Saturday, March 10, 2012

Philosophical Assumptions

All disciplines rest on a network of philosophical assumptions about the nature of life and reality. These fundamental assumptions play a potent, but often unconscious, role in determining our beliefs about mind and human nature. For example, the materialist who believes that matter is the primary constituent of reality and that life and consciousness are merely curious accidents will regard mind and human nature very differently from the person who believes that consciousness is primary and life is its purposeful creation. For the materialist, people and minds may be endlessly fascinating but are at bottom merely machines devoid of significance and ultimately reducible to neuronal fireworks and chemical combinations. For the idealist, on the other hand, people and minds may be part of a universal consciousness and partake of its boundless significance.

Roger Walsh and Frances Vaughan expressed those thoughts in The Philosophy of Transcendence, which is a chapter in their 1993 book, Paths Beyond Ego. Life is expression and that expression is as diverse as the consciousness experiencing it. The diversity that exists within each individual aspect of consciousness makes each expression of life a fulfilling as well as expanding experience.

There is no such thing as a non-living thing to the idealist. The idealist knows that there is consciousness in the tiniest particle whatever that life expression may be. Some particles may lack the conditions that materialists set forth to define living. Those conditions are arbitrarily set by limited beliefs about consciousness. Idealists accept the notion that there was consciousness before the smallest cell manifested physically. They believe the first cell materialized because it existed in the inner reality of its own consciousness. Idealists also believe that consciousness impresses or forms into matter through intent.

Consciousness is energy in action. We experience a portion of that action physically. The exciting physical experience we choose is the product of an invisible consciousness design and a designer. Those aspects of the self are so entrenched in each other that it is impossible to separate them. We are creators that experience our own creations. All life is endowed with creativity. The world blossoms with new creativity every second. Inner impulses from an invisible universal energy constantly impregnate creations with the force of consciousness, and that expands the awareness of materialists as well as idealists.

Those labels, and other labels like them, create separation, which is fertile ground for expansion. In this reality the essence of the self uses the diversity created by these distinct perceptions to expand individual as well as mass consciousness. In another reality, materialists may be idealists, and idealists may be materialists. The ability to create separation using physiological assumptions is a tool used by certain aspects or forms of consciousness to sense the complete self.

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