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  • Curriculum and the Dream Paradigm

    [09.29.06]
    - Stephen Schafer

  •  The Human Reality is Consciousness

    In summary, ancient philosophers and modern scientists are in basic agreement about the nature of human reality. They understand that people are "whirlwinds of light." Long ago, Plato said "Thoughts are things." Today, tangibility or "thingness" has to do with being a photon (a unit of light). Sir Arthur Eddington made the definitive modern judgment when he said, "Reality looks more like a thought than a thing." Scientists haven't yet admitted that thoughts are photons, but the evidence is compelling, and since events happen in all directions these days, I may have missed the pronouncement. In a word, reality has become insubstantial, and people have always feared such things because non-substance is vague and mysterious. Most of us have labored mightily to limit our personal reality to things we thought we could understand--material things we could see and feel. Of course, anyone who thought about it carefully could see that emotions and thoughts were also real, but being less tangible they were suspect as things. They were considered elements of the mystery, and the mystery was feared and reviled. Only the most courageous among us pursued the mystery, and the information we had about it was available only to the highest priests and initiates. If one showed any interest in such things as mathematics, language, magic, or other black arts s/he would be at dire risk of life and limb. Habits die hard. 

    Interest in these subjects denoted a satanic inclination which was unhealthy. One may assume that the sub-quantum realm, gravity, the electromagnetic field, strong and weak force, the genome, and the collective unconscious were always there; but, in the past, when this reality intruded itself upon our awareness it became the subject of superstition, legend, and myth-which we interpreted according to our current prejudices. At any rate, originally our awareness was conceived within the mystery, but words brought us out of the closet where we were able to see ourselves in the light of day. That created the problem of separation, fear, loathing, and the need to communicate. We talked to one another for a long time and were able to agree about such "facts" as, "Humans do not fly; and if they try, they end up like Icharus." Everyone contemplates reality of some kind at some level, but our personal and collective reality is limited by what we agree about what words mean. We limit reality with the words we use, and those who adopt similar limitations become constituents in the expression of a cultural persona. For a long time, the words most people used were confined to literal expressions about what we could see and feel; but, increasingly, we understand both our personal and collective reality in terms of symbol and abstraction-number and figurative language. Accordingly, our consciousness has expanded into dimensions that before, for all practical purposes, were non-existent.

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