Put on your thinking caps, ladies and gents. This is no cakewalk of political pontification; no casual stroll down the primrose path of the subjective symbolism of flags or the contradiction of government to the individual metaphysic. No, you’ll need to turn off the background music and send the kids out to play for a while.
If you are so inclined, of course. Around here, no one forces anyone else to spend the capital of their own time in any way other than as they wish. I’m just giving you fair warning. Gonna hit the pause button on this one a few times. This will be decidedly non-intuitive. But remember, that doesn’t make it wrong. Only rational inconsistency makes it wrong. And if you can point any out, please let me know in the comments section.
In order for you to know, believe, or do anything, YOU must first be a part of the equation…YOU must be endemic to–you must be the reference for the relevancy, efficacy, purpose, and meaning of that knowledge, belief, or action. In other words, without YOU, there is no knowledge, belief, or action, because those things–in conceptual form or otherwise–can have no meaning absent the frame of reference of yourSELF. Without YOU, and your innate, inherent, and absolute ability to be YOU, I assert that there is no existence of anything, period, and the same is true for me. For without the Self, by which the entirety of one’s existence is referenced, and of which there is no other absolute and and thus constant context, there can be no reference for existence by which existence qua existence can have any meaning.
Now, before you raise an index finger to protest this idea it is vital to notice that even those who proclaim the objective existence of things in the “objective material reality outside ourselves” do, and in fact must, declare such a notion only from the absolute context of themselves, that is, from the absolute and inexorable frame of reference of Self…and this context is for them, as it is for everyone, categorical. No one can observe life/reality/existence, beliefs, ideas, actions, emotions, aesthetics, etc. from outside themselves, by definition. This fact renders anyone claiming to know of an “objective reality outside themselves” either a weaver of false threads or at the very least unaware of contradictory “logic” of such a notion. Even those “out of body experiences” about which we occasionally hear from people who are said to have died for a minute or two on the operating table still must speak of such an experience from a singular consciousness; a singular observational vantage point; a singular perspective; a singular context of Self. They always speak of it as MY out-of-body experience, not OUR out-of-body experience. And this is because human beings have no collective frame of reference, but only a singular existential perspective–that of Self. There is no such thing as a dual, or group, metaphysic. The reason why you always refer to yourself as “I” is because you cannot possess a collective frame of reference for your existence. At the end of it all…at the end of every philosophy, no matter what you are told and no matter how desperately some Marxist proselyt might wish it to be otherwise, there is no such thing as “WE” except conceptually. There is only YOU, period. You ARE; and you ARE, absolutely. There is no such thing as a group metaphysic. It is a lie. Which is why all civilizations rooted in altruism (the idea that man’s greatest moral good is to sacrifice the Self for the Group) always exist in abject misery and inevitably terminate at death.
As I was saying, the individual metaphysic then necessarily contradicts the idea of an “objective reality outside” a person. The implication is that regardless of someone’s own frame of reference–regardless of the constant of the observational perspective of their own SELF–there is nevertheless an “objective reality outside them” which continues to be what it is and do what it does. That is, they don’t necessarily have to exist in order for “objective reality” to exist.
The problem, however, is that there isn’t any way to prove this objectively (not to mention rationally), since there isn’t any way to observe reality but from the context of themselves. They cannot proclaim an autonomous “reality” outside of them if their awareness of such a reality is always a function of their absolute frame of reference. They must assume that they are the source of “objective reality”. Without THEM, there is no way to claim that anything is in fact real. Objective reality is a function of the individual’s existence, not the other way around.
Here’s the irony:
A person’s own ability to be themselves within a setting (i.e. the Universe) absolutely referenced to and thus given meaning and purpose by themselves is the only means by which he or she can express the (false) idea that the Universe exists utterly, fully, and autonomously without them. This has the contrary effect of rendering themselves utterly irrelevant to the very idea they are promoting. If everything exists outside of them, then what they think or believe or do is entirely irrelevant to the existence of that which is outside of them, by definition, which means they cannot possibly be integrated with reality, operating somehow from an infinitely separate frame of reference than the reality they observe (and how they can even observe a reality outside themselves is another problem), which means they can have no reference for their own existence, which makes the whole idea moot, as opposed to true. And if what they think or say or do, being an absolute function of themselves (which it is, by definition), is irrelevant, then they themselves, in their very person, are irrelevant. Which is to say that the “objective reality” outside of them will do what it does regardless of whether they exist or not. For how can one advocate practical interaction with an environment which is absolutely objective and autonomous without the individual?
In order for man to manifest himself practically and efficaciously upon his environment, man must exist as an absolute part of it, which means that we cannot separate the existence of the individual from the existence of his environment. There is no rational way to mitigate or compromise on the distinction. If man is, and his environment is, then they both are…equally and inseparably . (So then, where does the distinction occur, since it is not and cannot be a physical one? An interesting question for you to consider.)
Either man is a fully existent and completely integrated to his environment or he is fully, materially, distinct. And the latter makes it impossible to argue that man exists at all because it puts an insurmountable chasm between man and that upon which he must manifest himself–as a juxtapositional reference–in order to claim that he is, in fact, observably himself from that which he is not, this being the basic and essential criteria in declaring that some thing–some unique thing–exists. That is, in order to define what something is, the thing must be referenced to that which it is NOT. Otherwise, it simply cannot be defined, because that which is infinite (absent a reference by which to juxtapose its unique and particular location in the Universe), or having no end, cannot be said to be “this”, because there is no “that” by which to make “this” mean anything specific. (I know this is a bit confusing, hang in there.) So again, it cannot be defined. And if it cannot be defined then it cannot be said to exist; either to itself nor to anything, or anyone, else.
This why I have denied the idea that God is an infinite Being. (Though he does have an infinite metaphysic, like the human individual does, which is a little different, because in the metaphysical sense, “infinity” is better defined as absolutely, meaning that man and God are absolutely themselves, in existential essence…their Self, which is their standard and reference for existence, is singular, not collective). Because if God was in fact infinite, then He could not be defined as God (He could not even define Himself as God) because nothing could exist besides Him, which would remove any reference by which anyone (“anyone”, likewise,not being able to exist in the presence of a Being which is infinite) could know Him as God. God would not be God, He would be an infinite IS, which is, practically speaking, the exact same thing as being an infinite IS NOT. Meaning for something to be infinitely something is functionally identical to being infinitely nothing. For there is no relevancy to what is infinite, because nothing else can exist for it to be relevant TO. And if it isn’t relevant TO anything, that must necessarily includes itself, which, being infinite, and never ending, never ceasing, cannot be conceptualized, which means it cannot be integrated into the organizational paradigm (language) by which all things in the Universe are identified and granted efficacy.
Now–and I touched upon this in the parentheses above–it is important to understand that there is a distinction between the infinity of essence and the finiteness of material objects in the material universe which are given meaning and purpose by the human ability to integrate them into into a conceptual paradigm by which people organize and thus “know” their own environment. The infinity of essence–the absolute metaphysic– is what I might describe as the infinite ability to be whatever something is; the idea that if something IS it can never be an IS NOT, nor could what is something be a direct function of nothing. For example, take the doctrine of ex nihilo, or the idea that God created the Universe out of nothing. Even a third grader can understand why this must be false; for nothing and something are mutually exclusive, where “nothing” is merely an abstract, conceptual placeholder, like the mathematical placeholder of zero, to describe the absence of a thing with respect to a specific situation or context. For example, “John is doing nothing at home today”. We all understand that John, because he IS, cannot thus be literally doing nothing. For at the very least John is existing. “Nothing” then is merely an abstraction humans use for the purpose of communication. It is a linguistic tool, much like “zero” is a mathematical one.
The finiteness of material “existence”, or of material objects is based upon the human ability, as I previously mentioned, to conceptualize what he/she observes. This is the ability of the sentient–the self aware–agent to make a conceptual distinction, via observation, between what he/she is and what he/she is not to an infinite degree (though this is not akin to “observational empiricism”; or “scientific empiricism”…which is the idea that the senses are the source of all human knowledge, as opposed to the ability of the human to conceptualize the Self as being the source of all human knowledge). In other words, material distinction is a function of the ability to be self-aware (some might call it consciousness, but I think this muddies the issue; for “ability” is not consciousness), not a function of “objective material reality”.
Please understand that I am not being contradictory here. I am not suggesting there is any such real, actual thing as the finiteness of material objects. I do not, in other words, acknowledge the existence and efficacious power of “space”. For space, or that which is the absence of objects, cannot by definition be an object itself which separates other objects into some kind of infinite vacuum of themselves. Rather, “space” is merely a way human beings conceptualize the relative movement between objects they observe as distinct, but this does not make the objects actually distinct. The ability to observe objects as distinct is rooted absolutely in the human ability to conceptualize their own Self; and this necessitates the ability to conceptualize what their own Self is NOT, and infinitely so. The infinite ability to make distinctions between what you are and what you are NOT maintains the consistency of the infinity of existence, or of essence. In other words, the infinity of existence is manifest in the infinite number of ways you can conceptualize the distinctions between Self and Environment. You are not a cup, a car…you are not even the parts of your body…your hand, your hip, your kidney, or your brain, necessarily, when speaking observationally and conceptually. You are not a table, the sky, the tree, God, Joe, that weird kid who stared at you in fourth grade, a bird, the number three, a magic trick, a preposition, the article “the”…and on and on the distinctions go. You see, there is fundamentally no difference between infinity and an infinite number of objects moving in an infinite number of ways, in root essence…they are tautological. But what renders a distinction between these two notions, and an infinitely meaningful distinction at that, is the human ability to, again, infinitely conceptualize the difference between Self and Not Self, the only purpose of which, incidentally, is for the promotion and perpetuation of Self.
(NOTE: The question of how the human ability to infinitely conceptualize the distinction between Self and Not Self can be efficaciously manifest in a Universe where there is no such thing as space or time (these are conceptual abstractions)–where everything is utterly rooted infinity–is another article. I will get to that in the near future.)
Getting back to this idea that the human being exists “outside” of “objective reality”–there is no scientific “evidence” (the only real evidence is reason), and no rationally consistent philosophical argument, which can prove that the human body–that which we identify with the individual Self, as being indistinguishable from his/her ability to manifest existence–is somehow existentially distinct from the rest of the Universe. For it is merely stating the rank obvious to say that all of the chemical compounds and fundamental particles which can be found in “objective reality outside of us” can also be found inside of us, that is, our bodies. It is likewise stating the obvious to say that if the human body can interact with the “objective reality outside of us” then the human body must have categorical integration with such a reality, which makes the human body equally as real, thus rendering any distinction between the human body and a “reality outside of him/her” impossible.
The difference then is in man’s capacity, his absolute ability to recognize himself conceptually, in the practical form of his body (which I describe as the first fruits of man’s labor–the work of his own existing, which no one else can do for him), as distinct from the environment. The distinction then is a function of man’s sentient frame of reference for Self–his own absolute and infinite perspective, and this, again, to re-re-reiterate, is a product of his own ability to know, and to thus be, what he is. Existence then, and knowledge, and thus truth and morality (those things from which knowledge is derived) are a direct function of man’s ability to BE. YOU must be YOU, before anything can be known, or believed, or done. Without you, in other words, there cannot be anything “outside” of you. Period. You are the beginning and end of existence. And not simply your existence, but existence absolutely.