Sunday, January 2, 2011

Human Reason- Man’s only link to his origin and meaning-Part - A

Human Reason- Man’s only link to his origin and meaning

( Also see the latest blog on this subject at blog link: . Also our Book, titled ' Is reason a sense-organ? A super-mind above the known mind?', more details of which are there at the said blog)

Even a layman without any musical background will detect the difference in the beauty and order of a tune sung by some one like him, and a master. When a photo frame on the wall is tilted to sides no engineering degree is required to find the fault. When a group attack a single person without provocation, every one of us feel the prick of injustice. 

How man concludes that if 2 plus 2 make 4, twenty million plus twenty million will definitely make forty million? Or, say, where does the top cosmologist gets the notion that despite all the man's elaborate discoveries and findings about universe many things are still lying hidden, and his knowledge is incomplete?
Yes.. man possess a seat of ‘ORDER’ or a sensor of ‘ORDER’  ready-built in the system. It not only help us to detect disorder, but also urge us to bring-in order. Man can not normally resist its call without paying its high price. It is very similar to his call of hunger and thirst, and also the call to mate.

It urges leaders to fight for just causes, and victims to take revenge for atrocities suffered. Men will wage wars, and launch revolutions obliging to such calls.

Man is yet to fully realize such wider dimensions of his REASON. We so far could identify it only as a special faculty bestowed by nature for man, among other species. We so far have associated Reason only with the function of arriving at correct conclusions out of a given set of premises. It has so far been associated only with consistency of thought, and its logical conclusion.

Though the great philosopher Emmanuel Kant in his revolutionary observation found that human reasoning was limited to the special characteristics of the mind organ,( categories) and the ultimate ‘in itself’ truth about the objects was beyond its ability, he had certified the sanctity of science’s findings for its own sake. Hence the status and authenticity of the faculty of Reason remained in tact up to this day.

We could observe that, this faculty of Reason is present in animal and plant species also in  rudimentary forms. Predators analyze various options available for choosing the most effective way of striking at the prey. Plants also might be possessing it to choose the best direction for its roots to proceed towards water source, and branches towards sun. 

If we take such aspects of this faculty into consideration we will have to accept that, it is more an INSTINCT, or a sense-organ than a special faculty.  With man, it is much more developed and advanced. Like he has learned to make the best use of his physical organs like hands, legs and eyes, he could groom and develop this mental organ also to much higher degree of use, like gaining insight into the forces and energies that lie beyond the physical realm, including SENSING of God, or most importantly, HIS emotional predisposition !

While his external sense-organs are exclusively meant to give him experience of the objective world,God or you may call NATURE,it seems,had kept in him a door within, to one day know him/she too ! Knowing me closely is knowing my emotional or attitudinal predisposition,not my physical features.So, knowing one's emotional predisposition or predilection is knowing him fully and absolutely !

As observed in the case of man, Reason's function is more automated than chosen. A tilted portrait on the wall automatically draw our attention with out the formation of any syllogism.  When we face the urge to save a victim on the street from a group attack, the  call is automated like a reflex. It is very similar to man’s call to mate and seeking  romantic relationship. One is helplessly drawn to such behaviour. Sense organs always behave this way, if one observe them closely. We can not deduce their existence and reality except by just sensing their unique categories; can ear's existence and reality be inferred by evidence of experience of any other sense-organ, say eye or nose ?

Even man's religions emerged out of the call of this mystery instinct of Reason. We can observe that human Reason has two different and distinct functions:

1)     The more or less mechanical function of  arriving at the best suited conclusion out of  the presented premises.  Note that only out of the available premises in front of him, not based on all the premises in the world! It is right for the moment only.
2)      The job of  splitting each ray of given idea into its constituent sub ideas is the second function of Reason. It can be called the PRISMATIC function of Reason. Like prism splits white light into its constituent different colours, reason too split each given idea into its sub-possibilities endlessly. This function is more CREATIVE than the earlier one. Unlike animals, only man seems possessing  this advanced function.  It was this function that carried mankind through his civilizational advancement. The more the splitting of  such given premises before him, the more will be his urge to use reason, and arrive at new conclusions that takes him to new stands and attitudes. 

Like his irresistible urge for seeking  love, this prismatic function too do not give man any rest, until it makes him continue using this faculty for finding final truths and answers. This function of Reason helps man to constantly sharpen and sharpen his truths !Spirituality, as everyone agree, is man’ s urge to find ultimate truth and meaning of his existence. Religions, thus, have been his temporary halt point in the unending journey upward. Scientist share this urge in a different way. What they want to find also is the ultimate truth of the universe, and final equations for the matter energy conflict.

Reason’s link to man’s origin and meaning

From where does this mystery sparkle of reason landed in human system? Even if man finds all the answers about matter and energy in cosmos under principles of physics, he may not be able to explain the origin of this mystery seat of ‘order’ with out first admitting the metaphysical origin of  everything that exists. The more man knows about universe, stars and black-holes, the more is scientists speak about the underlying ORDER that they observe. Man could logically assume that what he possess in the form of his REASON within him could be the replica of such underlying order in the universe. It could be the link that unites man to the ultimate meaning and substance of existence!

But why should man be proud of his reasoning prowess? It is after all nothing far different from his urge to mate. Probably Reason is an urge a bit above in importance to the biological instinct of sex !

(also please see part -B of this blog for a more complete picture of this proposition, followed by our more detailed blog and book,whose references and links provided at the beginning of this post)

Abraham Joseph
Conscience of the society-a non-profit that stands for Reason, Justice and re-inventing democracy.
Twitter: voice of philosophy@jopan1

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The mystery sparkle called human Reason: Part-B

Is Reason man’s mystery inner organ for sensing existential order?

The Source of gaining knowledge for man, it seems, have two distinctly different modes, or man lives his life with two distinctly different ‘reality making internal organs’. The primary among these two is his usual MIND, predominantly ‘the other oriented’, or the ‘world oriented’ organ.

There is a precondition for Mind’s realities. Something gains the status of reality only when it is shared with others. In other words, mind’s realities are ‘external’ oriented. It first converts its unit of knowledge into ‘objects’. It is ‘sense organ’ oriented knowledge.

The other mode of knowledge is not sense organ oriented. Man sometimes calls inputs from this source ‘intuition’, but this mode of gaining knowledge deserves much more elaborate inquiry from mankind’s end. It is not depended on subject-object modality as in the case of mind. This mode seems always remain linked ,or united with its source of knowledge, like a newborn baby remain linked with its mother, in entity and spirit.   

Similar is the tie between LOVERS. At moments of extreme bliss in love, the separation vanishes for the love partners. Minds gets more richer from this source of knowledge than from the sense provided knowledge, hence science has to admit this source also as authentic, additional source of gaining knowledge for man. It is the  source  of emotion  for gaining knowledge.No one can deny that man's knowledge horizons gets more expanded  through this source than the sense centered knowledge.

Like man’s different external sense organs, it is logically possible to assume that he might be possessing more than one inner sense organs also ,destined to give him different dimensions of reality, but of course, yet not identified by science.

Man’s so called ‘faculty’ of Reason is the most less understood by science . It is in fact a ‘sensor’ of the mysterious ‘order’ in existence, a mystery ‘sparkle’ within him.
It is probably the one aspect that links man with the mystery of his origin! Even a common man is usually capable of distinguishing between discords, and a properly played music. Even animals and plants said to enjoy melodies. Irrespective of age, race or gender, man admire art and beauty. His heart burns at injustice. Sense of beauty, morals, concepts of freedom and equality also have born from man’s inner depths. All these are plain manifestations of the said one and only  seat of this mystery ‘order’ in man, his Reason. It is often felt like a distinct inner sense organ. This organ is what, it seems, gets activated during meditations, and when artists, writers and gifted speakers are at their creative best. 

Unlike mind, it seems to possess a spiritual predilection  also. When activated, it instinctively carries  man into a certain preset direction.  Hence every spiritual seeker travels in the same pattern and reach similar destinations of inner knowledge. This is very similar to such directives attached to man’s physical organs. Nose instinctively helps us to select what is edible and what is not. Similarly skin has a directive to judge as to how much heat or cold is bearable to its range. These senses, thus, have a built in physical directive to lead us its bio-centered destinations.     

Science may not be able to explain the landing or the existence of this mystery sparkle in man when they go deep into its such not yet fully realized functions and dimensions. How can such a ‘seat of order’ ever be a product of  matter?

In the early tribal days of man’s history, man possessed  only  a single collective mind, a herd mind, for the entire community, like that of animal herds, as many psychologists now agree.  Later on, when the concept of  individuality gained centrality in human thought, especially during the reign of Roman Empire, it seems man entered the stage of independent mind. Socio-political institutions suddenly emerged around this theme to cement this new organ. Even modern science and economics seems derived from this centrality of mind concept. Nothing was considered truth beyond what could be grasped by the newly defined mind of independent man, and of course, able to be shared with others.  Capitalism was its natural economic outcome with its stress on the freedom of entrepreneurs. Man become a captive of his mind organ from then on. It has become more a veil that blocks, than a lamp that illuminates. He wanted every knowledge to be brought down to its range and reach, to be accepted as part of reality.

Like a blind man gains extra range and reach for his other organs (like ears and nose) mind alone has thus strengthened over the other hidden inner organs referred in the beginning! Time and space seem to be categories attached to mind organ to present him with specialized realities as first observed by the great philosopher Kant. It is not realities in ‘itself’ that man grasps, but only its subjective pictures that mind make. The other part of reality beyond mind’s range and reach got abandoned by science as mere subjective imagination and superstition. But the existence of possible other inner organs for understanding such extra-sensory realities is yet to grab science’s attention. 

Like the newborn baby’s entity and spirit remain united with its mother without separation, it seems man’s spirit too remain united with the ultimate source of existence-call it God or Nature- at the level of this mystery inner organ. Every man is also remain united with every other man, as one entity, at this level of existence.

Both Science and religions were the outcome of the same spirit of inquiry of man. But unfortunately both the pursuits stand stuck at their own sets of dogmas in between, without reaching respective destinations. Both the groups have to abandon their dogmatic positions about the nature of reality, by keeping the flame of inquiry ever open. The mystery sparkle called Reason definitely deserves much more probing into its nature  and working. Science’s bundle of knowledge is not at all ‘objective’ in its true meaning but better understood as collective subjectivity of mankind.

By Abraham Joseph (Founder)
Conscience of the society- an NGO that stand for Reason,Fraternity and reinventing democracy.
Twitter: Voice of philosophy@jopan1