Friday, June 12, 2015

What is the primary reality? Philosophy v science

To a philosopher the primary reality is consciousness, which is clearly necessary before any experience can be had or any object observed.  To the scientist the primary reality is matter which is assumed to be the origin of consciousness and which is the focus of the scientific method as it can easily be studied "objectively" whereas consciousness is an unobservable private matter.

Some "philosophers" claim to be materialists believing unconscious matter is the primary reality but I would say these people are not really philosophers but rather science-oriented thinkers.

True philosophers understand that without mind (consciousness) there would be no universe, as there would be no presence there to observe it.
So this points to consciousness being the primary, irreducible reality. There is also no convincing evidence to suggest that consciousness requires matter to exist, however it is clear that matter and consciousness are inextricably linked in this world we currently share.

Additionally, the idea that science holds on to that consciousness somehow evolved from unconscious, inert matter makes no sense.  Either consciousness was here all along or we are all unconscious, robotic beings who only delude ourselves into thinking we are conscious (Daniel Dennett's position, basically).  Of course, this makes no sense, for if we were truly unconscious then there would be no-one present to know it!

The spiritual philosophy that mystics and deep thinkers tend to agree upon to describe matter and consciousness is to say that consciousness projects itself into and through matter to experience this physical domain and that all creations in this domain are the creations of consciousness.  So we could say this physical reality is a game where consciousness plays at identifying with form with other consciousnesses doing the same.

There is no reason to believe that this is the only game consciousness is capable of playing, as our dreams and alternative states of consciousness suggest a flexibility to consciousness that goes way beyond being limited by the laws of the physics.

Sharka Todd 

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