Summary so far
The Properly Basic beliefs or “First Principles” we have reviewed so far are primarily focused on four areas which pertain to how we comprehend reality. These four areas of understanding are what establish a “framework” for understanding further aspects of the world around us. Without clearly defining reality, worlds, humanity, and knowledge, we would not be able to thoughtfully and coherently move into the next area of reviewing The Basics of life. Let’s summarize what we have come to understand so far.
Reality is what is regardless of humanity’s knowledge or awareness of it. Humanity is limited in what it can both experience and come to know about that totality of all reality. We exist as beings comprised of both material and immaterial natures which makes us unique from all other forms of life. We are able to think abstractly (with the ability to sense the immaterial) and as moral agents which allows us to gain knowledge about the world around us to our own benefit, both physically and spiritually. This knowledge is retained in different forms which allows our spirit to control our mind and make use of that knowledge to create things to better our physical existence. We are limited in what we know by what amount of reality we have come to experience. What realities we have not personally experienced we can come to know about and the combination of what is known and known about guides us in accepting what is true based on them. Our nature allows us to believe in what we can glean from what amount of reality we do know, and it even allows us to speculate that which we simply are not yet capable of experiencing for ourselves. We are creatures who seek to expand our world by seeking more and more of reality.
As we go through life, we must accept that there are certain realities which we do not know. This does not make them any less real, nor does it affect the reality at all. As we collect data through our physical and spiritual senses, our mind allows us to organize it into information and gain knowledge from it. This is what we spend the entirety of our life doing. Coming to greater knowledge of the world around us and better understanding of the nature of reality. As we do this, what we learn about reality comes to impact how we handle new discoveries, how we come to venture through the unknown to bring it to light, and whether we seek new realities or not. We are not, in our nature, what we know. But, what we know does impact how we come to understand our nature, and that of the world around us. What exists outside of our world remains unknown, believed in, or speculated about. This is true of all of humanity.
Where does this all come into play?
With this practical summary of the four previous articles, we can now move on to the next big chunk of The Basics. This is where we begin talking about Worldviews. The basics focuses on grasping what a Worldview is and addresses the various areas of study which comprise it. These four starting points are what we come to accept as self-evident truths about reality, worlds, humanity, and knowledge. Whether we come to understanding about these four aspects of reality through self-realization or through direction from others, they will be the groundwork upon which our Worldview is based. These four basics apply to all Worldviews, regardless of whether the Worldview acknowledges them or not. It is important to remember this. Reality, being what it is, only exists in one definitive way. The goal is to come to both knowledge and understanding about the one way that it is and to live our life dwelling within it. Our Worldview, being comprised of the necessary data and information acquired from reality then, is necessarily either the correct one, or it is incorrect.
As we continue on through the basics, always remember this. There are not “multiple realities,” for even then, those multiple ‘worlds’ would necessarily comprise the totality of the one reality. Reality is what is regardless of how we want to explain it or model it. So, to end this summary, let us begin with a syllogism that allows us to come to terms with this:
- Reality is what is regardless of humanity’s knowledge or awareness of it and in its totality, is one thing.
- If something exists, it is a part of the totality of all reality.
- If there is more than one object, then all objects exist as parts of the totality of all reality.
- Saying there are “multiple realities” implies that there are “multiple objects,” each ‘reality’ being but a part of the greater whole of Reality.
- Therefore, even if there are multiple objects (realities) then they are all still parts of the totality of all reality (the one reality).
- Therefore, there can be only one Reality, being the totality of all that exists.
If there were to be multiple realities, then each reality would be a part of the greater totality of all reality. Thus, we still have One Reality, which is the totality of all of it together. As we talk about Worldviews, understand that they are based upon what amount out of the totality of all of reality a person or group has experienced and come to know and understand. Each Worldview will attempt to develop a model, or framework, which attempts to comprehensively explain all that is within this Reality. All or part of a Worldview will be either in-sync with the reality it is attempting to describe, or it will be incorrect. Therefore, there can ultimately be only one Worldview that can be 100% true to reality. The question then becomes, which Worldview is it, and should we seek to live according to it?