Then let us be mysterious and deny that the phrase "does not (necessarily) represent a real state of affairs" means "is not true."
Vasska, I do intend to open a new thread in which we will attempt to formulate a perfect definition of man, knowledge, etc. I have a few other little posts to write first, and then we'll let the games begin. :p
Here's another analogy. When an engineer conceptualizes a design for a skyscraper, his idea of that skyscraper does not exist materially (i.e., does not represent a physical state of affairs) until the skyscraper is built. Though his idea is just an idea, it isn't false--it's just metaphysical.
Instead of saying "real state of affairs," I should have said "physical state of affairs."
1. In order to have knowledge of a thing, a person must at least have-or be able to summon-a true mental image of it. By "true," I mean that the qualities of the image correspond exactly to the qualities of the thing that is known; i.e., the image "looks exactly like" the thing that is known.
Kennethamy, I think you're right. My fiance does, on one level, see the stapler; but she does not see that the stapler is there. How in the world do we explain this phenomenon?
Maybe Freud can explain that. This is what he calls a "faulty act". When I look at something but don't see it, certainly there's a mental process acting to prevent my perception of the object I'm looking at.
But since she sees the stapler, she is not prevented from seeing the stapler, as you write.
If you read my last post again you'll see that I wrote "see" between quotation marks. When the mechanism of repression acts, it does not prevent the image of the stapler to be formed mentally, but this "not seeing" is something like a disconnection between that image and any meaning it may have in the psychic life of the observer. In other words, the "not seeing" is a disconnection between the image and its meaning, so the observer looks at something but doesn't "see" it.
Maybe he does not see it as a stapler, if that is what you have in mind by "meaning". I don't think staplers have much "meaning" in the life of most of us. I think that distraction is a more plausible explanation.
No, that's not what I said. I'm using the word "meaning" in a more philosophical fashion. By "meaning" I don't mean "important" or something like that in the popular sense.
And "distraction" may be an explanation only when we are not looking for the object. But if I'm searching the stapler, look at it but don't "see" it, this is not distraction, and that's what Freud has shown us. "Distraction" was a good excuse we were free to use before Psychoanalysis, but not anymore.
by Walter Russell
Knowledge is cosmic. It belongs to the still Light of the positive principle. It never can become a property of the two negations which constitute this mirage universe of matter in motion.
To "know all things" means to have all knowledge of the Whole One Idea of the cosmos as CAUSE. It does not mean knowledge of created things which are effect of cause. The whole Cosmic Idea is simple. It can be known by anyone of average intelligence. Its bewildering complexities lie in effect of cause.
Man cannot know transient effect. He can KNOW cause only. He can but comprehend effect. Man cannot know a sunset sky, for example, but he can comprehend it if he knows its cause. Knowledge is, therefore, limited to cause.
All knowledge exists. All mankind can have it for the asking. It is within man, awaiting his awareness of its all-presence.
Knowledge cannot be acquired by the brain from without; it must be "recollected" from the conscious of Self. Gradually dawning conscious awareness is but gradual recollection of the all-knowing which has always been within man.
Man cannot acquire knowledge from books or schools. He can but acquire information that way, but information is not knowledge until it is recognized by the spiritual consciousness of man, just as food is not the nourishment for the body until it becomes a part of the bloodstream. Information gained by motion of the senses must be returned to the stillness of the Source before it becomes knowledge.
For the same reason man cannot acquire knowledge from the so-called "facts of matter," for there are no facts of matter in a universe of transient matter in motion. All matter in motion is but a series of illusions which deceive man into drawing wrong conclusions.
It is impossible for man to draw right conclusions from his observation of matter in motion until he has acquired the ability to translate dynamic effect back to cause. This he can only do through decentration to the One Light of his conscious awareness of the Source of all knowledge. Until he knows WHY of effect and its deceptions, he has no knowledge whatsoever upon which he can rely. He has naught but unreliable information.
Information concerning the body, for example, does not give knowledge concerning the cause of body, or of the body's relationship to the universe. Information of birth and death of the body, on the assumption that the body is Self, never can lead to knowledge that body is not Self, or that Self is immortal.
Nor can information concerning the material body alone, its chemistry and its functionings, heal the body. Bodies manifest life, but life is cosmic. Life is not in the body. Life is spirit, and spirit is still. Life is not chemistry or germ of matter. To heal the body so that it can manifest life of the spirit Self of the body, one must give the unbalanced body the balance of the spirit. Knowledge of the Light alone can do this. All the information in the world will not heal a body unassisted by the Light in him who heals and in him who is being healed.
So what does "meaning" in a "more philosophical fashion" mean? Anything? Psychoanalysis is a better excuse? I still like distraction myself.
No, it doesn't mean "anything". These words are yours, not mine. "Meaning" is not an easy term to explain, but in Philosophy it may be defined as what a sign, object, statement or symbol refers to or represents.
The meaning of a stapler may be, for example, a reference to some of the ideas or concepts people may have about staplers, such as mental pictures of it.
And Psychoanalysis is not an excuse, but an explanation. And you are free to like whatever you want, but I don't know why in the world you are expressing your personal preferences in a Philosophy forum, instead of discussing the subject and showing your arguments and refuting what you disagree with. Have you ever read Freud? What are your arguments against his explanation of the faulty acts?
I like distraction not because I prefer it, but because it is a less complex explanation than the Freudian which, in any case, I find incomprehensible.
It seems to me that if in philosophy "meaning" is not an easy word to explain, then it would be better not to use it until you understand what it means. And, certainly, you should not expect others to understand what it means unless you understand it well enough to be able to explain it to them.
In other words, the "not seeing" is a disconnection between the image and its meaning, so the observer looks at something but doesn't "see" it.