Mind and Matter

There are many objects and occasions that seem to happen without reason or justice in the world around us. As we wake up every single day, we are constantly thrown into an abyss of unusual phenomena and happenstance that either goes unnoticed or unexplained. In truth, our mind is the chief culprit in hiding the reality of the world from our hearts. For fear of sorrow and despair, the mind sometimes unconsciously blocks what we would not like to know in an effort to remain in an illusion of absolute freedom and control over our own fate and destiny. Such is the nature of the common mind.

The uncommon mind, both rare and unique, seeks the truth for the sake of knowledge itself and marches with courage into the shadow of obscurity that hides the true nature of reality. Even with its initial hopes and vitality, the uncommon mind may also succumb to the pessimistic forces that persist indefinitely in the external world. Yet as surely as there are only a few winners in a race for many, there are a small number of people that accepts reality as it is instead of bending the truth to create a Utopia of bliss in ignorance. The masses fail this test simply because the truth of reality is like a mirror that reflects back the crude ugliness and imperfection of the soul that looks into it.

Knowledge or ignorance is the ultimate choice of the uncommon mind. For the common mind, it is sufficient to just invent illusions and superstition to mask the peculiarities that occur in our daily lives. But the uncommon mind holds a choice. In ignorance, one gains the bliss of accepting what happens in life just as a necessity for nature and reality to maintain balance. For some people, it is wiser to choose ignorance over the illusion of absolute knowledge and absolute faith. It is ironic that the acknowledgement of one’s own ignorance is the needed prelude to both knowledge and wisdom.

To choose knowledge over ignorance may sound the better choice for most individuals. Why choose to not know the reason behind unusual objects and occasions? Would it not be better to know in sorrow rather than to be ignorant in bliss? For those who increases in knowledge more often than not increases in sorrow. When one sees the world as it is, without its facade of lies and its mask of beauty, one would feel the sorrow behind even happiness itself. Did not the book of Ecclesiastes state that all is vanity and a grasping of the wind?

But in the midst of ignorance one finds knowledge as surely as one knows what is good only when one sees evil. Even an atheist must first know God before saying in folly that there is no God. And thus it is that in the middle of two opposing sides that the uncommon mind must emerge victorious. In acknowledging that one must know the dark before one can know the light means that both are inseparable as the two faces of the Greek God Janus. The common mind cannot accept this.

It is inevitable that one finds that he is bonded by many things in the physical world. As a human being we are both subject to life and death. It is inevitable that we are the creation of our parents no matter who they are. Similarly, our parents must be the product of their parents so on and so forth. In coming into this world, we are already chained by the principal of causality in that we are both a cause and effect to the external world. Even the natural world must abide by this law. Look at how the plants are eaten by the cows and the cows are in turn are eaten by the lions.

Randomness and coincidence are just abstract thoughts and excuses that we create in order to explain what we do not or dare not know. In retrospect, everything in the past is inevitable whether we like it or not. There is not any man whether prince or pauper that can change the past according to his will. Neither might nor money can buy the past and reshape as the will desires. The chain of causation and the constant flow of time remain unbroken and serve as a prevention of our absolute will and freedom.

Hence the mind wishes to think in falsehood that we are absolutely free when in crystal clear reality we are all chained to one another and to the natural world. As both puppets and puppeteers, we find that we are pulled by the strings of others above us as surely as we must pull the strings of those below us. Being both the manipulator and the manipulated is the reality of life and the inescapable truth that the common mind would deny. But such is the true nature of reality.

The common mind would at this point lose all hope and abandon all desire to continue its knowledge about reality. It would scream that this is not the truth and that free-will would ultimately triumph over fate and destiny. But I have not denied the existence of free-will. On the contrary, I have only pointed out the limitations of the freedom of our will. We may be able to shape the future but not the past. Yet even in shaping the future we are still limited by the passage of time and the boundaries of space.

Everything is in relation with something else. Nothing in the world that is observable to the senses is free from the chains that reality has set for it. While some objects and occasions are seemingly unconnected and appear as stand alone realities by themselves, they are but linked by invisible chains that the mind has not yet perceived. The limitations of the mind to garner knowledge is no excuse for stating that things are disconnected and of no relation to all other things. The mind is the one that is at fault when it fails to understand reality. Blame not reality for the failure of the mind.

It is natural the mind would lean towards materialism rather than idealism. Look around us and we would see that matter persist even when the minds that shaped it has perished. The pyramids of Egypt and the Great Wall of China are but a few testaments to the persistence and permanence that the matter has over the mind. Was not David Hume correct when he said that we know the mind only as we know matter? Did not John Locke stated that all our knowledge comes from experience and through our senses?

But materialism itself is not the end all answer without the presence of idealism. Absolute and necessary truths do exist in an independent reality. The continuous flow of time itself is a testament to this. The data obtained through the senses and experiences amounts to just raw data if the mind fails to coordinate and organize it into knowledge using logic. Only the mind can understand the laws of causality and find the links between seemingly unrelated objects and occasions.

Immanuel Kant was right when he stated that it is the mind that coordinates experiences, sensations, perceptions and conceptions into knowledge. Only the mind can find unity in diversity and obtain the knowledge of what is absolute and necessary. Therefore it is the mind that is the active agent in synthesizing the thesis and the anti-thesis of reality. Although the mind will inevitably perish as the body dies, all knowledge of matter would come only through the mind. Without the effort of the mind to construct our knowledge of the mental and physical processes governing our world, our understanding of an independent reality would be impossible.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: