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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/13/09

How many of us have awakened from political/social phantasmagoria and seen The Beast?

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The philosopher Plato was a dualist.  He said life had two radically different parts.  One was the trivial world of our senses and the other was the transcendental, abstract world of forms and ideas.

 

The consensus mind set of our species is contaminated with similar dualities.  For example, the gulf between the so-called "separate self" and the so-called "external world" (i.e., that from which the separate self is separate).

 

This belief is still nearly universal in the human mind set, even though it is beyond absurd.  For example, there’s the philosophical toy of when a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one to hear it, is there any sound?

 

Well, in the first place this isn't a "toy" question and it isn't even a paradox, because when asked with sophistication, is it self evident that the answer is categorically no.

 

Think of it like this.  When a tree falls in the forest and there isn't any life form (it certainly doesn't have to be human) with an auditory nervous system which transacts with vibrating air, there is no sound.  Indeed, "sound" and "hearing" are two different aspects of the same phenomenon.  No one "hears" sound, since hearing/sound is a unity. 

 

More radically, the same is true for the visible world which never exists unless a life form with an optical nervous system is keyed into some interval of the electromagnetic spectrum.  Succinctly put, your don't view the view, since the view IS the view. 

 

Again, it must be emphasized that the above is not toy talk, hopeless paradoxes, or empty intellectualizing. It is (or should be) the self evident truth of things.  The larger moral is that it proves the alleged duality between humans and nature is utter nonsense.  The empirical world we live in (a bad way to say it) is the world our species "evokes", and this in turn is a beautiful reminder that the Universe is our home.  We are necessary "participants" -- not "visitors".

 

OK, enough philosophy/science. 

 

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A liberal American, PhD mathematician, bipedal Earthling.
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