Monthly Archives: July 2014

How YOU Relate to Your SELF is Fundamentally Different From How Others Relate to Your SELF Because Your Consciousness is Your Existential Singularity (Absolute Context)

In this post, following my lengthy introduction,  I will re-print a comment by Jason Coats, and my response.  Commenter A Mom opined that my response warranted its own blog post, and I agree.

Jason, says, tongue in cheek (because he is a true whimsical personality, and I love that about him) writes the following concerning my previous article:

“Was I conscious in the womb? I forget.”

My response was decidedly not tongue in cheek, but rather a lengthy and ambitious attempt (which probably took Jason by surprise…then again, it’s me…) to identify the key metaphysical and epistemological assumptions behind Jason’s comment, and to unravel them and show him where his thinking (humorous as it was) was not consistent.

Even though Jason himself may have not been thinking along philosophical lines when he typed his comment, the comment was in fact an excellent and succinct summation of the criticism my article warrants.  It was and is a perfect and surgically precise assault on my own assumptions.  I was impressed.  On a side note, I’ll admit that Jason continues to show himself is a very, very perceptive and highly intelligent human being.  He is both interesting and possesses a breezy, refreshing wit.  And this is an unusual combination in my experience.  His comment was nothing short of brilliant…a single sentence comprising the sum and substance of the”devil’s advocate” to my previous post.

It was a challenge answering him…not because I didn’t have an answer but because it is an answer so difficult to put into words.  Thinking along the lines of the absolute SELF comprising the totality of reality–meaning that individual consciousness is the singular and therefore utter and absolute context by which any of us have for knowing and thus conceding/believing ANYTHING, which makes even existence itself a direct function of the consciousness of the individual level by giving existence a frame of reference by which it can have any rational meaning whatsoever–yes, thinking in terms of the absolute singularity of the conscious SELF requires an utter re-evaluation of reality on every possible level in every possible scenario.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the conventional way of describing reality according to an agreed upon and cohesive conceptual paradigm is somehow being ejected and rejected by me…not at all!  That would be most unwise, for conceptualizations are wholly necessary to human survival.  For I fully concede that concepts produced by human cognition are the very way we organize our universe and our place in it in order to effect the perpetuation and promotion of our lives.  It is the ability to make a conceptual distinction between SELF and NOT SELF (NOT SELF being other people, other objects, animals, etc., etc….even God) is what sets humanity apart from every other life form on Earth, and why man rules this planet so absolutely, submitting every creature and even the environment itself to his utter will.  In short, man’s concepts are what truly organizes reality for his life’s sake.  Rejecting the conceptual paradigm is tantamount to suicide.  And besides, a person can no more reject his abstractions by which he knows and does all things than he can reject his own mind.  Conceptualization is the only rational goal to thought…and show me a human being who doesn’t think in concepts and I’ll show you an animal.

All I am trying to do is use reason, not scientific proofs (which is determinism)and not mysticism, to create an objective and logical Standard for how and why we can claim that our concepts are true or false, or good or evil.  And the affirmation of this Standard will determine utterly the efficacy and relevance of all things, which are categorized, defined, and recognized by man’s conceptual paradigm.  In short, I am merely trying to reverse the causal relationship between SELF and concepts.  Concepts are a function of man and thus serve him; while most of humanity accepts the opposite.  Time, space, distance, color, direction, particles, laws of nature, etc….all of these are assumed to be actual and active…forces which determine the movement and relationships of the physical objects in the physical universe.  Thus, human beings walk an impossible and destructive existential line by assuming that somehow, in the face of all of the “forces” which absolutely and infinitely govern man’s existence outside of him and utterly separate him from his own consciousness (meaning they remove man from himself), they can know anything, let alone truth, and can pretend to possess a distinct existence of SELF–which runs completely contrary to the idea of governing “laws” of the universe–by which they can “know” how things work and why things are the way they are and their own subsequent “place” in the universe, as if any of that even matters at all since all things are determined by the unseen forces which move everything in this way or that, in endless, meaningless perpetuity.  And what I submit is that all evil and destruction and pain and suffering which humanity endures is a direct function of this impossible explanation of reality; the madness and cognitive dissonance, eventually manifesting as psychological rending and torment, that somehow man can know that he is utterly determined by the causal forces of universe which act upon him relentlessly, indifferently, and pointlessly.  That man is a direct function of space and time and a myriad of other abstractions, instead of the other way around.  Where the other way around is the only rational way of thinking about reality.

Man is not a function of his concepts, but they are a function of him.  The only reason “time” and “space” and “blue” and “red” and “left” and “right” and “math” and “chance” and whatever other concept used to define and organize our environment exist at all is because MAN looked upon his world and got the idea that his movement and the movement of all he surveyed needed to have names, organized into categories and subsets, and measurements and equations by which to communicate them abstractly.  This allowed man to “create” his reality, if you will, as a conceptual paradigm in order to promote and then track the progress of his life…the growing fulfillment and satisfaction of the SELF.  The further man progressed in his environment, meaning the longer and more comfortable he lived, the more “real” the concepts became, and the more profitable and therefore good and TRUE they revealed themselves to be.

And then…

…somewhere along the way, man decided that he no longer was both the creator and the prime recipient of these concepts and their power to promote life.  Instead, something, or someone–I call him the Devil–convinced man that indeed man’s SELF was not the source, the Standard, of truth and goodness as his concepts demanded according to reason.  Somehow man became convinced that he was a product of these concepts, and that they, being the metaphysical, epistemological and ethical absolute, demanded that man sacrifice himself to them.  No longer was man absolutely him SELF, which made all of reality an extension of his ability to BE what he IS, but rather, man became an extension of them.  Therefore, insofar as man could claim the ability to think at all, his primary objective for “living” became sacrifice.  That is, DEATH.  Man’s very notion of SELF became evil…a lie, and an full-on affront to the full and absolutely causal and determinative power of the concepts which he had created. Time was no longer merely a tool man used to measure some aspect of relative movement between objects or himself in his environment.  Rather, time became fully animated and sentient itself, governing man according to its inexorable power over him.  Man became “temporal”, God non-temporal, for example.  Man thus became a direct function of something outside of him.  He needed to be compelled to integration to the forces which claimed authority over him because his mind constantly lied to him by convincing him that he had a SELF by which to choose and act on his own behalf.  Determining man’s very actions, and defining him according to its relentless and perpetual march, time resists this illusion of man, and man’s choices, no matter what he thinks, are perfectly futile.

Man became a direct function of time, instead of the other way around.  Even the whole of the universe has a temporal beginning, and will have a temporal end, and thus time marches on, even beyond the realm of physical reality, proving yet again time’s transcendent nature; its existence utterly beyond and removed from the objects it “governs”.  But the contradictions of reason don’t matter, because once man becomes a function of his concepts then man ultimately loses the ability to think.  Since everything man is is a direct function of something OUTSIDE of him, then so is everything he knows.

And this is when death entered the world.  Man’s SELF became an affront to the forces which govern him.  They alone have the right to declare what is true and what is good.  And as soon as man pretends that he has some right to the ownership of his own life, or attempts to declare that assaults upon his property or his comfort or his livelihood or his very life are wrong and an injustice, he has violated his primary moral obligation:  the sacrifice SELF for the good of the concepts which “govern” him, because to claim the existence of an autonomous, individual SELF is the greatest evil a man can perpetrate.  If concepts are the true IS, then man, as a distinct SELF, can only be IS NOT.  And therefore, the more pain you are in the more you are aware that the SELF is indeed evil, and a violation of the “truth” of the absolute sovereignty and determinative power of abstract, conceptual “reality”.

Pain is the the only logical and natural and moral experience of one who has conceded man’s true subordinate and contradictory-to-morality-and-truth existential state, and thus pain is good.  Pain is good because death is good.  And truly, death is the ultimate good, and the more you suffer for your sin of existence, the more you understand that you should never have been born in the first place.  Which even a cursory reading of the Biblical text is the devil’s whole fucking message.  And sadly there are a LOT of churches which are very, very good at preaching it.

For the record, I do not envy the ecclesiastical leadership of today’s “orthodox” churches on judgement day.  For if pain and suffering is logically the hallmark experience of death, and these people categorically laud the benefits and truth of man’s death as his moral obligation (which they DO) , then what will an “afterlife” look like for them?  Since there is no such thing as nothing and no such existence of the SELF as NO SELF, they must go on living in some form.  But what form of living exists to and is experienced by the one who has conceded the supremacy of a belief in DEATH as man’s greatest act and experience, and therefore suffering and torment as the supreme realization of reality?

Lot’s and lot’s of pain.  Pure, unadulterated pain.

And welcome to hell.  You want a rational explanation of hell?  There it is.

*

Those of us who would prefer to avoid a reality where man is subservient to his powers of conceptual abstraction are disadvantaged when it comes to expressing our ideas because we, and the cultures and societies which spawn us and our thinking, come from three thousand years of Platonist thought.  And the notion of the physical and actual essence, and the tangible causality of things like time and space, and the governing of the universe by mathematical proof, all of which is nihilism at its root, is something we have come to accept as just as certain as our own reflections in the mirror.  And indeed, one could argue that they are more so.  For without the “laws” of time and space and the rest of the unseen, unobservable (as themselves…that is, not observed second hand via the movement of the objects they “govern”) which are somehow utterly determinative and inexorable in their control, we understand that we could not exist to produce a reflection in the mirror in the first place.  We accept the rationally impossible idea that our conscious SELF is the direct product of something decidedly not us and not conscious; that what is absolutely and infinitely not us and what is absolutely not conscious somehow directly produces that which is absolutely us, and is our absolute consciousness.

Again, this is impossible.  Since our conscious SELF is the singular, sole, and therefore absolute and unmitigated and unmitigate-able context for everything we experience and know, then in the epistemological chain, our individual consciousness must always come FIRST.  And since our epistemology is a direct function of our metaphysic, it means that, in terms of reality, wherein all things have relevance and efficacious meaning, SELF is the utter singularity, being a function of itself, created by God perhaps, but only indirectly (more on this in later posts), with ALL things being a rational extension of the individual consciousness, as all things are integrated into the conceptual constructs of that consciousness in order that they have any meaning or purpose at all.  And man’s ability to claim the existence of what he observes from the singular frame of reference of his SELF is perhaps the most significant and profound of his conceptual abilities.  Man can rightly claim God’s existence because he can observe God rationally from the context of SELF, which is the objective Standard of truth.  He can observe God and relate to Him, via language, via concepts, to know that He likewise is equally conscious, equally able to apprehend and structure the environment conceptually, and so together, man and God relate to the mutual benefit of each other and to affirm each others’ SELVES and to proclaim each others’ value.  Objectively.  Rationally.  Period.

This makes all things, again, which you and I observe, a function of our conceptual “reality”, with the epicenter of the SELF being the singularity which gives it all relevance and meaning.  And how you relate to your SELF is going to be fundamentally different from how others relate to you.  Take for example Jason’s comment:  “Was I conscious in my mother’s womb?  I forget?

As I explain to Jason below, your  mother relates to you entirely different from an existential standpoint than you relate to you.  Your mother relates to you as a baby when you are very little, or in the womb, but you, yourself, have no frame of reference for this particular context…that is, you as a baby.  You see your baby pictures, but you must be conscious of them first  for these pictures to have any relevance or meaning to you.  Your SELF, as conscious, is a prerequisite to the pictures being of any point to you at all.  Thus, you must concede that for your frame of reference, you as “baby” must PROCEED (come after) you as conscious SELF.  This may be different for your mother who observed you as “baby” preceding you as conscious SELF.  Now, when we concede the causal power of purely abstract and conceptual ideas like “time” and “space” you will call my idea madness.  How can you as conscious YOU come BEFORE you as baby? Even though I cry until I am blue in the face for anyone to show me how they can prove that unconsciousness precedes their consciousness when they can only make that argument from a place of consciousness first, making the conscious SELF the prerequisite for ever knowing and thus arguing that the “unconscious SELF” came before them. However, if we relegate the notions of time and space to their proper conceptual, non-actual and non-causal roles, and understand that all interaction between objects is in fact purely relative, we can make the argument that how others perceive you according to their absolute frame of reference of SELF is going to be markedly and utterly different from how YOU perceive you.  You were never baby, for instance, until after you became consciously aware.  Consciousness, being absolute, and not subject to time or space, is not beholden to some one else’s perspective, like mom’s.  Perception is going to be relative from person to person, as each one is observing from an entirely exclusive context of SELF.

Agreeing upon a conceptual paradigm as the means by which man will relate to other men for the purposes of pursuing mutual promulgation and promotion and affirmation of SELF does not mean that these concepts all of a sudden usurp the absolute reference point of individual conscious SELF.

And thus I responded to Jason:

Jason,

I might ask you this: When did you realize you had been in the womb?

The answer is: When you became conscious of it. And when is consciousness?

Your consciousness is always NOW. YOU are always NOW. You are the center of all reality…unmovable, timeless, and unchanging. It is what it is because you ARE.  Not were, not will be…you always ARE. Period.

There is thus an “Inverted”, if you will, relationship between the realization of your “past” in the womb and your present consciousness. You realizing you were at some point “baby” to someone else is a direct function of your consciousness NOW. And moreover, since EVERYTHING that you observe to exist, exists NOW, you cannot declare the “past” as evidence of material body preceding consciousness. You, being utterly and perpetually NOW, have no frame of reference for “past”, and therefore you must concede that the “past” is purely a concept, not an actuality.  Therefore the “past” does not contain any evidence.  All of the evidence is NOW, and NOW is where your consciousness is.

Even that cute little baby picture of you with cake all over your face at your first birthday that you don’t remember is not an “image of the past”.  It is an image that exists NOW. You look at it and you conceptualize a notion of the “past” when you were “younger” and “had no self awareness”, but all of this is done from the frame of reference of your consciousness in the moment of NOW. Your consciousness thus is the IS which allows anything to have any meaning or relevance at all, even the notion of “past existence”, which is, strictly speaking, a contradiction in terms. The only reason you can say you existed in the womb is because you can consciously acknowledge it NOW. Period. So again, which comes first, you in the womb or your consciousness? Everything is a singularity of the NOW. There is no such actual thing as “then”. So to argue that being in the womb “then” is the direct cause of your consciousness NOW is to elevate conceptual paradigms over reality.

Not so easy, is it? LOL 🙂 ‘

To attempt to argue, “I know I was then because I know I am now” is logical fallacy. If what you know you always know NOW, then NOW is the frame of reference for ALL knowledge. What you didn’t know then cannot thus be the source or the proof of what you NOW know: that you exist. For that makes awareness the direct product of mindlessness; knowledge the direct product of ignorance. Impossible.

So what is the difference between Jason in the womb or as a baby and Jason NOW? It is merely Jason NOW conceptualizing via his singularity of consciousness the relative movement of himself to some other object he observes or senses NOW: His baby picture; or his mother’s stories of her thirty-six hour labor, for example.

And finally, just because some other conscious agent, like your mother, observes her relative relationship with other objects or agents, even YOU as a baby, in a specific conceptual way from the singular frame of reference of her SELF, doesn’t mean that this agent can declare that relative relationship specifically conceptualized to her singular consciousness as the causal force of YOUR conscious frame of reference, which is equally singular, and IS, and IS always NOW.

Like I said, reality is NOT a function of concepts, but by the conscious singularity of INDIVIDUAL selves. Our relationships with others is always relative. Your mom’s relationship with you as a baby is NOT the defining context for your relationship with your SELF as a baby. You have no context for that relationship except via your singular, absolute conscious frame of reference NOW.

ACTUALITY, is far different from “conceptual reality”. And that’s precisely what I’m trying to explain. And as far as I know, no one has ever looked at existence this way, which is why it is so fucking hard to parse out and why I will expect comments and viewership to decline steadily as I roll along, the ticker tape clicking as I rack up more and more articles which deny the causal power of everything we think makes the universe go round. I hope people keep reading because even though this stuff will tax the ever loving hell out of your brain and keep you up at night like it does me, it is worth it. It is necessary. It is life affirming, period. It makes you ABSOLUTELY you. And only from this place can anything, even God, Himself, have any efficacy or truth. And no longer will we be captive to the ideas and concepts of the relative existence of OTHERS; instead, we will be free to truly be ourselves, without fear of moral offense for our existence, or retribution for not committing suicide in the name of some outside “law” or “standard” or “idea” or “group”, which is always simply DEATH, because we will realize that when we concede that we ARE, we concede that our life IS, and therefore being Jason and Lydia and Oasis and Argo and John Immel and Paul Dohse and A Mom is GOOD, and that nothing and no one can take that away from us. And God will affirm us. Because it is He that grants this reality of eternal life to those who fully believe that they already have it NOW. Belief in Jesus is belief in the moral perfection and everlasting IS of your SELF. There is no such thing as death for those who roundly condemn death as a concept which is false…a lie, and it has NO power over us.

 

 

Advertisements

Why Consciousness and Existence Both Proceed From One Another and Never Proceed From One Another: The conceptual versus the metaphysical distinction

Continuing with our discussion of existence and consciousness, this two-part article will examine the inability of one to proceed from the other, similar to what my previous posts have done but more concise…more precise, and hopefully more clear.

But this is an exceedingly difficult topic so it only gets so clear.  Some might argue that brevity is the soul of wit, and that’s likely often true.  But on occasion brevity is merely doing the subject a disservice, and this is one of those instances.  If we do not get downright persnickety about it, nothing but confusion can arise.  The problem with all philosophies as I observe them is that their premises are always premature.  They never nitpick every nook and cranny of their assumptions like they should, and when it comes to philosophy, which is the only source of actual, rational, efficacious, and relevant TRUTH, nooks and crannies are really more like enormous, gaping, formless holes in logic which can, once discovered, be exploited by another idea to the point of utter destruction.

As an aside, Objectivism is a prime example.  Ostensibly rational on every level, the problem is its rejection of “spirit”, and the fact that it never actually defines what that might mean conceptually with respect to observable reality.  The notion of “spirit” is cast off as rank mysticism when in reality it need not be that at all.  “Spirit” is merely a way man is able to qualify that which exists, like consciousness, but cannot be observed to function as a direct extension of some kind of “natural law” or “law of physics” or “cause and effect”.  Thus, objectivists are left to rest their metaphysical assumptions upon the whimsical and hardly empirical grounds of scientific explanation for just how all which IS in the universe arrived at its existence.  Since consciousness precedes all concepts, they are roundly fucked should anyone point out the fact that Rand never explained how consciousness can proceed from a law of nature.  She may respond that they are corollaries (consciousness and existence), but the logical question then is, “Corollaries of what, exactly”?  They are corollaries of MAN…and so the next question is, “Okay, and how did man, his SELF, become, so to speak, in order that his singular metaphysical IT can share the two corollaries?”  And if they are ONE in man, then they are purely concepts.  Which  means that saying “the are corollaries” doesn’t actually answer any thing at all with respect to man’s…well, existence qua creation; or rather, how he is able to BE SELF, in a sea of other SELVES, absolutely and infinitely.  And further, when arguing with the objectivist, all one has to do is introduce the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle or the wave/particle duality of light paradox and down off the wall Humpty Dumpty doth tumble.

At any rate, the notions of existence and consciousness are a perfect example of how philosophies the world over fail to arrive at rational and infinitely defensible assumptions which form the foundation for the rest of the worldview.  We have man, and we have metaphysical singularity in man’s SELF; and yet we couch that singularity in two existential identities, again, that of consciousness and that of existence.  But since man can only be SELF, which is always and forever metaphysically ONE, then arriving at such a definition of man as a function of two identities of reality is impossible.  Man is what he is, period.  Any qualification to THAT singular metaphysic makes man a contradiction of SELF…the IS of man being both IS and IS NOT himself at any given moment (see my previous article). E.g. “man’s SELF is a direct function of his existence and his consciousness” means that man is a direct function of two diametrically opposed ideas/laws/forces/etc…as opposed to man is HIMSELF, and how we qualify this SELF conceptually as “existing” or “conscious” or both depends on the context. For if the metaphysical nature of man is described as “he which consciously exists” then we are at a logical impasse.  Because:  as if there can be any such thing as unconsciously exists.  Indeed, such an idea is absurd.  That which is not conscious can make no claim to qualify its own state or that of any other thing in any manner, not the least of which as existing.

*

Now, at this point I would like to redefine the relationship I believe these two notions maintain, in the interest of avoiding any future confusion on the subject as more articles are forthcoming by me.  John Immel has stated that the great philosopher Aristotle considered existence and consciousness to be corollaries, which we briefly discussed above, and truly, for all practical purposes, this is a fine way to look at them up to a point.  But since I maintain that that which comprises all of material reality–that is, the material which IS, and from which all is derived is infinite–there really cannot be any actual distinction between them.  That is, if one is conscious, one must exist.  And if one exists, then one must be conscious.  Not because thy are corollaries but because they are, in fact, one in the same.  They are a singularity of reality, as I call it.  A direct function of that thing by which all is given any relevance, even “existence”: the IS of man’s SELF.

*

Metaphysical existence and consciousness, or conceptual?

That which is said to exist can only be declared existent from a place of consciousness; and that which is conscious must, obviously, exist.  Something has to be conscious before that thing can be declared to be a thing which exists, which means before it can be declared to be a thing at all.  In other words, existence is always going to be conscious.  That which is not conscious cannot declare that it exists…only that which is conscious can declare anything as actually existing, be it the SELF or whatever the conscious SELF observes.  Thus, anything which is said to exist gets its existence directly from consciousness because existence is, strictly speaking, a concept, and not a state of reality.   In other words, nothing gets to exist unless a conscious SELF consciously declares it existing.  Existence is not the thing in this case, consciousness is.

But the converse is also true, because we are speaking metaphysically.  Existence likewise and equally drives consciousness.  If something is conscious, then some THING, must be conscious.  Consciousness is not the thing.  Existence is the thing in this case.  So, conceptually speaking, depending on the context, existence can precede consciousness or consciousness can precede existence.  Both proceed from the SELF, so the SELF is that which gets to define each in terms of the context…the frame of reference of the SELF and what the SELF is saying about reality in service to its own perpetuation and preservation.  YOU are the reference point then for ALL of reality…all concepts have value only relative to YOU, because YOU are indeed the very center of the universe; all things exist only insofar as the exist TO YOU.

I understand that this is exceedingly difficult for people to wrap their heads around, but nevertheless there is no alternative reasonable argument.  I have said this time and time again and I will continue to do so.  You are a metaphysical singularity…infinite and absolute. Everything you know and believe is as a direct result of your conscious existence.  You know nothing and can concede nothing without the absolute prerequisite of your conscious SELF to serve as a perpetual, unmoving, frame of reference.  To pretend that you can make a claim to the existence of anything absent your consciousness then is a logical fallacy.  You cannot use conceptual abstractions like past, present, future, or any other notion which man employs in order to cognitively organize his relative movement with the other objects and agents in his environment and then give those concepts causal power over your very consciousness.  That’s the cart before the horse.  Or, if you are in Sovereign Grace Ministries, putting the laity ahead of the pastor.  Remember, as soon as we make man’s consciousness a direct function of some outside process, be it the “laws of nature” or even an external consciousness (e.g. mom and dad’s decision to have a child; God’s decision to create  man) we have destroyed the reality of consciousness, period.  The idea that consciousness can be “created’ by something NOT conscious “to the man” is the idea that consciousness proceeds from unconsciousness.  That your consciousness is of something or someone NOT YOU is an impossible argument to make; that one existential state is a direct derivative of its mutually exclusive polar opposite.  If your consciousness is a direct function of someone else’s consciousness then it is not your consciousness at all…you are not you.

However, the same is true for your existence, which in this case means the same thing, as we are speaking metaphysically. If your existence is a direct function of something else’s existence then it is not your existence…you are not you. Thus, when we speak of your consciousness, in the metaphysical sense, as proceeding from something else, like the existence and consciousness of your parents or of God for instance, then we are in fact discussing determinism.  And once we are discussing determinism there is literally no reason to have the discussion at all.  For if you are not really you and I am not really me then there is no “us” to have a discussion in the first place.  We cannot discuss anything we may agree or disagree upon because there is no “us” to believe or think anything.  WE don’t know anything because WE can’t know anything because WE do not exist.  Period.  Therefore, when we speak of man’s essence, man’s IS, the SELF, of his own existence/consciousness, we are speaking of that which is the direct cause of man:  himself.  His own infinite and absolute ability to be what he is.

*

Now, that was the metaphysical distinction of existence and consciousness qua man’s reality.  Let us turn our attention, at least in part, to the conceptual relationship between these two ideas removed from the strict context of man’s material, singular SELF.

Man’s conscious SELF must precede the existence of anything he observes, because existence itself is a concept which describes things that ARE; and without consciousness it is by definition impossible for man to acknowledge things as BEING.  If you are NOT, that is unconscious, then you cannot make a claim to the existence of what IS.  Consciousness is a requirement for existence, then, as far as the conceptual relationship goes.  And in this sense, they are not corollaries.  Existence proceeds from consciousness.  Conscious agents are the only ones able to make the qualification of existence.  Metaphysically speaking we may argue that they are corollaries, but again, since metaphysical existence is singular, there is really no  corollary relationship at all because thee is no distinction in man’s metaphysic between the two.

At the same time, however, one could argue just the opposite, since we are discussion concepts.  Before one can consciously acknowledge the existence of anything, he, himself, must exist.  He cannot be “consciousness”, because consciousness, like existence, is a concept and not the agent himself.  He cannot be “consciousness”, but rather, he must be the one who is conscious: the thing which exists, and thus is conscious.  So, in the conceptual sense, strangely and somewhat confusingly, both consciousness and existence can proceed from the other.

Thus, the only way to resolve the logical dilemma of “Which comes first, consciousness or existence?” is to examine these terms via a singular frame of reference, what I often refer to as the Standard of Truth and Morality: the IS (the LIFE) of the SELF.  Man is neither consciousness nor existence, because these things are purely the cognitive means by which man conceptually organizes his environment for the purpose of perpetuating his life.  Man then IS MAN, period.  And man, being man, is both, metaphysically speaking, conscious and existent.  Within the literal singularity of himself, there is no distinction.  Consciousness and existence are one and the same.  Metaphysically speaking, this is absolutely true.  And it always comes back ’round to metaphysics, which is why I spend so much time talking about it.

So here is a quick breakdown of what I’m trying to say:

Conceptually:  Consciousness must precede existence.  Things cannot be qualified as “existing” unless done so by an agent who first possesses the conscious awareness of SELF and OTHER which is required to do so.  And likewise, since concepts are not their own contextual reference, but require the reference point of a material agent in order to have any value or relevancy, because they are not actual, the converse can always likewise be true.  That is, in this case, existence must precede consciousness, because unless there is something which is conscious–because the question “What is conscious?” must be answered if we are going to make a claim to consciousness–then we cannot claim consciousness as real.

Metaphysically:  Consciousness and existence are a singularity of reality.  They are the exact same thing because they proceed from the same source:  man’s SELF, the standard of truth and morality and the reference for all meaning.  “Man exists” is the exact same thing as saying “man is conscious”.

*

“Before you are conscious, you must exist; but before you can qualify yourself as actually existing, you must be conscious”.

This I believe is the typical understanding of how these two ideas relate, reiterated.  Above, I am merely parsing out this statement into its two relevant identity categories, metaphysical and conceptual.  For attempting to merge two entirely different ways of defining man into a single epigram or philosophical summation creates many problems with respect to the whole spectrum of philosophy; and I submit that the confusion of metaphysical (actual) reality with conceptual (cognitively organizational as a means of perpetuating life) reality has been at the root of every destructive idea since man first starting discussing such things.

Part two next.

 

Consciousness is Existence: The Impossible Separation of Man’s Consciousness and His Material Self, Part Two

Consciousness cannot be a consequence, or an effect, of material existence.  Why?  Because this makes consciousness a direct function of unconsciousness.  That is, you cannot take unconscious material and produce from it consciousness.  This is an attempt to reconcile mutually exclusive existential states.  In the same way that I argue all material is rooted in infinite existence, so is consciousness.  In fact, it is precisely WHY I argue for the sake of rational metaphysics and epistemology that the physical material which comprises all that exists is ultimately infinite at its root.  For if indeed all of reality is comprised of little fundamental particles which exist inside their own specific bubble of spacetime, then the interaction of them with other particles is exclusive of any meaning, being utterly relative. At the root of every material object is a collection of stand-alone particles which interact, again, purely relatively to the exclusion of any larger meaning or purpose, each one unconscious of its interaction with any other particle by necessity, as it is utterly separated from its fellow particles, completely and categorically,  by its own insurmountable chasm of spacetime (or, just space, for the sake of simplicity), in which it exists alone and infinitely.

Thus, there is no real meaning to any object we might observe.  At the root of the material object are independent particles which cannot recognize the existence of any other particle, much less the greater object which we claim they comprise.  They are trapped inside a boundary of spacetime where they exist infinitely and alone, unconscious and thus without observation of anything else. Therefore what I am arguing is that there is no actual difference or change in existential states between a particle which is not interacting with others and a particle which is.  Functionally the outcome is the same:  meaninglessness.  Nihilism.  Material reality is an illusion of relevance.  All things are parsed ultimately down to infinite nothingness in the form of a-toms which cannot recognize anything other than themselves–and being infinite and thus infinitely alone they cannot even recognize themselves–because they are separated from everything else, again, by an impenetrable chasm of space.

Now, we may attempt to argue that objects have relevance in the eyes of an observer, like man, for instance.  But the problem is that since man himself is a material object, then at his root are the same blind, mindless, and infinite particles which do not produce any meaningful difference by interaction with other particles versus not interacting with other particles.  This is the endemic fallacy of the notion that the Standard Model of physics has some final, end particle.  The end of material, terminating in particles surrounded by bubbles of space is the idea that empty space, which is NOTHING, is the “bond” which allows material reality to coagulate into…er, something.  This of course makes no sense at all.  For if the existential roots of everything are bounded by areas of nothingness, then there can be no such thing as interaction, let alone meaningful interaction.

In the comments thread of part one of this series (the article one before last) commenter Anthony made this exact case in defense of the legitimacy of the mind/soul dichotomy.  Neverminding for the moment that this splits man’s metaphysic into two mutually exclusive existential states, which destroys man and his epistemology (but what the fuck else is new with the emissaries of all-too-typical and predictable orthodoxy), he claimed that a soul was necessary for precisely the reason I just outlined:  man is a collection of unconscious a-toms, interacting, somehow, with other a-toms via conduits of space, which is really again just nothing (a big hole in material existence).  He fully accepts the explanation of our resident physicists, who remain fully philosophically defunct in their assumptions:  man must be determined because man cannot be conscious because the catalyst for every human being evolving into a material self is the NOTHINGNESS which somehow compels particles to interact with each other.  In that nothingness goes the laws of physics/nature, they argue, even though these laws are only ever and always indirectly observed.  Which is to say that they are never observed at all.  Which means that if you take away the particles, there are no laws of physics…the laws of physics have NO meaning and NO definition, resulting in oblivion, because they cannot be claimed to even indirectly exist since it is not possible to observe their consequences absent the material particles.  Which…how can that which is a prerequisite for the relevance, definition, and existence of something (the laws of physics) be a consequence of that something?  It defines logic, I tell you.  Which is to say that it defies truth.  Thanks for nothing, Dr. Hawkings.  Well, thanks for getting truth all wrong.  Your black hole stuff was pretty awesome.

But even if you concede that the laws of nature exist in the space between particles, that still doesn’t remove the determinist assumptions from the entire construct.  A. you still concede the existence of space, which means there is still ultimately a boundary of nothing between the particle and the laws of nature, and other particles; and B. the laws determine what the particles do and how they do it, and so determinism, absolutely, becomes the sum and substance of all reality.  For if the laws determine the particles, even unto their very ability to exist, then what determines the laws?  Obviously the laws cannot freely determine, for that is a complete contradiction in terms.  Determinism cannot be a direct function of NON-determinism…in the same way that it is irrational to claim that God can freely choose to determine man’s life.  Just think about it for a while.  It makes literally zero sense.

Anthony answers this madness by appealing to equal amounts of nonsense:  a mutually exclusive “spirit world” which somehow interacts with the physical body as the existential arm of consciousness.

To this I say, nice try.

If there is indeed a distinction between the “spirit world” and the physical then we are still talking about a separation of space, which is again a separation of nothingness, which precludes interaction by definition.  Things cannot interact via a boundary of nothing, because nothing cannot exist, and what does not exist cannot by definition be an avenue or vehicle for, well…anything at all.  By definition…and by definition, again.  Man cannot be a function of both what he IS and what he is NOT.  In appealing to the distinction of the spirit from the physical body Anthony is really making this metaphysically insane argument.  Man can be physical and NOT physical at the same time; man can be spirit and NOT spirit at the same time.  Man is BOTH a function of the absolute spirit and the absolute physical at the same time, and insofar as you accept that statement, you must accept the statement that man is likewise a function of absolutely NOT spirit and absolutely NOT physical at the same time.

Confused?  Think about it.  Contrary to what orthodoxy tells you, you are not in fact too stupid to understand…too blind, too depraved, too flawed, and in need of “special” enlightenment (whatever the fuck that is) to understand.  Again, I say, think!  You are both spirit and physical, you are told.  These two are distinct.  Exclusive.  That means your physical essence is NOT acting according to your spiritual, and vice versa.  You’re both ARE and NOT at the same time.  You are physical, but not spiritual; you are spiritual, but not physical, BOTH at any given moment.  You are a constant function of IS and IS NOT.  People, this makes no sense at all.  If you are indeed a “singularity” of mutually exclusive essences, then you cancel yourself out.  The metaphysical equation always arrives at zero.

Too bad.  Sucks to be you.  Or, er…to not be you, as it were.

Anthony thinks he is making some bold argument here…some super spiritual point that so “clearly” trumps both the conclusions of science and my own remedial (according to him) philosophy.  But all he is really doing is appealing to the same old, tired and worn out argument of human epistemological insufficiency to explain away his contradictions.  Man cannot apprehend physically his spirit, and so man attempts to use reason to explain it.  But since reason is a function of his fleshly body, which is only half of his metaphysical reality, it is inadequate to grasp the reality of the spirit, which is the other, opposite half.  Therefore, man is at an epistemological impasse.  He must wait until some special revelation comes to him and then, and only then, can man “know” the truth of the spirit, and that it is the spirit which allows consciousness to defy the empty and blind determinism of “careless” (according to him) a-toms that science so “clearly” “proves”.  Since man’s metaphysic is irreconcilably split in two he must wait for God’s revelatory grace to fill the infinite gap.  Then we can all be as smart and enlightened and philosophically accomplished as Anthony.

In short:  you just have to agree with Anthony.  Period.  That’s all he is saying, and its the same thing they all say.  We’ve heard this argument a thousand times.  There is no way for him to really explain it to you.  It’s all “faith”, you see.  You are, and you are not.  How it comes together for the “good of all who love the Lord Jesus” is just another mystery.  Punt!

The reason I have this blog in the first place is precisely because of that kind of rational larceny and philosophical violence passing for truth.  No argument is THE argument.  And there aren’t words to describe the depth of my loathing for such presumption.  Only THEY get to say what’s true.  You have to agree with them before you believe them.  What a bunch of horseshit.

*

So, mutually exclusive existential states, unconsciousness and consciousness, cannot form the root of man’s metaphysic.  Consciousness and existence must then be corollaries. Otherwise, we are talking about a fundamental schism in the nature of reality.  Reality cannot be a function of two diametrically opposed states.  If we are truly conscious, then that consciousness cannot be contrived from unconsciousness.  It simply doesn’t work.  Unconsciousness is an absolute state, and as such it can only produce that which is a direct function of its root metaphysic:  unconsciousness.  And the same logic applies to consciousness.

This argument (that consciousness is merely one of multiple states of existence) is simply another variation on the classic separation of mind/soul/spirit and body, which Christians have perfected now, going on two thousand years of Augustinian gnosticism as the interpretive diving board for their doctrinal cannonballs.  And they continue to make a BIG splash in the oceans of blood this thinking produces.  The fact is that spirit/body dichotomies are always in figurative terms, never literal, in the Bible.  Not that I appeal to the “authority” of Scripture for my argument.  For since Scripture demands interpretation, “authority” is merely a demand that someone accept someone else’s specific interpretation of the text.  We don’t do that bullshit here.  We do reason.  But nevertheless “spirit”, “soul” and “flesh” are never biblically spoken of in terms of literal, exclusive metaphysical distinctions.  Man is always ONE just as God is ONE.  How Jesus conceptualized existence in order to get His point across doesn’t change the fact that He is speaking to individuals, and that He refers to the life of man, not the lives of man.