The great contrariness of it all.

Something, and/or nothing.


Most people, I suspect, think this is a silly question. But not all for the same reasons.
It sounds like a simple question-"why is there something rather than nothing?", but it isn't. There are those who have considered it and concluded that it is a silly question by reasoning that because we are here to ask the question, asking "what if we were not" is pointless and why isn't there "nothing" is meaningless.

Others regard it as a silly question because never having thought much about it, when the question is put to them, the brain is somewhat at a loss as to how to formulate a reply and so tends to dismiss the question as unimportant, again often citing the fact that we are here and seeing no sense in questioning it.
But unlike those who have thought about it and concluded it isn't important those who dismiss it without serious consideration tend to be people who seem totally trapped in there own world of self-interested trivia, with last nights T.V. and the state of their bank balance being the limit to their interest in their own existence. Perhaps a problem of psychological maturity.

So, why is there something and not nothing?

The paradox

I hope I'm wrong but it's likely to be a long time before anything beyond a minority of people begin to recognise or consider accepting that their physical existence is a very paradoxical affair, with the material world in which they are embedded being generated as a created sensory world of effectively, their own doing, yet having all the properties of a solid material reality over which they have absolutely no control.

The notion of the material world being a construct of consciousness has been around for a long time but the strength of material appearances is such that the majority regard it as nonsense, a notion backed up by the fact that most of the proponents of the idea speak from "mystic" or religious viewpoints or are regarded by the medical community as suffering from neurological disorders. The arguments against the idea are usually based on the rather quaint belief that people actually know what they are, it's "obvious" that things are real and solid and anyone questioning it is a trifle on the crazy side.

Unfortunately we have a long history of collectively being wrong about many things. It's not just the flat earths and the holes in the sky where the light gets in, but the demand for proof about anything that questions a cherished belief or threatens established authority. The idea that the Laws of the Land take precedent even when evidently absurd, the notion that Competition is good for business, our truly bizarre attitudes toward Work, the clinging to Belief Systems that consistently achieve nothing but problems for both those who accept them and those who don't. The list goes on. Changing your mind to consider that something you think of as irrational might be true is not easy when your current beliefs (which are equally suspect) are deeply engrained.
We have barely scratched the surface of the scientific understanding of our perceived world yet have more than once had predictions of the end of scientific endeavour once a few loose ends are tied up and live with the constant threat from physicists to sum it all up with a simple equation...ho hum!

Are you at all aware that you have never experienced anything external to your own sensory world?

Some will quickly respond to that with cries of nonsense!, the whole and only purpose of sensory experience is to provide you with an intimate connection with the environment that surrounds you. For example, the contact between you and the dog or cat you may be stroking is the interaction between two independent "real" entities and to countenance otherwise is the rantings of an idiot.

Consider me then, an idiot.

I am well aware that the aforementioned beast may at any moment decide to sink its teeth into me, either playfully or with malice. That will not in any way invalidate my view of its insubstantiality.
Perhaps I am an idiot.

But no, the point here is a point of paradox, the insubstantiality and the potentially painful actuality are contradictory, but are equally true and applicable discriptions of the situation.
Why you may endorse the painful actuality and deny the insubstantiality is all wrapped up in-


An axiom is regarded as a self-evident truth.

The perceived world of our everyday existence behaves self-evidently as a solid material reality.
consequently mental preception as matter is assumed fundamental.

It's as simple as that. Mental perception is matter.Note that this is quite a nuanced idea. The axiom states that mental perceptions, whilst remaining exactly that - mental perceptions - they can be looked upon as 'matter' because of their behaviour, NOT because they have an underlying material existence

In other words, there is no need for material stuff to exist "out there" beyond your eyeballs... everything is a mental construct.

The world does behave as a material reality, and does so with such authority that questioning its assumed fundementality is stepping well out of line. There seems little to be gained from doing so unless you wish to become regarded as a social oddball and be branded crazy.

Well, you can make a footpath to anywhere using crazy paving, so lets walk on and see where it takes us.

If you have previously given little thought to ideas relating to idealism what you have read above may not have really sunk in. You may not have fully grasped that I am seriously saying that the material world that you look out on from behind your eyes is actually, paradoxically, both solid material structure and immaterial insubstantial consciousness.

Much of what there is to be said about paradox, confusingly, is covered on the page headed Contagion.

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