Above and Below
My mind has lately become captivated by esoteric concepts. I’ve always been fascinated by metaphysics and mysteries, but lately this has taken on leviathan proportions in my daily cogitations. When I think about reality itself, the actual concept of reality, I realize that to say something is real is not a definitive statement. Webster defines real as “true; existing or occurring as fact”, but what is fact? Something observable? Something which produces a reaction or response? In terms of human experience, we believe many things to be real or true, which in reality probably aren’t. Everyday millions are captivated by ghost hunting shows, which play on man’s insistence on a spiritual realm which interacts with our own tangible realm. People talk about night terrors and sights of demons, only to be refuted by psychologists, claiming that abnormal neural activity is the true culprit.
We as humans just don’t know what truth is.
Now I subscribe to a multitude of controversial theories about life, many of which have a fundamentally adversarial orientation to my scientific training. These things aren’t provable, disprovable, or really visible to the human eye. It takes years of introspection and meditation to even begin to understand many of them. I personally believe that the human body, as beautiful and miraculous as it is, is so hopelessly flawed that it lacks the sensory inputs to describe or even witness most of what is truly real. The Bible claims that no man can gaze upon God the Father without dying instantly. It also says that a man must die to his flesh (or body) in order to receive life. Other ancient mysteries made the body comparable to a tomb or sepulcher and believed that true wisdom and enlightenment only occurred when you sequestered it and freed your spirit man.
Heavy stuff. Controversial stuff. Real stuff. Unprovable for the most part.
The real truth to these philosphical quagmires is that we just don’t understand enough. We know a bunch, but understand little. We tend to describe things using whatever answers are closest to our understanding and suddenly describe that as reality. So to the KKK member, whites are supreme, to the pro black supporter, blacks are supreme, and to the humanist, all people are created equal. Those are REALITIES to people. Realities which can in fact be changed. For more concrete items such as objects (picture your cell phone), the object itself is real and mostly unchangeable, its function is real and unchangeable, but what we call it can vary depending on the culture.
The more you involve humans in the understanding of something, the less concrete, less real it becomes. A cell phone standing alone is what it is. A cell phone in a room full of people can be a variety of things. It can be described functionally (consistent: a device for communication). It can be described using preferences (varying: some may find it cool, others cumbersome, some prefer another brand etc). All of these are realities which affect Reality as a whole.
As some may be able to tell, I’m still working through many of the kinks in this discussion of real versus unreal. To state that an object is not real, is of course laughable, but I’m more so pointing to virtues and values of human perception lending to the idea of “real”. I’m not refuting that a cell phone doesn’t exist, but more so attacking the ideas surrounding the cell phone. The perspectives generated around it.
I’ll be traveling down this philosophical pathway for a while. I hope to inspire those of you reading this to discover pathways as well.