The Human Element and Perceptive Reality
Perceptive reality; the ability to objectively perceive and subjectively conceive experience. This is what defines the human element. No other life form or any identifiable aspect of reality comes close to matching the inherent diversity of the human element.
The Short Version of this Page
It is by what we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel that we perceive our physical experience. It is by our cognitive abilities that we take these perceptions and define our experience, plus create all the experience associated with humanity. This is our perceptive reality. This is the Human Element, unique to all existence.
No other life forms create belief systems. This is exclusively humanity's domain. It would seem then that this reality exists exclusively to give us a canvas upon which we can unleash our creative ability.
There is a paradox in all this however. It has to do with how our perceptive/conceptive abilities actually work, as opposed to how we think they work. Our conviction is these abilities are sourced in the same physical reality we perceive ourselves to be a part of. The process by which we have these perceptive and cognitive abilities however shows we instead are experiencing illusion.
These processes then, our perceptive reality, are The First Grand Illusion, and the greatest illusion of all.
The Full Version
We define the human element as exclusively due to our perceptive reality and our conceptive abilities. While other life forms have finite natures, and other aspects of existence finite properties and reactive limitations, we seem to be unlimited. We are all we are, plus everything we learn and discover and imagine, for which there are infinite possibilities.
There is an age old argument that asks what meaning would reality have if no one existed to perceive it. How can space and time and matter and energy have any meaning if there was no human element? Would they even exist at all?
Consider the natural aspects of reality minus the human element; the existence reality has that seems apart from humankind. There are the cosmic events that take place, where galaxies, black holes, stars, planets, comets, asteroids, and meteors interact with each other. Then there are the geological and meteorological events that take place within the planets. For life forms, there are the processes inherent to such life forms that allow for survivability and procreation, whether on a microbial level or of complex cellular structures of plants and animals. In all these scenarios, is a constant parade of processes involving the interaction of matter and energy in space and time.
What purpose would such a reality have though? While it would be perceived by those forms that have perceptive ability, such perceptions would be limited to the events that affect their survivability. They would be a multitude of specialized focus points, each dealing with some finite part of existence.
No plant or animal uses their perceptions to contemplate their existence or the nature of their reality. While they have a perceptive reality, and possibly even some conceptive ability, it is limited to their specific roles in the balance of nature. No other life form has created belief systems, religions, philosophies, arts, or sciences except man.
We define the different life forms by their objective experience, by what they do. Man too is defined by his objective experience, by what we do, but we also have a monopoly on subjective experience, by what we create. This subjective reality is infinitely more abundant then our objective reality.
Reality for all other identities in existence except man then, living or otherwise, would be one of processes; cosmic, geological, meteorological, chemical, and biological events following a given order within the limitations those processes are restricted to according to the laws of nature. The only conceivable point to such a reality would be the hope of evolution of intelligent life. Only then would reality become meaningful, definable, and a foundation for its manipulation into new forms that otherwise could never exist.
It isn’t that reality exists in the hope of evolving an intelligent life form then, but rather because of an intelligent life form, reality exists.
If a reality exists, but there is no means to give it recognition or any chance it can be discovered, defined, or explored then how can it exist in the first place?
It is the human element then that gives reality its meaning. It is the human element that reality exists for. We are the only structure in reality that can give it meaning and definition. We are the only form with a monopoly on the unrestricted ability to perceive, explore, define, conceive, and create experience adding to reality's diversity.
While this is an awesome position to have, and an incredible responsibility as well, is this the reason for our existence? Is our purpose to give reality meaning by what we perceive and how we go about exploring, discovering, defining, and creating new wonders? Certainly we give ourselves purpose with these endeavors, but they cannot be the reason for our being, because upon death we leave them behind. They remain in the physical reality while we disappear from it. Upon death, we relinquish this perceptive reality.
Why then are we here? Why do we even have this unique ability to physically perceive our existence, contemplate, explore and understand it, and subjectively conceive ways to alter it if this is not our primary purpose to exist? A clue to answer these questions is in the process by which we have perceptive experience. It clearly shows our perceptions of this physical reality are not at all what they appear to be. It is this perceptive reality that is the First and Grandest Illusion of all.