Subjective ‘spiritual’ reality

Excerpts from Journal: 12th Feb 2012

Subjective reality seems the easy way out.

Emotionally I feel satisfied with life and world but intellectually, there is always something missing.

Is it my need…my human need to crave for a better understanding of universe so as to make sense of my place in it or is it something only a selected few see missing?

If everyone has their own truth is it to say that there is nothing independent of our perception? What about the time before us? Was the reality subjugated to the perception of dinosaurs?

There is a stench of anthropological bias in this way of thinking.

Ancient religion and cultures found a way to answer the ‘Why’ questions in their own subjective ways limited by socio-culture context they were in.

I remembered discussing with a friend about ‘spiritual reality’. Her argument was that there is a higher power and that praying (in any form) is the way to connect with it. She even used quantum mechanics ‘wave-particle duality’ principle  to back up her ‘everything-is-energy’ argument.

For the most part, I kept listening first and then questioning the logic of her argument. But it seemed that she got this perception that I was disagreeing with her.

But for me, it was not about disagreeing or not believing what she said. I think I was questioning myself.

Is this spiritual divine energy for real? Or is it our need to believe in it?

For what?

I read an article on web about ‘How our brains copes up with the idea of death’. There was this paragraph which went on the lines of –

“Being the only species which is consciously aware of its impending non-existence, humans have developed cultural system which portray the world as a meaningful, purposeful place in which death is not the final end. Besides the idea of an eternal soul, we talk of transcending death through social achievements like heroism, memorials and heirs. Decades of scientific research indicate that our mortality has a pervasive impact in our lives and that when we are reminded of our fragile and ephemeral nature, we quickly banish the thought by making our individual egos subservient to grander ideas like family, religion and nation. “

I hear a lot of people become ‘spiritually awakened’ and getting done with religion in some ways.

The more I thought about it the more I felt that even the concept of ‘spirituality’ was of human creation.

Having filled our physical and emotion needs, we as human embark on trying to explain or engage in the awe of the cosmos.

If this is true, this leads me to some bit of frustration. I wonder if every BLOODY thing we do is reduce our cognitive dissonance!

A conversation of a friend echoes in my ears still..

“So what if its human creation? If you believe it, it is real for you, right?”

“Yes but, then if it just about believing. It means reality is limited to our sensory perception, which can be wrong at times. Does it not make sense to acknowledge it, if not transcend it. Is there no difference between knowledge and opinion?”

“You have to believe in something, you can’t live like this. It will be mentally exhausting”

It’s funny how she concluded by that. It was almost as if I was trivializing the idea of having a set belief. I was not sure if that’s how I thought. But whatever said, this is how the it seemed.

People talk about having an insight, feeling enlightened which can not be expressed or rationalized.

I cannot deny that those moments have never happened to me, but it is scary to hear people say so because then there can be no further discussions.

That is not to say the point is to agree on same thing. But it would be difficult to look at the other’s perspective, engage in it (with or without accepting it)

As Sam Harris, philosopher and author, said –

“Water is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. What if someone says, “Well, that’s not how I choose to think about water.”? All we can do is appeal to scientific values. And if he doesn’t share those values, the conversation is over. If someone doesn’t value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove they should value it? If someone doesn’t value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?”

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3 responses to “Subjective ‘spiritual’ reality”

    • anupriykanti says :

      Thanks Matt. I have just gone through the first two chapters. It is a really good read. I like that Carr a bit wary of completely siding with any school of thought but maintains a consistent argument…

      Wish I had come across it earlier in my 11th-12th standard when I was studying IB History where discussing the relevance of source material (and the historian) was as important.as the ‘facts’ themselves.

      • mattrdlee says :

        Yes it is a good read. Several times I have given the first chapter to Foundation students to instigate a discussion around ideas of truth, perspective, objectivity and subjectivity.

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