ON APPEARANCE AND REALITY: THOUGHTS OF A WANDERING MIND

From all glaring and obvious facts that are in comity with reality, we can know that there is more than a thin line in the variation of appearance and reality as they presents themselves to us. Appearance and reality is not always the same thing and will never be the same. Take for example, the wise saying; “all is not gold that glitter”. We can see that what seems to us is not what it is to us and thus this is suppose to be a wake up call to both developing and evolving minds out there especially minds that have not been structured to fathom logic.

Let take the following examples where appearance and reality conjunct and why thing are not as they are;

1)      The sun always appears to move around the earth rising in the east at morning and setting down in west at evening.  This is appearance but for sure, we know that it is the earth that orbit and revolve around the sun.

2)      Taking a walk through a long tarred road on a sunny day, it appears that there is a pool of waters far ahead of us but upon getting to that point, we are left to see more tarred road ahead.

3)      Take a look at the sky, what do you see? A cloud which appear to be thick smoke but for seventy something reasons, we do know that the cloud is made up of evaporated water.

4)      The moon appears to give light but we do know that it only reflect the light of the sun.

In the light of this, it would be in comity and of a truism that appearance deceive while reality is obvious and hence should be accepted as the universal truth. However, the task before me and is to fathom why is appearance so glaring and mistaken for reality? Why has the search for the inner truth been evaded and replaced with appearance?

It is for this reason that metaphysicians as Plato, Descartes Parmenides and others have attempted to answer this question of what is and what is not. We can’t always rely on appearance for true knowledge because they are liable to deception. “In daily life”,  Bertrand Russell says, “we assume as certain many things which on a closer scrutiny are found to be so full of apparent contradictions that only a great amount of thought enables us to know what it is that we really may believe.” Here, we will agree that what is defined as coldness or felt as one is not the same when posed to another person. In fact, the degree of coldness to me might ends up being hotness to another person. The same goes to what is bitter and sweet. The individualistic attributes of man has made it such, that the basic of universal is narrowed down to the person as concerned and thus we can’t compromise our value at the expense of our satisfaction. From this fact, many philosophers (for example, Democritus, Locke and Berkeley) have concluded that the secondary qualities (such as colour, taste and size) are not really in things that appear to have them; they are not inherent in things as they appear to be. In reality they are in the minds of those who think they have perceived them in things.

Furthermore, understanding our world would be a futile effort if we rely on the sense because the senses provides no justification and hinders the truth from being revealed. Man, in his nature is fallible and thus with the inclusion of his sense, it is paramount to denying the very moral ground that leads to the truth (universal truth). To get at the truth we have to go beyond appearance and get at the reality itself. This is what metaphysics (after the physical) does for us. It is a searching light which gives inner illumination in understanding that which can’t be understood if we have to rely on our senses. Metaphysics takes us beyond the physical and appearance and brings us to the reality itself which is seen to be different from its appearance. We can never know the true nature of things if we confine ourselves to the appearance which is seen as the ultimate reality.

As we search deeper for the truth, we come to the realization that matter seems to exist only in appearance, in reality matter does not exist, there are no material substances. Berkeley was quick to add that what appear to us as material objects are in fact ideas in the mind. For nothing can be known except in the mind. Similarly, Leibnitz tells us that what appears to us as physical objects are in reality spiritual entities which he called “monads”. It is therefore only in appearance that the universe seems to us to be physical. In reality it is spiritual, not physical. Kant who made a sharp distinction between “things-as-they-appear-to-us” (phenomena) and “things-as-they-are-in-themselves” (noumena) tells us that we can only know things as they appear to us. We can never know the realities behind these appearances. This writer takes this position as a dangerous one because Kant is suggesting that man can’t know the realities behind these appearances and that man is only confined to know these appearances. What shall we say about these fantastic claims of these metaphysicians? Once we readily accept that appearance is often different from reality, the task before us would be to search for the reality; the one truth behind what appears to us. Thus, we are faced with the problem of going beyond the appearance to get at the realities. How often can we know the truth and true nature of things?

As a searching mind, I would be tempted to ask, is this physical universe a manifestation, in various forms, of a single Being, a single entity as Spinoza, Hegel and Bradley tell us?

Thus taking a view from this school of thought, we will only be led to task ourselves further at grasping the idea behind these realities. What is reality itself? The most important truth is that there is more to reality than we can perceive with our senses and that there is more to thing than we can see. What we perceive with our senses is not all that there is. Even if we are unable to say what more there is beyond what we see, we still have to accept that what we perceive is not that there is, that reality is more than the way we perceive it.

Today, our world is soc chaotic, violence driven, war-oriented and a place of hell for living; what went wrong? Have we failed to sit down collectively and identify the problem? Have we not replaced the realities for appearance? What more we need say again? While we busy ourselves with the task of solving issues that are so obvious to us, we should rather shift our attention to identifying the realities behind these appearance; we should seek the utmost truth so as to avoid a repetition.

This certainly can’t be the best form of our world, our boisterous planet deserve more than this

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About ogungbesan20
I'M A STUDENT OF SOCRATIC SCHOOL OF THOUGHT AS MUCH AS I BELIEVE IN THE PRACTICES AND THEORIES OF ALL KNOWLEDGE LEADING TO TRUTH. ....SHALOM......

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