Love is the best eugenics.Most of the marriage problems arise because couples think they are marrying for love instead of thinking of it as an arrangement for the preservation of the species.Nature does not care whether the couples are happily ever after,or only for a day,so long as reproduction is achieved. Love is a …deception practiced by nature,marriage is the attrition of love, and must be disillusioning.
Knowing The World.
I think one of the most interesting things about reality is how little we know about it (and how indirect how perception of the world is). What do we really know of the world? Not a whole lot. We can only know aspects of the world that appear to our consciousness, and nothing else. All we can say to know about the world is the somewhat inconsistence acknowledgment of the perceptual image that is presented and projected in our mind – in the back of our brain where the visual cortex is…that’s really all way can say we know about reality from a visual perspective (to simplify things a little bit, I am excluding other sensory mechanisms). But this “knowledge” of the world is always filtered by a series of synthesis and operations that are both biological and lingual in nature. In other words, there is a mediated “gap” between objects in the world in and of themselves and the way they appear to our mind and consciousness. And because of this “gap”, we can never perceive reality directly. And it is this “gap” that I want to talk about and explore. This “gap”, I think, is one of the fundamental differences between human beings and animals. And that this “gap” allows us to both access and penetrate the world, while at the same time denies us certain truths about the world that we take for granted.
For example, I see that there is a pig sitting on my lawn. How do I know that there really is such a pig out there, what it is, what it actually looks like APART from our conscious experience of it? You might say, I know that there’s a pig sitting there because the linguistic and conceptual categories of the mind is complimented and synthesized with certain biological activities and perceptual phenomenon, which in turn give rise to an empirical and conceptual knowledge of a pig there, sitting out there in my lawn. But can this knowledge be justified? I think the answer is no, and that it is impossible, apart from our conception and perception of the pig as it appears to our minds as ideas, to know the pig in its deepest and most essential being in and of itself. The biological and conceptual categories of the mind organize the pig in a way that appears to our consciousness. But take a Martian who has a different categorical mind structure and perceptual and conceptual arrangements, and that pig might just appear to be different. So whose knowledge of the pig is correct and true? The TRUE pig, in its most essential and deepest being can never be grasped and acknowledged by neither, and that in actuality, the pig might just a pile of gray goo that communicates to other piles of gray goo (other “pigs”, as we know it) by squirting out chemicals in rhythmic and orgasmic fashion. My senses of course, render and filter this pile of goo in such a way that it is masqueraded before my mind the APPEARANCE and the PHENOMENON and the IDEA of a pig that walks and shits. But again, the whole process and arrangement of rendering and masquerading is really an act of deception, for it distorts the essential trust I have about reality and the nature of its constitutes.
There is the idea of idealists and phenomenologists. The idea that the whole world is masqueraded and rendered by consciousness, and that we can only know the ideas of the objects of the world, but not the objects in their deepest and most essential beings. I think what’s even more interesting, or indeed, disturbing and unsettling is the “slowness” of this process of masquerading and filtering. This act of rendering reality so that it can be presented (indirectly) in our mind is really quite complicated process. Our mind does not perceive things right off the bat. Rather, it performs a series of complex operations of synthesis, profiling, and categorization. Now, I am not a biologist or a neuroscientist, so I won’t go into the biological and neural details of this process. But keep in mind that as humans, the perceptual occurrences of consciousness is always complimented, embodied, and synthesized with a conceptual, or a linguistic structure. And I think it is this process and operation of linguistic and perceptual/biological coupling that give rise to self-awareness – the fact that human beings are self-conscious. Now, a lot of animals have consciousness. That is, the have the capacity to perceive and to feel, but what they lack is the capacity to conceive because they lack the conscious awareness of consciousness. In other words, human beings are conscious of the fact that they have consciousness. They can self-reflect in a self-referential fashion. That is, we humans experience ourselves, describe ourselves, and understand ourselves as HAVING an autonomous mind that exists apart from everything else out there in the world. “There is ME,” we say, and then “There’s the rest of it”.
Human beings may be in fact the only animal that is capable of self-awareness. There might be possible exceptions with new scientific findings about dolphins and whales, but the degree of self-awareness in humans is certainly a lot higher than some of these other animals. And given that we are self-conscious creatures, we cannot possibly conceive of a world that is apart of our consciousness awareness of ourselves within this world. In other words, it is next to impossible to imagine what our experience of the world is like without this “gap” that I was referring to earlier…this “gap” that is constituted and arranged by linguistic and perceptual filtering. This “gap” between the awareness of our own existence and everything else that simply exists “out there” in the world, APART from our consciousness is precisely the difference between our experience and the other animals’ experience of the world. Without this “gap” that self-consciousness provides us, animals have no need for them to have ideas, to abstract, and to THINK about anything because there would no experience of anything to have ideas, to abstract, or to think about.
Without this “gap”, animals perceive reality, in an ontological sense, more directly than we do. In fact, they might be able to perceive more of reality than we do due to this phenomenological directness that humans, for better or for worse, seem to lack. In the absence of a sense of self, or with the removal of the “gap” between consciousness and reality, experience would probably be a kind of a sensory and perceptual continuum without any phenomenological and ontological “break”. If I could imagine a reality in-itself apart from consciousness, I would probably imagine a all-things-as-one-thing phenomenon, where everything could be SENSED – one would feel pain and emotions, but nothing would be PERCEIVED because nothing would be “cut up”. Reality without perception is probably a mess that is always in the state of becoming, flux and fluctuation. But because of the synthetic coupling between the perceptual and the conceptual, the biological and the lingual, human beings create a “gap” between consciousness and reality, between mind and matter that sort of “freeze” the on-going flux and fluctuation that the world undergoes on a constant basis. What happens during this “gap” and “act of freezing” is the process of the way that self-awareness distinguish one thing from another by dividing and “cutting up” the all-things-as-one reality that is constantly shifting in continuity into linguistic and conceptual categories that is concrete and pragmatic to us at any given moment. With our conceptual and linguistic systems, we are able to penetrate the world that no other animals can, but it is this very same act of penetration that dialectically deny and take away from our experience of the world.
Given our fundamental consciousness and awareness of “self”, as distinguished from “other”, we look out into the world and experience not only a break and a discontinuity between “Me” and “everything else”, but there’s also “this” and “that”, “these” and “those”, making up the world as we know it through the nature of the mechanisms of our consciousness. And we do this, of course, with language and other conceptual schemas that organize the continuant nature of the world into discrete and concrete ideas. Ideas, then, are the result of a MEDIATED and INDIRECT experience of the world – a direct opposition to the experience of other animals, which without language, are UNMEDIATED, DIRECT, and IDEALESS. In other words, animals experience the world in a purer state than humans do, but it is this impure perception of the world that allow us to self-reflect, to abstract, think, imagine an alternate reality, to speak languages, and to comprehend the world that no other animals can.
What are the differences between an UNMEDIATED experience of the world and a MEDIATED one in a pragmatic sense? Let’s take a pre-linguistic species – an amoeba, and compare it with humans. When an animal of rudimentary consciousness like the amoeba is attacked, or touched by a foreign body, it simply reacts. There is no prolongation between the act of perception and action because perception and movement being here are blended in a single property – contractility. But as the organism grows more complex, there is a “delay” between perception and action. In fact, the more complex an animal is, the more prolongation there is between the time an organism receives a stimuli and time it takes it to react to that stimuli. When an external stimulus (an attack) enters our bodies through our senses, our consciousness, because of the nature of its linguistic and conceptual mechanisms, is able to filter and render these stimuli in a way that other less complex organisms cannot perform. When I see a bear charging at us, though, while I might surely react instinctively to some degree, I also DO think, too, about what to do. Should I play dead? Throw rocks at it, climb onto a tree, or simply run? And we describe and conceive of these options to ourselves through language. And it is the process of the unfolding of words and syntaxes that create a “gap”, or a “delay” between our perception of the situation and our reactions to it. Language is “in the middle” between perception and action, and thus our experience of the world is always “mediated” in various degrees.
So I think there is a dialectical phenomenon that is at work here. Rudimentary animals such as an amoeba are able to perceive “more” of the world, because their experience is DIRECT and UNMEDIATED. There are no biases to their experience of the world because it takes language to “cut” reality apart into discrete categories and parts where prejudices can be manifested. If reality is an all-in-one continuum, then everything is one and the same, and that nothing is “better” or “worse” than other things. But this directness takes away the ability for the amoeba to THINK, to ABSTRACT, to IMAGINE, and to ANALYZE the world. It cannot penetrate the world and conceive of the metaphysical elements that lie behind physical objects. Only with language and other conceptual schemas that are unique to humans can an animal have access to the metaphysical and phenomenological aspects of reality that cannot be detected with sensory organs. So animals perceive “more” of the world while at the same time understanding “less” of it. But it is the opposite case for humans. Humans perceive “less” of the world, while understanding “more” of it through abstraction using language. The mediated and indirect experience we have of the world takes away some of our perception of it, while at the same time it allows us to penetrate aspects of reality that isn’t available to mere sensory organs.