C4 Continuously Co-creating The World We Perceive
The Philosophy Of Freedom By Rudolf Steiner
Chapter 4, The World As Perception
"To transform the unfree realm into the realm of free activity is the task of self-development."
Continuously Co-creating The World We Perceive
- This principle indicates that our understanding of reality is not static but constantly shaped and reshaped through our active engagement with, and interpretation of, our experiences.
The principle "Continuously Co-creating The World We Perceive" serves as a guide to self-actualization by emphasizing our active role in shaping our understanding of reality. It suggests that our perception of the world is not a passive receipt of information, but rather a dynamic, participatory process where our mental constructs interact with the objective world to create our experience and understanding of reality.
To progress toward self-actualization, one needs to fully recognize and actively engage in this co-creative process. This involves being aware of our preconceptions, biases, and mental models that can shape our perception, and continuously challenging and refining them based on our interaction with the objective reality.
By doing so, we can ensure that our understanding of the world is not confined by our current perceptions or beliefs, but is continuously evolving and expanding. This process of continuous learning and growth is key to self-actualization. It enables us to develop a more nuanced, comprehensive, and accurate understanding of the world, which can guide our actions and decisions more effectively.
Furthermore, recognizing our role in co-creating our perception empowers us to take responsibility for our worldview. It encourages us to be active seekers of knowledge and truth, rather than passive receivers of information. This active engagement with the world is a fundamental aspect of self-actualization, as it involves expressing our agency, exercising our cognitive capacities, and fulfilling our potential.
The principle of "Continuously Co-creating The World We Perceive" underscores the dynamic, participatory, and growth-oriented nature of perception, which is crucial for self-actualization.
Liam was a young engineer at a leading tech firm. He was considered a rising star, thanks to his technical prowess and innovative thinking. Yet, he felt a growing sense of discontent. His view of the world was defined by algorithms, code, and mathematical models - a worldview he realized was limited and sterile.
One day, Liam came across the principle of "Continuously Co-creating The World We Perceive". Intrigued, he began to delve deeper into it, realizing it offered a new approach to understanding reality, one that was not confined to his existing mental constructs.
He began to apply this principle to his work. Instead of relying solely on data and algorithms, he started to consider the users' perspectives, needs, and contexts. He began to view his creations not as isolated technical solutions but as co-creations with the users, shaped by their interactions and experiences. This shift in perception led to innovative designs that were not only technologically advanced but also user-centric and impactful.
But Liam didn't stop there. He started to apply this principle to his personal life as well. He realized that his understanding of his relationships, his interests, and even his individual identity was shaped by preconceived notions and limitations. Inspired by the principle of co-creation, he sought to actively engage with and learn from his experiences, continuously refining his perceptions and beliefs.
For instance, he had always seen himself as an introverted "tech geek" who was not good at social interactions. However, he started to question this self-perception. He began to put himself in social situations more often, keen to learn and grow from these experiences. To his surprise, he found that he enjoyed these interactions and was quite good at connecting with people on a deep level. His perception of himself began to change, leading to a more nuanced and positive self-identity.
This approach also transformed his relationships. He became more open and empathetic, seeking to understand others' perspectives and experiences rather than projecting his assumptions onto them. His relationships became more authentic and fulfilling, further enriching his understanding of the world and himself.
Liam's journey towards self-actualization was not always easy. It involved confronting uncomfortable truths, challenging deeply ingrained beliefs, and navigating uncertainties. Yet, he found it incredibly rewarding. He felt more engaged with the world, more in tune with himself, and more capable of meaningful action.
Liam's story underscores the transformative power of the principle "Continuously Co-creating The World We Perceive". By embracing this principle, he was able to transcend the limitations of his previous worldview, broaden his understanding of reality, and progress towards self-actualization. His journey serves as an inspiring example of how we can actively shape our perception and growth, leading to a deeper, more fulfilling engagement with the world and ourselves.
How can understanding our role in the co-creation of our perceived reality transform our perception of the world and our place within it?
Chapter 4 The World As Perception
4.0 Thinking Reacts To Observation
Concepts and ideas are created through thinking and help us understand our surroundings. When we observe something, like a tree, our mind generates a conceptual counterpart that is associated with the object. Once the object is no longer in view, the concept remains in our minds.
As we gain more experiences, our collection of concepts expands. These concepts form an interconnected system, with each having its unique position within the whole. Concepts can unite to become more comprehensive and complex ideas.
It's important to note that concepts don't come solely from observation. This is evident in the way children gradually develop concepts corresponding to objects in their environment. Concepts are actually added to our observations, enriching our understanding of the world.
Gaining a deep understanding of concepts and ideas can help us advance toward self-actualization. This process fosters critical thinking, self-awareness, and a more profound comprehension of our experiences. By consciously engaging with our thoughts and concepts, we can better navigate complex problems and lead more fulfilling lives.
12 Principles of Continuously Co-creating The World We Perceive
□ Step 4.1 Generalize Phenomena - From generalized relationship to conceptual relationship.
The contrast between "generalized relationship" and "conceptual relationship" can be illustrated through an example of observing a rustling noise in the grass. A "generalized relationship" refers to associating a disturbance with movement based on countless previous experiences. In this case, an observer connects the rustling noise to the movement of some object, such as an animal, based on their prior knowledge of similar events.
A "conceptual relationship," on the other hand, involves actively searching for the concept that fits the observation, such as recognizing the rustling noise as an "effect" and seeking its "cause." This approach goes beyond mere observation and utilizes thought to connect separate experiences. The concepts of "cause" and "effect" cannot be gained from observation alone; they require thinking to establish connections between various experiences.
Understanding the differences between "generalized relationship" and "conceptual relationship" can help individuals advance toward self-actualization by promoting critical thinking, self-awareness, and a deeper understanding of the world. By grasping these distinctions and consciously applying conceptual thinking, people can develop a more comprehensive understanding of various situations, better navigate complex problems, and ultimately, lead a more fulfilling life.
Scenario: Sound of a Falling Object
Stage 1 - Generalized Relationship: The materialist hears a loud thud coming from the next room. Over time, they have encountered numerous instances of hearing loud thud sounds associated with objects falling, such as an item falling off a bench or a table. These repeated experiences have conditioned them to associate such sounds with a fallen item. As a result, they search the floor for the object responsible for the sound, finding a book that fell off the shelf.
Stage 2 - Conceptual Relationship: The materialist perceives a loud thud and thought makes it clear the sound must be the effect of something. The concept of "effect" calls up the concept of "cause," leading them to look for the object that is the cause, which is found to be the book on the floor.
Scenario: Electrical Device Malfunction
Stage 1 - Generalized Relationship: The materialist perceives that a flashlight is not functioning and, through repeated experiences, instinctively replaces the batteries, yet the flashlight still does not work.
Stage 2 - Conceptual Relationship: The person observes the malfunctioning flashlight and recognizes it as an "effect." The concept of "effect" calls up the concept of "cause," and they look for the cause by checking the batteries, the bulb, and the switch. They discover that the switch is broken.
Scenario: Math Test
Stage 1 - Generalized Relationship: The materialist student performs poorly on a math test and, based on repeated failures in math, have generalized their relationship with math as them being inherently bad at the subject.
Stage 2 - Conceptual Relationship: The student recognizes math failure as being an effect. The concept of "effect" calls up the concept of "cause," and they look for the cause by reevaluating their study habits, identifying a lack of practice and understanding of specific mathematical concepts, and decide to work on those areas to improve their performance.
Scenario: Athletic Performance
Stage 1 - Generalized Relationship: The materialist athlete loses a game and, drawing from repeated losses, have generalized their performance in sports as always poor under pressure.
Stage 2 - Conceptual Relationship: The athlete recognizes their poor performance is an effect. The concept of "effect" calls up the concept of "cause," and they examine concepts of their performance and identifies areas for improvement, such as mental focus, technique, and physical conditioning, and work on those aspects to enhance their performance in high-pressure situations.
Scenario: Social Anxiety
Stage 1 - Generalized Relationship: The materialist feels anxious at a social gathering, and based repeated past experiences, they have generalized their relationship with others as not being good in social situations resulting in them preferring isolation over social contact.
Stage 2 - Conceptual Relationship: The person recognizes their social awkwardness is an effect. The concept of "effect" calls up the concept of "cause." They look for the cause by reflecting on the concepts contributing to their anxiety, such as the size of the gathering or the unfamiliarity of the attendees, and develops strategies to cope with these specific triggers.
Scenario: Steaming Hot Beverage
Stage 1 - Generalized Relationship: The materialist perceives steam rising from a hot beverage and, through repeated experiences, instinctively waits for the beverage to cool down before drinking.
Stage 2 - Conceptual Relationship: The person observes the steam and recognizes it as an "effect" of the hot liquid evaporating. The concept of "effect" calls up the concept of "cause," and they understand that the cause of the steam is heat being released allowing it to cool. To speed up the cooling process they add a piece of ice.
□ Step 4.2 Thinking Reference - From thinking consciousness to thinker reference.
In human consciousness, thinking and observation come together, connecting concepts and experiences. "Thinking consciousness" is the active part of the mind that perceives ourselves as the thinking subject and other things as objects. When we focus on the world, we have consciousness of objects, and when we direct our thoughts inward, we have self-consciousness.
On the other hand, "thinking reference" is the process of connecting concepts to objects, transcending the divide between subject and object. It's not a subjective activity, as thinking goes beyond these concepts and helps us define ourselves as individuals. The subject doesn't think merely because it is a subject; rather, it appears as a subject because it can think.
The dual nature of humans arises from our ability to think, which encompasses both ourselves and the world. By understanding "thinking consciousness" and "thinking reference," we can better grasp the way our thinking shapes our perception of ourselves and our surroundings.
Understanding this distinction promotes a deeper self-awareness and a more comprehensive understanding of the world. By grasping the nuances of thinking, we can navigate our way towards self-actualization and ultimately, a more fulfilling life.
Scenario: Mysterious Light
Stage 1 - Thinking consciousness: The spiritist becomes conscious of a mysterious light and becomes conscious of the activity of thinking interpreting it as a spirit or supernatural presence. These thoughts express content of their spiritual nature seeing themselves as an individual spirit confronting the unknown.
Stage 2 - Thinking reference: Upon further reflection upon the light, the spiritist refers scientific concepts like light refraction, bioluminescence, and man-made light sources to explain the mysterious light. By doing so, they transcend the separation between the spiritual world and themselves, as it allows them to recognize the interconnected nature of various phenomena, rather than exclusively attributing them to the spiritual realm.
Stage 1 - Thinking consciousness: The spiritist becomes conscious of a vivid dream and becomes conscious of their thinking activity interpreting the dream as personal guidance from the spirit world. This spiritualistic interpretation creates a sense of separation between them and the spiritual world while still maintaining a unique spiritual connection.
Stage 2 - Thinking reference: The spiritist entertains the idea that dreams could be products of the subconscious mind rather than exclusive messages from the spiritual world. Thinking refers concepts to the dream that relate to a more comprehensive understanding of the mind, thus transcending the separation and find unity with the spiritual world, acknowledging the interconnected nature of consciousness and spirituality.
Scenario: Healing Crystals
Stage 1 - Thinking consciousness: The spiritist becomes conscious of the use of various crystals for the purpose of healing. They are also conscious of the belief that their personal energy is specially attuned to the crystals' vibrations amplifying the healing power of the crystals, reinforcing their position in the world as a uniquely powerful healer.
Stage 2 - Thinking reference: Their thinking activity refers scientific concepts related to the placebo effect and the power of suggestion to crystal healing, recognizing that the healing effect might be more universal and not solely reliant on their personal connection to the stones. Connecting crystal healing to broader psychological and cognitive factors that may be at play enables a broader understanding of the phenomenon.
Scenario: Intuitive Insights
Stage 1 - Thinking consciousness: The spiritist becomes conscious of facing difficult decisions in the world and is aware of experienceing intuitive insights. They trust these insights as spiritual guidance, believing they possess a special connection to higher knowledge as a mystic.
Stage 2 - Thinking reference: Reflecting on the power of intuition, the spiritist decides to study cognitive science to learn about the brain's processes in generating intuition and insights. By referring concepts of cognitive science to their experience of intuition through thinking activity, they gain a deeper understanding that transcends their personal beliefs. They come to recognize the interconnected nature of cognition and the shared human experience of intuition.
Scenario: Sacred Art
Stage 1 - Thinking consciousness: The spiritist enjoys immersing themselves in sacred art and symbols, experiencing an emotional and imaginative connection with the imagery. They feel that this connection transcends ordinary knowledge and leads them to spiritual heights.
Stage 2 - Thinking reference: The spiritist explores the deeper meanings of the imagery by thinking activity referring the conceptual meaning of the symbols, cultural context, and art history. This understanding allows them to appreciate and relate to the spiritual world more comprehensively, enriching their spiritual identity while recognizing the shared historical foundations of sacred art.
Stage 1 - Thinking consciousness: The spiritist is conscious of their belief in reincarnation and perceives their current life as one in a series of many, creating a distinct sense of self within the context of their spiritual journey.
Stage 2 - Thinking reference: The spiritist delves into the philosophy of life and death. Their thinking activity refers different perspectives on the nature of existence and the afterlife to their current beliefs. This exploration transcends their personal beliefs about reincarnation, acknowledging the shared human quest to understand the mysteries of life and death.
□ Step 4.3 Conceptual Relationships - From pure observation to conceptual relationships.
Pure observation and conceptual relationships are two distinct aspects of our understanding of the world. Pure observation involves experiencing the world without any thought, resulting in a chaotic collection of disconnected sense-data, such as colors, sounds, and feelings. In contrast, conceptual relationships are the connections that our thought process creates between these sense-data, forming a more coherent and structured understanding of our environment.
Understanding the difference between pure observation and conceptual relationships can help us advance toward self-actualization. By recognizing that our experiences are made up of both raw sense-data and the connections we create through thought, we become more aware of the active role our minds play in shaping our perception of the world. This awareness can lead to deeper self-understanding, better problem-solving, and more fulfilling experiences as we consciously engage with our thoughts and the world around us.
Scenario: Encountering a strange insect
Stage 1 - Thought-free observation: Seeing an unfamiliar insect with specific features like iridescent wings, an elongated body, and a complex pattern on its exoskeleton without knowing what it is.
Stage 2 - Conceptual relationships: Identifying the insect as a specific species, connecting its features to concepts like adaptation, mimicry, and evolution, and understanding its ecological role in the environment.
Scenario: Discovering an unusual rock formation
Stage 1 - Thought-free observation: Observing an oddly-shaped rock formation with specific characteristics like intricate layers, vibrant colors, and curious patterns without any context.
Stage 2 - Conceptual relationships: Recognizing the geological processes that formed the rock, connecting its features to concepts like erosion, sedimentation, and tectonic activity, and understanding the formation's significance in the Earth's history.
Scenario: Analyzing an ancient artifact
Stage 1 - Thought-free observation: Discovering an unusual artifact with specific features like intricate carvings, unfamiliar materials, and a mysterious purpose without any context.
Stage 2 - Conceptual relationships: Identifying the artifact's origin, understanding its cultural significance, and connecting its features to concepts like craftsmanship, symbolism, and historical events.
Scenario: Watching an obscure sport
Stage 1 - Thought-free observation: Observing a rare, unfamiliar sport with specific rules, equipment, and gameplay without any understanding of its objective or strategy.
Stage 2 - Conceptual relationships: Learning the rules and objectives of the sport, recognizing the athletic skills involved, and connecting the gameplay to concepts like strategy, teamwork, and cultural traditions.
Scenario: Observing an abstract painting
Stage 1 - Thought-free observation: Seeing specific colors such as bright reds and blues, noticing irregular shapes, and identifying bold brushstrokes without understanding their purpose or meaning.
Stage 2 - Conceptual relationships: Interpreting the artist's intent, connecting visual elements like color choice and composition to emotions like anger or sadness, and considering themes or historical context.
Visiting a historical site
Stage 1 - Thought-free observation: Seeing old structures, specific artifacts, and landscape without understanding their historical significance.
Stage 2 - Conceptual relationships: Learning about the site's history, connecting architecture and artifacts to specific time periods and cultural practices, and recognizing the site's importance to past events.
□ Step 4.4 Conceptual Relationships - From world-picture contradictions to world-picture corrections.
A percept refers to the immediate objects or elements that we become aware of through our senses during observation. It is important to note that the term "percept" does not describe the act of observing, but rather the object or sensation that we are observing. A percept can encompass inner feelings and thoughts. When we become aware of our feelings or thoughts, they become percepts, and we can then gain knowledge about them.
World-picture contradictions arise when our initial perceptions or interpretations of the world are proven to be incomplete or inaccurate by new information or experiences. For instance, a child might initially think they can grab the moon, only to learn later that it is much farther away than it seems. Similarly, humanity's understanding of the earth's relationship to celestial bodies had to be revised when new observations contradicted the previously held beliefs.
World-picture corrections, on the other hand, involve modifying our understanding of the world based on new information or experiences. This can happen in daily life, such as when a person adjusts their perception of an object's size after gaining more information, or on a larger scale, as seen in the scientific revolution initiated by Copernicus. By acknowledging contradictions in our world-picture and making necessary corrections, we can develop a more accurate and complete understanding of the world.
Recognizing world-picture contradictions and making corrections allows us to adapt and grow based on new experiences and information. As we refine our understanding of the world, we become better equipped to navigate our environment, make informed decisions, and pursue personal growth.
Scenario: Colorful Shadows
Stage 1 - World-picture contradictions: The idealist sees a white light cast a shadow and assumes all shadows are black or gray. However, when they observe a shadow cast by a colored light, this contradicts their initial perception.
Stage 2 - World-picture corrections: By observing various light sources and their effects on shadows, their world-picture advances to incorporate the idea of colored shadows depending on the light source.
Scenario: Power of Music
Stage 1 - World-picture contradictions: The idealist believes that music is merely a form of entertainment without any tangible benefits. However, they observe music therapy sessions and witness the positive impact on participants, contradicting their initial perception.
Stage 2 - World-picture corrections: By observing more musical therapy sessions they learn about the psychological and physiological effects of music, expanding their world-picture to include the healing power of music and its potential to uplift the human spirit.
Scenario: Invisible Pollution
Stage 1 - World-picture contradictions: The idealist assumes that pollution is always visible, such as smog or litter. However, they learn about the existence of noise pollution and its harmful effects, altering their initial perception.
Stage 2 - World-picture corrections: By investigating the sources and consequences of noise pollution, the idealist refines their world-picture to incorporate the idea that pollution can take various forms, some of which are not immediately apparent.
Scenario: Curious Creatures
Stage 1 - World-picture contradictions: The idealist believes that animals act solely on instinct without curiosity or problem-solving abilities. However, they observe an animal using tools and exhibiting curiosity, contradicting their initial perception.
Stage 2 - World-picture corrections: By researching animal cognition and observing various species demonstrating intelligence and creativity, the idealist expands their world-picture to include the notion of animals possessing diverse cognitive capabilities beyond instinct.
Scenario: Boundless Mind
Stage 1 - World-picture contradictions: The idealist assumes that learning ability decreases with age. However, they witness elderly people learning new skills and languages at the local community college, contradicting their initial perception.
Stage 2 - World-picture corrections: By exploring the concept of lifelong learning and understanding the brain's capacity for adaptation, the idealist refines their world-picture to embrace the potential for growth and learning at any age.
Scenario: Language of Nature
Stage 1 - World-picture contradictions: The idealist believes that communication is limited to spoken or written language. However, they observe plants or animals communicating through chemical signals, contradicting their initial perception.
Stage 2 - World-picture corrections: By studying various forms of communication among living organisms, the idealist refines their world-picture to include a wider range of communication methods beyond human language.
□ Step 4.5 Observation Correction - From observer's perception-picture to observation correction.
Our perception of the world is influenced by two main factors: our position as observers and our bodily and mental organization. Our perception-picture, or the way we view things, is determined by our observation point. For example, trees at the far end of an avenue appear smaller and closer together than those nearby. Similarly, our understanding of the sun and solar system is affected by the fact that we observe them from Earth.
Furthermore, our perceptual world is also dependent on our bodily and mental organization. For instance, we can only perceive sound if we have functioning ears, and the color we see depends on our eyes' structure. These factors influence the size, distance, and quality of our perceptions.
Recognizing that our perception-picture is influenced by our place of observation and our bodily and mental organization is essential for self-actualization. By understanding that our perception may be limited or distorted, we can make observation corrections to improve our understanding of the world. This awareness helps us progress towards a more accurate and nuanced understanding of ourselves and the world around us, ultimately contributing to our journey of self-actualization.
Scenario: Ambiguous Artwork
Stage 1 - Observer's perception-picture: A mathematist looks at an ambiguous piece of art that can be interpreted in multiple ways depending on the angle of observation. They believe the artwork has only one interpretation based on their initial viewpoint.
Stage 2 - Observation correction: They move to different viewing angle and discover other interpretations of the artwork. They correct their view of the art to include the various interpretations that emerge from different perspectives.
Scenario: Sunflower's Secret
Stage 1 - Observer's perception-picture: Causally observing a sunflower in their garden, the mathematist initially assumes that the arrangement of seeds in the flower head is random.
Stage 2 - Observation correction: They move closer to examine multiple sunflowers more closely and begins to notice a consistent pattern in the arrangement of the seeds. By counting the number of spirals in different directions, they realize that the seed arrangement follows the Fibonacci sequence. They update their perception-picture to include the underlying mathematical patterns in nature.
Scenario: The Honeybee's Dance
Stage 1 - Observer's perception-picture: The mathematist walks by a hive of honey bees in a tree, observing their movement and assuming it is random and has no specific purpose.
Stage 2 - Observation correction: The mathematist observes the bees more closely and notices that they perform specific dance patterns. They start a research project filming the dances to study the relationship between the dance patterns and the bees' activity, and discover that the dance is a language for the bees to share distance and direction to the food source that can be represented mathematically.
Scenario: Fractal Coastline
Stage 1 - Observer's perception-picture: The mathematist walks along the shore attempting to measure the beachfront, believing that coastlines have a fixed and constant length that can be easily measured using standard techniques.
Stage 2 - Observation correction: Upon further observation and comparing coastlines at different scales, the mathematist discovers the fractal nature of coastlines, which means that their lengths appear to change depending on the level of detail considered. This observation leads them to correct their perception-picture and adopt a more nuanced understanding of the complex structure of coastlines.
Scenario: Mysterious Taste
Stage 1 - Observer's perception-picture: The mathematist brushes their teeth to cleanse their palate in preparation to enjoy the exotic flavors of a gourmet dish, but upon tasting it, they perceive it as bland and assume the chef used inadequate seasoning.
Stage 2 - Observation correction: The mathematist learns that the strong taste of toothpaste can temporarily dull the taste buds, affecting their perception of flavors. They wait for their taste buds to recover, revisit the dish later, and fully appreciate its true flavors.
Scenario: Muted Symphony
Stage 1 - Observer's perception-picture: The mathematist attends a symphony concert and perceives the music as dull and lacking certain frequencies, assuming the performance is flawed.
Stage 2 - Observation correction: The mathematist undergoes a hearing test and realizes their hearing is impaired at certain frequencies. They use hearing aids to correct their perception and fully appreciate the music.
□ Step 4.6 Subjective Percept - From subjective percepts To percept partly determined by perceiver.
Our perceptions, or the way we experience the world, are initially subjective. This subjectivity can lead us to question whether an objective reality exists at all, since our perceptions rely on our individual bodily and mental organization. For instance, we perceive color and sound only because of the specific structures in our eyes and ears.
This realization can make us wonder if anything exists outside of our perception. Some argue that without an observer, there would be no color, sound, or even form and extension. In this view, objects only exist because of our perception and have no independent meaning.
However, recognizing that our percepts are partly determined by our personal organization is important for self-actualization. While we cannot determine the exact role our perception plays in shaping our experiences, acknowledging that our subjective perception is a factor can help us understand the world more accurately. By recognizing the influence of our perceiving selves on our experiences, we can work towards a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of reality, ultimately aiding our journey towards self-actualization.
Scenario: Color Perception in Painting
Stage 1 - Subjective perception: The rationalist artist creates a painting with colors that look vibrant under the natural sunlight in their studio. However, when they display the artwork at an indoor gallery with dim artificial lighting, the colors appear dull and less expressive. This leads them to question the objective nature of colors.
Stage 2 - Perception partly determined by perceiver: After learning about color perception and lighting conditions in a color theory class, the artist understands that perception is influenced by personal organization and environment. This knowledge enables them to create artwork that appears impressive under various viewing conditions.
Scenario: Auditory Hallucinations
Stage 1 - Subjective perception: The rationalist is studying late at night and hears a faint voice calling their name. They wonder if the sound exists in objective reality or if it's just a figment of their imagination existing solely within their perception.
Stage 2 - Perception partly determined by perceiver: After researching the phenomenon of auditory hallucinations, the rationalist learns that factors such as stress and sleep deprivation can lead to such experiences. With this understanding, they can better distinguish between objective sounds and those resulting from their subjective perception, allowing them to focus on their studies without being distracted by false auditory cues.
Scenario: Phantom Limb Syndrome
Stage 1 - Subjective perception: The rationalist, who lost their arm in an accident, experiences phantom limb sensations, feeling as if their missing arm is still present and even able to move. There are times they forget the accident believing the sensation reflects an objective reality rather than existing solely within their perception.
Stage 2 - Perception partly determined by perceiver: The rationalist consults a neurologist and learns about the neurological basis of phantom limb syndrome, discovering that their brain's representation of their body contributes to their sensations. By recognizing the influence of their subjective perception, they can begin working with their healthcare provider to manage phantom limb sensations and adapt to the reality of their physical body.
Scenario: Scent Perception
Stage 1 - Subjective perception: The rationalist smells a perfume and finds it appealing, while their friend finds the same perfume unpleasant. This discrepancy in perceptions makes them question if scents have an objective quality or if they are solely products of individual perception.
Stage 2 - Perception partly determined by perceiver: Upon researching the science of scent perception, the rationalist discovers that personal preferences, genetic factors, and past experiences can influence how individuals perceive scents. This understanding helps them appreciate the complexity of scent perception and the role of personal organization in shaping individual experiences.
Scenario: Celebrity Height
Stage 1 - Subjective perception: The rationalist watches their favorite actor on TV and notices that the actor appears to be quite tall. However, when they have a chance to meet the actor in person, they realize that the actor is actually shorter than they initially thought. This leads them to question their perception of the actor's height.
Stage 2 - Perception partly determined by perceiver: The rationalist investigates the phenomenon of height perception in the context of celebrities and discovers that various factors contribute to their initial misperception. They learn that camera angles, visual effects, and the relative height of co-stars can all create the illusion of a celebrity being taller on screen.
Scenario: Perceiving Time
Stage 1 - Subjective perception: The rationalist notices that when they are busy, time seems to pass more quickly, whereas when they are bored, time appears to move slowly. This leads them to wonder if time is an objective reality or if it is merely a product of their perception.
Stage 2 - Perception partly determined by perceiver: The rationalist researches the psychology of time perception and discovers that various factors, including emotional states, levels of attention, and personal expectations, can influence how they perceive time. They learn that the brain's internal clock and memory systems contribute to their sense of time, which is influenced by their personal organization. For example, when engaged in a highly enjoyable activity, their brain may not focus on tracking time, leading to the perception that time flies by.
□ Step 4.7 Subjective Percept - From perception of object in world to self-perception of memory-picture after-affect (idea).
This discussion prompts us to shift our focus from the object we perceive to the subject who is perceiving it. We don't just perceive other things; we also perceive ourselves.
Self-perception first shows that we are the constant factor amidst a constant flow of perceptions. We can become aware of ourselves at any moment, even as we perceive other things. However, when we are fully absorbed in perceiving a specific object, our attention is solely on that object. The awareness of ourselves can be added to this. Then, we not only see a tree, but also know it is ourselves who see it.
Additionally, we are aware that something happens within us while we observe the tree. When the tree leaves our sight, a remnant of this process stays with us: an image of the tree. This image is connected to our self during the observation. Our self is enriched with the addition of a new component. We call this component our idea or memory-picture of the tree.
We would not be able to discuss ideas if we didn't experience them through our self-awareness. Percepts would come and go, and we would let them pass. It is only because we perceive ourselves that we realize each perception changes our self's content. By acknowledging the link between observing the object and the changes within ourselves, we can then talk about having an idea.
Scenario: Discovering a New Hiking Trail
Stage 1 - Perception of world: The psycheist stumbles upon a beautiful hiking trail during a weekend walk, forming an idea of a perfect escape into nature to reconnect and rejuvenate.
Stage 2 - Self-perception of memory-picture (idea): The person later recalls the idea of the trail and shares it with friends, discussing the importance of spending time in nature for mental well-being and planning a group hike together.
Scenario: Encountering a Triggering Topic
Stage 1 - Perception of world: The sensitive psycheist comes across a controversial topic being discussed by their peers in the university courtyard. The conversation touches on some of their personal experiences, causing distress and prompting them to seek refuge in a safe space.
Stage 2 - Self-perception of memory-picture (idea): In the safe space, they reflect on the disturbing ideas and share their feelings with others. Through this discussion, they realize that engaging with challenging topics is an opportunity to grow and develop emotional resilience, helping them better navigate difficult situations in the future.
Scenario: Winning a Competition
Stage 1 - Perception of world: The psycheist wins a sports competition experiencing the exhilaration of victory and recognition for their hard work.
Stage 2 - Self-perception of memory-picture (idea): The ideas of this achievement serves as a reminder of their capabilities and potential. They share this experience with a mentor who listens proudly, validating their accomplishments and reinforcing their self-esteem and determination to excel in other areas of life.
Scenario: Father's Day Surprise
Stage 1 - Perception of world: On Father's Day, the psycheist's family organized a surprise outing to his favorite fishing spot. They spent the day bonding, laughing, and creating a strong sense of togetherness.
Stage 2 - Self-perception of memory-picture (idea): As the father looks through the family scrapbook, he points out the photos from that day, sharing the memories with his family. They all relive the experience, cherishing the warmth and love of that special moment they shared together.
Scenario: MLK's "I Have a Dream" Speech
Stage 1 - Perception of world: The elderly psycheist attended Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963, where they heard him powerfully advocate for a society where people are judged by their character and not their skin color. This experience deeply impacted their understanding of race relations and civil rights issues.
Stage 2 - Self-perception of memory-picture (idea): The elderly person shares their ideas formed by attending the speech during that historical moment with younger individuals. This firsthand account inspires the young listeners to adopt a color-blind attitude towards race, reminding them of the importance of treating everyone equally and with respect, regardless of their background.
Scenario: Unexpected Job Loss
Stage 1 - Perception of world: The psycheist is called into their boss's office and unexpectedly laid off from their job, along with several other colleagues. They pack their belongings in a box and leave the office, feeling shock, disbelief, and worry about the future.
Stage 2 - Self-perception of memory-picture (idea): Closing their eyes to recall their ideas of the event, they talk about the experience with a therapist and learn about the concept of "mental fortitude" which involves adapting to adversity and using coping mechanisms to bounce back from difficult situations.
□ Step 4.8 Unknowable Thing-In-itself - From idea thrust into foreground to psychical experience open to doubt.
One misunderstanding is the belief that we can only know our ideas and not the objects themselves that cause our experiences. This Kantian view suggests that we are limited in our knowledge of the world, as our minds can only access it indirectly through our subjective thoughts and experiences. Our ideas are the only things we experience directly and know with certainty. No amount of doubt can undermine our knowledge of them. On the other hand, any knowledge that goes beyond our ideas is open to doubt.
When considering the concept that our ideas are thrust into the foreground, it is important to understand that this means we primarily experience our internal reactions to the world, rather than the world itself as it truly is. In other words, we do not directly perceive the objects in the world (the thing-in-itself), but rather, we only perceive our ideas about them. This notion limits our knowledge to our ideas, since we cannot access the external world directly.
Kant's view that we cannot perceive the world as it is has significant implications for our understanding of knowledge. When we only perceive our ideas, rather than the actual objects, our knowledge of the external world becomes limited to the way our mind interprets it. As a result, psychical experiences beyond our ideas become open to doubt because we cannot directly experience the external world.
This realization forces us to question the reliability of our perceptions and to recognize that our understanding of the world may be limited by the nature of our mind and its ability to interpret external stimuli. Understanding that our ideas may be thrust into the foreground, blinding us to the real world, can help us in our journey towards self-actualization.
Scenario: Cultural Exchange
Stage 1 - Idea thrust into the foreground: While participating in a cultural exchange program, the pneumatist discerns shared human values like kindness and respect across diverse cultures. They interpret these shared values as a vivid manifestation of the unifying spirit they believe orchestrates the world.
Stage 2 - Knowledge open to doubt: Upon reflecting later, they start to question their initial idea. They wonder if it might oversimplify the complexities and nuances of different cultures, which often manifest themselves in conflicts and misunderstandings.
Scenario: Walking in Nature
Stage 1 - Idea thrust into the foreground: During a walk in the forest, the pneumatist experiences a sense of deep peace and interconnectedness, interpreting it as a spiritual communion with nature. This idea overshadows the specific sensory details of the forest, such as the rustle of leaves or the bird songs.
Stage 2 - Knowledge open to doubt: Later, they read about the physiological effects of walking in nature, such as lowered stress hormones and improved mood. This makes them question whether their experience was a spiritual communion or a physiological response to being in a calming environment.
Scenario: Listening to Music
Stage 1 - Idea thrust into the foreground: As a pneumatist listens to soulful jazz played on a saxophone, they interpret the emotionally charged notes and improvisational elements as the musician's spiritual expression. The idea of music as a conduit for the saxophonist's spirit becomes central to their perception, overshadowing the technicality or genre of the music.
Stage 2 - Knowledge open to doubt: Later, they discover the saxophonist wrote this particular piece while giving in to the lower nature of drug use and romantic love affairs, rather than during a period of spiritual introspection. They question whether their perception of the music's spirituality was more a reflection of their own beliefs and projections, rather than an inherent truth in the music itself.
Scenario: Practicing Yoga
Stage 1 - Idea thrust into the foreground: While practicing yoga, the pneumatist feels a rush of energy up their spine during a particular pose, interpreting it as the awakening of Kundalini energy. This idea dominates their yoga experience.
Stage 2 - Knowledge open to doubt: Later, they read about various physiological explanations for such sensations, including the release of endorphins, changes in blood pressure, etc. They question if their interpretation of the sensation as a spiritual event was accurate or a mere physical reaction.
Scenario: Attending a Meditation Retreat
Stage 1 - Idea thrust into the foreground: During a week-long silent meditation retreat, the pneumatist encounters a deep sense of interconnectedness with all living beings. The idea of this unity and oneness overpowers the sensory perception of individual trees, birds, or other participants at the retreat.
Stage 2 - Knowledge open to doubt: After returning to the hustle and bustle of city life, the pneumatist begins to question the authenticity of their retreat experience. Could this profound sense of unity have been a result of the serene environment, lack of daily distractions, and the group effect? They question if this unity is a universally valid spiritual truth or a subjective experience influenced by the retreat setting.
Scenario: Deep Space Observation
Stage 1 - Idea thrust into the foreground: The pneumatist, peering through a telescope, perceives the predictable orbits of celestial bodies as evidence of a unifying principle or spirit that organizes the universe.
Stage 2 - Knowledge open to doubt: However, when they learn about the Uncertainty Principle in quantum mechanics, which suggests inherent randomness at the quantum level, they face doubt. They question if the universe's orderliness is just a macroscopic appearance arising from underlying randomness, challenging their initial perception of a unifying principle. This realization brings into question whether the order they saw was truly a manifestation of a unifying spirit, or simply incidental.
□ Step 4.9 My Organization - From percept formed by my organization to external object lost.
Sensory information takes a complex journey from the external world, through our bodies, and into our minds. It begins with the understanding that we, as humans, rely on our bodily systems or "organization" to perceive the world around us.
Stage 1: Sensory Perception
When we interact with the world, say, by touching an object or listening to music, our senses pick up information like texture or sound waves. But, these sensations are not the 'real' object or sound in the world, they are merely our body's response to it. A certain color or a feeling of warmth is just how our body reacts to light or heat from an object, and not the object itself. Even when we touch something, we're not actually making contact with it at the molecular level - we're just feeling the pushback from the object's molecules on our own.
Stage 2: Sensory Processing
Our sense organs then transform these sensations into signals, which our brain interprets. But, there are so many steps and changes involved in this process, that by the time the brain receives the signals, they bear no resemblance to the original external stimuli. What our brain finally presents to our conscious mind are sensations, not the actual processes happening within the brain.
Stage 3: Perception Construction
These sensations are then grouped together by our psyche to form our perception of 'things.' For instance, our brain might receive separate sensations of color, texture, and sound through different pathways, but our psyche combines them all to form the idea of a 'trumpet.'
Stage 4: External World Lost
By the end of this process, our perception is so far removed from the original external object that caused it, that the object is essentially 'lost.' We perceive not the object itself, but our mind's constructed idea of it.
This understanding of how we perceive the world can help us realize that our perception of reality is subjective and influenced by our own bodily systems. It encourages us to question our assumptions and strive for a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Scenario: Whale Watching Expedition
Stage 1 - Sensory Perception: While on a whale-watching expedition, a monadist sees a whale breach the surface, hears the loud splash, and feels the mist on their skin. These sensations are not the 'real' whales or the ocean spray; they are merely their body's response to the external stimuli.
Stage 2 - Sensory Processing: Their eyes, ears, and skin transform these sensations into signals, which are then interpreted by the brain. The salty scent of the ocean, the low frequency sound of the whale's call, and the visual spectacle of the breaching whale are transformed into a series of electrochemical signals that don't resemble the original stimuli at all.
Stage 3 - Perception Construction: Despite receiving distinct sensations of sight, sound, and touch through different sensory pathways, the monadist's psyche combines them all to form the singular experience of a whale.
Stage 4 - External World Lost: The perception of the whale breaching is far removed from the actual event. The 'real' whale and the act of it breaching have been replaced by the mind's constructed idea of it.
Scenario: Experiencing an Art Exhibition
Stage 1 - Sensory Perception: At an art exhibition, the monadist observes the colors and shapes of the paintings, and feels the emotion conveyed by the artwork. These sensations are their body's responses to the art, not the art itself.
Stage 2 - Sensory Processing: Their sensory organs transform these sensations into signals for the brain to interpret. These signals are far removed from the original stimuli - the actual colors, shapes, and emotions conveyed by the artwork.
Stage 3 - Perception Construction: The monadist's psyche combines these sensations into the perception of 'experiencing an art exhibition.' They understand that this perception is a mental construct, not the actual experience of viewing the art.
Stage 4 - External World Lost: Upon reflection, they realize that their perception of the art exhibition is so far removed from the actual experience that the 'real' art exhibition is essentially lost. They understand that their experience of the exhibition is a mental construct, not the actual event.
Scenario: Watching a Viral Video
Stage 1 - Sensory Perception: A monadist watches a viral video on their smartphone, seeing the colors, shapes, and movement, hearing the sounds, even feeling the vibration of the phone in their hand. These sensations are their body's responses to the phone and the video, not the 'real' video itself.
Stage 2 - Sensory Processing: The monadist's sense organs transform these sensations into signals. The light from the screen becomes an image in the mind, the sound from the speaker becomes intelligible words and music, the vibration becomes a tactile sensation. Yet, these signals bear no resemblance to the actual digital data that the video truly is.
Stage 3 - Perception Construction: The brain groups these separate sensations together to form the perception of 'watching a viral video.' The sensation of holding a phone, the images, and sounds all combine to form the experience of watching the video.
Stage 4 - External World Lost: The monadist realizes that the actual video, which is nothing but a string of binary data stored in a server somewhere and rendered on their phone, is 'lost' in this process. They are not directly perceiving the video, but a constructed idea of it.
Scenario: Interacting on Social Media
Stage 1 - Sensory Perception: The monadist reads a heated debate on a social media platform. They see the text, feel the touch screen under their fingers, and maybe even hear the notification sounds. But these sensations are just their body's responses, not the 'real' debate.
Stage 2 - Sensory Processing: The sensations are transformed into signals that the brain interprets. The symbols on the screen become words and sentences, the touch becomes interaction, the sounds become alerts. These signals don't resemble the actual digital data that forms the debate on the server.
Stage 3 - Perception Construction: The brain groups these separate sensations together to form the perception of 'participating in a social media debate.' The sight of the text, the touch of the screen, and the sound of notifications combine to form this experience.
Stage 4 - External World Lost: Reflecting on the debate, the monadist realizes that their perception of the debate is so far removed from the actual external stimuli (sequences of 1s and 0s on a server) that caused it, that the actual debate is 'lost.' They perceive not the debate itself, but their mind's constructed idea of it.
□ Step 4.10 Projection - From external perceived world to projection of psyche.
An intriguing aspect of human perception is how we construct our experience of the world around us. It starts with the object as we directly perceive it, say a red apple. If we didn't have eyes, we wouldn't see the apple's color. So, the color isn't inherently a part of the apple itself; it's a result of our eyes interacting with the apple.
However, the color isn't in our eyes either. Our eyes stimulate a physical process that sends signals to our brain. Yet, even in our brain, the color isn't present. Instead, our mind interprets these signals, creating the experience of redness. But, we're still not consciously aware of the color until our mind projects it back out onto the apple in the external world. The color is projected outwards by our psyche onto a spatial body in the external world.
Thus, we've looped back to our starting point: perceiving a red apple. This suggests that what we naively think of as existing outside of us in space, like the red color of an apple, is actually a product of our mind projected into the world.
Understanding the process of perception reveals that our experience of the world is a projection of our psyche. This knowledge encourages us to question our assumptions about reality, helping us understand that our experience of the world is shaped by our own mental processes, and not just by the external world itself.
Scenario: Mountain Hiking
Stage 1 - Naive perception of world: On a solo hiking trip on a mountain trail, the dynamist stumbles upon a snake with a diamond-shaped head and vibrant colors. Its intense gaze freezes the dynamist in fear. They immediately perceive the snake as venomous, seeing its coloration and shape as signs of danger.
Stage 2 - Projection of psyche: They realize their fear is a projection of their psyche, an instinctive reaction based on generalizations about snakes. They move to a safe distance, later identifying it as a harmless milk snake. By realizing their own psyche's role in their initial fear, they cultivate a more measured, analytical response to unfamiliar creatures, contributing to their personal development.
Scenario: Astronomy Night
Stage 1 - Naive perception of world: The dynamist attends an astronomy night at a local observatory. They peer through the telescope and see constellations like Orion and the Big Dipper, believing these patterns are a fixed part of the celestial sphere.
Stage 2 - Projection of psyche: Upon reflection, the dynamist realizes that these constellations are not 'out there' as objective groupings of stars. They understand that humans have projected patterns onto these star groups. This realization sparks a more profound curiosity about the cosmos and the human mind's role in interpreting it, nurturing their intellectual growth.
Scenario: Watching a Suspense Movie
Stage 1 - Naive perception of world: The dynamist watches a suspense movie in a dark theater. The tense music, the eerie lighting, and the characters' fear provoke a sense of dread. They grip the armrests as the protagonist opens a door, expecting a threat to leap out.
Stage 2 - Projection of psyche: They realize their fear is a projection of their psyche, influenced by the film's suspenseful techniques. This awareness adds a layer of appreciation for the craftsmanship of the movie. By understanding their mind's role in their experience, they enjoy a more nuanced engagement with the film, enhancing their emotional maturity.
Scenario: Running a Marathon
Stage 1 - Naive perception of world: At the 20-mile mark of the marathon, the dynamist feels their energy depleting. Their legs are heavy, their breath is short, and they perceive the remaining 6.2 miles as an insurmountable physical challenge.
Stage 2 - Projection of psyche: They realize their perception of the race as an impossible physical challenge is a projection of their psyche. By shifting their mindset and viewing the race as a test of mental endurance, they find renewed energy. This mindful shift not only helps them continue the race but also contributes to their resilience, a key aspect of their dynamic personality.
Scenario: Interacting with an AI Chatbot
Stage 1 - Naive perception of world: The dynamist uses an AI chatbot for booking a flight. They interact with it as if they were conversing with a human travel agent, attributing human-like intelligence to it.
Stage 2 - Projection of psyche: The dynamist realizes that their perception of the AI chatbot's 'intelligence' is a projection of their psyche. The chatbot operates based on pre-defined algorithms and vast databases. This realization helps them understand the limits and potentials of AI, fostering a more discerning interaction with technology, a vital trait in today's digital world.
Scenario: Playing Virtual Reality Game
Stage 1 - Naive perception of world: The dynamist immerses themselves in a virtual reality fantasy adventure game. They perceive the virtual forests, dragons, and the avatar they control as their immediate reality.
Stage 2 - Projection of psyche: Upon removal of the VR headset, the dynamist realizes that the immersive world they experienced was merely a projection of their psyche interacting with the game's design. This realization helps them appreciate the distinction between virtual and physical reality, cultivating a more conscious and critically engaged approach to immersive technologies, enhancing their adaptability in an increasingly digital world.
□ Step 4.11 Objective-Subjective Contradiction - From objective existence to subjective perception.
Understanding our perception of the world and how we form our ideas can be a complex process. Initially, we may believe that what we perceive externally - such as the sight of a table - exists exactly as we see it. This understanding is based on the notion that external objects have an effect on us, triggering our senses and leading to our perception of them.
However, a different perspective suggests that what we perceive externally doesn't exist independently, but rather is a transformation or modification of our mental condition. In this view, the table doesn't exist as we see it, but our mind modifies the sensory inputs to form the idea of the table.
This perspective extends to our own body parts like our eyes, and even to our internal processes. It proposes that our sense organs, the nerve pathways, and even the process of cognition, are nothing more than subjective manifestations. They exist as we perceive them, not independently.
Yet, there's a contradiction within this perspective, often referred to as Critical Idealism. While it asserts that our external perceptions are merely ideas created by our mind, it simultaneously accepts our internal perceptions (such as the perception of our body parts) as objectively real, mimicking the approach of Naive Realism.
The confusion between what we observe externally and what we observe internally creates a gap in our understanding. There appears to be no clear link connecting these two areas of observation.
Recognizing and understanding this confusion can help us better grasp our thought processes and perceptions. We come to realize that our perception of the world is significantly influenced by our internal states, and that there's more to the world than what we directly perceive. This realization can help us break free from the constraints of our initial perceptions, opening our minds to new possibilities.
Scenario: Studying a Historical Event
Stage 1 - Objective existence of naive realism: The phenomenalist student, engrossed in the details of the Battle of Waterloo, reads the accounts of various historians and accepts the descriptions of the battle, the strategies used, and the outcomes as objective facts that existed in the past. The student believes that these accounts represent the exact occurrences of the historical event.
Stage 2 - Subjective perception of critical idealism: After further research, the student realizes that the accounts they've read are subjective interpretations influenced by the historians' cultural backgrounds, political biases, and available resources. They understand that the event itself, which is an external observation, and the interpretation of the historical accounts, which is an internal intellectual activity, are different fields of observation. This realization allows them to appreciate the complexity and subjectivity inherent in historical interpretation.
Scenario: Watching an Environmental Documentary
Stage 1 - Objective existence of naive realism: The phenomenalist viewer, deeply moved by a documentary about deforestation, believes the stark images of treeless landscapes and the narrated impacts on the environment to be an objective reality. He feels as if he's witnessing the destruction first-hand.
Stage 2 - Subjective perception of critical idealism: Upon reflecting, he realizes that the documentary, while based on real events, is a representation created by the filmmakers and shaped by their perspective on the issue. His perception of the impacts of deforestation is thus subjective, influenced by the filmmakers' narrative.
Scenario: Observing a New Planet
Stage 1 - Objective existence of naive realism: The phenomenalist astronaut, observing a newly discovered planet from their spaceship, notes the varied physical features they see on the planet's surface - mountains, valleys, craters, and believes these features exist exactly as they perceive them from afar.
Stage 2 - Subjective perception of critical idealism: Upon reflecting, the astronaut realizes that their perception of these features is influenced by their vantage point in space and the technology used to observe the planet. They understand that the planet's features aren't objectively as they appear, but are shaped by their subjective perception and interpretation. They recognize the difference between the external observation of the planet and the internal interpretation of these observations as distinct fields of observation.
Scenario: Extreme Sport of Skydiving
Stage 1 - Objective existence of naive realism: The phenomenalist first-time skydiver, during the adrenaline-filled descent, perceives the ground rushing up towards her and believes this sensation to be an objective reality. The thrill and fear seem palpably real.
Stage 2 - Subjective perception of critical idealism: After reflecting on the experience and discussing with experienced skydivers, she understands that her perception of the ground rushing up is a subjective interpretation of the situation created by her mind due to the rapid descent and visual cues from the environment. Her internal perception of speed and distance differs from the external reality of the actual speed and height of her descent. She now recognizes these as two distinct fields of observation: the external physical reality of the skydive and her internal sensory experience.
Scenario: Discovering an Ancient Artifact
Stage 1 - Objective existence of naive realism: The phenomenalist archaeologist, upon discovering an ancient artifact - a beautifully decorated pot, believes that the pot's form, its intricate patterns, and materials used provide an objective representation of the culture that produced it.
Stage 2 - Subjective perception of critical idealism: After self-reflection, the archaeologist realizes that his understanding of the artifact is a subjective interpretation, shaped by his own experiences, knowledge, and cultural background. The artifact itself is an external observation, but his interpretation of its cultural significance is an internal intellectual activity. Recognizing these as two separate fields of observation allows him to appreciate the subjectivity involved in archaeological interpretation.
Scenario: Gymnastic Practice
Stage 1 - Objective existence of naive realism: The phenomenalist gymnast, while practicing a complex routine, perceives her movements and forms as exact executions that exist independently of her perception. She believes that her performance objectively matches the routine choreographed by her coach.
Stage 2 - Subjective perception of critical idealism: After watching a recording of her practice, she realizes that her execution of movements is influenced by her subjective perception of her body in space and time. What she felt internally during the performance differs from the external observation in the recording. This understanding separates her internal perception of her body movements from the external observation of the gymnastics routine, highlighting two distinct fields of observation.
□ Step 4.12 Co-creation Of Objective Reality - From the world is my idea to perceptual co-creation of objective reality.
A popular belief is that "the world is my idea," our world is merely a mental construct. This idea, known as Critical Idealism, suggests that everything we perceive is merely an idea or a construct of our mind. We alone bring these things into existence in our consciousness, and they are real only in relation to us. In this view, our world exists because we perceive it and conceive it in our minds.
However, this belief has limitations. It fails to account for the fact that we perceive parts of our own bodies just as we perceive the sun or the earth. If the sun and the earth are merely ideas, then our eyes that see the sun, and our hands that feel the earth, must also be ideas. This leads to a logical inconsistency, as our ideas of the eye and the hand cannot create the ideas of the sun and the earth.
A more nuanced understanding suggests that our perception of the world is a co-creative process with reality, a concept we can call "Perceptual Co-creation of Objective Reality." This view acknowledges that while our minds play a role in shaping our perceptions, these perceptions are not simply mental constructs. They are interactions with an objective reality that exists independent of our minds.
This understanding recognizes that there are aspects of reality that exist before and outside our perception. When we perceive something, it's not just an idea forming in our minds, but a real interaction with the world outside. Our perception is a result of this interaction, and our understanding of reality is co-created through this process.
Grasping this idea helps us move towards self-actualization. By understanding the role of our minds in shaping our perceptions, and by acknowledging the existence of an objective reality, we can better navigate the world around us. We can become more self-aware and discerning in our interactions, leading to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our place in the world.
Scenario: Political Analyst
Stage 1 - The world is my idea, a mental construct: The sensationalist analyst initially views political outcomes as a product of public opinion, which they perceive as a collective mental construct shaped by the dominant narrative driven by news media and public discourse. Rather than politicians holding popular positions that will gain votes, what matters is driving a favorable narrative.
Stage 2 - Perceptual co-creation of objective reality: The analyst comes to realize that political outcomes are also shaped by objective factors such as economic conditions, foreign policy, and rising crime. Their understanding of political dynamics evolves into a co-creation between public sentiment and these objective realities.
Scenario: Climate Change Activist
Stage 1 - The world is my idea, a mental construct: The sensationalist activist initially sees climate change as an issue that exists because people perceive and understand it. They view the problem and potential solutions as a mental construct of human awareness and understanding.
Stage 2 - Perceptual co-creation of objective reality: The activist comes to realize there is no immediate climate emergency, after reading the report of 500 atmospheric scientists, engineers, and other professionals. The climate models being used are unfit for their purpose, being used by climate alarmists to create climate hysteria. Their understanding of climate change evolves into a co-creation between public sentiment and these objective realities.
Scenario: Social Media Influencer
Stage 1 - The world is my idea, a mental construct: The sensationalist influencer initially believes their online persona and popularity are solely a product of their creativity and personal brand. Their followers, likes, and comments are seen as validation of their self-constructed reality.
Stage 2 - Perceptual co-creation of objective reality: The influencer realizes that their online persona is also shaped by the feedback and interaction of their followers. Their social media reality is a co-creation between their personal brand and the audience's response.
Scenario: Bitcoin Investor
Stage 1 - The world is my idea, a mental construct: The sensationalist investor sees the value of Bitcoin as a product of collective belief and mental agreement among traders. They view the cryptocurrency market as a self-constructed reality based on perceived value.
Stage 2 - Perceptual co-creation of objective reality: The investor begins to understand that the value of Bitcoin is influenced by tangible factors like supply and demand, regulatory decisions, and global economic conditions. Their understanding of the market becomes a co-creation between their beliefs and these objective realities.
Scenario: White Supremacy
Stage 1 - The world is my idea, a mental construct: The sensationalist initially believes that racism is a mental construct, wired into the American mind. American policing has always been about enforcing white supremacy. All police encounters with black people are motivated by systemic racial bias, leading to an unjust number of deaths. Their evidence is to cite what others say.
Stage 2 - Perceptual co-creation of objective reality: The sensationalist starts to explore diverse sources of information, including crime statistics, and finds that, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey which was conducted by the US Department of Justice, in 2018, 90% of interracial felonies between blacks and whites were initiated by blacks against whites. The observer starts to consider other factors, such as socio-economic conditions, mental health issues, and moral development, thus co-creating a more nuanced understanding of the crime problem.
Scenario: Biological Gender Reality
Stage 1 - The world is my idea, a mental construct: The sensationalist initially believes that there are more than two genders, as people identify in myriad ways, with a multitude of gender identities being expressed. They view gender as a flexible and fluid construct, not necessarily linked to one's biological sex.
Stage 2 - Perceptual co-creation of objective reality: After engaging with a variety of scientific literature and perspectives, they begin to question their initial understanding. They recognize that while gender identity can be personally significant and diverse, biological sex is a concrete fact that classifies humans into two sexes, male and female. This leads to an understanding that recognizes the binary nature of sex.
"The one that matters most is the knowing doer—the one who acts out of knowledge."