‘Possibly the Western dichotomy between “material reality” and mental images is exaggerated or even false. Our nervous system has the power and resources to create images from external patterns of information or from information stored in the nervous system itself – and to give it a meaning: these experiences may be the patterned processes themselves in the nervous system: perhaps within special association centres. They would in that case belong to the same type of “reality” as all other processes, physiological or physical.’
(REA Johansson – The Dynamic Psychology of Early Buddhism: The One Reality – Page 26)
The Buddha taught that reality is a combination of mind and matter that cannot be limited to its own concept, or properly interpreted by the ordinary intellectual mind. This is because of the limitation of human language which evolved as a means to survive (through communication) within the material conditions of the planet earth. Human language, and the human mind that developed it, was premised upon explaining, interpreting, predicting, and directing the immediate environment as it presented itself to human settlers. It did not have to work-out complicated mathematical, chemical, or engineering formula in early history, and was limited to environmental manipulation. Later, of course, the human mind did develop the ability to see beyond, beneath, through and into their immediate environment. This has led to the development of modern science with its dualistic categorisation of phenomena into subjective and objective elements, and its functional preference for the objective. Religions, mysteries, and idealistic interpretations of the world were designated ‘subjective’ and relegated to the realms of groundless imagination, whilst the observation and measurement of the environment was promoted to the realm of supreme fact. Modern science, by necessity, rejects the subjective and embraces the objective. Its failures over the last two centuries has been eclipsed by the sheer weight of its successes over the same time period. It has led to industry, technology, medicine, and space travel, etc, and is self-evidently superior to any other mode of thought that has ever existed throughout the history of humanity.
Part of the relegation of the subjective into the realms of superstition and supernatural, has had the ongoing problem of essentially rejecting one very powerful aspect of the human mind. Even if an individual studies and becomes a scientists – he or she will still possess an imaginative aspect of mind, even if it is not required in their daily work. Some scientists are atheistic whilst others profess a religious belief in their private life. It seems that the development of modern science has not, as yet also led to the extinction of the human imagination. This being the case, it is an interesting speculation to consider what the imagination is for in the human mind. It maybe that the way that human beings have used the imaginative process in their minds is incorrect, limited, or simply as of yet undeveloped. Perhaps ‘imagining’ religions, deities, ghosts, spirits, and the like, is a rehearsal for the next stage of human evolution, which cannot be limited to the nature of its apparent function. Many philosophers (including Karl Marx) have speculated and stated that reality is not just ‘mind’, and not just ‘matter’, but something inbetween, that is so sophisticated that human intelligence has not yet developed across the species to understand this advanced knowledge. This is a state of affairs very similar to the subject of Quantum Theory, which appears to contradict the ‘common sense’ of conventional Newtonian science.
The theory of Quantum Entanglement turns the assumptions of modern science to date, entirely upon its head. For instance, the presumed ability of one human mind to communicate with another human mind without the agency of physical interaction, has been considered a false imagination, thought-up by con artists and charlatans to make gullible people think that ‘telepathy’ is real. Of course, to date, other than circumstantial or incidental data, telepathy as defined as one mind communicating with another, has remained unproven when subjected to conventional scientific testing, but consider for a moment that this result maybe a product of testing a hypothesis in the wrong way. Quantum Entanglement states that if a subatomic particle splits into two – the two halves continue to communicate with one another for no obvious reason. This suggests that the human mind and physical reality are not two separate entities forever separated, but are in fact two distinct representations of the same time-space continuation that is not limited to its own definition of being. This might suggest that the human ability to ‘imagine’ is not an evolutionary error, but is rather the natural preparation of the human mind to develop higher abilities that are in fact the product of reality (and not myth), and which will one day be considered quite normal and the product of science. This will require the upgrading of human thought as regards to the nature and functionality of conventional science.