This is a very loaded question and it will most certainly take a number of posts to cover. So, this will be part 1 of my continuing exploration of both the physical & nonphysical and human consciousness.
To get this ball rolling I will focus on what seems to me to be the single flaw in questions on consciousness and reality, and the subject of part 1 of this topic. Definition is the “Holy Grail” of explorations into our greater reality. AP and LD authors are especially vulnerable to seeking definition. When you consider the experience it’s difficult not to want to nail it down with something concrete and objective. It doesn’t matter if you’re attempting to scientifically generalize the experience so that it can be tested by others or if you’re designating labels purely out of mystical lore. Each of these scenarios is identical.
“But Rusty, surely you can recognize the difference between mysticism and science!” Well, sort of. I recognize that the nomenclature for each is different and that the two are often seen as being at odds with eachother. But if you take a step back you can see that all these two disciplines really are is a collection of similar words and definitions in search of the same thing, the nature of our existence. The obvious complaint here is that science is “a specific method by which objective events are tested in such a way as to be falsifiable and repeatable”, while mysticism is considered purely subjective and pseudoscienific at best. Here is my response. Science is based in metaphorical language, invented by humans, organized in such a way as to be generalized across time and culture. But we know that isn’t really true. Scientific paradigms change as fast as the seasons. In fact, I propose that science is flawed in its central assumption, that matter is the foundation of our reality. If this assumption is false, then any and every scientific discovery born from it is also false, which is essentially everything we believe we know about reality from a scientific perspective. So my counter proposal to the primacy of matter is that consciousness is truly king.
If consciousness is the foundation of reality then it is obvious that nothing is objective and so nothing is concrete. One of the most common responses to this theory is, “what about universal truths, like 1+1=2?” The philosophical argument is that there is no reality that exists where 1+1 does not equal 2. And I agree with that statement within the context of human cognition in what we call physical reality. I specify human cognition because it is the focus of human consciousness that allows us to experience this reality as being concrete. You can also make inferences from this statement on the repeatability of scientific tests. The question is, “If objectivity doesn’t exist, how can different scientists perform the same procedure and get the same results?” Quite simple because they expect that they will. How about the opposite. How can multiple scientists perform the same experiment and NOT get the same results? Because they expected different results. Sounds horrendously simple, to the point of being instantly dismissed. However, this is just the essential principle. In order to actually apply this principle to reality you have to consider the infinite complexities that impact our perception and expectations. A plethora of variables come together to impact the expectations of experimental data. I might even go so far as to say that the more science becomes generalized (as it is increasingly becoming) the fewer discrepancies we will see between research projects. As the ‘jargon’ of science spreads around the world and infects everyone, results will become more uniform. I’ll come back to this point in another part of this essay.
No matter how you slice it, reality is slippery. As you will see in future parts of this essay, I propose that what we know as physical reality is more likely a nonphysical environment that we have become so focused on as to make it seem permanent. But in truth, the whole spectrum of our reality is formless energy, directed by thought and spawned from imagination. Relative to this, definition is then the scorn of true growth.