Ideas

Determinism as the default world view

Active intuition

The society’s spell

Zen mind

Takeaways

Don’t focus too much to particular interpretations of reality and to the aspect of reality which is ultimately known as based on these interpretations - instead go to

Don’t focus on being happy and on knowing yourself - there is no self. Focus on something else instead.

Don’t compare things in terms of quantity, instead, compare them in terms of quality.

Focus on the process of what you do, instead of the outcome.

Goals and predicting the future

Buying more stuff will not bring you closer to happiness, just like living longer years will not bring you closer to immortality.

On the true nature of reality

All events which we withness must be connected with one another forming what is known as a causality chain (or chains).

An event that does not cause any other event as per their causal chain simply cannot be perceived by us, so in many ways, placing the event in the causal chain is perception itself.

This is why, in our everyday thinking, we often refer to all things that we talk about as either real or unreal (just like in logic we split statements to true and false) e.g. Stephen Hawking is real and Professor Charles Francis Xavier is not.

This line of thought, however is too naive. To see why, one just has to look at a more abstract concept, e.g. is true love real, and does it exist? It all depends on how you define it, and defining it in too robust terms is impossible, as the definition would rely on many other concepts.

the “realness” of a concept is not just a matter of whether something exist or does not you had or had not seen something which resembles it, but a matter of how much does the concept resonate with the concepts that constitute our worldview. In other words, it is not a yes/no question. The degree of realness, we can also call the degree of anticipation of perception i.e. considering an object real means that you anticipate to sense it. Although it seems counter intuitive at first, the anticipation of perseption actually comes before the perception - only after we are ready to and prepared to perceive something, we may actually come to realise that it is actually there (this statement may seem paradoxical, but as we said perception itself is paradoxical).

The black hole example is appropriate here. Earlier, we said that the black holes’ existence was postulated before actual objects were observed. But does that mean that we are to regard them (before they were actually observed) as absolutely unreal? According to this line of thought no - if the theories that postulate their existence were supported by some evidence from observation i.e. there were some way in which these theories fitted into the more general framework of knowledge of the field, then they should be viewed as “somewhat real”, as opposed to “imaginary”.

Moreover, there are aspects of black holes, which are not yet observed (and some that, are considered unobservable). Black holes still might not be exactly what we think they are. Therefore we cannot claim that they (our current notion of them) are 100% real.