About Naive Realism and the Limitation of Models
Nature is not what it naively seems to us to be only to the extent that we are a limited part of nature. Nature as a whole is exactly what it seems, and also, in its most essential sense, nature is seeming, or sense itself.
In the process of enlightening civilization, the scientific worldview has had some casualties, one of which is the authority of our naive sense of reality. Many people feel entirely justified in thinking that all human intuition and instinct is grounded only in evolved fictions that must be overcome in order to understand the truth of anything. This now extends to understanding phenomena such as consciousness and free will, so that even the Cartesian cogito is to be taken with a grain of salt. “I think therefore I am.” no longer is persuasive to the modern cybernetic intellect, which might instead say “You’re programmed to think that you think and that you are, but really there is only organic chemistry playing itself out in your brain.”
Part of what Multisense Realism is about is to reclaim the validity of introspection and understanding, so as to avoid the extremism of either the pre-scientific worldview of anthropomorphic solipsism, or the current reductionist worldview of mechanemorphic nilipsism*. The MSR view is that our naive perspective is not an illusion, it is that our variation on reality exists within a much larger context of interacting variations on reality. The weight of the aggregate of all of these other perspectives are honored within our own sanity as a sense of realism. The depth of scientific knowledge serves to disillusion our naive worldview, but what I propose is that this disillusionment is not an indication of an objective reality of nature, only a hint that the expectation of objectivity is quality of relationship within subjectivity. Realism is a kind of perceptual gravity, anchoring and orienting as well as crushing possibilities into dust. It is a filter on consciousness, and the more public or universal an experience is to be, the more constrained it is to the accumulated history of public facing experience.
Altered states of consciousness can show us that like Neanderthals and other extinct branches of our evolutionary tree, our contemporary state of mind is only one of many which have achieved some stability over time. Ken Wilber’s spectrum of consciousness gets into the different modes of human awareness, linking individual development stages to the stages of anthropological development. Leary’s 8-Circuit Model and the many models of Eastern mysticism echo this idea of stable chakras or umwelt levels within an accelerating gyre of consciousness improving itself. We may be able to achieve spectacular results individually or in small groups, but find that the resistance of the outside world is overwhelming. In the cold light of day, the most moving insights flatten out into goofy platitudes.
Speaking of flattening things out, it is interesting to note that when we try to flatten a sphere, such as when we want a map the Earth onto a page, we have to use projections that approximate the relations on the sphere. There are clever ways of doing it which minimize the distortion, but it occurs to me that traveling around the surface of the world in a complete circle remains the best way I can think of retaining both the flatness and the roundness of the world. Our first person perspective remains the most elegant way of harmonizing opposing perspectives. Flying or sailing around the world gives us an apprehension of that harmony that doesn’t carry over to a model. The scale of the Earth, likewise, is presented in a more impressive, realistic way than any model could also.
The physical model which we have inherited contributes to the nilipsistic worldview mentioned above. If I’m being uncharitable, I might characterize this contemporary phase of cosmology as ‘vacuum worship’. I’m referring to quantum mechanical models through which we infer “A Universe From Nothing”, where “nothing” is a superposition of quantum wavefunctions…statistical tendencies to oscillate into existence for longer than no time at all. Here I suggest a cure for this useful, but fundamentally inverted worldview: Put the vacuum into the vacuum. Get rid of the idea of ‘nothing’ altogether.
Instead of a universe of particles or potential particles in a void, I propose turning it inside out, so that spacetime is an illusion of separation. Quantum events are not grounded in non-locality so much as they are semaphores – signs which define the sense of locality itself. Entanglement should be thought of as ‘pinging locality’ rather than a non-local connection between two real ‘particles’.
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Blogs I Follow
- Table 41: A Novel by Joseph Suglia
- Rationalising The Universe
- Consciousness creates reality
- Conscience and Consciousness
- DNA OF GOD
- Musings and Thoughts on the Universe, Personal Development and Current Topics
- Paul's Bench
- This is not Yet-Another-Paradox, This is just How-Things-Really-Are...
- Catharine Toso
- The Traditionalist
- dhamma footsteps
- Gray Matters
- Writings By Ender