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Episode · 1 year ago

Lecture 9 THE QUESTION OF TRUTH

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This lecture sets the question of truth against the backdrop of consciousness: the stage upon which truth is conceived about reality, based on our perceptions of it. The language of reality is thus translated in the language of our sensitivity, besides other human languages posing a problem of fidelity to their model.

Meditation Time. Lecture Nine, the question of truth. When dealing with the concept of truth, we must frame the question as follows. Since reality, as far as we are concerned, takes place nowhere but in the mind as an object of perception. What is the nature of this essential stage on which rests any hope of seeing the truth about reality? There are two opposite and complementary viewpoints from which we can describe the mind, the inner side, made of Mental States, and the outer side, made of neurobiological processes. Neither causes the other, although changes in mental states always a company changes in neurobiological processes, and vice versa. These states and processes show the two sided,...

IFF unified nature of the mind. In all likelihood, the universe as a whole, which includes the Mind, plus an evolutionary process leading to it by degrees from the most simple to the most complex things, presents the same fundamental characteristic. Here, the implicit hypothesis is that there exists both a universal inner side and a universal outer side that together form the universal whole as a dual but unitary system. Of course, it must be understood that these two sides vary in tandem proportionally to the level of simplicity or complexity of each thing. Let us start with the following definition of truth. A faithful representation of the outer reality by our inner self. According to Science, this representation is a mental construct based on sensory stimuli that provide different clues, visual, auditory,...

...all factory, gustatory or tactle about the presence of physical things in the world as parts of this multiple world or components of complex things. In short, it is a translation of the language of reality in the language of our sensitivity. Beyond that, further translations ensue in various human languages, including mathematics. In what sense can these translations be true to their model, IE, reality itself? From a physical perspective? Two examples shall help us answer this question. A dog, as we see it with the naked eye, and the English word dog have nothing in common morphologically, and neither does a protein, as seen through a microscope, and the English word protein. But that,...

...for all intents and purposes, is secondary. Of Great Import However, is how a dog and a protein relate to their environment in all manner of behaviors and what physical features they have from a structural and functional viewpoint. And it's so conveniently happens that these behaviors, in these physical features, which reveal the nature of this dog and this protein, are equally expressible by any standard body of symbols. The same can be said of everything else in the universe, provided it enters our field of consciousness via our senses, augmented or not by scientific instruments. That said, isn't the language of our sensitivity, versus human languages, likely to be morphologically closer to the reality of its physical model? It could therefore be an analog that is capable of yielding immediate and practical information about size, shape and consistency, among other aspects. Admittedly, analog is...

...here a questionable abstraction, because we have no direct access to this model. We're go no direct knowledge of it. What is more, the outer reality in itself is, strictly speaking, a key concept with no experimental foundation and validity. These objections notwithstanding, this abstraction in this concept remain useful in implying that there exists and outer a reality whose nature we must grasp through effective representation. Our survival is at stake. What about the inner reality and the issue of truth in this new context? If we restrict the scope of this question to our conscious inner life, or the direct experience of our feelings and thoughts, direct meaning, absent any mental translation, natively posing a problem of accuracy.

The answer appears straightforward at first blush. Yet when we consider our formidably complex interiority, including impulses that we manifest unawares under the guise of reasonableness, the pursuit of self knowledge becomes an ambitious task strewn with pitfalls. Worse still, if we apply the notion of inner reality to everything in the universe, this formidable complexity is compounded by impenetrable mystery. As we have no direct experience of any interiority but our own, we can nonetheless conjecture that in every case, things have some form of consciousness, ranging from the most elementary to the most evolved. Some may argue that our minds unconscious component provides evidence of a more primitive manifestation than its conscious counterpart. They may consequently suggest that unconsciousness precedes...

...consciousness evolutionarily. Upon further examination, however, the opposite argument seems more credible. Picture a crew that works autonomously in the bowels of a modern ship to maintain and operated under the captain's command. This hierarchy, exhibiting two main levels of responsibility, is a token of nautical advancement and sophistication compared with a prehistoric log raft that a single homoerectus crudely propels. Likewise, we humans are the product of a long evolution that led initially to UNICELLULAR organisms and eventually to multicellular ones equipped with specialized senses, organs and limbs, plus a multifaceted nervous system. The part of our life that is unaware only receives this qualifier from the part that is aware, which we readily call our self. It derives from...

...our highly evolved complex organization consisting of two major and interdependent tiers. The bottom one is our body, and subconscious brain tantamount to a life support system, as it automatically handles a multiplicity of vital processes which are either physiological or psychological. Like the crew to its captain in the above example, it answers to the conscious brain, the top tier, where we devise strategies to meet the challenge of living healthily and happily. Now, as a map of sorts, what schematic image of the universe can we draw based on our speculations about the outer and inner reality and the relationships between things. A few lines of thought come to mind. Everything arises from a combination of environmental opportunities and natural potentialities.

The proximate environment is contingent on a remote environment, which is itself contingent on a faraway environment, and so on and so forth infinitely. Everything is therefore a function of the interactions it has with everything else. Its nature is one with the entire universal network to which it belongs. Yet, while everything is identical in terms of the range of these interactions, there is one significant feature that makes each thing intimately distinct from every other. This feature is the unique perspective each thing has on the universal network, given its particular form, place and time.

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