Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Jed McKenna's Theory Of Everything V

Scott Bradley

In this post we will consider the second necessary premise in McKenna's syllogism: Truth is all; Consciousness exists; therefore, Consciousness is all.

Truth is all; therefore, what exists is necessarily the Truth; I experience conscious existence, I therefore exist, thus consciousness is Truth which is all.

Once again, I am left nonplussed in the face of such a sweeping assumption that the belief that I exist proves that I do. It is not that I don't believe I exist, since I experience existing I am happy to believe that I do. But like everything else, I have no idea of what that really entails. It also seems "self-evident" that there was a time when I did not exist and will be a time when I no longer exist.

McKenna refers us to Descartes' (in-)famous cogito: "I think; therefore I am." This is clearly a bit of specious reasoning in that it assumes what it proves; the "I" in the premise is none other than the "I" that it proves. We might do better to say that thinking appears to be happening, therefore thinking appears to be happening. But ignoring that, it is still an enormous leap to put this in all-caps, as does McKenna, and declare that this experience is the I AM, or as it is meant to imply, consciousness is all.

Again, on the experience side of all this I find no room to judge one way or the other; if someone believes they have experienced their self as Universal Self, or their 'I am' as the universal I AM, I am in no position to argue. More power to them. Only I would suggest that they demean that experience in trying to prove its validity and lay down an unnecessary obstacle in the path of others who wish to discover it in doing so.

This is not part of the path I walk, for reasons often stated, and I would hope that those who do walk that path are able to agree with me that none of it really matters all that much in any case. If Truth is all, well then, what's to be lost?

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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