Levels of being
by, 04-16-2008 at 11:11 AM (1463 Views)
I just saw something that reminded me of part of the way that my calculus teacher explained imaginary numbers when I was in high school. He said, "Imaginary numbers are really more real than real numbers." I went to a Catholic high school, and the teacher was a member of the Xaverian Brothers. I didn't usually think of him, or the other brothers, as Medieval thinkers, but that idea was very spiritual and Medieval. That idea was also mystical and closely related to the Kaballistic view of the universe.
In that view, humans are made up of four 'bodies' or levels of being: the physical, astral, mental, and spiritual (or the soul). They are also graded in quality in that order from lowest to highest. That succession of 'bodies' also make humans superior to all other creations, because other animals and angels have only one or two bodies. This is also the way that humans are most like the Gods and Goddesses, because they have at least four bodies; actually, they can have as many or as few as they wish.
Thought is a product of the mental body, which is the second highest body, and some thought is spiritual, and thus emanates from the soul. Real numbers are simply symbols of things that exist in the physical, so they have a nature that is a mixture of the mental and physical. Imaginary numbers do no correspond with anything in the known physical universe, so they are not tainted with the mud of the physical world. In theory, that makes imaginary numbers superior to real numbers.
The questions are whether there are multiple 'bodies' and whether that is of any significance. My experience suggests that humans understand things on different levels, and some people are incapable of understanding some things, but I don't know whether that is evidence. One item that I think is strong evidence is to the division of the human consciousness into different levels is emotion, which is a matter of the astral body. The evidence from FMRI scans of brains has shown quite clearly the pathways of thought of various things. Matters that are emotional use different paths from intellectual matters.
Even by thinking about emotions, one can detect a difference between emotional matters and intellectual matters, because the emotional thoughts cause physical responses of some sort. People often mistakenly think that spoken or written matter can be purely emotional, but that is impossible. All verbal expression, except for expletives, takes the same path from the left frontal lobe to Broca's region, then to the part of the body that will do the expression.
On to the question of degree of 'realness' of various sorts of thought. The mystical thinker would contend that the physical universe is an impure manifestation of the higher levels of being. They may be right, but I would contend that we humans have no practical way to tell. On a practical level, pure thought can be done with less distraction by physical, emotional, and ethical considerations. Some would regard it as purer simply for those reasons. Personally, I regard all levels of existence as having value, so I don't see a great deal of difference among them, but a Kaballistic view of the universe is useful, and it corresponds quite closely to the view that provided by Quantum Physics.
I suspect that it's a matter of point of view.