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2014-07-28T01:35:48Z

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AlexWithRecon

AlexWithRecon

10/2/2010 3:14:34 AM
Do We Really Exist? At a given moment I open my eyes and exist. And before that, during all eternity, what was there? Nothing. UGO BETTI (1945). The Inquiry, Ed. Gino Rizzo The dimensions of things are created by the limitation of our vision as interpreted by our brain. All around us is nothing but molecules; molecules in the air, molecules in our body, molecules in the space; molecules nothing but molecules. Our limitations of vision make us see only the bundles of molecules together as a table or a chair, a southern belle or a school bell. What if we could see through molecules? Then none of these differences would have mattered. A table would have looked like a chair and the belle would be indistinguishable from a bell. Our tactile feel of warm flesh would be meaningless if we could not feel; a round corner would not appear round at all. Because we cannot see certain lengths and light waves, objects appear to us as they are displayed by our imagination. These may appear quite different to other species if their ability to see through light waves is different from us. Therefore the question about the real shape of things can not be answered. The flaw in human vision is that it assumes a demarcation of things whereas in reality all things are a continuum of molecules, atoms and subatomic particles. Air, thin, invisible, is yet composed of same type of molecules as make a denser object such as a human body. It is the discrimination of our vision and our perceptible faculties that make things "appear" what they are. All too difficult to imagine, it should suffice if we are to understands that what we may not be what we are. Do we really exist today, asked a well-known French philosopher about three hundred years ago? We don't know, came the answer. But such questions explored repeatedly only lead to frustration. However, understanding our senses and their limitations may soften the blow of harboring this frustration. There is a divine relationship between the senses and the world they sense. And like many things in God's divine plan for the universe, the senses seem to occur in fivesa prime number with considerable symbolic significance. How convenient of us to have five senseseyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. Are all of our senses limited to these five conduits? Probably not. To reckon with are such senses as the vomeronasal sense to detect pheromones (chemical signals for sex, fear and identification), nociception sense to detect pain, thermal sense, visual contrast/contour sense, and the photo sense (pineal gland's ability to respond to light to synchronize internal body rhythms). In addition to these conventional senses, we must also accept such amorphous, yet recognized, senses of eidetic imagery (ability to see an image after it has been removed), extra-sensory perception (ESP), sensitivity to magnetic fields, ability to detect auras, etc., which are probably the senses still not fully evolved. As these senses get evolved, the world will appear different to us from what we perceive it today through our classic five senses. How different the universe is, can be discerned from the differences in the perception of other species. The eye of horsefly has 20,000 individual cells, each responding differently to electromagnetic radiation of highly specific wavelength or chemical molecules in the air. The "image" composed in the horsefly eye can not be visualized by us. The electromagnetic spectrum range which we perceive through our classic senses is so small that it is not even calculable: less than one-trillionth of a trillionth of the total spectrum. Each species with its own window on the electromagnetic spectrum has therefore a different view of the universe, while they are blind to the vision of other species. Bees can not see reds in the flowers; they are instead attracted to the ultraviolet radiation from different parts of plants signaling presence of nectar. We can not perceive ultraviolet radiation because it destroys our retina. Bats use an ultrasonic radar system to echolocate obstacles and prey. The frequency of this radar system is outside of human perception. A bat can tell it all by the bounced-off waves through their altered speed and wavelength, about what lies ahead or behind them as they fly in the pitch of the dark. Can we visualize what bats can. Or perhaps what a snake sees in the infrared picture it draws of objects around it. Or how lizards can smell their prey miles away. The kangaroo rat jumps only when an owl is just about to capture it because the rat can hear the movement of owl wings from distance and calculates the precise time to jumpthus the name kangaroo rat. The ability to detect magnetic fields is found in bacteria, which use it to avoid oxygen, birds use it to navigate and most likely dolphins use it to chart their course of migration. Fish use electric signals to move around. All of these differences among the perception of different species point to one conclusion: to the rest of the universe, the universe is quite different from our universe and we do not even know exactly what that difference is. The universe as we see is seen only through a narrow window of senses and thus a creation of our imagination. The argument that something, including ourselves, exists because we can see, feel, hear, taste and smell it is not a good argument. If we base the definition of existence only on our ability to sense it then almost entire universe will have to be considered nonexistent. Similarly, to other creatures, in whose window of senses we do not fit, we will be nonexistent. Since there is no way to establish the hierarchy of senses, it will not be possible to say who is right. The theory of relativity applies here also; there is nothing absolute. All of this rhetoric culminates in one concept. We exist as we see ourselves because of the sensory windows given to us by the Nature. To other creatures we may very well be a nonentity. To us whatever may lie beyond our sensory perception may not well exist, though it may be the whole universe. Therefore, whether we really exist or not is only a matter of our imagination. We have forced ourselves into existence through our senses and imagination. When we close our eyes, the world does disappear because there is no peering eyes to differentiate the continuum of moleculesthat's exactly what the universe is. To the old Buddhist axiom, "Does the tree exist in the forest when there is no one to look at it," the answer is no because it is only in the eye of the beholder. But does the forest exist? In reality, I and the universe are the same. It is just a continuum of matter, whose various densities differentiate objects because of our narrow vision of molecules and the ability to discern their densities. But do molecules exist? The concept of molecules is also drawn as an extension of our vision of what we can see, which is an extremely limited vision. Perhaps nothing exists at all and what we see and what we don't but know it is there is only a fiction of our imagination. Or, perhaps, this how the Creator has planned for us to visualize and argue about this visualization. Such is the irony and such is the dilemma.
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