In order for you to have thoughts, you must be separate from the body. If you are an entity who is watching the 3d visual movie with stereo sound, kinaesthetic sensors, smell and taste sensors, you are having the experience of life. You are observing and interacting with reality through your thoughts, feelings and the sense data. You totally own this experience, the past is yours, the future is yours, everything that you can experience is yours right?

Where do you put yourself in the equation?

Can you be separate from thought or experience? Well if you want to have thought or experience then you must be separate from it.
If thought occurs in the body, that would mean you have to be separate from your body. How could this be, how can there be any separation from the body?
If experience occurs in reality, to have experience means that you have to be separate from it. How could this be, how can there be any separation from reality?

By the nature of what we are dealing with, an external observer has to be separate from reality to have the experience. What is separate from reality?
Are “you” separate from reality?

So you have two options, you could claim that you were not a part of reality, or would it actually be more realistically feasible to say that there is no you and it is only an illusion of self that you have been tricked in to thinking is a real thing?


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