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Philosophy 201: Tables and Chairs…they Exist!

July 14, 2014

Let’s talk about the concepts called ‘existence’ and ‘non-existence’! How should these concepts be applied to reality as we live it? ‘I’  (and I presume that you also) live within two realms (worlds) of reality which need to be differentiated. The philosophy which we need to discuss is also called Dualism (or ‘mind’ and ‘matter’). Dualism started with the philosophy of Plato (a Greek philosopher around 345 B.C.) and then was further developed with the philosophy of Rene Descartes (a French philosopher around 1645 A.D.). The basic premise is that our MINDS (our inner realm) originate our ideas/concepts/images and then we apply these ideas/concepts/images within a world of matter/energy which is ‘separate/outside’ our inner MIND/Consciousness. This creates our TWO realms of reality which we experience within realtime (now). All that I perceive within the world of matter/energy (also called our space/time world) is what science prefers to call ‘that which EXISTS’! We can call this realm our #1 world (or the world which science refers to as our ‘material’ world).

That which EXISTS (has existence) can be viewed as similar to tables and chairs! Note all the other items of ‘matter’ in this picture. All are representative of our OUTER world of matter/energy! Where, however, do our IDEAS and IMAGES derive from? Think about the IDEA OR IMAGE which precedes the item produced!

The second realm (our MIND) is a metaphysical world within our Consciousness. This realm can be called realm #2 (or the world of our inner being/spirit). To understand reality we need to think in terms of these TWO realms of reality! Tables and Chairs can be viewed as a metaphor for the world of matter/energy (realm #1). We all have experienced ‘tables’ and ‘chairs’ as objects which are physical and which EXIST within space/time. Other objects which are similar to ‘tables’ and ‘chairs’ (stars, sun, moon, buildings, water, trees, houses, silver, gold, etc.) fall within this same realm of reality as ‘tables’ and ‘chairs’. This is the realm of reality which EXISTS (science studies this realm). When we ‘look out’ at our universe we experience this outer realm! Many of us ASSUME that this outer realm is all there is! This is a huge fallacy! In reality, our inner realm is actually much more relevant!


Technically, my/your BRAIN (neurons/synapses) are not the same as my/your MIND (consciousness)! We all live within TWO realms of reality (we can call these worlds the INNER and the OUTER). My Brain exists but my Mind does not exist! Words derive from our MIND! Concepts like Value, Money, Dollar derive from our inner world of the MIND!

The second realm of reality (where our ideas, words, images derive from) can be called the metaphysical realm of our MIND/Consciousness. This realm is totally non-physical/metaphysical/spiritual and needs to be differentiated from the realm of matter/energy (that which ‘EXISTS’ outside of us). This metaphysical realm (our inner self) can be viewed as a realm which ‘DOES NOT EXIST’ (the word ‘existence’ does not apply to this realm as the substance of this realm is our imagination). Our ideas, concepts, words, names, numbers, symbols, mental images, virtual images derive from this non-material/metaphysical realm. A word/name like DOLLAR (an its symbol $1) is an example of what derives from this realm (our DOLLAR, in reality, does not really EXIST within our realtime outer world). Try to FIND this ‘thing’ which we call DOLLAR! Where is it? Can you locate it in your outer world?

The above SYMBOL ($1.00) derives from our MIND (consciousness)! It is not a ‘thing’ which EXISTS! Today, our so-called currency and/or legal tender money is a ‘name’, ‘number’, and ‘symbol’. These derive from our INNER world of MIND!

The word MONEY also derives from this inner/metaphysical realm of reality. So we can say that our ‘dollar’ and our ‘money’ are really derivatives which emerge from this metaphysical/spiritual inner realm. These ‘word/names’ are non-existent within our space/time world. They are non-entities and contain no ‘thingness’ or ‘physical’ substance. Can you or anyone FIND or LOCATE a thing called ‘dollar’ or ‘money’ within our space/time world? I don’t think you can! What we do as human beings is use these WORDS (dollar/money) AFTER we have invented or selected some item from NATURE as a proxy/substitute. Economics starts within a BARTER environment. We then encounter the concept called VALUE (what is the ‘value’ of the item that we desire to exchange). This concept called VALUE is another ‘inner’ concept of our consciousness which must be dealt with under our system called CAPITALISM. How do we deal with this unique/subjective concept which we call VALUE?

This image shows a ‘company’ which is the physical building (with smoke emerging) and a human ‘body’ (customer) which is also physical (these represent our OUTER world of matter/energy). The concept/idea of VALUE and the SYMBOL…$ ,however, represent our INNER concepts of ‘mind’! This is economic DUALISM in action!

If I desire to exchange my dozen eggs for your pottery jar, what is the issue that we encounter? Isn’t it the issue of VALUE IN EXCHANGE? What are my eggs valued at compared to your pottery jar. Must I exchange 5 eggs for your jar or maybe 12 eggs for your jar. This issue of VALUE creates our need for a proxy or substitute which has physical exchangability within the greater barter marketplace. What happens is that we eventually ‘invent’ some item to serve as this proxy for VALUE. The best representative which has emerged over time has been ‘silver’ and also ‘gold’ (for storing VALUE). This entire thinking process that we use within economics is the psychology/philosophy of DUALISM (mind and matter as two different realms of reality). VALUE is a concept of our ‘mind’. Silver, however, is a ‘thing’ outside our ‘mind’. We call silver an element composed of ‘matter’. This process of thinking within our Capitalistic System creates this DUALISM and the experience of TWO realms (worlds) of reality!

Capitalism is based on ‘value’ in ‘exchange’. Money is invented to serve as our proxy for ‘value’! Any ‘thing’ can be used as ‘money’ if people have confidence in the ‘thing’ (tobacco, tally sticks, cowry shells, etc.). Today, however, we are losing ‘confidence’ in our metaphysical (spiritually invented) currency (called ‘money’ by the uninformed)! Today, our currency unit is a ‘pixel(s)’ within the computer screen! What is a ‘pixel’?

My prior missive covered the philosophy of ‘words’ and ‘names’. Words and Names are also examples of units of Consciousness (our inner realm). The ‘name’ of the element which we call Ag is an invented ‘name’. The ‘name’ of the element called Au is also an invented ‘name’. This means that the ‘thing’ which we dig from the ground that eventually gets ‘named’ SILVER represents our thinking and our experience of these TWO realms of reality (inner and outer). All the ‘names’ of the objects up in the sky which we observe are also invented ‘names’. All the stars in the sky have been given ‘names’ which are also INVENTED. As humans we ‘invent’ names and words to describe what we observe and perceive. This process of thinking can be called DUALISM (mind and matter and/or two realms of reality)! Give this some reflection as you think about economics/money/banking/investing/ trading/ exchanging/politics/life! Enjoy! I am:


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