Friday, December 20, 2013

Actual and mind-created realities

Denise Paxton
Philosophy and Research, Teaching Assistant Professor of Comparative Religion and researching the Dead Sea Scrolls
Top Contributor ( at Linked-in) 
Hi Abraham,

After reading your blog (
which is incredibly well written) I agree with almost everything you 
have explained ...

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: ) 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:

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 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: 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.
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