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June 20, 2007


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Objects are sensed via miniscule perceptions repeated with incalculable rapidity until the impression assumes form and is cognized as a chair, rock or galaxy. Each of these repeated perceptions is a separate quanta (miniscule particle) and the object is composed of these quanta built up in memory until it becomes a material unit. All dimensions, shape, distance and velocity are simply the succession of these quanta appearing due to light, infinitesimal oscillations of the 'Void' or 'Mind'. You could call it 'effervescence of consciousness'.

These quanta are imaginary, dream appearances, devoid of existence outside of Mind, Light, Void. They have no independent existence as they are conceptual only. 'Time' is mind's repetitive manifestation of these quanta but has no existence except as a concept. 'Space' is purely conceptual as no object is nearer or farther than the other in this One mind which is at all parts of its perceptions at any given moment.

Row row row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily merrily merrily
Life is but a dream

A percolation of effervescence!

Tucson Bob, I think Roger Penrose (and most other scientists) would agree with your poetic description of reality.

What struck me is that you said "One mind." This is key. The regularity of the laws of nature point to a single overarching underlying reality -- not lots of separate subjective mini-realities.

Isn't this how enlightenment usually is considered? Seeing reality as It Is in Itself, not as how our little ego-minds of me-me-me want it to be.

Dear Tucson Bob,

I take it that when you stated, "...the object is composed of these quanta built up in memory until it becomes a material unit," the use of "material unit" was intended in a metaphorical sense. It's being taken to actually constitute a "material unit" (as ordinarily understood/conceived) is, thereby, an error in understanding. Further, the "perceptions" spoken of arise just from the "Mind, Light, Void" (which is "no-thing"). Am I correct in thus understanding you?

Robert Paul Howard

Reality, what is?

I see there are two intermingling issues in that question which I would like to offer for consideration: (1)essence and (2)existence.

When we ask "what," we are asking about the essence of something. And when we ask "is," we are asking about the existence of that essence. Can we separate essence from existence, or do the two necessarily go together? The nature of the question includes both, so that it appears the two go together, that reality has both essence and existence.

Okay..., so now let's consider how this essence and existence relates to the objective and the subjective. For the moment, suppose that the truth of the cosmos is objective, that reality is objective. Would it not be reasonable to conclude that the real Brian Hines who writes these articles is an objective truth? I mean, the "subject" Brian Hines is not really real, but an illusion. The real Brian Hines has essence in some platonic void of the formless. The subject Brian would then be in the illusory domain of form. Therefore, subject Brian is meaningless. Only the essence or Brian has reality. Hold on, please..., I thought reality, "what is," included both essence and existence?

Okay, adios Plato, hello Aristotle. Or is it possible that the only really real Brian is the one that has existence in the domain of form-- ie, subject Brian? Here, both essence and existence unite to comprise reality. In that case, is it not reasonable that subject Brian does have meaning? Whether Brian lives or dies does matter, and his existence has an impact on everything else in the universe.

So we consider then if the universe is a creation. And does the really real universe have existence or not? Or is the real universe just essence without existence? Pardon me, but oh God, how confusing!-- that's just subject me interjecting.

Before we ask what reality is, maybe we ought to be asking what existence "is." What does it mean "to be?" Are we "beings?" If God exists, is God a "Being?" Is there a "subject" God? Can a subject human being relate to a subject God Being? And does that relationship necessarily deny or annhilate the objective truth that underlies these subjects? (ie, essence)?

What part, if any, does subjective experience play in existence, in reality? Does experience imply a "connection" to the objective? Perhaps when the subjective and the objective are one, it is the successful connection of one subject to the Subject that comprises reality? So reality is indeed subjective! Moreover, would such a connection be "meaningful" to both "beings," both existences?

I think you may be able to see where I am going with this, but here I better halt, for these ramblings are just the follies of a sentimental Catholic who is inclined to start getting zealous. I respect that might be inappropriate here.


Yes, if I understand you correctly! My perception is that all objects, while they may appear 'material', are ultimately dreamstuff. I think the physicists, way smarter than I am, are coming/have come to this conclusion and could probably explain it better.

I have a vague suspicion that I would be mechanizing consciousness by regarding math as an independent universal power, residing in a Platonic uberworld.

Let's look at it this way: before puberty, there is a level of social communication that is imperceptible. (As a simple example, I have two sons. We see a woman with a bare midriff. The eleven-year old is concerned that she may be cold. The sixteen-year old is not concerned with her immediate comfort, but is proposing suppositions about her future.) After puberty, that communication is almost deafening for a while.

I see a parallel between the ordering of the universe before and after mathematics and the ordering of the universe before and after puberty. Before applied math, there are systems and effects that are mysterious and inexplicable; the same can be said of puberty. Could it also be that, in the same prepubescent way that we regard the imperceptible communication of the postpubescent world, mathematical explication is potential and natural to our participation in the world, though initially, seemingly mysterious and unreal?

It makes sense to me that as beings made from the same things as stars, we should not only stumble upon the structures of math, but have them as essential parts of our own structure. We hear in mathematical structures. If math is co-existent in a Platonic realm, we would not experience music on a physical and emotional level simultaneously. Math may not be simply descriptive, but it falls short of providing unknown species to discover through thought-spelunking. To use Penrose's metaphor, we will not discover fossils in this stone that are truly alien, any more than we will dig up extra terrestrial bones in Watford City, ND.

It is a logical statement to say, "A white horse is not a horse." Platonic descriptives are beautiful, elegant and balanced and may even reflect reality, but they are limited to modelling. It is a brutally trucated spirituality that excludes participation through the gesture of separating the observer from the observed. We point to dream as the closest state we know of that suspends point of view as necessary to knowing. Reality happens at "the tip of the skin, shifting us out and holding us in."

[Note from Brian, the blogger: it's been pointed out to me that John Range actually wrote the papers linked to below. So "my papers" should read "John Range's papers."]

To Edward and Pilgrim,

My comment to your comments, and to this particular subject matter and debate is far too lengthy to post here on this forum, so on this matter it would be better served if you would please go refer to and read my [actually, John Range's] papers at CategoricalAnalysis.com:


Especially these:

"The Categorical Analytic Meaning of Truth" -- http://categoricalanalysis.com/category/pdf/categorical-analytic_meaning_of_truth.pdf

"The Pheonix Revisted" --

"Bias Transformations" -- http://categoricalanalysis.com/category/biastrans.html

And then what will happen?

>What struck me is that you said "One mind." This is key.

Absolutely. Without this, philosophical idealism (vs. materialism) is reduced to a form of solipsism. There's an interesting but not-easy-to-read book by James Corrigan (Introduction to Awareness) which argues for this form of idealism. Corrigan argues that consciousness is universal rather than individual. There are individual perspectives, but no individual consciousnesses.

That is a tremendous amount of research and fine thinking. Thank you for pointing me toward your work.

[Note from Brian, the blogger: As noted in a June 21 comment on this post, the author of this article is John Range, not the commenter.]


You are quite welcome. And thank you as well.

Btw, here's one other one that I forgot to mention:

Ruthless Compassion - Root and Crown of Virtue:


Here is an interesting book:


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