Friday, 22 June 2007

The Field of Vision

This is something of a companion piece to The Thing in Itself in the Light of a Mirror piece which set the intellectual world alight recently.
As I stand in a certain spot looking in a certain direction, I do not occupy a definitive point of perception which excludes the reality of all other possible points of perception. Instead I occupy a continuously shifting position within the visual field, which is comprised of an infinity of points of perception all existing simultaneously. Reality here is the totality of this field of vision as opposed to the distinct reality of the individual points.
The same can be said of time. We occupy a continuously shifting position within this field, again with all the individual points of time existing simultaneously. This may sound stranger than the field of vision, but to take a look at the alternative which is that the only point of reality in time is the present moment which is continuously advancing thus sending all previous time into oblivion or unreality. Time from this perspective is a knife-edge of reality surrounded by unreality in both directions, which seems a very artificial picture of the real.

12 comments:

Gar said...

For god there is no time, just one enternal moment. This we have to presume is "how things really are", we don't get to experience things that way though...

Neil Forsyth said...

God must be bored out of his mind at this stage? What does one do for eternity? At least he has plenty of time on his hands to contemplate the horlicks he made of humanity.

Gar said...

Take that back right now Neil! - God

Andrew said...

Yes but you're looking at God from the imaginary position of a point in time, Neil. Just as with vision there is no being separate from that which is discerned & God a kind of spiral into deeper & deeper bliss. You'll have to give up on htat old dualism trip.

Andrew said...

Though just thinking if we substituted Reality for God we might be better off. God the most loaded of words.

Andrew said...

Though, and with the bonus of making this appear a more vibrant topic than it possibly is, perhaps God, if such a being existed as an independent intelligence, might retort-"It's not my fault you lot are thick as shit. I gave you free will afer all."

Gar said...

Just so Andrew, knew you'd say that (viz. you have always and are always saying that) - God

P.S. sort out that Forsyth character for me will you?

Andrew said...

I'm not your lackey, God. You don't mind if I call you Reality?

Gar said...

Wise saying #3: do not tempt the Lord thy God

elberry said...

'time from this perspective is a knife-edge of physical reality surrounded by non-physical reality in both directions' is another way of looking at it. Perhaps things exist differently when they're no longer bound into the physical, so the present moment is a blip of physical reality surrounded by an immensely more possible non-physical reality. The price for having solidity is that all that energy has to be bound up in maintaining a consistent form.

Andrew said...

Hi, Elberry. The physical as a means of maintaining semblance of form so as to avoid the dissolving into a formlessness perceived as chaos? Hard to clarify one's meaning in this slow version of conversation, but hoping we're somehwat on similar wavelenghts- I think the same reasoning as to the visual field & time could be applied to the sense of self itself as a being a distinct being; the 'I', & here your line is apposite: 'The price for having solidity is that all that energy has to be bound up in maintaining a consistent form.'

elberry said...

yes, i think that's so (about the self). Some people seem to have very fluid & uncertain selves.

And i think any account or perception of reality is going to be largely what's in the foreground - the background, what isn't presently active, is as important, and will tend to make itself felt.

It's hard to have a way of living and thinking that allows both for intense engagement in the present, and a more capacious awareness of the past & the possible; but it is possible. i have faith, just as my brain can reconcile one short-sighted & one long-sighted eye, which i'm told is impossible or v difficult!