Once is Happenstance, Twice is Coincidence, the Third Time is My Psychosocial Reality: Transcendental Ideas for You and Me

Warren Kinston 23. May 2012 10:00

transcendental ideasAre you and your brain essentially the same thing?  There is a materialistic fashion at present to answer: "Yes. Of course, how else could it be?"  But: It could be that transcendental ideas are relevant and some medical scientists would agree.

However, in recent years scientific fellow-travellers have fallen in love with a reductionistic neuroscience.  They have no trouble writing sentences like: 

When we are deprived of sensory input, we generate images using our memory and keep our consciousness agents busy by playing back memories.  

But do «we» generate those images?  Do «I» play back memories?  Or do such things happen to me/us?  Do you reach puberty or does puberty happen to you?  Do you grow old?  Or is aging happenstance?

There is an enormous difference between referring to your «self» in the third person and owning your «self» in the first person.  Puberty happens to you in a way in which marriage does not. 

There is a difference between a situation in which I generate experiences, and another in which experiences just happen to me or come into my mind and life.  THEE assumes that this is of enormous significance to us in handling our everyday life.  It is at least significant enough to deserve scientific scrutiny and not be consigned to the dustbin of specious philosophy.  Just as biology forms a reality—one deserving study apart from physics and not by physicists—so our 'created self' is a reality of its own that cannot (and will not) be studied by neuroscientists.

Being scientific is not equivalent to using materialist assumptions. Being scientific refers to inquiry qualities like being rigorous, dispassionate, open to possibilities, ready to test and validate in various ways. Above all, it demands that inquiry be relevant and true to the object of study.

Having got that off my chest, let's go back now to life as we live it, rather than life as meccano-minded scientists currently study it.  

Where I am being creative, then I possess a purpose and a personal willingness.  I am not responsible for being a male or a female nor for hormones that start pouring into my bloodstream.  I am not even responsible for the dreams that I have when I sleep.  However, I am responsible for how I relate to the dreams that I recall, how I handle my sexual and my aggressive wishes in social situations, and indeed how I use my time.  Having emotions is part of my biological inheritance.  Listening to these emotions, appreciating what they signify, and then handling them constructively is another matter entirely.  

Of course, once I am committed to a purpose it works unconsciously and it may throw up a useful memory or a dream that offers guidance.  When ideas come up in such ways, it is my «self» operating creatively. So when I notice something that happens to me and it happens a second time, why yes, I can regard that as a coincidence.  But if it keeps on happening?  Then I have to think like James Bond: either this is «enemy action», or it is «friendly action».  In short: something transcendental is in operation, whether I like it or not.

If it is enemy action, that enemy may be my own biology or my own lesser self fostering my greed or impatience, or driving me to repeat habits that may once have been useful but are now self-destructive.  Who can deal with that?  Why me!  No one but me!  But only if I affirm my values and direct myself to purposes that are beneficial for me.  I have to transcend my biology.  I have to transcend my brain.  I have to transcend my situation.

If it is friendly action, then what is happening relates to some values or purposes that I do hold.  The events are actually telling me something about their pursuit, perhaps clarifying issues, problems or consequences.  How does this happen?  I don't know.  But how is not whether.  It is possible to observe something, like gravity, without having the faintest clue about how it works. 

Being human requires that we do not submit to the materialist-mechanist fallacy.  We must apply the rigors of science and reason while refusing to be seduced by reductionism.  This is difficult because we are socialized and crave leadership: whether political or scientific.  Just as we shook off the oppressive mind control of the churches in the 18th Century Enlightenment, we must throw off the blinkers of unimaginative scientists.  This is the challenge of the 21st Century Enlightenment.  Formalizing transcendental realities which define our everyday life is the challenge that is being pursued in this thee-online website.

It all turns out to be common sense.  And common sense advises us to submit to transcendental forces using a simple rule: if it happens three times, then it's you!



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Warren Kinston is the creator of the THEE-Online website as an open forum for the further discovery and development of THEE. He writes this blog as an escape valve for the excitement and frustrations of the work. More info here.

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