Viewing the World

by Robert Wolfe on August 14th, 2011

Q: "If the world depends on you, and you die, and it thus ceases to exist, does it have any reality in any substantial sense? No.

One might say, 'But if I die, it is still an actuality for others.' No. It is still an unreality, in that it depends on the perceiver or sensor. If a plague killed every thing on earth, who or what would there be to say that there was a world in any respect?" [from "Present Right Now," p. 187, Living Nonduality]

Can [you] elaborate on that, please? I'd appreciate it if you could explain why it wouldn't exist even if there was no one there to perceive it?

A: The word nothing actually means "no thing; nonexistent; void of meaning." A thing is "an entity, distinguishable from all others." What creates the difference between one thing and another thing is the definition which we have assigned to each: "it is this, because it is not that." We conclude that each defined thing, having a "meaning," exists; a separate form, construction, concept or entity thus distinguishable from other things which we deem to exist. It is by this conscious intellectual process that each thing is invested with reality by us. (In fact, the word real is derivative of the Latin word res, which means "thing.")

We have a word that defines "the totality of all things that exist": universe. In other words, all of the things which we can cognitively define is what comprises the universe. Although our world is not separate from the universe, we have an exclusive distinction for it: this particular planet and every thing that accompanies it. So, the universe, world and all else "exist" as such because our cognized locutions have defined their "reality."

If our defining minds had never made their appearance, what could be said to be real? Well, no thing. Without at least one capable mind to define what is "real," existent, as contrasted to what is "unreal," or nonexistent, such designations as real or unreal have no relevance when applied to the universe (or anything it contains). In fact, the universe does not exist itself as any conceivable thing, in the absence of a mind to specially identify it.

So, from this standpoint, the world is not real, no matter how many minds conceive it to be so. The world is dependent upon our conception of it. No one to determine so, no "world" that "exists."

Posted in Living Nonduality, Selections, Questions    Tagged with real, unreal, existence, nonexistence, world, things, universe, reality


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