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Philosophical Musings – Absolutism vs. Relativism

(Perfection vs. Mortality)


“…As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” 1

Albert Einstein     “Geometry and Experience”



I have shown in other essays, “The Good” and “The One and The Many”, how I feel that a human consists of two fundamentally different elements: the mortal, and the Perfect. This essay will try to further elaborate the dual nature of humanity by delving into the attributes of these two sides of its nature.

First, lets ask a question: “We all know that humankind possesses a mortal nature, this is obvious; but then, why do we assume that there is also an immortal nature?”

A human is a creature who thinks; it can construct thoughts, i.e. form concepts, make judgments about these concepts and apply these conclusions to the real world around it. This reasoning ability in itself is not the immortal in a human. Many will say that this points to an immortal nature in the human (for instance, like Plato did). But reasoning like everything else in the mortal world is an ability, which is learned from mortal experience. Although the reasoning ability allows a human to think and apply conclusions, there is something called “intuition” which does not rely on reason, that usually forms an important part in forming a human’s will, and also in forming the creative aspect of its mind. It allows the human to go beyond the world of sense and logic and use a “higher power” to make decisions, and create new innovations. Many say that these intuitions come from the human heart. These intuitions allow a human to “make the leap to faith”; they allow it to believe that there is a higher part of a human that is Perfect and infallible, or at least able to reach the Perfect. The loneliness of a human is absolute; it is for its whole life confined within a body, which essentially determines its whole world. It forms its universe. But there are times when it can almost feel a unity with other beings, when a oneness of being engulfs it. This intuition does not spring from experience; it comes to one suddenly, and expresses itself in the symbolism of feeling.

Symbolism is a part of our reasoning apparatus, it is learned through experience, and allows us to order the world, in our minds, through language and writing. Feelings, although the biologists and psychologists tell us that these are the mere side affects of hormonal floods within the body, are capable of being symbolized together with other concepts. Their definitions consist solely of connotes without the “hard and fast” denotation of normal concepts or objects. They are wholly internal to us, yet through their ability to be symbolized they can be, and are communicated to others. Intuition is of this class, a feeling and a knowledge, which allows us to rely on something deep within, which tells us what decision to make. The connotes of feelings bring us whole areas of knowledge very quickly by association with “life experiences”. The symbols of feeling are Art (two and three dimensional), Drama and Music.

Often we say intuition guides us on a “hunch”. This hunch is a knowledge that is given by something inside of us that flies in the face of experience to the point of faith; it is the same thing which allows us to make the leap to faith to the Perfect (or to religion). This is the same way that Art, Drama and Music (lets call them feeling symbols) bring us closer to our society and the people in it. The Good is the mediator of all of this, and is the same agency, which allows us to have faith in the Perfect. The feeling symbols create complexes of feelings within us, which tie us directly to the Good, and thus allow us to feel a closeness to others.

I will now give a survey of the main attributes of mortality and Perfection.

The attributes of mortality are: reality (laws of time and space and causality); a beginning, an end (death); change; a love that benefits self; individual survival; predatory defense and competition; loneliness, separation, misery and dejection; a narrowed viewpoint; a relativity of definition; and limited knowledge.

The attributes of Perfection are: eternal existence; no beginning or end; a changeless existence; an all encompassing love; a oneness with the totality of existence; an all encompassing viewpoint; an absence of survival, competition, separateness, misery and dejection; an absolutism of definition; and absolute knowledge. 2

Immanuel Kant first showed that time, space and causality along with reason itself were all modalities of perception, The existence of these modalities put a human in a universe that is totally relative to the individual viewpoint or frame of reference; the ultimate frame of reference was the individual observer himself. But reason seems to be separate from the world of reality although it is ultimately based on it and cannot function outside of the perceptual framework of time, space and causality. So what Einstein said above seems to put the human at the mercy of both these mortal agencies: it must model its reality on reason, but cannot rely on it, because reality seems to be separate from it. This relativity of outlook pervades reality. Ultimately the human creates and orders its own world, although its course is totally outside of its knowledge (i.e.: determined by fate).

Survival must be the first order of business in a human life; and nature and other humans seem to conspire against our human in seemingly endless struggles to deprive him of it. Thus, homo sapiens the predator is born. Nature’s prodigality induces endless competition, and therefore feeds the survival instincts of the human.

But Perfection does away with all of this, through its disposal of the individual. The Many have indeed become the One, and as such all the disharmonies of many views are harmonized into one absolute foundation for all views and all knowledge. So the Good in humanity brings it a foretaste of what the essence of unity is. In allowing this agency to rule the life and will of humanity through the code of the pure warrior, humanity can create a society on earth that will lessen the negative attributes of mortality, although it can never eliminate them, it can at least give humanity the best of all mortally possible worlds.



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FOOTNOTES

To return to note's origin click the footnote number at left



1 “Sidelights on Relativity”; Albert Einstein, Dover Publications, New York, 1983



2 I define Perfection’s attributes here, but really Perfection is the negation of imperfection. Mankind can really know only imperfection (mortality). We each define Perfection individually, since we really each define imperfection through our own reality. We equate God with Perfection, so we therefore define God according to how we define Perfection. What I am saying is that we each find and define Him in our own way.



All of the above, on Perfection, is in line with the way man creates his own reality and his own truths. We may also look at the way the GOOD presents us with the absolute truth of reality – Perfect Love. In this way we see, as in the definition of God given in the “Formal Introduction” essay, footnote 1, that God is Perfect Unity; but we may as well drop out the “Perfect” here, since perfection has no real relevance when there is only a single unity – God.



Originally Published:

February 16, 2007

Revised:

January 2, 2014