The problem of knowledge is another legacy of the Cartesian era. If mind and matter are distinct types of substance, there is no way for them to interact. In theory, immaterialism should obviate this problem.
For starters it is common to suppose that the individual is a microcosm and so should have innate understanding or access to cosmic structure. This approach, however, is liable to lapse into a dualism between the micro and macrocosm. It would be more economical to forego the microcosms and simply posit direct access to a shared reality. We then have to account for perspective and privacy.
From a Gnostic point of view we have to explain our being trapped in our respective bodies. The existence of bodies is clearly a central feature of the cosmic game plan. They are our tokens in the game of life. Separate bodies are necessary to decentralize intelligence, and perhaps they will also facilitate its recentralization under the aegis of the eschaton.
Enough for the ‘why,’ how about the ‘how?’ Perhaps the duality of why and how is also a part of the Cartesian legacy. We could posit a cosmic mitotic process of which the world is a construct for filling in the gaps. Each creature is responsible for maintaining and expanding its aspect of reality.
As co-creators of a shared reality, we maintain direct access to it, as much as we have direct access to our dreams. As far as a substrate is concerned, we might have no more need of that than Einstein had of the ether. I am tempted to posit that memory is access to the past. With a teleological backward creation the primary movement is from the Omega to the Alpha, and so the past is constructed out of our ‘memories.’ The eschatological meaning of history actually becomes the source of history. This is the most economical metaphysic.
Thus is epistemology subsumed by the ontology of creation
with which we must continue to struggle.