No matter in what universe of discourse one may be engaged, the subject of utmost significance is how exactly the nature of consciousness creates experience. In this way, all inquiries into the nature of “reality” are investigations into the nature of human consciousness.
Statements not involved with the nature of consciousness are comprised of systems of belief. Science, technology, politics, the law, economics, religion, – are all ways of perceiving and acting in the world according to a set of basic assumptions. Such assumptions are nothing more and nothing less than belief systems.
To operate outside systems of belief is certainly possible. This became clear to me in my seventeenth year and, since then, I have eschewed taking positions on matters of faith and have made every effort to move away from even using terms, such as “I believe.”
Without belief one navigates with provisional hypotheses – methods of moving through life without bearing the burdens of religious faith or scientific proof. The benefits this brings are great. One lives unencumbered in the present moment. The feeling of freedom and the sense of personal responsibility that issue from one’s freedom from belief are limitless. Life becomes an exploratory pursuit.
Upon investigation, even the material world is seen as insubstantial, just one way of framing our view – one among many ways of comprehending experience. Free from the restraints of science, technology, politics, the law, economics, religion, one is left with the simple awareness of consciousness. Instead of feeling trapped in an isolated portion of the cosmos, the rest of the universe opens up to our perception. And we inhabit all of it, here, now, and everywhere…
Image: Spiral Galaxy NGC 3370 from Hubble