Sunday 19 October 2014

Reality must be easy to understand; even though it is hard to do

If reality is understandable at all, then it is easy to understand - understandable by anybody who can understand anything.

What we can be sure about is that reality is NOT going to be too difficult to understand by children and simple people, yet possible to understand by intelligent and educated people.

How likely is that? That the difficulty-level of understanding the world just happens to be at a level that it is understandable, but only by a small minority of the ablest people; or that reality  is understandable, but only to the minority of people who happen to have studied the right subjects!

That understanding is at a threshold located precisely in-between childhood and adulthood, and between the ability of some adults but not others!

(This is why esoteric and gnostic and abstract and complex explanations must either be wrong. or unnecessary.)

No, if reality is understandable, this is not a matter of luck or statistical probability but simply because God has made reality and God has made us - such that reality is understandable; and that must mean reality is easy to understand - that it is understandable by immature, the unintelligent, the uneducated. 

(i.e. Reality is understandable by anyone capable of understanding anything-at-all.)

Reality is difficult to do, perhaps and probably; but easy to understand: if you allow yourself to understand it. 



Nicholas Fulford said...

You're saying that reality is comprehensible in a direct, "it simply is", way; but that because people get caught up in over analyzing it they become muddled unless they take it so far and so intensely that they arrive back at, "it simply is" once again.

That reminds me of the Zen koan of the duck in a bottle. A man puts a goose egg into a bottle, and after it hatches raises the goose inside the bottle. As it grows it reaches a point that it will soon be too large to stay in the bottle. How then to get the goose out of the bottle without killing the goose or breaking the bottle

The student of course racks his brains and keeps coming back to the teacher with answer after pointless answer. After enough time the student in total frustration yells, "It's out."

The goose and the bottle all existed in the student's mind. After enough frustration the student broke the imaginary prison. Too much thinking about imagined problems makes the student a prisoner, until in a moment of extremity he is out. It is easy to create a prison, we simply imagine and then hold that what is imagined is real.

Reality is what remains when all the imaginary prisons are thrown aside and forgotten.

Since children and the simple do not engage in the practice of creating these prisons they engage in the Real. Likewise, someone who has worked long and hard enough with the imaginary prisons that in total frustration he is also out - by throwing them away. For the rest - we may stay a very long time in these prisons of the mind, perhaps never leaving their confines.

Bruce Charlton said...

@NF - Actually that *isn't* what I am saying!

It couldn't be the same as a Zen Koan because Zen does not include a personal deity, and cannot answer any question 'why?' - not even the question of why reality is preferable to illusion, nor pleasure to pain, not detachment to solitude.

For Zen, these are questions of the type you are supposed to un-ask, not to answer.

What I am saying is that because God is our loving Father - he make reality and made us so that we can know what we need to know. We can ask and we can get a true answer (true enough for what we need).

If it wasn't for God working on both sides, then reality would (no doubt) be un-knowable to us; or at least there is no particular reason why a specific human being who evolved on a specific planet, and who is living in a particular time and place, should be able to understand the reality of 'the human condition'.

JP said...

As we all well know, the problem today is that intelligent and educated people refuse to understand reality. Worse, they refuse to get out of the way of people who do understand reality.

George Papadopoulos said...

Absolute reality cannot be defined or understood. Everyone has his own subjective "reality" that is dynamically changing during the course of his/her life.

Under this perspective yes, (subjective) reality is easily understood by anybody.

(Pseudo-)absolute reality can be approached only through religion (faith). And even then the perceived "absolute reality" of the believer-follower changes dynamically as he/she deepens his/her knowledge and experience in his/her faith-religion.

So we can only talk about the possilbility of momentary subjective or (pseudo-absolute) reality awareness.

Bruce Charlton said...

@GP - That is the esoteric view I would like to get away from. It is correct, in a way, at a secondary level, but the primary level is that truth that we need to know is child-like-ly simple and solid, and understandable.

Santoculto said...

Neurological personal cultures produce reality. Some people are more prone to follow leftist assumptions and majority of people are more prone to follow rightist assumptions.

Brainwashing happen when we have many neurologically similar people in the room. It created ideologic collectivism. Leftism, rightism or conservatism, whatever, all -isms can be created.

Majority of people are socially oriented, metaphorically speaking, they live in the lowland, they interact in first person with other people, they are extroverted (or tend to be), they are protagonist and aliened par excellence.

Minority of humans live in the mountains and can see all patterns in the lowlands. They can capture the big picture easily than socially prone people.

Some people born with perfect mind to see real reality or ''all realities'' are created by all kind of minds.

Probably, it could related to brain morphology when people with greater corpus callosum are more prone to have holistic thinking (many psychopaths tend to have this traits but with empathic brain regions completely depressed). Madness and higher self awareness are both correlated considerably.

Heaviside said...

>How likely is that? That the difficulty-level of understanding the world just happens to be at a level that it is understandable, but only by a small minority of the ablest people; or that reality is understandable, but only to the minority of people who happen to have studied the right subjects!

How is it any harder to believe that "truth" has revealed itself to specific, historically situated people, than that God made himself manifest in a specific, historically situated person?

I don't mean this in a rhetorical fashion where both notions are taken to be a priori ridiculous. They are both in the same class of problems -- relating finite things to infinite things -- which obviously must be solved.

(Hegel's solution, which you would probably think of as too "gnostic," was to say that "the finite has no veritable being.")

Sorry For Being Anonymous said...

Surely different aspects of reality are different in their easiness to understand?

Bruce Charlton said...

sfba - think of it as what we need to know, or 'the human condition'.