Tuesday, July 5, 2022

The Seen & Unseen Nature of Our Own Reality


Beneath our surface impressions of our face

This image of the seen and unseen reality of a face conveys a sense of meaning beyond the words we normally use to describe what we see of our face. One of those “a picture is worth a thousand words” images that transcends our sense of knowing our reality, with its layered depiction of facial anatomy. An image exemplifying the multi-layered nature of reality and the superficial nature of language, demonstrated in the surface impression of a word like face

The image is meant to convey a sense of mirage-like illusions caused by memory. As we continue to examine the illusory nature of our perceptions. Using this context of a seen and unseen nature to our own reality to question how much we really know ourselves. By asking, “is it possible to form a visceral and cognitive awareness of the seen and unseen reality of your face and begin changing your sense of reality?”

A possibility I practice with the same duality of awareness that honors ancient wisdom's advise to know thyself. With my cognitive awareness of the word face balanced by a sensation awareness of its multi-layered composition. A sensation awareness of all those facial muscles depicted in this image, for example. With a practice of inner sensation awareness that finds a parallel with feeling the sun’s warmth on the surface of my skin, through the warmth produced by the microvascular blood flow beneath the surface of my face.

A product of unseen blood flow that requires neither conscious awareness nor control for its subconsciously automatic functioning, as one of the multi-layered biological systems that makes me human. A subconscious and conscious paradox that speaks to the illusory aspects of consciousness given voice in spiritual wisdom sayings about human consciousness, language, and our everyday sense of meaning in life. 

Don't mistake your finger for the moon. — Ancient Koan

Like the proverb about the sun this koan presents us with a word puzzle that hides its meaning in plain sight. For just as we all see the sun, we can all see our finger whenever we point at the moon, regardless of ideas about our finger or the moon we learned in childhood. Does this cryptic advice about our finger and the moon point suggest a subtle misuse of imagination within our ideas and the symbolic nature of language? Do many spiritual wisdom sayings warn the world to come about a perennial problem of self-deception?

A subtle form of self-deception created through the habit formed nature of our incorporated — include as a component — ideas about reality. Realized by contemplating the way we habitually use ideas and words to signify our anatomy and solar phenomena like the sun and moon. For example, if you look at one of your forefingers knowing perfectly well that you cannot see inside your finger. Then move that finger as rapidly as you can, you may feel a visceral awareness of the superficial nature of words and their meaning?

And does a thought bubble image with the word forefinger inside convey a sense of how the ideas that form words are created by your mind's imagination? That the words within your mind are ideas about your visual experience of your finger? While the sensations you experienced during those rapid finger movements represent a different kind of vision. 

A felt-sense beneath the thought or imagined sense of reality we create with our learned ideas about reality. An imagined sense of reality, this inside the skin perspective suggests, is the illusory form of consciousness, ancient wisdom sayings call into question.

While in the context of human language, the image questions how we think of words within the unseen reality of our mind. Which from a perspective on adaptive-realizations, begs the self-cross-examination questions: “what is an idea, what is a thought, what is a word and what is the reality of my mind?”

And does this outside-inside perspective suggest that recognizing inconvenient truths about the way we understand ourselves calls us towards a transcendence of mere word recognition? Do you think transcendence is important to our way of being in this world during an era of technology enabled globalization and increasing technology dependence?

While one practical example of how our ideas of reality lack an in-depth comprehension involves our surface impressions of technology. In the way we look at the images on our smartphone screen with little idea of how these images emerge from the technology inside.

And just as we don’t need to know how the images on our smartphone screen emerge, neither do we need to know how ideas emerge inside our heads. Just as we do not need to know about the unseen structure and function of our smartphones, neither do we need to know about the unseen structure and function of our nervous system. Or the internal reality of our hands as we manipulate our smartphones.

Does the image of ideas or thought bubbles inside a head symbolize human imagination in the context of experiencing perceptual wisdom and realized being? Is it teasing out the experiential meaning of Socrates’ “true knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing,” and why cognitive scientists talk about a global need to awaken from a meaning crisis

A crisis of meaning this blog frames as the product of our subconsciously conditioned behavior and the illusory nature of our perceptions. Explored in this video:

The video uses footage from the movie Blade Runner, an adaptation of Philip K Dick's book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? To ask perceptual wisdom questions about humanity’s spoken languages and how this quintessentially human behaviour becomes as automatic as riding a bike? Exploring how we are all replicants in our use of language as we unwittingly replicate the reification fallacy of humanity’s original sin. 

Asking scrolling text questions of perceptual wisdom like Do we humans transform ideas into spoken words in our need to communicate? Causing the formation of a reification pattern? Has the replication of a reification fallacy caused a crisis of meaning? And as you watch this video, imagine Rachael’s response to Blade Runner Deckard as “how can you not know what you are,” to contemplate how this "what" we are questioning reframes our outlook on reality?

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.

Does George Bernard Shaw's comment resonate with the illusory sense of meaning this post is trying to convey? As we seek to enhance a visceral grasp of the illusory nature of word defined knowledge with more images. For example, compare what knowledgeable — extensive information or understanding — sense of reality is conveyed in the written word brain to a graphic representing the 100 million neuron make up of a brain and a graphic photo of a real brain:

And what about the graphic above representing the 12 cranial nerves so vital to all the non-conscious processes that keep us alive and help to orchestrate the automatic functioning of the adult behaviors we take for granted? Do these images convey a sense of realization about how little we really know about our reality? Is the acknowledgment of self-ignorance a first step towards understanding how we suffer from an illusory level consciousness? An illusory level that involves the way we use our imagination to identify reality by naming our lived-experience with ideas. Ideas, as the thought aspect of our experience of mind and our conscious relationship with reality.

While privately, within the unseen reality of your own mind, do you sometimes get a sense that there is far more to your lived-experience than the consensus-reality ideas we need to communicate and survive in our social-world? And is it true that even though we must conform to the consensus-reality ideas of our own culture as adults, every human being has the universal experience of conception, birth, infancy and shares the mark of our extraordinary capacity for adaptation?

Which from Einstein’s levels of consciousness perspective seems to be a journey from the sentient ― endowed with feeling consciousness ― sense of reality we are born with, to the conceptualized — have the idea for — sense of reality we take for granted as adults. Take for granted because our adaptive motivation enables us to fit into the social environments humanity has created for itself? And as cognitive scientists point out, does nature’s fitness agenda override our desire for truths about reality?

And is comprehending the truth of our own reality beneath the surface impressions of our face, for example. Better contemplated through a multi-layered picture worth a thousand words, like this one:

Does the picture above help us grasp the perceptual wisdom of realized being by acknowledging that none of our ideas about the face we see when we look in a mirror are actually true? And that for the sake of efficient, at glance perceptions, do we create a 2D map of our facial anatomy? Or the 2D map of a beautiful meadow we create when all we comprehend are the surface impression ideas that instantly spring to mind?

Does looking at this 3D photo of mother nature’s magnificence and glancing at the seen and unseen reality of a human face help us be mindful of the inner and outer nature of reality this chapter has tried to convey? As I’ve tried to explain the usefulness and the limits of descriptive languages and the adaptive realizations involved in the perceptual wisdom of psycho-spiritual rebirth. Particularly, the habit formed nature of our behaviors and perceptions that cause us to take our experience of life for granted and avoid the need to face inconvenient truths about our self-ignorance?

Like the possibility that despite our scientific era’s vast increase in knowledge, we are lacking the spiritual wisdom of our ancestors, signified in the proverbs about the sun, our fingers and the moon? And is one inconvenient truth of our current era the fact that our human anatomy and our adaptive capacity for behaviors' and perceptions has not changed for at least 40,000 years? While in the context of human knowledge and how knowledgeable we really are, the next post/chapter explores the illusory nature of our conscious experience and the problem of a consensus-reality reification fallacy through the conscious effect of reading.

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