In a world of ‘augmented’ or ‘virtual’ reality, everyday our grip on reality is loosening knot by knot. Just as our ‘visibility’ and connectivity is increasing manifolds, we are becoming anything but REAL, at times hiding behind our virtual reality or swelled up fake reality. The question that arises then is;what is real? Who decides what is real or not real?
Whilst having a monologue with myself and being a in mood of exploring my own dual realities, I turned to my favourite Perennial Philosopher from the 16th century, Mulla Sadra, for his explanation of ‘reality of things’ speaks to me on a personal level.
As per Mulla’s Knowledge of Existence “When one asks about the reality of ‘things’, the response he receives is ‘quiddity’. The definition of ‘tree’ is equal to describing its quiddity. Thus every external thing can be considered as consisting of two parts, one being its existence, since we see that it is present and exists, and the other being its essence and characteristics, which separate it from other things, are employed in defining that thing, and are used in the response given to the question of ‘what is it?’; this part is called quiddity”.
In spite of the fact that every thing has a quiddity and an existence, we know that considering its external realization, it is only one thing and cannot be more than that. For example, we can only see a tree or a man before our eyes, rather than both the existence of the tree and the tree itself, or the existence of man and the man himself. This is because every external thing, that is, the realized and existing thing, is only one thing rather than two. Therefore, the realization of things is through either their quiddity or their existence, and it is only one of them that is principial, with the other being only its shadow that man’s intellect abstracts from the other. This apparently simple plan is the response given by Mulla Sadra to the same intricate problem which had remained unanswered for centuries.
As a matter of fact, I am always fascinated how our thoughts are formed, shaped and executed piggy-backed on other’s thoughts. The ever-present, the ever-evolving thread (web) of life running through us!! Speaking from my own personal experience, I could wake up brain-dead one morning and BHAM! A one-liner by another fellow homo-sepian would start my thoughts rolling in, at times they start dancing in front of me. But that’s a note for another day and another time maybe. Today’s note is all about exploring my reality wrapped in quiddity and how to live with it in unison?
For example, only yesterday, as I was reading through my Integral Development Bible, I stumbled upon this (re)vitalizing one-liner: Everything emerges in context. And the thoughts-dance started emerging from the deepest core of my being; making me (re)visit and rethink my reality juggernaut.
The question I am probing to find answers to is: where is this context coming from? Conventional wisdom dictates the society we come from or live in, be our context from where our REAL-ity emerges from. Yet, emerging from my own context, I am debating with myself that it must be, our own shadow self that is afraid to embrace it’s own reality? That is to say the reality of our existent Being separated from our essence of Being !
According to Sadra; Pure existence is the same as needlessness. Of course, this needlessness is for the Absolute i.e. the God-reality. For us needy beings, by freeing ourselves of our false realities will set us free. The bubble realities that we create in our imaginative realities parallel to our own flagrant realities.
“If you expect any benefits from your search, material, mental or spiritual, you have missed the point. Truth gives no advantage. It gives you no higher status, no power over others; all you get is truth and the freedom from the false.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
What is now emerging is my integrative reality as difficult as it may sound. Yet, the struggle is REAL!!
to be continued…