On What We See
And what we are about to see
I suggest that 'seeing', as usually understood, is misconstrued. We do have direct perceptions, but not of objects. Physical objects are abstract conceptual entities. What we actually perceive are segments of a relational field of felt meanings. Those feelings are in turn abstracted from a state of ultimate unity. Such is the mystical understanding of reality.
Where the Eastern Mystic runs off the track concerns the valuation of the world. For the EM the world is an unnecessary illusion that is the result of misguided activities and attachments on the part of its inhabitants. The spiritual goal is to transcend this illusion. The Western Mystic, on the other hand, believes that we should participate in the eventual redemption of the world.
What everyone experiences ultimately is the feeling of alienation and the possibility of integration. All the physical and conceptual objects in the world are 'culturally' evolved representations of those feelings. The representations are not in my head, they are in the world. My 'private' thoughts often have a greater direct impact on the world than my public actions.
That we misconstrue the construction of the world, is the major impediment to its and our redemption. This misconstrual is not a mistake, it is part of the plan of salvation. It is our dispensation. The practical question is the degree to which we will manage our own overcoming. The still more practical question is how should we overcome.
Need we rely on an external intervention to awaken us from our materialist slumber? Can we not correct our own errors of thought?
The concealment of the cosmic design behind the facade of nature has been so effective that we may seem justified in supposing that some external revelation is indicated. But clearly the external aspect should be minimized.
What can we do to penetrate the veil of matter? In this respect, science has been a double-edged sword. If we could just sharpen the immaterial edge a bit more, we might be able to see right through.
Everything we see is felt meaning. The world is a metaphor. I am reminded of the philosopher visiting modern Athens who was surprised to see 'METAPHOR' written in Greek letters on the side of a truck. Later she learned that it was a moving van. Our world should be similarly inscribed. The world it not an object. It is a conveyor of meaning relative to our thoughts. It is the gradual bootstrapping of meaningful structure within the primordial chaos of virtual experience.
Now all we need is to prove this to ourselves, but how? The anomalies inherent in the materialist worldview might accumulate to point of precipitating the collapse of that system, but that is unlikely to happen unless an alternative system is already under development along with considerable supporting evidence.
The supporting evidence is primarily tied up in the problems of consciousness which have proven very nearly intractable over the few centuries that we have had so much as a label to attach the this phenomenon. This is about the last thing with which you can hit someone over the head.
Consciousness leaves no footprints. There are no bloodstains or smoking gun. It has no odor or taste. You can stare all day at a random number generator and hit one percent above chance if you are lucky. And more to the point, consciousness does not fill empty stomachs. The paradigm shift is rapidly receding in the distance.
Yet, somehow, the spell of materialism will be broken. Someone will find the way. Very likely it will be dramatic. You won't want to miss it.