Friday, 12 June 2015

The metaphysical task: to know the truth of imagination by personal revelation, by impression.

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Continuing from:
http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/the-primacy-of-impressions-metaphysical.html
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People may feel that imagination is true, but their inability to explain this, or their inability to accept the explanations, blocks them from engagement with the world - consigns them to alienation and despair.

There is a general need for people to re-examine their metaphysical assumptions!

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Current mainstream metaphysics is that we only 'know' what we know because of evidence; but it does not take much thought to recognize that this is false - e.g. because evidence does not play much of a part in beliefs, especially the most motivating and profound beliefs;  and anyway, this begs the question of what counts as evidence?

For example, some Christians base their belief on the evidence of the Bible, but many non-Christians simply do not regard the Bible as evidence at all. One man's utterly convincing evidence is written-off by another as anecdote, delusion, or nothing to do with the case.

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The modern problem can be framed as that our subjective experience is cut-off from the objective world of public discourse. When we are not being distracted (by social life, work, the mass media) and become self-aware; we feel ourselves to exist in a state of isolation where we doubt even our own thoughts.

There are two unsatisfactory possibilities for modern man - What we think subjectively in our heads is regarded as real but not true; what is forced-upon-us objectively from the public real is regarded as true but not real.

Modern Man oscillates between these two kinds of alienation - either overwhelmed by the crushing but meaningless weight of the public world, or retreating into the imagination, but with this escape negated by the conviction that it is a made-up fantasy.

The only answer - the metaphysical task - seems to be to go back and re-examine the assumptions that led us into this dead end.

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Where do we start? Anywhere.

How do we tackle it? A piece at a time.

What do we do? Work from imagination - start with what is real - then evaluate what is true.

But, but, but- how does this escape logic, evidence, argument and all the other futile stuff which got us into this situation in the first place?

Well, the new thing we are doing is that we recognize that metaphysics is different. It is not a kind of science. And the philosophy of metaphysics can only come into action after the metaphysics is in place.

So what we are seeking is wordless, imageless impressions - we are seeking to feel the truth and reality, before we (very imperfectly) try to articulate it to ourselves, or communicate. We must, indeed, draw this distinction within our own thoughts: 1. This is the impression I feel, the conviction, the motivation... 2. Now I will try to articulate it.

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For example, we want to ask if our current understanding is adequate, or our current plans are correct? The thoughts are focused, the mind is calmed and opened to an answer... an answer comes, it is recognized as an answer, we know the answer - it is being felt as an impression of some sort. Now we can try to articulate the answer, if we wish.

This is how we know God (as our loving Father) to be both real and true, if we do indeed know this. We ask, and we receive an answer. If we are unsure about what we have received, we ask again. If we think we have misunderstood, we ask several related questions to check.

If we have not asked, or if we asked and did not receive an answer - then we do not (yet) know.

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The greatest difficulty is probably attaining the necessary state of mind to receive such impressions - the second problem is failing to recognize when we have received an answer because we expect the answer to be in words, pictures, as a sign or something.

We fail to recognize that a direct answer is simply a pure answer, without anything else, the sense of now knowing.

On this basis bad metaphysics may be challenged, good metaphysics may be built - piece by piece. 

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