Saturday, August 19, 2017

Can EGO ever know of itself? The 'real' consciousness?

Note: This is an extract from the blogger's book,( pages 48,49,50 and 51) 'Is Reason a sense organ? A super-mind above the known mind?( book can be searched by title from Google, or from
The author attempts to analyze, whether true knowledge or insight into existential reality ever possible for man. Has nature instilled any special knowing mechanism in man to undertake this exercise? Can Ego, man's usual entity in the world, 'transcend' itself and turn a better knowing entity?

How does Ego know of itself?  The possibility of multiple ENTITIES within man, the knowing subject! (Is TRANSCENDING self beyond EGO possible?)

We, humans, are conscious of our own unique entities among other similar entities. How has nature ensured this self-awareness? Who is the subject within, that perceives its own 'self', as an objective entity? What entity existed within Emmanuel Kant that had made him capable of observing the PHENOMENAL nature of the mind, while remaining within the limitations of the mind that he found? How can an eye know of itself, and a mind observe itself? 

Kant's brilliant act of observation that the mind cannot cross the barrier of PHENOMENA was definitely NOT within the limit of man's thinking faculty that he himself had observed and admitted. Obviously, Kant had transcended himself into a different entity other than his EGO, to make such an observation.

He talked about transcending man’s experiences. But what really takes place in the act of the self, 'transcending' itself?

Reason as a faculty cannot observe such hidden relations beyond the PHENOMENA while it’s in the possession of the EGO. Hence, this study would like to propose that man can transcend himself as altered 'entities', which uses REASON as a distinct organ, for acquiring knowledge, in ways different from the usual subject-object method of the mind, and its owner, the EGO!

This process of humans developing from the body only entity in the beginning, (animals live in the same sphere even today) to an EGO centered entity today (a stepping up from the body-centered stage) and the just observed ability of few select humans transcending themselves into yet another newer ENTITY with wider realms of knowing, is indicative of the final destiny, and possibilities that await humankind.

Reason could find itself to be a potential organ in the possession of such transcended entities for gathering knowledge in a manner unfamiliar to the mind. Like the eyes observing some truth and describing it, Reason too, in its capacity as a SENSE faculty could simply watch and describe what it observes, forming new dimensions to the act of gaining knowledge. Here the classical method of acquiring knowledge by the mind and then sharing it with others would naturally take a beating.  

When mankind as a whole realizes such a possibility of transcending oneself beyond the Ego level, acceptance of knowledge gained through the new medium would also gain larger mainstream approval.

As we have discussed, objective realities are widely 'shared' subjective observations or inferences. Sharing with others makes a real difference. Hence, when the possibility of man transcending himself to higher stages of knowledge is shared in the mainstream world, what awaits man is a new world, with newer relations with each other, sans the (selfish) obsessions of the EGO. Such transcending could be understood as the first sign of a new spirituality for any human.

A new social order is very well possible

A 'new social order' where everyone gains a new self-image ( sense of self) and everyone behaving in an altogether new way with everyone else is in the offing.

A new society might not be possible with innovative laws, new economic and political systems, etc, enforced from outside, but it is possible if individuals change themselves in the above 'spiritual' manner. 

If Reason is accepted as a 'sense faculty' and man starts living with it in his transcended state as explained above, a new world certainly will emerge. 

In short, we could put it this way for more clarity, that Reason, when used by the ENTITY 
-EGO- gives out only PHENOMENAL reality. But when the unit, human, transcends himself by discarding the ownership of the EGO, he becomes a different entity altogether, who could use Reason as his NATIVE faculty for gaining knowledge. In this mode, Reason acts like any other sense faculty, illustrating the depths of the issue that one seeks.  This was how great humans of the past achieved coming-out often with astonishing findings pertaining to their fields of study.

The task of sharing such findings with their fellow humans and the world at large is a greater task than the former. Here, such exceptional humans have to use LOGIC, the art, and science of associating his base findings with an already existing truth (universals) and then explaining the relation of his findings with such universal truths, to convert the finding into an acceptable law. Here, he uses logic to convert his subjective vision into a 'collective subjectivity', or an objective truth in the newly acquired status.

Not only Emmanuel Kant, but many other great souls like him had succeeded in transcending their selves to higher realms for coming out with fantastic observations and conclusions. The great scientist Albert Einstein had said as follows, after the public’s acceptance of Quantum mechanics:  

"Quantum mechanics is very impressive. But an ‘inner voice’ tells me that it is not the real thing. The theory produces a good deal but hardly brings one closer to the secrets of the old one. I am at all events convinced that He (God) does not play dice".  

This inner voice was definitely not from his usual mind, a prisoner behind the walls of 'PHENOMENA', but his transcended SELF could use Reason as his native knowledge gaining organ.  This claim doesn't mean, that whatever one infer with his REASON faculty will be absolute truth. But when such versions of many humans become part of our language and discussion platform, it offers a better epistemological source for us. 

As said above, raising oneself above the EGO realm of knowledge is the primary step towards a universal spirituality. It will happen with every seeker of truth either today or tomorrow. It can also be observed that the PHENOMENAL veil on existence as a whole, as a single object, gets at least partially removed when one ceases to be an ego entity in the above sense. The very realization that the ego sees only ‘phenomenon’, enables one to get free of its catch. One starts getting enabled to live a life closer to the 'IN ITSELF' way, that nature has intended it to be.   

From the above observed subject-object principle for the emergence of entities, we have learned how Ego gains ENTITY on the principle of 'ownership' of experiences, besides the strength of the existence of similar entities around, which is based on the simple logic of ‘YOU ARE, HENCE I AM'. Fichte called this process of the emergence of EGOS, by the name "INTERSUBJECTIVITY'.

But how is a human able to perceive his own ego as an external object, and learn about its features and characteristics as per the questions we have raised earlier? For objective observation, there should be a subject, existing external to the object. Who is such a subject here? After the elevation of the science of Psychology to a certain level of acceptability among other sciences, Freud's Ego concept has, however, gained some kind of a scientific sanctity. But this existential question of what 'self' of man perceives EGO as an object has not yet gained any popularity among philosophers and psychologists. Though religions and spiritualists attribute this role to the human SOUL, more a non-worldly concept, the scientific world is silent on this subject. ( perhaps, out of contempt?)

Every one of us is aware of this hidden self within, who often watch our social 'self’ (ego) as a separate entity. Often there arise internal conversations between these two internal entities or selves, known as self-talk. Most of our 'thinking' act is such conversations (or self-talk) between these two different selves within.

The keen observer must have noticed that such conversations are always initiated by this mystery self, not the EGO because the ego is not even capable of perceiving any object beyond the realm of the external senses. Hence, this one is definitely a self, located above the Ego, which relates itself to realities beyond the sense world. This hidden self is an entity that grows out from the ego, like the youth-stage grows out of man's adolescent stage. As a child is absolutely unable to grasp the intricacies of his own youth-stage or adolescent stage, Ego too is unable to know its next stage, namely the ‘SELF’. It seems a natural internal development in every man's internal life, like a youth turning into a middle-aged man of wisdom, naturally in the due course of life.

Hence, the practice of philosophy and other pursuits of knowledge in treating humans as a universal passive OBSERVER, demands rethinking. The two different entities within man make two different observers, and subjects. The second one is located at some realms outside the phenomena, hence it is able to observe EGO and its realm of experience as mere phenomena.

Furthermore, in the ultimate analysis, it becomes evident that any form of knowledge is possible only as SUBJECTIVE impressions of some kind of ENTITIES.  These impressions serve the purpose of mere MATERIAL for constituting these ENTITIES. 

The 'in itself' reality is, ultimately that of the RELATION among the entities. Ultimate reality is not a THING, or an OBJECT, or a SCIENTIFIC FORMULA. It can only be a RELATION, the ultimate EMOTION that glues existence together. The reason, man’s mysterious sense organ is capable of receiving or say, SENSING such existential emotions directly, when nature so wishes or the transcended entity of man seeks it out from the source of existence. Remember, at such moments, when a human opens up to receive extra phenomenal signals, he is not a typical EGO, but a transcended entity, a non-participant in the phenomenal world, at least temporarily.

It could be sensibly believed that Nature/God has a special interest in humans developing into such stages of ‘sensing’ the emotional content in existence, considering the extreme urge for truth inherent in human beings. As we have already observed, the urge for scientific pursuits is also nothing but an urge for knowing the ultimate truth. The rest in routine life are all ‘phenomena’, serving the purpose of catering to the above main objective of existence, the emergence of a primary entity, ego. 

As detailed in the blog link: an element of CREATIVE CHOICE is self-evident in every aspect of existence. The design of the leaf of a papaya plant could have been a thousand and one other designs and shapes. The hexagonal shape of the bee-hive could have been spherical, or square! These design choices explain no logical relation with any evolutionary necessity, hence, these self-evident elements of creative-choice point towards an emotional content in the scheme of existence. It points towards a universal MIND, which is conscious of itself. 

Humans might possess special 'experience buds' within him to relish such future experiences of this existential emotion; however, one could safely presume that this occurs at evolutionary maturity in the future!

Authored by: Abraham J. Palakudy

He is a researcher and seeker into subjects like Mind&Reason, Metaphysics, Spirituality, self, and world, and also Polity and democracy 

Twitter: Voice of Philosophy@jopan1

His profile and other blogs:

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