How Do We Know What Reality Is? – by Deepak Chopra

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The Future of God (A Conversation between Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Kyra Phillips, CNN)

Deepak Chopra continues the discussion pointing out that the objective validity of science requires a conscious subject, consciousness. We can’t know reality directly through our senses, we can only create models or maps of reality, not reality itself.

Kyra: So how do we know what reality is?

Deepak: I think most people say give me proof in empirical proof. But empirical proof means that I can measure something in space and time. So science is a model of reality that measures what we experience.

(points to the ground)

Deepak: This is a particle, its located there. It weighs so much. This is the size, the mass, and it’s there. But to have that experience I have to have consciousness. But if I don’t know how consciousness is produced, how can I trust that that’s real? Okay? How can I trust that anything I can experience is real? The answer is, you can’t. There was a scientist in the 40’s… or 50’s I think. His name was Alfred Korzybski from Germany and he’s very well known for the phrase “the map is not the territory”. But what he showed is that by the time information gets into your brain there are five levels of abstraction. Which means information is abstracted from what comes in. First of all, your senses only deliver a sliver of information. So you know the human eye can only see between 300 and 800 billionths of a meter. It’s a huge electromagnetic spectrum but you see a little bit. With technologies now we can see ultraviolet, infrared, radio waves, all that. We are extending our range of what we can get delivered to the brain. But by the time whatever gets delivered to the brain its gone through 5 levels of abstraction and we don’t know how that information is converted into this experience but we call it reality because that’s all we have access to. And then based on that we create science, we create technology. It seems to work. So people say, “Well it seems to work (science)… so that must be truth.” No! It’s a model of truth. Science is a modern mythology.


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