C5 Knowing The World Through Intuitive Judgment
The Philosophy Of Freedom By Rudolf Steiner
Chapter 5, Knowing The World
"To transform the unfree realm into the realm of free activity is the task of self-development."
Knowing The World Through Intuitive Judgment
• Deep understanding of the world comes not just from observing and gathering percepts but by applying our conceptual intuition to these observations. It encourages us to move beyond passive acceptance of life as it appears, and use critical thinking to discern the true nature of our perceptions. It also suggests that every object and event in our perceptual field corresponds to a concept, and true judgment arises when we accurately apply these concepts.
The chapter emphasizes that our subjective perceptions (memory-ideas) are different from objective perceptions, and understanding this distinction is key to avoiding misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Through this principle, we are called to use intuitive judgment to form accurate concepts of our world, thereby advancing our knowledge and understanding, leading us on our path towards self-actualization. This insight not only empowers us to comprehend the world more deeply, but also allows us to navigate and engage with it more effectively.
Rachel was an enthusiastic journalist who worked for a news outlet known for its leanings toward her political party. For years, she reported on stories that aligned with her party's beliefs, relying on past experiences and pre-existing understanding of the political landscape. Her readers trusted her for news that affirmed their biases.
When a minor hint of corruption surfaced within her party, Rachel initially dismissed it as a smear campaign from the opposition. She held a strong memory-idea of her party as the epitome of integrity, and the allegation contradicted her deeply ingrained perception.
However, she couldn't shake off a nagging sense of unease. A hidden part of her felt obligated to look into the matter objectively, despite her initial dismissive reaction. Rachel reminded herself of the principle, "Knowing The World Through Intuitive Judgment," recognizing the need to separate her subjective perceptions, rooted in her loyalty and past experiences, from the objective realities.
Hesitant but resolute, Rachel started digging into the allegations. She forced herself to look at her party and its members without the lens of her previous political bias. It was difficult, uncomfortable, and at times even heart-breaking. She felt a torrent of emotions as her previous perception started to peel away, revealing a scandal that ran deeper than she initially imagined.
Her reports started changing. They were less partisan, more probing, more factual. She meticulously distinguished the objective percepts of the current scandal from her subjective memory-ideas of her party. Her reporting style, once marked by party loyalty, was now driven by a pursuit of the truth.
Her readers were startled. Many criticized her for her apparent shift, accusing her of betraying her party. But there were others who commended her courage and her commitment to truth. Rachel's readership began to change, attracting those who valued unbiased reporting over partisan rhetoric.
Her pursuit of truth came at a personal cost, distancing her from many of her former allies. Yet, she found herself more fulfilled professionally and personally. Rachel started seeing herself not merely as a party-supporting reporter but as a true journalist, impartial and devoted to truth. She began her journey towards self-actualization, living by the principle of "Knowing The World Through Intuitive Judgment."
Her transformation challenged her readers to rethink their biases, ultimately contributing to a healthier, more balanced discourse. By staying true to her intuition and judgment, Rachel managed to turn a crisis of faith into an opportunity for growth.
How can applying intuitive judgment in your day-to-day interactions help you better understand and connect with the world around you, moving beyond preconceived notions and memory-based perceptions?
Chapter 5 Knowing The World
5.0 Independent Existence Of Things
In the pursuit of understanding our world and ourselves, there are various philosophical stances. "Critical Idealism" and "Transcendental Realism" represent two such perspectives.
"Critical Idealism" suggests that our understanding of reality is filtered through our ideas, which are shaped by our perceptions. This view asserts that we don't engage directly with things as they truly are; instead, we interact with our ideas of those things. For instance, when you see an apple, you're not experiencing the apple directly but your idea of it. This could be compared to living in a house where the ground floor has collapsed - you can't build a solid understanding of the world because the base (our direct experience of things) is missing.
On the other hand, "Transcendental Realism" takes a different approach. It acknowledges that while our direct perceptions may be subjective, we can still learn about the world indirectly. Imagine looking at objects in a mirror. Even though the images disappear when we're not looking at them, we understand that the objects still exist. Similarly, this perspective suggests that we can gain knowledge about the world by analyzing the reflections (or effects) of things that exist beyond our direct perception. This is akin to how natural science operates, using observable data to understand underlying processes or phenomena.
Transitioning from "Critical Idealism" to "Transcendental Realism" represents a shift from viewing the world as a projection of our ideas to recognizing that there is an external reality independent of us, which we can understand through indirect means. This transition could be likened to growing up - we start to realize that there's a world beyond our immediate perception, and we seek to understand it, much like stepping out of our homes to explore the wider world. This journey can be seen as part of the process of self-actualization - as we gain a deeper understanding of the world, we also learn more about ourselves and our place within it.
12 Principles of Knowing The World Through Intuitive Judgment
□ Step 5.1 Awakened State Of Thinking - From dream state of ideas to awakened state of thinking.
In exploring different ways of understanding our world, let's consider the contrast between the "dream state" and the "awakened state of thinking."
In a "dream state," we're consumed by our immediate experiences or perceptions, much like being engrossed in a dream. The world around us seems to be made up of our ideas, and everything we experience disappears as soon as we stop paying attention to it. Just as we don't question the connections between different elements in our dreams while we're dreaming, in this state, we're not interested in the relationship between different ideas or perceptions. We take them as they are, without probing deeper. This could be compared to being in a play without questioning the script.
Moving into the "awakened state of thinking" is like waking up from a dream. Suddenly, we start to question our experiences and ideas, digging deeper to understand the underlying processes. We shift our focus from the surface-level experiences to what's happening behind the scenes. For instance, upon waking from a dream where we felt a burning sensation in our throat, we'd stop worrying about the dream and start trying to understand the physical or psychological reasons that might have caused this sensation. This is akin to starting to question the script of the play, trying to understand why the characters act as they do.
This transition from the "dream state" to the "awakened state of thinking" is part of the journey towards self-actualization. As we start to think critically and ask deeper questions, we gain a better understanding of the world and ourselves. Just as we can't fully understand a play without knowing the motivations of the characters, we can't fully understand ourselves or our world without engaging in this kind of deep, critical thinking. By questioning our experiences and ideas, we uncover the underlying processes and realities, which helps us grow and develop as individuals.
Scenario: Fast-Food Junkie
Stage 1 - Dream State: The materialist food junkie, prioritizing convenience and taste, compulsively consumes fast food daily in a mental fog, without thinking about health implications. Ideas of instant gratification flow freely in their mind, overshadowing any vague thoughts about health implications.
Stage 2 - Awakened State of Thinking: A sudden bout of breathlessness during a short walk triggers a moment of awakened thinking. They immediately understand the implications of their dietary choices on their health, awakening to the importance of a balanced diet and exercise.
Scenario: Disconnected Parent
Stage 1 - Dream State: The materialist parent, preoccupied with providing material comforts and securing a financially stable future for their child, forgets to connect emotionally. Their mind is flooded with ideas of financial securities, educational plans, and future prospects, overlooking the child's immediate emotional needs and development.
Stage 2 - Awakened State of Thinking: Noticing their child's withdrawn behavior one evening, a sudden moment of clear thought dawns on them. They comprehend the situation, awakening to the immediate need for emotional bonding and understanding.
Scenario: Stubborn Art Collector
Stage 1 - Dream State: The materialist art collector, driven by the aesthetic allure and monetary value of artworks, amasses pieces indiscriminately. Their mind buzzes with notions of prestige and admiration, with little regard for the actual emotional resonance or historical significance of the art.
Stage 2 - Awakened State of Thinking: Standing before a piece they can't remember buying, a moment of reasoning strikes. They grasp the emptiness of owning art purely for prestige, and awaken to the deeper value of truly appreciating and understanding art.
Stage 1 - Dream State: The materialist tech enthusiast, entranced by the dazzle of latest gadgets, hoards technology. Ideas of novelty and owning the newest gadget dominate their mind, disconnected from the practical need and use of these devices.
Stage 2 - Awakened State of Thinking: Struggling to find a use for the third smartwatch they just bought, they are hit by a moment of reasoning. This jolts them into understanding the hollowness of hoarding devices for the sake of novelty rather than need.
Scenario: Workaholic in a Haze
Stage 1 - Dream State: Immersed in a fog of constant work, the materialist workaholic mechanically logs extra hours, disconnected from the vibrant life that exists outside the office.
Stage 2 - Awakened State of Thinking: The missed sound of their child's laughter during a birthday party they couldn't attend causes them to stop and think, instantly awakening them to the importance of maintaining a work-life balance.
Scenario: Political Activist
Stage 1 - Dream State: The materialist activist is driven by passionate beliefs and a desire for change, viewing political engagement as a battle of good versus evil. Their mind is filled with the latest stories of the wicked deeds of their political opponents.
Stage 2 - Awakened State of Thinking: In a moment of thinking clarity, the activist recognizes the complexity of political systems and that change often requires negotiation, compromise, and a deep understanding of diverse perspectives. This realization motivates them to engage in more informed and constructive activism.
□ Step 5.2 True Judgment - From naively accept life as it appears to critique of applied thought.
When we look at the world around us, we often take things at face value. We see the sun rise, we feel the wind blow, we smell the flowers, and we accept these experiences as they are. This is our initial, naive way of engaging with the world. However, this is only the first step in understanding our experiences.
The next step involves us asking ourselves, "How does my thinking connect with what I'm perceiving?" Whether the sun, the wind, or the flowers continue to exist when we're not perceiving them doesn't really matter in this context. If we want to say anything meaningful about these experiences, we need to engage our thinking.
For instance, if we say "the world is my perception," we're making a statement that results from a process of thought. If our thought doesn't accurately reflect the world, then our statement will be incorrect.
So, in every judgment we make about what we perceive, our thinking plays a crucial role. It's the bridge between our raw experiences and our understanding of those experiences. By engaging our thinking in this way, we're able to form true judgments about the world.
Stage 1 - Naive realism (world real as experienced): The chef, grounded in traditional cooking techniques, naively believes his culinary skills are superior, rejecting modern cooking techniques.
Stage 2 - Critique of applied thought: The spiritist chef wonders, "How do my thoughts about cooking and flavors influence my perception of a good dish?" He realizes that he's been limiting his creativity and starts experimenting with modern techniques, enhancing his culinary skills.
Scenario: Upcoming Politician
Stage 1 - Naive realism (world real as experienced): The politician, firmly entrenched in his party's ideology, views and addresses every issue strictly from that perspective. He naively assumes that his party's stance is the ultimate truth, and anyone who disagrees is either uninformed or biased.
Stage 2 - Critique of applied thought: The spiritist politician questions, "How do my thoughts about political ideologies influence my perception of this issue?" He realizes that his perspective has been limited by the narrow lens of his party's ideology. With this newfound understanding, he starts to consider other perspectives, even those outside his party lines, and makes more balanced decisions.
Scenario: Fashion Designer
Stage 1 - Naive realism (world real as experienced): The fashion designer, deeply influenced by her personal aesthetics and the traditional styles she was trained in, creates designs that strictly adhere to those guidelines. She naively believes that this is the epitome of fashion, and any deviation from this style is not fashionable.
Stage 2 - Critique of applied thought: The spiritist designer wonders, “How do my thoughts about beauty and style influence my perception of fashion trends?” She recognizes that her designs have been constrained by her personal aesthetic biases and traditional styles. With this insight, she begins to experiment with styles outside of her comfort zone, leading to innovative and diverse designs.
Scenario: Adventure Tour Guide
Stage 1 - Naive realism (world real as experienced): The tour guide, equipped with years of experience and knowledge about the local terrain, naively believes his tours are the best, and that any criticism comes from inexperienced or misinformed tourists.
Stage 2 - Critique of applied thought: The spiritist guide wonders, "How do my thoughts about adventure and safety influence my perception of what a 'good tour' is?" He realizes his experiences have created a narrow perspective of what constitutes a good tour. He begins to incorporate feedback from tourists, improving the tour experience.
Scenario: Wildlife Photographer
Stage 1 - Naive realism (world real as experienced): The photographer, following traditional wildlife photography norms, naively believes her work is superior, and any divergence from these norms is amateurish.
Stage 2 - Critique of applied thought: The spiritist photographer questions, "How do my thoughts about wildlife and photography influence my perception of a good photograph?" She realizes her strict adherence to norms might limit creativity. She starts experimenting with new styles, enriching her portfolio.
Stage 1 - Naive realism (world real as experienced): The astrophysicist, adhering to established theories, naively dismisses unconventional theories as unfounded.
Stage 2 - Critique of applied thought: The spiritist astrophysicist questions, "How do my thoughts about space and physics influence my perception of astrophysical phenomena?" She realizes her understanding is limited by current theories and starts exploring alternative theories.
□ Step 5.3 World Caused Thought - From naive speculator to critical thinker.
When we observe the world, it's easy to concentrate solely on the things in front of us, neglecting the essential role our thoughts play in comprehending these occurrences. It's as if we're envisioning a world where our thoughts are separate from the reality we observe. In this view, the world exists independently, and our thoughts are merely personal interpretations that only exist within our minds.
However, this viewpoint is somewhat restrictive. It implies that the world exists completely independently of our thoughts, and that our thoughts don't contribute anything to the world itself. But is this really the case?
As we navigate the world, we tend to focus on the tangible realities before us, often overlooking the critical role our thoughts play in understanding these realities. It's as if we perceive our thoughts as separate from the physical world, believing that our thoughts are merely personal interpretations residing solely in our minds.
However, let's challenge this belief. The world around us naturally provokes thoughts in our minds, just as a seed, given the right conditions, blossoms into a plant. Sure, a seed needs soil, light, and air to sprout, and similarly, our thoughts need engagement with the world to form. Our thoughts aren't detached from reality but are essential to our interaction with the world, enriching our experiences.
Consider this: scientific laws like gravity or thermodynamics aren't just ideas in our heads; they are fundamental principles integral to the universe. They exist whether we're aware of them or not. Yet, it's our thoughts that allow us to understand and articulate these laws, completing our comprehension of the universe.
Just as a tree's concept isn't merely an interpretation but a thought encompassing the tree's biological principles and structure, thoughts are essential to comprehending the world around us. By embracing the thoughts integral to things, we gain a more accurate understanding of the world. This recognition is a significant leap towards self-actualization, as we acknowledge our thoughts as vital elements shaping our knowledge and experiences of the world.
The "Naive Spectator" aptly describes someone who makes assumptions about the world based solely on their own direct experiences and observations, without considering the underlying principles, concepts, or unseen influences that might be at play.
The "Critical Thinker" aptly describes someone who goes beyond direct observation to consider deeper, less obvious factors. They understand that their thoughts and the concepts they form are integral to their understanding of the world and its phenomena.
Stage 1 - Naive Spectator: The realist astronomer believes their understanding of a galaxy is complete by merely observing its physical attributes.
Stage 2 - Critical Thinker: The astronomer wonders, "Have I fully understood this galaxy without thinking about formation and evolution?" Their deeper contemplation about the galaxy's history leads them to the surprising discovery of an irregular pattern in star formation, suggesting a past galactic collision.
Scenario: Music Composition
Stage 1 - Naive Spectator: The realist composer views musical scales and chord progressions as finite and defined, believing their understanding is complete by merely following established musical theory.
Stage 2 - Critical Thinker: The composer reflects, "Have I really grasped the full essence of music without thinking?" They begin to engage with the music on a deeper level, thinking about the emotions and stories behind each note, leading them to realize the emotive power of minor keys.
Scenario: Novel Writing
Stage 1 - Naive Spectator: The realist novelist believes their understanding of storytelling is complete by merely adhering to classic narrative structures.
Stage 2 - Critical Thinker: The novelist ponders, "Have I fully understood storytelling without considering the reader's perspective?" They start to think more about reader engagement, leading them to the surprising discovery of the power of unresolved tension in captivating readers.
Stage 1 - Naive Spectator: The realist entrepreneur views the business landscape as a fixed market with established companies, believing their understanding is complete by observing the industry's current status.
Stage 2 - Critical Thinker: The entrepreneur ponders, "Why did I consider my understanding of business complete without my own innovative thoughts?" As they delve deeper into their own ideas about potential market gaps and novel business strategies, they stumble upon a surprising discovery: a completely untapped niche market in their industry, previously overlooked by all existing companies, presenting an exciting new business opportunity.
Scenario: Family Life
Stage 1 - Naive Spectator: The realist parent views their family dynamics as a set of established roles and relationships, believing their understanding is complete by observing their family's interactions.
Stage 2 - Critical Thinker: The realist parent wonders, "Why did I see my understanding of family dynamics as complete without my own reflective thoughts?" As they delve deeper into their thoughts about family interactions and personal growth, they make a surprising discovery: a recurring pattern of communication breakdown that, once addressed, significantly improves the family's interactions and overall happiness.
Scenario: Sports Coaching
Stage 1 - Naive Spectator: The realist coach views the current training methods as exhaustive, believing their understanding is complete by merely following these methods.
Stage 2 - Critical Thinker: The coach wonders, "Do I have a full understanding of athlete performance without considering the psychological aspect?" They begin to investigate the mental side of sports, leading them to the surprising discovery of the crucial role of mental resilience in athletic performance.
□ Step 5.4 Process Of Becoming - From naive speculator to critical thinker.
We often assume that what we can immediately perceive of an object, is the whole object, and that the insights we gain through deeper contemplation are somehow secondary or unrelated to the object itself. This view is arbitrary. Consider a rosebud that we observe today – it presents a complete picture, but only for this moment. If we place this bud in water and observe it over time, the image we had of the object today will transform significantly by tomorrow. If we continuously observe the rosebud, we can see today's state fluidly transforming into tomorrow's through countless intermediate stages. The image we perceive at any given moment is simply a fleeting snapshot of an object that is in a continuous process of becoming. If we don't place the bud in water, many potential states that could have unfolded will remain unrealized. Similarly, if we can't observe the bud tomorrow, our perception of it will be incomplete.
It's unscientific and arbitrary to declare that a fleeting snapshot of an object is the object itself, as this perspective merely clings to superficial characteristics.
Scenario: Innovating Healthy Fast Food
Stage 1 - Momentary Chance Appearance: The aspiring entrepreneur notices a rising trend of fast-food chains introducing healthier options. they perceive this as a mere response to recent health awareness campaigns.
Stage 2 - Process of Becoming: The entrepreneur starts to see this as not just a response to health campaigns, but a larger shift in fast-food consumption patterns that has the potential to redefine the industry. As an idealist, they envision an opportunity to revolutionize the fast-food industry with a chain that exclusively serves nutritionally balanced, fast, and affordable meals.
Scenario: Art Appreciation
Stage 1 - Momentary Chance Appearance: The art lover sees a painting as a finished work, considering its current form as the artist's ultimate expression.
Stage 2 - Process of Becoming: The art lover discerns that the artwork is part of the artist's stylistic evolution. As an idealist, they identify the progressive growth of the artist's technique, giving them a more comprehensive understanding of the artwork and its potential influence on future creations.
Scenario: Space Exploration of Mars
Stage 1 - Momentary Chance Appearance: The space scientist learns about a new rover landing on Mars and perceives it as a single, isolated event.
Stage 2 - Process of Becoming: The scientist recognizes the Mars rover landing as a part of a broader trend in mankind's pursuit of interplanetary exploration. As an idealist, they envision the possibility of human settlements on Mars, inspiring them to further contribute to the progress of space exploration.
Scenario: Extreme Skateboarding
Stage 1 - Momentary Chance Appearance: The skateboarding enthusiast watches a fellow skateboarder pull off a revolutionary trick. They initially view it as a unique feat confined to that moment.
Stage 2 - Process of Becoming: The skateboarder sees this trick as an indication of skateboarding's progressive nature. As an idealist, they see a future where skateboarding includes a greater variety of such innovative tricks, pushing them to pioneer and perfect their own new techniques.
Scenario: Integration of AI in the Software Industry
Stage 1 - Momentary Chance Appearance: The tech entrepreneur examines a new software incorporating artificial intelligence and views it as a single product catering to current demands.
Stage 2 - Process of Becoming: The entrepreneur realizes this software is a part of an ongoing trend of AI integration in the software industry. As an idealist, they foresee how AI could dominate future digital landscapes and are inspired to develop innovative tech solutions embracing this trend.
Scenario: Analysis of Political Debates
Stage 1 - Momentary Chance Appearance: The political analyst hears a candidate's statement advocating for stricter fiscal regulations. They initially view it as an isolated comment targeting financially savvy voters.
Stage 2 - Process of Becoming: The analyst sees this as an indicator of the candidate's evolving economic views, signaling a trend towards more stringent financial governance. As an idealist, they predict that this evolution could lead to a significant transformation in national economic policies.
□ Step 5.5 Indivisible - From sequence of appearances to indivisible existence of concept with object.
Our understanding of the world evolves as we combine our perception with thinking. Take the example of a stone thrown horizontally through the air. When we watch the stone, we see it at different places at different times, like a sequence of snapshots. This is the 'sequence of appearances' —basically, the things we can directly see or perceive.
But, if we take a moment to think about it, we realize that the stone's path forms a particular shape — a parabola. This shape isn't something we see directly. Instead, it's something we understand by applying the laws of physics and mathematics to our observations. This is the 'indivisible existence of concept with object' — the idea that the reality of the stone's flight includes not just what we see, but also the invisible laws (concepts) that govern its movement.
In simpler words, the thrown stone isn't just a sequence of positions in space (what we perceive) but also a demonstration of the law of parabolic motion (what we understand through thinking).
Now, imagine if our minds could directly perceive these laws as part of the object or event, without needing to think it through. We'd see the world in a much more interconnected and complete way. The split between what we perceive and what we understand exists because of how our minds work, not because of the nature of the things we're observing.
By recognizing that our understanding of the world is more than just what we perceive, we can strive to see the 'big picture', to recognize the laws or patterns behind our experiences. This can guide our actions and decisions, helping us to become our true, full selves capable of knowing the world.
Scenario: Launching a Startup
Stage 1 - Sequence of Appearances: Sam, an aspiring entrepreneur, notices a trend in consumer behavior. He sees an increase in people choosing sustainable products, but he perceives it as a series of unrelated choices made by different individuals.
Stage 2 - Indivisible Existence of Concept: Applying his mathematist mindset, Sam begins to see the underlying concept — the increasing awareness and value for sustainability — driving these choices. He realizes this isn't just a series of disconnected events but an evolving consumer trend, an expression of the collective will towards sustainable living. This inspires him to create a startup offering sustainable solutions.
Scenario: Erosion of Democratic Values
Stage 1 - Sequence of Appearances: A political commentator, John, observes a series of concerning actions by a ruling party: cancelling primary debates, censoring and arresting political opponents, and rejecting calls for scrutinizing election integrity.
Stage 2 - Indivisible Existence of Concept: John, versed in political theory, recognizes these events as embodiments of a shift from democratic values towards authoritarianism. The underlying principle appears to be the consolidation of power and suppression of dissent, which contradicts the tenets of representative democracy. These actions reveal a troubling trend threatening the integrity of the political system.
Scenario: Developing a Mobile App
Stage 1 - Sequence of Appearances: Alice, an app developer, notes a rise in user complaints about her app's latest update. She views these complaints as individual, separate issues.
Stage 2 - Indivisible Existence of Concept: By analyzing the feedback, Alice uncovers the underlying concept - the app's design isn't user-friendly. Recognizing this, she sees the complaints not as isolated incidents but as expressions of user frustration stemming from the design issue. She then focuses on improving the app's design for a better user experience.
Scenario: Art - Creating a Masterpiece
Stage 1 - Sequence of Appearances: As an artist, Leon paints scenes from daily life. He sees each scene as a unique, standalone subject.
Stage 2 - Indivisible Existence of Concept: Leon realizes each of his paintings captures the concept of 'beauty in ordinary life.' His art isn't just a series of unrelated scenes, but a reflection of his belief that everyday moments hold beauty. This realization deepens his connection with his art, influencing his future work.
Scenario: Evolution of the Internet
Stage 1 - Sequence of Appearances: Tech analyst Maya studies the Internet's evolution - from its early days as a military communication network to the World Wide Web, and now the era of social media and cloud computing.
Stage 2 - Indivisible Existence of Concept: Maya understands the driving concept behind this evolution - the human desire to connect, share, and access information instantaneously. She realizes this desire, inherently tied to the Internet's development, is manifested in its evolving structures and functionalities.
Scenario: British Global Abolition of Slavery
Stage 1 - Sequence of Appearances: Historian James notes isolated incidents of the British Empire's actions - the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, followed by the abolition of slavery within the Empire in 1833. He also takes note of their diplomatic efforts to pressure other nations into abolishing slavery.
Stage 2 - Indivisible Existence of Concept: Upon further study, James uncovers a deeper ideal of universal human rights underpinning these efforts. He recognizes a larger, consistent push by the British, acting out of this ideal, to influence the global abolition of slavery. This systemic and tireless British campaign across many fronts testifies to the indivisible connection between the concept (universal human rights) and British history.
□ Step 5.6 Isolating The Concept - From isolating the percept to isolating the concept.
Imagine you're looking at a red apple in a fruit bowl. Your eyes see the color red, and you notice it as something separate from the other fruits - this is isolating the percept. You focus on one thing at a time because you can't see everything at once.
But that red color is not just 'red' in isolation. It's part of the apple, which in turn is part of the fruit bowl, and so on. The red color is a single concept in a larger, interconnected network of concepts - the apple, the fruit bowl, the kitchen, your home, and beyond. This is 'isolating the concept' - realizing that what we see is not just a standalone thing, but a piece of a larger puzzle.
Being able to shift from seeing things in isolation to understanding their place in the larger picture helps us better understand the world and our role in it. By understanding the bigger picture, we can make sense of our experiences, make better decisions.
Scenario: Unveiling the Past
Stage 1 - Isolating the percept: Tom, an archaeologist, finds an old tool during the digging of a large archaeology site. Tom initially focuses on this single artifact from among the many found.
Stage 2 - Isolating the concept: Tom deduces the tool's function, revealing it was used in farming, not warfare. By correctly identifying its function (concept), he avoids a potential misunderstanding of the site's history.
Scenario: Software Complaints
Stage 1 - Isolating the percept: Linda, a budding entrepreneur, comes across various complaints while scrolling through online forums. She takes particular interest in complaints about existing remote work software.
Stage 2 - Isolating the concept: After observing several similar complaints, Linda identifies the main problem not as internet connectivity, but rather the user-friendliness of the software. She correctly identifies the specific issue of user friendliness (concept), which shapes her strategy for developing a software solution.
Scenario: Color of Emotion
Stage 1 - Isolating the percept: John, an art student, feels an unexpected wave of calm and tranquility when he encounters a particular abstract painting at an art exhibition. This painting, characterized by its heavy use of blues and greens, stands out amidst the various artworks. He isolates this experience to understand it.
Stage 2 - Isolating the concept: After further introspection, John realizes that his emotional response isn't incidental. The specific color palette the artist chose is intended to evoke a sense of peace and serenity. He accurately identifies the concept of color psychology in art—how specific color choices can trigger certain emotions in the viewer. With this insight, he deepens his understanding of how to use color to convey emotion in his own artwork.
Scenario: Sound of Harmony
Stage 1 - Isolating the percept: Sarah, a young music student, is intrigued by the unique harmony produced by her school's choir during a rehearsal. She isolated the captivating sound as occurring when certain voices intertwined in a specific song.
Stage 2 - Isolating the concept: After revisiting the music sheet and reflecting on the choir's performance, Sarah identifies the concept of 'counterpoint' - different melodic lines interweaving while maintaining their independence. By recognizing this, she gains a deeper understanding of how to create harmonious yet complex musical pieces, stimulating her creativity and advancing her skills.
Scenario: Coach's Strategy
Stage 1 - Isolating the percept: Jane, a high school basketball coach, observes that her team performs remarkably well in games where they have a strong start in the first quarter. Why is this?
Stage 2 - Isolating the concept: Jane isolates the concept of 'momentum' - the idea that early success in a game can create positive energy and confidence that drives the team's performance for the rest of the match. Understanding this, Jane focuses on strategies that ensure a strong start to every game, which significantly improves the team's overall performance.
Scenario: Gravitating Towards the Stars
Stage 1 - Isolating the percept: Sarah, an aspiring astronaut, learns about the law of gravity in her physics class. She takes particular interest in this particular law while observing its effect on objects around her.
Stage 2 - Isolating the concept: After studying gravity further, Sarah understands that this same law influences the movement of planets. She correctly identifies this universal application of the law of gravity (concept), giving her a profound understanding of her future space travels.
□ Step 5.7 Self-Definition - From self-perception to self-definition.
Imagine you're looking in a mirror. What you see is your reflection, your physical self. This is much like "self-perception." You're aware of yourself, your traits, your likes and dislikes, your emotions. It's much like recognizing that gold is yellow, shiny, and hard.
But is that all there is to you? Surely, you're more than a reflection, more than a collection of traits. This is where "self-definition" comes in. This isn't just about seeing yourself, but understanding yourself. It's like recognizing that gold isn't just yellow, shiny, and hard, but it's a valuable metal that's used in jewelry and electronics.
To get from self-perception to self-definition, you need thinking. Not just any kind of thinking, but the kind that goes beyond your personal feelings and experiences. It's universal, like understanding what makes a triangle a triangle. Whether it's you, your friend, or someone halfway across the world, a triangle has three sides. That's a fact that doesn't change.
In essence, self-perception is the starting point, it's understanding that you exist and acknowledging your traits and emotions. Self-definition, on the other hand, is the journey of understanding your place in the world, your purpose, and what makes you truly, uniquely you.
Scenario: Becoming a Parent
Stage 1 - Self-perception: Alex, a new father, initially perceives himself as a provider, focusing on practical responsibilities like ensuring financial stability and safety for his baby.
Stage 2 - Self-definition: As he spends more time nurturing his child and supporting his partner, Alex realizes he's not just a provider but now identifies as a 'Nurturing Guardian', playing an integral role in the emotional well-being and development of his child.
Scenario: First Solo Exhibition
Stage 1 - Self-perception: Sarah, an emerging artist, perceives herself as someone who enjoys painting, particularly landscapes. She recognizes her skill and love for the art form, but views herself as just an art enthusiast.
Stage 2 - Self-definition: Sarah debuts her first solo exhibition and realizes she is more than just an enthusiast – she's a professional landscape artist with a unique aesthetic style that brings serenity to viewers. She now defines herself as a 'Tranquility Artist.'
Scenario: Tech Startup Journey
Stage 1 - Self-perception: Dave, a computer programmer, perceives himself as someone proficient in coding and software development. He is comfortable in his role as a team member in a large tech company.
Stage 2 - Self-definition: Dave launches his own tech startup and transitions from being just a coder to defining himself as a 'Tech Visionary', leading his company with innovation and pioneering a unique product that makes a difference in the tech industry.
Scenario: Historical Restoration Project
Stage 1 - Self-perception: Lily, an architect, perceives herself as a lover of old buildings, appreciating their designs and craftsmanship.
Stage 2 - Self-definition: After restoring a historical building, Lily realizes her passion extends beyond mere appreciation. She's now defines herself as a 'Heritage Preserver', revitalizing the past for future generations.
Scenario: Eldercare Challenge
Stage 1 - Self-perception: Brian, an adult son, perceives himself as the independent child of aging parents, appreciating their support throughout his life.
Stage 2 - Self-definition: As his parents' health declines, Brian takes on the responsibility of their care. In this process, he redefines himself as a 'Compassionate Caretaker', showing empathy and dedication in providing his parents the support they need.
Scenario: Professional Athlete’s Evolution
Stage 1 - Self-perception: Jamal, a professional basketball player, perceives himself primarily through his physical capabilities and competitive spirit.
Stage 2 - Self-definition: After mentoring young athletes, Jamal comes to see himself as more than an athlete. He's an 'Inspirational Leader', using his influence to encourage and shape the next generation of athletes.
□ Step 5.8 Universal Concept - From isolated individual (sensing, feeling) to thinker (universal concept).
As humans, we have a dual nature: one part of us is an individual with unique experiences and feelings, while the other part of us is capable of universal thought. The individual side of us helps us interact with our immediate surroundings and connects us with our unique feelings and sensations. It's the part of us that feels separate from everything else.
However, when we engage our ability to think, we transcend our individuality and connect with a universal, shared understanding. For example, when you and your friend think about a triangle, you're both accessing the exact same concept of a triangle. It doesn't matter who is doing the thinking—the idea of the triangle remains the same. This shared, universal understanding unites us with the rest of the cosmos.
Our ability to think lets us understand things beyond our immediate experiences and personal feelings. It allows us to connect our individual experiences (like seeing a particular triangle) with universal concepts (the idea of a triangle). When we combine our personal experiences with these universal concepts, we gain a complete understanding of the world.
So, when we move from being just isolated individuals to becoming thinkers, we're able to connect with something much larger than ourselves. This shift from being an individual to becoming a thinker is an essential part of our self-actualization—our journey to becoming the best version of ourselves.
Scenario: Diversity Conference
Stage 1 - Isolated Individual (sensing, feeling): During a Diversity Conference, attendees from various racial and ethnic backgrounds initially feel a sense of division. Their unique cultural experiences, traditions, and historical narratives, perceived through their senses and emotions, lead to a feeling of separation.
Stage 2 - Thinker (universal concept): As the conference progresses, through dialogue and shared experiences, attendees come to recognize the universal concept of humanity - the shared genetic, biological, and existential reality that binds them all as one human race. Despite the diverse cultural and racial identities, this newfound understanding promotes unity and solidarity among the attendees.
Scenario: The Global Health Conference
Stage 1 - Isolated Individual (sensing, feeling): In a Global Health Conference, medical professionals with diverse specializations and approaches initially sense a divide. Each, focused on their own unique medical practices and patient experiences, feel a separation.
Stage 2 - Thinker (universal concept): As they share and exchange ideas, they recognize the universal concept of holistic health and wellness, encompassing physical, mental, and social well-being. They realize that despite their different specializations, they are all working towards a common goal of enhancing human health and quality of life. This shared understanding forges unity, promoting collaborative efforts in advancing global health outcomes.
Scenario: Transcending Historical Boundaries
Stage 1 - Isolated individual (sensing, feeling): As a student of U.S. history, Sarah finds herself overwhelmed and disheartened by the country's involvement in numerous wars. She sees each war as a distinct event, focusing on the violence, the casualties, and the hardships endured. This perspective leads her to feel a certain level of disillusionment and a critical view towards her country's past.
Stage 2 - Thinker (universal concept): Sarah starts to see past the individual wars, noticing a consistent theme in the U.S.'s historical involvement in conflicts: a pattern of efforts to bring about the ideal of freedom and democracy. Sarah evolves into a thinker who can appreciate the broader narrative of history, beyond her initial critical feelings.
Scenario: Artistic Revelation
Stage 1 - Isolated Individual (sensing, feeling): An amateur painter, Benjamin often expresses his emotions through his art. He senses and feels the catharsis, but his understanding of art remains tied to his individual emotional expressions.
Stage 2 - Thinker (universal concept): With time, Benjamin realizes that art is more than just a personal emotional outlet—it's a universal language bridging the gap between individuals and cultures. His perception shifts from focusing on the individual emotions conveyed in his art to understanding art as a manifestation of a universal human spirit. He begins to see how different artworks across the globe, while unique in form, express similar universal conceptual truths of life and humanity.
Scenario: From Leaves to Ecosystems
Stage 1 - Isolated individual (sensing, feeling): As an aspiring environmental scientist, Maya feels a sense of awe and connection with each species, observing their unique characteristics such as leaf shape, growth, and color variations.
Stage 2 - Thinker (universal conceptual unity): Through extensive study and observation, Maya begins to grasp the intricate ecological relationships and dependencies that bind the plant species together. This leads her to the universal concept of interconnectedness, where each species contributes to the functioning and resilience of the ecosystem as a whole.
Scenario: The Robotics Championship
Stage 1 - Isolated Individual (sensing, feeling): During a Robotics Championship, competing teams initially sense division due to their unique robot designs and strategies. Each team, focused on their innovative approaches and diverse engineering principles, experiences a sense of separation.
Stage 2 - Thinker (universal concept): As the competition progresses, all teams recognize the universal concept of problem-solving through innovation and creativity. Despite the varied designs and strategies, they understand that all their efforts are directed towards overcoming challenges using technology. This realization forms a shared understanding, fostering camaraderie and unity among the teams.
□ Step 5.9 Conceptual Unity - From observable world unity to conceptual world unity.
Imagine you're trying to find what connects everything in the world. Some people might say it's God, or some kind of force, or matter, or even some unconscious will. But, all of these are things we only observe in specific areas of our life, not everywhere.
Our capacity to comprehend through thought is the sole authentic link between us and everything in the world. We use our minds to analyze and categorize what we see and experience. This mental map that we create, filled with concepts and ideas, that's what unites everything.
For instance, let's say you're watching someone perform a dance. You might believe that the dancer's body, moving through space, is the real, undeniable truth. However, the way we understand those movements, like everything else, is through our thoughts and concepts. We only understand the dancer's movements because we can categorize them as 'dance', link them to the concept of 'rhythm', or understand them within the context of 'performance'.
So, observable world unity means the connections we see or feel, which are limited. On the other hand, conceptual world unity is the connection we understand through thinking, which covers everything. Moving from observing to understanding through thinking helps us make sense of the world and our place in it. It aids our journey towards becoming our best selves because we better understand the whole picture, not just bits and pieces.
Scenario: Ecologist's Epiphany
Stage 1 - Observable World Unity: An ecologist, Naomi, observes unity in the complex interrelationships within ecosystems. However, she's confounded by the disruptions caused by climate change, deforestation, and other human activities that seem to break the unity she initially perceived.
Stage 2 - Conceptual World Unity: Naomi starts to understand that the real unity lies not in the physical observable ecosystem but in the underlying principles of ecology: the cycles of energy and nutrients, the concepts of niche and succession. This shift to conceptual unity offers her a more comprehensive and resilient framework to study and address environmental issues.
Scenario: Journey of Faith
Stage 1 - Observable World Unity: Emma, a young believer, sees her relationship with God as a personal one. She experiences God's presence through her individual prayer and worship activities. Her understanding of God is intimately tied to her own personality and subjective experiences.
Stage 2 - Conceptual World Unity: As Emma's faith evolves, she begins to perceive the unifying concept that transcends her personal experience – the divine essence or spiritual principle inherent in all beings. She moves from a personal God tied to her own experiences to a universal understanding that encompasses all creation.
Scenario: Philosopher's Transformation
Stage 1 - Observable World Unity: Ethan, a philosophy student, believes in the interconnectedness of everything he can observe. He attempts to see unity in the external world through patterns in nature, societal structures, and even physical laws. However, he struggles to reconcile the vast differences and contradictions he encounters within this 'observable world unity'.
Stage 2 - Conceptual World Unity: Ethan begins to realize that unity cannot be found solely in what can be observed externally, but rather in the concepts and principles underlying these observations. This shift leads him to understand the world in terms of concepts like causality, existence, and consciousness, which provide a unifying framework transcending the differences and contradictions he initially struggled with.
Scenario: Astronomer's Awakening
Stage 1 - Observable World Unity: An amateur astronomer, Leo, perceives unity in the observable cosmos - the movements of celestial bodies, the consistent laws of physics. Yet, the more he explores, the more vast and seemingly chaotic the universe appears.
Stage 2 - Conceptual World Unity: Over time, Leo shifts his focus from what can be merely observed to the concepts and theories that underpin these observations. He begins to see the universe not merely as a collection of observable phenomena but as an embodiment of universal principles like gravity, spacetime, and the conservation of energy, which provide a unifying conceptual framework for understanding the cosmos.
Scenario: Spiritual Artist
Stage 1 - Observable World Unity: Noah, an artist, initially sees his creative process as divinely inspired, with his art a personal manifestation of God's will acting through him. The artwork he creates is an extension of his personality and his relationship with his personal God.
Stage 2 - Conceptual World Unity: As Noah matures as an artist, he begins to see his art not just as a personal divine expression, but as an exploration of universal themes of the human experience. He moves from a personal God acting through his individual creations to an understanding of the universal principles of creativity and expression.
Scenario: Healer's Path
Stage 1 - Observable World Unity: Sofia, a practitioner of alternative medicine, views her healing practice as a way to channel a personal God's healing power. She perceives her ability to heal as an extension of her personality and her special connection to her personal God.
Stage 2 - Conceptual World Unity: Sofia's understanding evolves to perceive the healing process as a universal concept that goes beyond her individual practice. She realizes that healing lies in the unifying principle of the body's inherent ability to restore itself, recognizing a broader concept of wellness that extends beyond her personal connection with God.
□ Step 5.10 Corresponding Intuition - From appearance of equal value to hierarchy of value.
Imagine you're at a buffet with all kinds of food. You see different dishes, fruits, desserts, drinks, but they all just seem like a lot of different items, none of them more important than the other. This is similar to how we perceive the world when we look at everything as having equal value. We see a bunch of unrelated things happening around us. We can call this the 'appearance of equal value'.
But let's go back to the buffet. You start to consider what you like, what you're allergic to, what's healthy, and what isn't. Suddenly, there's a hierarchy of value based on your understanding and preferences.
This is like when we use thinking to understand the world. We start to see connections and significance between different parts of the world, and some facts become more important than others. This is called the 'hierarchy of value'. For example, understanding why a lion is more complex than a snail requires this kind of thinking.
The way we first understand or 'see' a thought is called 'intuition'. Just like how we observe things happening around us, we can 'observe' our thoughts through intuition. And just like observation, intuition also helps us learn. Intuition and observation are the sources of our knowledge.
In the world, every single thing or event is part of a bigger picture, like a puzzle piece. When we can't see how a puzzle piece fits, it seems confusing. But when we use our thinking and intuition, we can find the missing information that shows us how everything fits together. Anything we observe in the world remains unintelligible to us, until the corresponding intuition arises within us which adds that part of reality missing in perception. Without intuition, we'd only see fragments of the puzzle, never understanding how they connect.
Understanding the world means seeing how everything fits into the bigger picture. We are the ones who sometimes see things as disconnected because of how our minds work. But through thought, we can put the pieces together again, see the unity in things, and solve the puzzle. This helps us understand the world better, and in turn, understand ourselves better, aiding our journey towards self-actualization.
Scenario: Sleuthing for Clues
Stage 1 - Appearance of equal value: Detective Kate is faced with her first murder case. She's presented with a multitude of clues - a discarded glove, footprints, witness statements, and more. Initially, she considers all these clues as having equal significance in solving the case.
Stage 2 - Hierarchy of value: As she delves deeper into the case, Kate's intuition guides her to see that not all clues are equally valuable. She realizes that the glove, with its trace DNA, holds a much higher significance than other facts, leading her closer to the killer. Understanding this hierarchy of value in the information she has, she can more effectively solve the case.
Scenario: Roundtable Discussion
Stage 1 - Appearance of equal value: During a town hall meeting, different community members voice their unique concerns and suggestions on improving their neighborhood. Every opinion, whether about parks, schools, or traffic, seems to hold equal weight. There is a flurry of ideas, but the conversation lacks focus and clarity.
Stage 2 - Hierarchy of value: Sally, a long-time resident, listening attentively to each point, has a conceptual intuition. She suggests focusing on improving local schools first, arguing that better education will indirectly address many other issues like crime, unemployment, and overall community well-being. By tying all the concerns to a core issue, she brings coherence and direction to the discussion, offering a more effective solution for the community's advancement.
Scenario: Workplace Evolution
Stage 1 - Appearance of equal value: At XYZ Corporation, a decision is made to enact a flat pay structure, where all employees, regardless of their role or performance, receive the same salary. Initially, there's a sense of equality and fairness. However, over time, productivity declines as there's little motivation for employees to excel or take on additional responsibilities.
Stage 2 - Hierarchy of value: John, a highly skilled and dedicated engineer, begins to notice the stagnation and decline in productivity. After analyzing the situation, he suggests transitioning to a merit-based pay system, where employees' compensation reflects the quality of their work, their skills, and their contribution to the company's growth. John's conceptual intuition points out that value in a workplace isn't uniform; it's hierarchical, contingent upon an individual's performance and commitment. Upon implementing this change, the company witnesses a significant boost in productivity and innovation, with employees feeling motivated to enhance their skills and make meaningful contributions.
Scenario: Navigating Political Landscape
Stage 1 - Appearance of equal value: As a political journalist, Raj starts his career by giving equal importance to all facts and opinions he encounters in his reporting. He believes that every viewpoint contributes equally to the story.
Stage 2 - Hierarchy of value: Over time, Raj's comprehension matures. He understands that while every viewpoint has its place, some facts carry greater weight in shaping the political landscape. Recognizing this hierarchy enables him to provide deeper, more impactful analysis in his articles.
Scenario: Startup Journey
Stage 1 - Appearance of equal value: In her early days as an entrepreneur, Jane views all aspects of her startup as equally important. The product development, marketing, hiring, customer service - she puts equal effort and attention into each, believing they are all crucial cogs in the machinery of her venture.
Stage 2 - Hierarchy of value: As Jane gains more experience and knowledge, she begins to see a more nuanced picture. She realizes that while all aspects are important, there's a hierarchy. She intuits that without a great product, other areas will falter. She starts to prioritize product development, placing higher value on it, not because other areas are insignificant, but because this is the core that drives everything else.
Scenario: Art of Storytelling
Stage 1 - Appearance of equal value: As a novice writer, John treats every character and plot twist in his story as equally significant. His narrative is filled with unconnected details and events, with no clear hierarchy or significance attached to any.
Stage 2 - Hierarchy of value: Through practice and intuition, John evolves in his understanding. He realizes that not all characters or events carry equal weight. The protagonist and the main plot twists hold higher value and drive the narrative. This realization allows him to create a more engaging, compelling story.
□ Step 5.11 Conceptual Connection - From gathering percepts to conceptual connections between percepts.
Think about how we understand the world around us. There are two main ways: through perceiving and through thinking. When you perceive something, it's direct, like seeing a red apple or hearing a car honk. But that's just the start. Let's consider the red apple example. You can go further and ask what else is there besides the red color? You might notice it has a particular shape, a certain temperature or a specific texture. All of this together, you call an "object in the world."
But it doesn't stop there. You could investigate further, like asking what kind of processes are happening inside the apple, or how the light reflects off it into your eyes so you can see its color. Each step gives you new percepts, new bits of direct experience. But to tie all these separate bits together, you need to use thinking.
Now, here's the thing. The way the apple affects your eyes, or how your brain turns that into the idea of an apple, you can't directly perceive that. All you can do is to think about it, to understand the conceptual connections between the percepts. So, the relationship between you and the apple that goes beyond just seeing it, is all in the realm of thought, of ideas.
So, what's important here is that all we have are percepts - direct experiences - and the conceptual connections between them that we find through thinking. We can't perceive how a percept comes from something that isn't perceptible.
Understanding the world isn't just about gathering as many percepts as possible. It's about using thought to find the connections between those percepts. It's like the difference between having a bunch of puzzle pieces and understanding how they fit together to form a picture. This understanding helps us see the world more fully and interact with it more effectively.
Scenario: Adventure Tourism
Stage 1 - Gathering percepts: Julie, an adventure tour guide, keenly observes her environment, noting various aspects of the flora, fauna, and geographical features during her tours. She perceives changes in the weather, understands the terrains, and tracks animal movements.
Stage 2 - Discovering Conceptual Connections: Over time, Julie begins to conceptualize patterns in her observations. She formulates the idea that certain bird songs predict weather changes, or that the occurrence of specific plant species indicates the quality of soil and water. She integrates these conceptual insights to enhance her tours, crafting engaging narratives for her clients.
Scenario: Music Composition
Stage 1 - Gathering percepts: As a budding musician, Alex listens to various music genres. He pays attention to different instruments, rhythms, melodies, and their emotional impact.
Stage 2 - Discovering Conceptual Connections: Alex develops a conceptual understanding of the connection between music elements and emotions. He formulates concepts about how certain chords evoke particular feelings or how rhythm changes the energy of a piece. He uses these ideas to compose music that intentionally creates specific emotional experiences.
Scenario: Robotics Engineering
Stage 1 - Gathering percepts: Sandra, a robotics engineer, learns about various materials, components, and software used in robot creation. She studies the movements of different robots and their interaction with their environment.
Stage 2 - Discovering Conceptual Connections: Sandra starts conceptualizing how certain properties of materials, coupled with particular designs, can impact a robot's functionality. She creates mental models of how software and hardware optimization leads to desired robot behavior. These insights inform her work in developing more efficient and adaptable robots.
Scenario: Digital Art Creation
Stage 1 - Gathering percepts: As a digital artist, Tom experiments with different digital art platforms, styles, and techniques. He observes the use of colors, shapes, and patterns.
Stage 2 - Discovering Conceptual Connections: Tom begins conceptualizing how different techniques produce specific visual effects, how color schemes set certain moods, and how shapes and lines guide the viewer's attention. He applies these conceptual insights to create compelling digital art that effectively communicates his intended message.
Scenario: Epidemiology and Public Health
Stage 1 - Gathering percepts: Dr. Maya, a public health expert, gathers data on a newly emerged virus, noting infection rates, severity, and demographic data.
Stage 2 - Discovering Conceptual Connections: Dr. Maya analyses the data and conceptualizes how the virus spreads and which populations are most vulnerable. She understands the conceptual relationships between different public health interventions and their effectiveness. She uses these insights to recommend policies and interventions to control the virus's spread.
Scenario: Urban Planning
Stage 1 - Gathering percepts: As an urban planner, Michael surveys cities, studying the layout, population density, transportation systems, green spaces, and more.
Stage 2 - Discovering Conceptual Connections: Michael conceptualizes how specific city layouts can improve traffic flow or how the presence of green spaces impacts the city's livability. These insights form conceptual frameworks that guide his proposals for city planning strategies aimed at creating efficient, sustainable, and enjoyable urban spaces.
□ Step 5.12 Objective Percept - From objective percept (in field of vision) to subjective percept (memory-idea).
When you perceive something, like seeing a table in front of you, that's an objective percept because the object (table) is present in your field of vision. It's objective because it exists outside of yourself. Now, when the table is no longer there but you can still form an image of it in your mind, that's a subjective percept or a memory-idea. This image is subjective because it's something that belongs to you, the perceiving subject, and it's caused by the lasting change the table has made in you.
The problem arises when we mistakenly identify the subjective percept (memory-idea) as the objective percept (when the object was actually present). If you believe that your memory or idea of the table IS the table itself, then you fall into the trap of thinking that "the world is my idea" and this can lead to misunderstandings and confusion.
By correctly distinguishing between the subjective percept (memory-idea) and the objective percept (when the object is present), we're able to understand the world as it really is. This understanding then helps us to know how to interact with the world and act with confidence and purpose.
In simpler terms, you see a table (objective percept). Later, you can imagine the table in your mind (subjective percept). If you understand the difference between these two - that one is the actual table and the other is just your memory of it - then you can better understand and navigate the world. You're not confusing your memories or ideas of things with the actual things themselves. This is important because it helps you make sense of the world and your place in it.
Scenario: Digital Art Creation
Stage 1 - Confusing objective and subjective percept: Jake, a digital artist, sees an amazing digital artwork online and is inspired to create something similar. He remembers the artwork so vividly that he begins to copy what he thinks he saw, leading to a piece that is very derivative and unoriginal.
Stage 2 - Distinguishing objective and subjective percept: Jake realizes that his work lacks originality. He decides to look at the inspirational artwork again, understanding its elements objectively. He then creates his own piece, influenced by but not copying the original. This understanding of the difference between his memory of the artwork and the actual artwork leads to the creation of a piece that is uniquely his.
Scenario: Misunderstanding a Changing Friend
Stage 1 - Confusing objective and subjective percept: Ben has been friends with Alex since they were kids. They've been through a lot together, but they've also changed significantly. Ben still sees Alex as the reckless, fun-loving person he was in high school, leading to misunderstandings and tension as he fails to appreciate Alex's matured, responsible nature.
Stage 2 - Distinguishing objective and subjective percept: Ben realizes he's been unfair to Alex by clinging to outdated perceptions. He begins to objectively observe and acknowledge the changes in Alex, leading to a renewed friendship where he understands and appreciates who Alex has become, thus strengthening their relationship.
Scenario: Misjudging the Evolution of Political Parties
Stage 1 - Confusing objective and subjective percept: Ella, an active citizen, has always supported the Democrat party for its stand on free speech. Her memory of the party is deeply rooted in this principle, causing her to overlook recent actions and policies that seem to contradict this stance.
Stage 2 - Distinguishing objective and subjective percept: Ella begins to objectively research and assess the party's current positions and actions. The party now supports censorship and the oppression of political opponents. She recognizes that her memory-idea of the party differs from its present state. This helps her reassess her political stance and make informed decisions based on the current realities of the party.
Scenario: Perception of Media Institutions
Stage 1 - Confusing objective and subjective percept: Thomas, a media consumer, holds onto the idea of media as an unbiased source of information. His memory of robust journalism causes him to overlook signs of bias in reporting and dismiss criticism of media institutions.
Stage 2 - Distinguishing objective and subjective percept: Thomas starts to objectively analyze news stories, comparing reports from different outlets, and studying the influences on modern journalism. He comes to understand that his memory of professional journalism doesn't necessarily reflect its current state, which helps him critically assess and interpret the information he consumes.
Scenario: Raising the Second Child
Stage 1 - Confusing objective and subjective percept: Alice, a mother of two, assumes that what worked with her first child, Jack, would work just as well with her second child, Emily. She remembers how Jack enjoyed structure and rules, and applies the same parenting approach to Emily. However, this leads to misunderstandings and stress as Emily's more free-spirited nature clashes with Alice's structured approach.
Stage 2 - Distinguishing objective and subjective percept: Alice realizes that Emily is an individual with her own needs and preferences, different from Jack's. She begins to observe Emily more objectively, understanding her unique temperament and adjusting her parenting approach accordingly. This leads to a happier, more harmonious parent-child relationship, as Alice truly understands and meets Emily's needs.
Scenario: Urban Planning for Future Cities
Stage 1 - Confusing objective and subjective percept: Sarah, a newly hired urban planner, is looking at old blueprints of the city. She starts to imagine what the city was like back then, so vividly that she begins to design plans as if those old blueprints represent the current state of the city. This leads to designs that are unsuitable for the city's present needs.
Stage 2 - Distinguishing objective and subjective percept: Sarah realizes her mistake and begins to focus on the current, objective state of the city. She surveys the city, studies up-to-date data, and consults with local communities. She learns to distinguish her nostalgic memory-ideas from the city's actual, present condition, leading to more relevant and effective urban planning solutions.
"The one that matters most is the knowing doer—the one who acts out of knowledge."