Truth suffers from too much analysis

Between Two Worlds

Posted by allzermalmer on June 29, 2011

We find that we are stuck between two places, and these two are, respectively, the world of ideas and the world of senses.

The world of senses would be our perceptions. These are sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound. We can call these sense-data. These are the things that are impressed upon my consciousness. These things I, basically, have no control over. I cannot control what type of sense-data that I have.

The world of ideas are our thoughts. Like now, I am having a thought like, “The C-Span coverage of the Libya and War Powers Act hearing was very interesting.” These are not real things that are found in the world. Or, here is another one, “A bachelor is an unmarried male”. We do not find these things existing. Or another one would be, even simpler, “Cat” or “Rocko”. These are just thoughts. They run through my mind, but they are not things found existing with the sense (sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound). I have control over what I think, or at least for the most part.

Very often we confuse our ideas with the senses. For example, here is a sense-data:

This is the world of the senses. There is an image produced to our consciousness. This is all of the world. But, we automatically, or at least it has become automatic, apply labels to this world of the senses. For example, the idea that is applied to this image is that of “brain”. We also apply the idea “vat”. We also apply the idea of “11.694.2”. We also apply “liquid”.

Nowhere in our senses is this found to be the case. There is only our sense impressions, our sense-data, which happen to be visual. We apply our ideas to this sense-data. It is not that our senses give us these ideas, but something that we create ourselves, and are not part of the world of senses, but applied to the world of the senses. But when we come up with ideas, these are mostly following the law of Identity. X=X or X=Y.

Thus, ideas are identical to themselves. Thus, brain is identical to brain. Or, Bachelor is identical bachelor. X=X. However, most identities are not that way, but invoke something else. For example, for Bachelor we also invoke something else. When we invoke this other thing, we get the thought that a “Bachelor is an unmarried male”. Thus, the identity is X=Y. But the equal sign indicates that they both are the same thing. Our thoughts follow the law of identity.

We are apply our thoughts to the world of our senses. Like with the picture that was given, we apply the idea of brain to it. But brain has an identity. And I can always call the sense-data a different name, or apply a different idea to it. I am not constrained to what idea or identity I give to my sense-data. I usually say that the color of an apple is red, but I can always say that the color of an apple is purple. However, I can never change that I am having a certain sense-data present to my consciousness, which I typically call an apple.

Ideas can be changed, but sensations cannot be changed. However, our forms of communication are mostly through ideas, and so we get so caught up in our world of ideas, which in fact have no bearing on the world of the senses, but are applied to the world of the senses. We become so accustomed to the ideas that we use to apply to the world of senses, that we forget that the ideas applied to the senses are not found in the senses themselves. We become trapped in our language, which is just another way of saying we become trapped in our of ideas.

Perhaps one way to get this point across can come from the Tao Te Ching. “The Tao is beyond words…Words may be used to speak of it, but they cannot contain it.” So let us try to change it around slightly. “The senses are beyond words…words may be used to speak of it, but they cannot contain it.” Thus, we find that words, or ideas, may be applied to the senses, but the senses are beyond words and cannot be contained by words.

Any explication we make will only be based on ideas, and ideas are not part of the world of the senses, but they are applied to the world of the senses. Being applied to the world of the senses does not mean it is of the senses. We find we are trapped between two worlds. These two worlds are contrary of one another, but we become so accustomed to the world of ideas being of the world of the senses.




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