Early morning questions
Last night while I was lying in bed the mystery of my being here, present, again occurred to me. Pondered that a bit upon waking up. Let me formulate two mysteries that, as far as I know, no one has given really satisfactory answers to:
- Why does anything exist at all? And given that things do exist, why should they take the form that they do (planets, suns, nebulae, even life)?
- What accounts for the “subjectivity” of experience? That is, why is life not only here, but (in humanity’s case at least, probably in the case of other higher-order life, and possibly all life) there is a *conscious* experience that goes on with our perceptions of the world? It does not seem necessary for (1), does it?
Perhaps the answer here is just that the way our minds (and hence anything we could form into thought or language) is based on descriptions of the world according to our perception. But (1) and (2) are in a sense, beyond this. I think in the case of (1) it is obvious why. In the case of (2) this might just be a limitation of our language/thought — certainly we can express that someone/something is conscious in a 3rd party sort of way (i.e. “she perceived red”), though this does not (as far as I can tell) express the realness of the experience. It’s a description, not the experience. To really understand experience from a 3rd person perspective (and hence why it exists?), you would need to go outside experience — but description is part of experience! It is impossible outside of it.
[ Maybe I am just restating Kant here ]