If you do not yet recognize that we all participate (by our consciousness, by our thinking) in creating reality - and that without participation there is no knowable reality; then you have not thought about the matter sufficiently*.
Because we do participate is creating reality by our thinking - we contribute to the nature of this reality; and therefore, like it or not, we are co-creating The World. This is an awesome responsibility that can only be shirked by handing-over the process of reality-creation to the powers of evil; for example, in 2021: The System, the global Establishment, the one bureaucracy, the mainstream mass media and dominant institutions.
Since The System is evil in motivation; by shirking our responsibility to participate in creating reality, we are allying with evil.
Therefore, to be on the side of God/ Good/ divine creation we must acknowledge our participation in creating reality - and act accordingly.
On the one hand, there is no such thing as reality without consciousness; on the other hand, it is obvious (from experience) that we cannot make reality how we want it on a whim and in the short-term. Our co-creation of reality works at a much deeper level - for example the level of the basic (metaphysical) assumptions we make concerning the nature of reality...
If we decide to assume (and all assumptions are decided, that is our responsibility) that there is no God, that the world is meaningless and purposeless, that science (i.e. official professional research) is the only truth, that consciousness is a meaningless epiphenomenon... Then we will ensure that our-world, and the mainstream shared-world, has that nature.
If, on the other hand, we assume that the world is a blank slate upon which we can inscribe any reality that would gratify our immediate desire - any notion that pops into our heads (whether some pleasure-seeking/ pain-avoiding instinct or more likely placed there by the System's propaganda apparatus); with any and as many properties as we think we want... Then we will have a superficial, always changing, incoherent, intrinsically-dishonest world.
(This way in which our real, deep, sustained assumptions lead inevitably to consequences; is sometimes called 'the law of attraction', or providence, or 'karma'. It is the basic reason for the current state of the world - a Global and increasingly-totalitarian system of anti-human, anti-Christian pro-Satanic purposive-evil. This is a simple consequence of the assumptions of most men; especially those who are institutional leaders and their servants. We can see it in others - the way that a person with persecutory paranoid convictions will create exactly the world of his delusions; thus confirming them. Or a person with is possessed by morbid jealousy will drive-away into infidelity she who he most fears is unfaithful. A person who thinks-evilly can only assume evil in others. This is mis-named 'projection' in Freudian terminology.)
If we do not assume meaninglessness, nor immediate personal gratification, nor a passive surrender to systemic-evil; what, then, is a viable assumption? What is the way that our assumptions can make a Good world?
As background; in some deep way, our reality always includes some of our-self; and that applies also at group levels. Our group-reality is these shared assumptions. When these shared assumptions are wrong, then reality is wrong.
The task is to seek for true assumptions, and by basing our thinking upon these true assumptions, to participate in creating a better reality.
How to base our thinking on truth? Well, there is no single and universal method - each must seek his own - but that is the intent behind such methods as prayer, meditation, worship, ritual and praise in song, craft, art and other forms of creation.
This is an daily, hourly, task - and no permanent answer can be found in this mortal life (which is for learning, not for any permanent state of success). Yet if we are allied with God/ Good and divine creation - that is what we can do to make a positive difference: a permanent positive difference.
*Saving the Appearances by Owen Barfield may help you, as it did me. The Philosophy of Freedom by Rudolf Steiner was also helpful, although a more difficult read.
Yes Bruce, what you are highlighting here is what I was getting at with my comment on your previous post.
'collective-assumptions' as net-evil, yet not even considered to be 'because it's impossible for so many people to go along with it'.
No such thing as reality without consciousness? I don’t understand that Bruce?
@Nat - Yes, that is how I regard such questions in an ultimate sense. The asker of such a question as your first comment often has at the back of his mind something like " how would things be if there was nobody around to observe them, or to know them?"
And then he gives an answer based on current scientific 'consensus'; and if anyone disagrees labels them as foolish, mad or evil.
Whereas such as question is nonsense - as evidenced by the fact that the 'objective' answers keep changing.
But this answer sometimes leads to the equally nonsensical assertions of 'relativism' or 'post-modernism' - a kind of Anything Goes, It's whatever I Say it is, attitude.
What is needed (for explanatory purposes) is some kind of model or analogy for describing how there is a real-reality that is pre-existent and independent of observers; but that this is incomprehensible, structureless chaos, until known by some consciousness.
And this insight leads onto a recognition that this is also creation; that creation is the divine thinking of 'chaos' into knowledge. And this thinking is the attribute of Beings.
However, all such explanation is a model and analogy - not the reality itself, which can only be directly apprehended without language, number or any other symbolic representation.
In my tradition worry and negativity are affronts to G-d for they distort his creations. Core of my days is TRACHT GUT VETZEIN GUT” THINK GOOD & IT’LL BE GOOD. Many though are stymied in the step from faith to trust..... As for science--it has gone from the mode of inquiry from Hume to the American CS Pierce to being understood as the jargon laden declarations officials..
@SF ...Time to get reading and thinking, then.
I've actually discussed this matter in scores of blog posts over the past five years or so - some links to this material has been added. But in overcoming a lifetime of thought-blocking, false and deceptive conditioning - there is no substitute for hard individual work.
@RJC - Just to be clear - what I am saying goes far beyond that, and is not a part of any tradition. It is something new to human society and culture - that has been emerging for a few hundred years, becoming conscious for a couple of hundred years - but remains a very small minority view.
Though-provoking essay. Thank you, Bruce.
I am now assuming that reality is indeed, in a shocking way, "fluid."
This example may or may not be a good one, but I was talking to a few men at the local pub. One was fearful of the birdemic. The others, not so much. The one said that a particle of virus would give us all corvid-19.
I simply asked, have you ever been in around a family member who had a cold or the flu, and not gotten the cold or flu? Silence.
I made a choice early on to not live in fear of the birdemic, and my life diverged noticeably from the lives of others, especially those who lived in mortal fear of the virus.
I've been totally healthy for the past year. I do try to get exercise and eat well, etc., but I can't help but think that I was also partly creating my reality. A reality in which I am not constantly threated with deadly corvid particles.
I've even succeeded in feeling and experiencing the world as more alive: nature walks are more nuanced. I notice the trees and birds as more present and singular.
And it's not "all in my head." The sensory qualities are different. The main thing I am doing differently is making an effort to connect to God and the divine, though I feel I am fumbling in the dark.
I'm starting to wonder if reality itself is in some strange, paradoxical state, since the world economy hasn't collapsed, and things seems to be humming along despite the carnage to the human social and cultural life.
Sorry for the randomness of my thoughts.
@Jake - Okay - but you need to recognize that is Not what I mean in the post.
I am talking about the fundamental structure of reality. Our assumptions about whether we live in a creation or a random/ causal process? Whether there is a deity/ Whether that deity is a personal God? Whether thoughts are real and causal - or epiphenomena? Whether the material (perceptible, scientifically detectable, measurable) is the only reality - or whether this is a part of a larger reality? Whether reality is static/ outside of time - or whether reality is dynamic/ developmental. Whether reality was originally one, or many?
Thanks for the clarification.
I should have been more clear, and less stream-of-consciousness.
My current take on those specific questions:
1) We live in a creation
2) There is a deity and that deity is a personal God
3) Thoughts are real. The current neuroscience/science-of-mind idea that thoughts are epiphenomema is not true based on every thoughtful, honest person's experience.
4) The materials world is not the only reality. I have believed for decades that consciousness is primary. One of many reasons why: logic, mathematics, certain basic laws of thought all exist outside of time and outside of the material world.
5) This last one is one question I haven't thought about enough. I used to be more of a Platonist, and thought the idea of an eternal, static reality was attractive. Now I do not. The developmental or dynamic model seems closer to my heart now. Your essays have been part of that process of evolution for me.
Thank you for humoring my previous stream of scattered thoughts. You are very structured in your thinking and writing. I am attempting to be more disciplined.
Just to comment on your 5) Jake and the idea of reality being 'One'.
I think all life has it's origins in God/Love/Eternity. (not the sentimental type)
Real Love grants Freedom. is not possessive. wishes for the good for all life.
This can be rejected. and our current earth is occupied and run in my view by those that have rejected it.
Unity is not conformity. Real Unity doesn't negate multiplicity. If we let the Will of God take place in us, then real Love on earth increases, and as a result, real freedom.
The fake unity and forced morality that is being pushed by the powers-that-should-not-be is the best sign of how opposed to God they are, Which in my view is great because we get to witness it directly, it's like getting hit by the school bully and realising how soft it is. However, if we CHOOSE to continually live in fear of this,
then it wins. (this is the big battle)
You have to ask yourself, how would one create Real Authentic Individual Human Beings? You do it by giving them the freedom to choose between good and evil
on the classroom Earth. (not that we have the freedom as such, because we are born into an evil system at present - which makes it even more challenging)
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