As if in fact

Here we are.  It’s a fact, except our knowledge of the ‘here’ and the ‘we’ is incomplete and compromised by our understandings of the ‘isness’ of it all – as is, indeed, our understanding of the ‘isness’ of understanding.   In fact, we know precious little, but that’s not how we play the game of knowing.  And it is a game insofar as we interpret ‘self and reality’ using theories borrowed from others appointed to do the understanding for us.

So what does knowing that we live in ‘this universe’ tell us about ‘who or what we are’ or even ‘what we are about’?  The first mistake is to believe that knowledge tells us anything – as if there were two sides to it which we can understand as ‘the facts’ conveying a message.  But we only think about it that way because that’s how we convey ‘the facts’ to one another – as messages to be understood.

And the message we receive is that reality must be ‘out there’ in the nature of the universe – as if our nature is reducible to that nature – as if objectivity is more than a way of looking because it is also a fact of existence in which objects are paramount – as if we might understand this ‘for ourselves’ once we defer our understandings to those who say that they are more ‘conversant with the facts’.

Mike Laidler

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