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Inverted Perceptions Lead to Paradoxes

Though I did not sleep on Friday night, because I chose to read the legal documents pertaining to the indictment of Donald Rumsfeld, in France's highest court, on the war crime of torture, I thought I had sufficient energy for this past weekend's workshop, in Sion, CH.

An attendee returning early from the mid-day break, found me sitting with my eyes closed. The ensuing conversation, translated from the local idiom, to an American English idiom, went something like this:

'Hi. Are you sleeping?'

'I'm working.'

'Yeah, right. Then why are your eyes closed?   What are you thinking about?'

'Do you really want to know?'

'Never mind'

'No, come on, I'll tell you. I was thinking about life and how life is like a negative rather than the photograph itself. I was thinking about how we look at life backwards, how what we really see is not what is real but rather what we believe is not real is really real. I was...’

'Who cares! Come on back to the real world'

This is how the 'real' world protects itself. Nobody likes change, not even the 'real world'

Off in the distance, the wind blows gently through the large leaves of the trees. The cool breeze, below the trees, brushes gently over one's skin as the shade of a maple tree wards off the intensity of the sun's rays. The peace and tranquility provide a sense of reassurance, as the eye gathers in the sight of a great old tree across the calm of small lake. But, just what is it we see, when we see? In truth, we do not know a tree exists across the lake. In truth, we do not see the tree but rather we see the disturbance in the electromagnetic field generated by the existence of the tree. We do not see the 'tree' but rather the affect of the tree upon its surroundings. If this is the fact, then do we see the effect the tree has upon the electromagnetic field, or, do we see the effect the electromagnetic field has upon the optic nerve, as it passes through the lens of the eye, after an affect has been imprinted upon the electromagnetic field. If all this is the fact, what is it that one really sees? Is it the brain, or, is it rather the abstraction located within the brain which 'sees'.

If the latter is the fact, would it not mean that what we see is not the real but rather the real lies in what it is that sees what is not real. As such, are we not in a reality of a negative rather than existing in a reality of the real, the photograph itself. And if such is the fact, then what we perceive to be real is not, and what we perceive to be only 'imaginary' is real. If such is the fact, is it not understandable that we would often react to events in society in a contradictory, paradoxical, and perplexing manner. And would not that type of reaction within society continue, until we finally begin to understand the true nature of our reality.

This is the purpose of metaphysical philosophy. Philosophy has an obligation to take what we 'know' and bring it into focus. Philosophy has the responsibility to paint the picture of what 'is', as opposed to what we think was. Where does this lead? It leads to change. No wonder philosophers find it difficult to get people to listen. Nobody likes change.

Any questions??