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Saturday, June 02, 2007

What Can We Know?

What Can We Know?

It is commonly taken for granted that we can reliably refer to the world and events in the world as having an objective reliable existence. But many philosophers have refuted this and proposed it may be impossible to know anything other than the first principle of philosophy which states: “I think therefore I exist.”

On careful examination it seems impossible to prove that the world we are informed of by our senses actually exists. Everything we experience may be illusory. Nor can we even presume that minds other than our own mind exist, because we can only be informed of the possible existence of other minds through our sensory perceptions of a non-objective world.

We choose then to make the assumption that the world perceived by our senses is real, and we discard the possibility that it cannot be real because it is practical or pragmatic to do so. However, it seems this objective viewpoint defining the existence of the world we perceive will always remain an unproven and unprovable assumption, and that while we may rely upon this assumption for the purpose of going about our practical business in the world, we may never be certain the world we experience exists.

It seems to be a characteristic of human nature to dislike uncertainty and ambiguity, and the experience of being uncertain of the existence of the world and the reality of our experiences of the world may be intolerable to many people. To cope with this we assume the world has an objective existence and we incorporate this assumption into our beliefs as individuals, societies and cultures because it is the most pragmatic response we can make when considering the fundamental problem of whether anything may have an objective existence.

Some philosophers have argued that we can only know what we think or believe, while other philosophers refute even our own beliefs and knowledge as having an valid objective reality. If our thoughts and beliefs refer to the world we perceive then those thoughts and beliefs are suspect because it cannot be proven the world we are informed of by our senses exists.

Philosophy cannot resolve such issues because the questions being examined are incapable of being objectively viewed from any state of certainty. Each thing which we may base our attempt to create a valid objective point of view concerning the world of phenomena is only an assumption, going all the way back to what is considered the first principle.

The first principle, “I think, therefore I exist” is itself an assumption. Perhaps it appears irrefutable, but that which we experience as ourselves and our thoughts may still be only an illusion, an appearance of phenomena without any objective proof of its existence.

The irresolvable nature of this fundamental principle leaves us with no choice other than to accept the appearance of our own existence as being true. We may seem real to ourselves, we may be incapable of refuting the reality of our experience of having objective existence, but neither can we prove the validity of our presumption of our existence. So for better or worse all philosophy and knowledge begin here, with ourselves alone, and the presumption that at the very least, our own individual existence is real.

This first step is followed by admitting that those things we think about which we are informed of by our senses must then be real too. But we have only created a proposition that something must be real, beginning with ourselves and anything we add to this proposition remains only a postulation, all hinging on the validity of the first principle which remains unproven and appears to be unprovable.

This proposition that we may not exist is uncomfortable to accept or to examine. We protect ourselves from this unsettling possibility by building complex belief systems in which the underlying assumption of the first principle is taken for granted to be true and any doubt regarding it is discarded or ignored.

When we attempt to communicate what we experience at a personal level we are limited by the scope of our shared mutual ideas about the world and whatever common language we are able to use to describe them. In all likelihood, all dialogue about our experiences of ourselves and our world is conducted in abstract terms that at best can only convey a general concept that may appear to closely resemble the experience we wish to communicate about.

We conform to accepted definitions and beliefs about our world and our potential states of being within the world for lack of any better terms with which to communicate our experiences. Anyone challenging the conventional definitions and beliefs common to their society or culture faces great difficulty communicating their exceptional beliefs or definitions because everyone is trained to participate in the maintenance of their cultural beliefs and definitions; beliefs which fall outside the normative conventions of our societies become isolated by the lack of adequate language and mutual ideas required to communicate them. Proponents of radical thought are often perceived as a threat and may be forcibly sequestered by a variety of social mechanisms such as ostracizing, imprisonment or execution.

By advocating radical change in social and cultural belief systems the advocate may make themselves an enemy of anyone whose sense of security and wellbeing depends upon the system of beliefs being challenged. People choose not to listen to disturbing information, and if the advocates for a disturbing point of view are not discouraged by being dismissed then they may face more aggressive forms of sequestration which may be forced upon them by individuals or by groups of people whose purpose is to remove the influence of the radical advocate from their society or culture.

Academia is, in effect, an elaborate form of ritualized thinking and communication processes designed to maintain the status quo of conventional beliefs. The academic principles required to authoritatively prove or refute a radical opinion require an investment of resources which influence the members of the academic community to maintain the rules and beliefs of the system in order to preserve the value of the investments made by the members to acquire status within the community. The whole thing is an elaborate sham. Academics are a valuable resource in the societal preservation of the status quo. The inculcation into the labyrinth of academia molds the minds of its adherents and classifies them according to their beliefs and places them within the established order so that no idea raised within the system can easily challenge the system.

Academia places each idea in a niche with other similar ideas which have already been evaluated and judged. The radical, seeking a forum to expound their ideas within academia, finds instead a trap in which their thoughts are bottled up by the rigid methodology they must adopt to either discourse or enter into dialogue concerning the ideas they wish to propagate.

Society can then safely dismiss any form of intellectual debate, sequestering it among the academics that, in their own self-interest, will reliably relegate any dangerous radical ideas to their appropriate niches within the world of ideas as institutionally defined and organized by academia; thereby sequestering those ideas and their proponents among the voices of many people who are specifically trained to refute or dismiss disturbing radical thoughts.

That which is believed to be known by academic standards is no more reliable or certain than that which is believed to be known by anyone else. The principles of academic learning are presumed to be the best tools for understanding reality and debating its nature, but these principles are no better than the first principle upon which all else has been founded.

Ultimately we most likely can know nothing in any definite objective terms. The entire concept that we can know anything at all is most likely invalid. We may have only our own thoughts and beliefs and the experiences from which our thoughts or beliefs have been derived to guide us in regard to what we will choose to believe we know.

Alas, our societies and cultures aggressively reinforce their own elaborate systems of ideas and beliefs, and it is difficult to escape the influences of our culture or society. We wind up with personal belief systems that closely resemble those which have most strongly influenced us, and our ability to think and perceive the world beyond the constraints created for us is too often very weak. It may even be the case that we are incapable of entering into any domain of thought or structure of belief that transcends our cultural and societal conditioning.

If indeed we can believe we know something extraordinary, something that is true beyond the limits of conventional knowledge and beliefs, we will sadly lack the means to adequately communicate our knowledge because the shared ideas and the tools of language required to communicate our ideas may be inadequate, and because the audience we hope to address is conditioned to reject ideas that challenge their commonly held beliefs.

Hi, we are collectively known by the name of Greg Gourdian for the purposes of publishing our articles. We are a collective of people spanning many worlds and universes; we cohabitate many bodies in many very different or similar worlds.

We worked with the general public as a psychic reader for a little over four years from 1981 to 1986. While much of our written work is channeled, we often admit that we may have no idea who many of the voices of our channeled work may be.

We have many strange tales to tell regarding our spiritual journeys and we try to tell our tales in a humorous or entertaining manner.

While we were not an accredited teacher, we have taught high-school classes in metaphysics & parapsychology, psychology, and sociology, while we were attending our high-school as a student.

We are still emerging from the closet in regard to being a system of many people inhabiting what appears to be a single body in the context of the interface pairs we share with you. Our current written works reflect this new change in perspective as we have adopted the plural personal pronoun in order to reinforce our awareness and understanding of ourselves in regard to the multipleness of our being.

We apologize if we sometimes may sound either awkward or conceited as a consequence of making this change in how we refer to ourselves.

The core of our groups’ primary beliefs share these ideals: That love should be universal and unconditional; that liberty is our most important right; that liberty is a gift like love which we may best enjoy by giving it freely to all others; and that justice may best be served by not judging.


Visit Greg's blog at

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