First of six parts to the article as it nears its completion.
I hope to establish these two distinctions between Reality (absolute) and our reality (of conscious experience and self witnessed) and between our self (part of our reality) and our whole self (of Reality). A process is then alluded to, towards the end of this article, of our integration with our whole self, of contact with Reality through our whole, and our part to play for it. More of this process will be presented elsewhere, but here discussed are pivotal issues involved in approaching our “actuality” of being part, and referring to our whole being of Reality.
1 The concept of “projection”
It is proposed here that our reality is “projected” or placed in space, through the Central Nervous System (CNS) by our whole. The CNS, which includes the brain and spinal cord, is an integral part of our whole being. We will look at how our reality, of conscious experience and self witnessed1, can be a projected part of our whole being, projected through the CNS by our whole.
Let’s start with vision as an example of projection.
Light bouncing off real things in the real world focuses upside down inside at the back of the eyes, and stimulates the receptors there at the retina (cones and rods) which convert focused images into nerve impulses. These pulse through optic nerves and reach the brain where our vision is created and placed in projected space, for us to experience.
In similar ways information, of certain “aspects of the real world” that sense organs of the body are specifically sensitive to (eyes for light, ears for sound, sensors on the skin for touch etc.), is put together in the CNS (by our whole) to form the “outside world part” of our reality. It is the world we may experience called the phenomenal world, a useful and “powerful” 2 indication of the real world. With it is a “functional” and effective perspective, of our sense of being in the world – we can jump onto a spot, point and touch, front up and throw. We are allowed this sense in our reality where, as one’s self or identity, we seemingly do things in our reality. All the while, it is our whole who does things in the real world or absolute Reality, including those things we think we do.
(Note 1 – phenomenal world made from “aspects of Reality”)
The capital R is used to indicate absolute Reality, and to distinguish it from “our reality” of conscious experience and self that is witnessed. Our reality is a projected part of our whole being, who is in and of Reality.
1Witness : the displaced part to the manifestant parts of our reality, including the self and what is experienced, by which we are aware of our self in being self aware, and of what we experience in being aware of that. See p4 – witness, constructology.
Also we witness time and change in space within our reality. Consider experience of tending fire from when humans where early homonids erectus around 1 million years ago. We evolved with fire and our gaze at its forever changing unfolding in time and our involvement.
2The powerful theories of science have their origins here, in our phenomenal world we may try to understand. Powerful because our theories and understandings work when applied in the conditions that they are meant for or were developed in. Nevertheless they remain of indication and story about the real world and things in it.
2 The self is a problem
Neuroscience seems to suggest that “what we experience” occurs in the brain. It has become a part of our modern understanding and culture (movies such as the Matrix). This diagram shows what was already being considered about our reality and the brain in the mid-1600’s, when it was used by Descartes in his work (father of modern philosophy – “I think, there for I am”). It illustrates a part of the brain registering vision and initiating pointing.
But what about our self, one’s self, yours and mine? Are we a product of the brain? With our ability to consider and question things, our sense of independence and will, and separation from what we experience, how can we be made by and so secondary to an organ? Are we not complete, in our existence absolutely as self against not self, and relative to our experience of the other, or of other things, others and the world? What about our consciousness, deeper being, sense of life, will and destiny? Where would they come from or fit, if not exist on their own?
I preempt this point, that there is no brain without a whole being, whole self or the whole body. We, as self or identity, together with and in our reality, are a part of our individual whole, “projected” through and not by the CNS but by our whole being.