...take a minute to do something you haven't done in a while. Instead of just clicking on all the links, actually read the content.
So what is all this nonsense about "the struggle between self-awareness, reality and the spiritual world" anyway? Well, it's simply the best way I can think to describe where I am in my life's journey.
For an infant begins with the struggle for self-awareness. He plays with his toes, he sees his reflection in the mirror, he begins to understand that he has a unique perspective on the world around him. Then, as he grows, he begins to build a history of how others have reacted to his natural, sincere responses to the world around him. If he lands on his rump while trying to walk will he find a warm chuckle, or an anxious, clingy embrace, or a sharp word. Later, does he find the things he says being met with acceptance, understanding, ridicule, or simply glazed eyes.
As I approached and then past the third decade mark in my life, I began to examine my own history of reactions a little more closely. I have not yet drawn any conclusions, other than the simple belief that my views of and responses to the things around me do not at all parallel what might be considered normal. By normal I simply mean what would be accepted as the most usual, the majority, the middle of the bell curve. (Not that there is anything righteous or even sane about normalcy, as I've defined it.) And what's more, I find that I seem to leave a very strong impression on people about who I am without ever trying. I've had people I thought I hardly knew telling me things about my personality that even I didn't know.
So even though I learned to walk about this planet more than 30 years ago, I still find that I struggle with my own self-awareness.
Not being an authentic student of philosophy, I would still venture to say that the most discussed topic in philosophical circles throughout history has been and continues to be the idea of reality. Is it defined by what we touch, what we see, hear, taste, smell, the physical pain we feel? If we are put alone in a dark room our thoughts continue, and given time may create their own reality. Someone wrongs me and I feel the emotions coursing, yet someone wrongs you and it doesn't seem to affect me the same way, so my emotions might play a part in reality.
But there's more, it goes much deeper. I see my child run across the room, laughing, playing, but how can I be sure she is my child? I was there when she was born, I've seen her grow up, but those things are only memories. So that plays a part as well. If a person betrays a trust, but the one betrayed never knows, what has happened? Has anything happened? So knowledge plays a part too. Everyday I wake up in the same bed and turn off the same alarm clock and drive the same car to the same job and interact with the same people - is that reality? What if it's all a hoax, a clever deception? (If you haven't seen The Matrix I suggest you do.) And there's another point. What part does the media play in our reality? The books we read, the music we listen to, the movies and television we see - do they all teach us that reality is we evolved from primordial goop, the human race can achieve world peace, everybody uses foul language on the job so I should too, and when you're killing someone, hold the gun at an angle because you'll look cool?
Confused? You're in good company! But I think there's something even deeper.
I am convinced that there is a reality much larger than all my ranting above describes. (to be continued...)