Sunday, 3 January 2016

Even sensation is imagined - there are no hard facts

In attempting to cure ourselves in ingrained habits of positivistic, nihilistic and despair-inducing modes of modern thinking; rather than trying to develop our imaginations and to acknowledge the reality of extra-sensory communications (as I suggested yesterday) - another different (but complementary) approach is to recognise that what we are accustomed to sense as as 'hard facts' of reality - that seem to force themselves upon us, such that we act as passive receivers, those thngs we feel ourselves to be 'sensing' rather than 'imagining' (the sky, this chair, my fingers)... these are as thoroughly 'imagined' as anything else. 

Which is not to say the the sky, my chair, this computer are unreal - but that they are imagined. Facts do not have a direct route into our brains thereby to make accurate representations of themselves - rather, everything we get 'directly' is in a primary sense of divine origin - given us or built-into us by revelation.

Vision, hearing, touch, taste, smeel and feeling are not the direct communication routes for reality; rather the direct route for communication runs between God the creator, and our inmost true self - by 'pathways' (or mechanisms) imperceptible, undetectable, un-measurable to physics and biology. 

It is not 'us and them', mind and facts - because us affects our sensory (as well as imaginative) grasp of them. Indeed (pushed to the limit) with no us, there would be no them - interpretation is more basic than facts, spirit is more basic than material.

Hard facts are neither hard nor facts - although there is a real reality.

The contrast between 'fundamental' sensations which force themselves upon us, and 'fabciful' imagination which we steer from our free agency, is a hierarchy which should be inverted - the most powerful evidence for which is that this has been inverted, by most humans, through most of history and even now in many places of the world.

Instead of perceiving 'reality' (like Western Man does) as a dead and meaningless world with a few temporary subjective and unreliable floating-islands of life and consciousness; the spontaneous and traditional human view is apparently the opposite - of an alive and purposive world, with 'objective' analysis merely an temporary, expedient, pragmatic tactic for attaining certain discrete goals - a means to an end.

In reality there are no facts - so that the contrast between the world of sensed objective facts and the world of imagined subjective ideas is a false dichotomy: these are one world.

This notion is a truth much emphasised in recent decades, partially and to create a falsehood. The project is sometimes termed de-literalisation: and the idea is that we should cease to regard things as true or false, but instead symbolically. This sustains the kind of self-refuting, yet universally destructive, relativism which is now mainstream.

But this relativism is a consequence of atheism, which takes a correct but partial analysis then removes the religious context - indeed, all ideas become nonsense when detached from any root in the divine.

(Most obviously in science - the whole endeavor of science becomes nothing but generic bureaucracy - careerism, as modern research mostly now is, when detached from a religious framework and the pursuit of transcendental truth.)

However, within the religious context of God the creator as our loving Father, then we can understand that imagination is primarily a way of understanding the workings of our deepest true self - which is divine (because we are children of God) albeit only embryonically, or nascently, divine.

In other words, much of our lives are 'automatic' - vegetative and animal processes, many of them simply functioning to perform routine tasks, or else arbitrarily implanted in us by culture and training. But that which makes us human is a deep, divine level of self-consciousness - and that is the core of our being, that is what looks out onto the world - and that is what apprehends reality by the faculty of imagination.

In sum, this is what we need to train in ourselves: this is what we need to make a habit -- that when we look-out-onto the world, we do not either lose-ourselves in a fluid undifferentiated reality (like that of childhood) that seems to 'drown' our self-awareness; or else a world in which our own  self-awareness is mocked and crushed by the rock-like objectivity of cumulative hard facts.

We should aim to retain self-awareness at all times - that is indeed the destined (divinely intended) future of human consciousness.

We should regard what used to be hard facts from our dominant and sustained centre of self-awareness - of consciousness.

So that we look-out-from our sense of self onto a world which contains many kinds of things - we will see, feel and know that all is secondary to that regarding consciousness; that there is nothing out there in the world which is not imagined.

BUT, that the self which does the regarding is not imagined. That conscious, regarding self is the 'given', the 'assumption' which makes possible all other knowledge. It is not infallible nor is it 100 percent correct - but its basic,potential validity is real and fundamental because the true self is partly divine, and it is in communication with the fully divine. 


Costa Thomas said...

I really want to understand how imagination works in this regard, but I can't seem to grasp it. How do I use imagination to connect with the spiritual? How do I use imagination to interpret the world around me?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Costa - I have written quite a lot about this recently on this blog - if you do a word search for "imagination" you will find the stuff.