worlds without end

I think. My thoughts exist. They don't exist in the material world, but they do exist. My thoughts are real. My thoughts are.

I experience feelings. Feelings are not the same as thoughts. I can feel happy without thinking about happiness, or about being happy or about whether my happiness is warranted or about where the feeling of happiness comes from. My feelings do not exist in the material world. But they do exist. My feelings are real. My feelings are. I don't know whether my feelings exist in the same world as my thoughts exist, or in another, non-material world.

Emotions: are they the same as feelings? Are emotions thoughts? Where do emotions exist?

Memories: are they thoughts? Where do memories exist? Memories can be of things in the material world as well as of things in non-material worlds. Memories of dreams, for example, are memories of things that exist in a non-material world. I can remember thoughts. I can remember events. I can remember physical objects.

Thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, consciousness: all of these and more can and do have effects and causes in the material world. And those effects and causes persist over time. A recipe for apple-pie, for instance, can be the (formal) cause of a material apple pie coming into being in the material world. (The baker is the efficient cause). But the recipe is an idea, a thought, a sequence of thoughts. Or is it a formula, an algorithm, a series of relationships? The recipe may be captured in words on paper or in spoken words, or in pictures and symbols. Whatever it is---thought, idea, algorithm, relationship---the recipe exists in a non-material world irrespective of the nature of its captivity within a material substrate.

And yes, this is all very dualistic, I realise. But so what? In fact it's more than dualistic. Much more. There are more than two worlds, two domains. I suspect there is an infinite number of domains.

Or, maybe, just maybe, some of these things I've called non-material exist in one or more of the teeny, tiny compactified dimensions of the string theorist's 11- or 26-dimensional reality.

Now, the implications of admitting there is more than one domain, the material domain, are hugely significant. Once you open that door, all sorts of things can rush in. If mind exists in a domain that is separate and different from the material domain, then we must at least seriously consider the possibility of soul, to give just one example.

Copyright © S R Schwarz 2007. All rights reserved.

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