Saturday, December 17, 2005

Solipsistic Sagehood

Solipsism is the philosophical doctrine that nothing and no one exists or, at least, can be known with certainty to exist outside one’s own mind, since one cannot step outside one’s own mental experience to confirm that there is anything outside it. Ever since I took a college course in epistemology almost thirty-five years ago, I’ve been a solipsist in a purely philosophical sense, because it seems to me that solipsism is intellectually and empirically irrefutable. Yet, in a practical sense, I’ve always believed that there’s a whole world and universe outside my mind and experience along with other creatures with minds and bodies experiencing this world and universe for themselves.

However, great mystic-sages like Ken Wilber tell us that we truly are the universe and everything in it. Actually, they tell us that we are not in the universe but that the universe is in us. Or, to phrase it even more accurately: “I am in the universe, and the universe is in my Self.” In other words, the real and ultimate me is not my conventional body and mind, but a spiritual Self that manifests in a general way and in particular forms as matter, body, mind, soul, and spirit comprising a unified universe.

I don’t really know what any of this means. I feel mostly like a human parrot uncomprehendingly mouthing and paraphrasing the words of the mystic-sages. Yet, something tells me that I’m speaking profound truth, and sometimes, I can even fleetingly feel that it’s true.

Am I deceiving myself, or have I “touched the face of God”?


Jess said...

I'm running out the door but I had to post this to you. This is one of the people I talk to on IM all the time, what she feels about our existence.We are not human beings having a spiritual experience
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Nagarjuna said...

I'm going to add that quote to my list of quotes. Outstanding! Thanks, Jess. Actually, the mystic-sages might say that we are a spiritual being having human and other kinds of experiences. In other words, we are ultimately one Reality, one Being somehow experiencing Itself from countless different perspectives.