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What exists



 

What exists? The simplest assumption is nothing. We know that is false. The next simplest assumption is everything. That may be true and in any event can never be shown to be false. In a universe in which there are no completed infinite totalities `everything' has a well defined mathematical meaning. It is all finite sets. A set is a collection of objects. The first set is the empty set  that contains nothing. The next set contains the empty set. It has cardinality 1 since it has one member. The next set contains the empty set and `1'. It has cardinality 2. All mathematical structures can be defined in this way. It is appropriate that they are built from the nothingness of the empty set. Mathematics deals with structure or form but never with substance. Mathematics can tell us a great deal but it can never tells why the experience of the color blue is as it is. Things exist not as structure but as substance. It is the particular substance  of our consciouses that is our existence. That particularness is beyond all explanation and understanding. It simply is. No one can say why the experience of the color blue is at is. This is not a question for which a `why' answer exists.

Matter is structured and this structure is the structure of consciousness  . That all mathematical structures resolve themselves to the empty set is a recognition of the limits of analysis  . Consciousness is a unified whole  made up of particulars but in no sense is it divisible. Analysis is useful because similar structures correspond to similar experiences. Analysis cannot grasp the ultimate nature  of anything. It can only help us see similarities and differences between experiences and thereby help us to shape new experiences. When asking ultimate questions like what exists or why is the experience of red like it is we are outside the domain of analysis  . Analysis can resolve all structure to the empty set but that is an ultimate explanation of nothing.

When we say that the existence of an object is equivalent to that object being directly conscious of its structure we suggest a dividing line between the object and the universe. We strongly feel that dividing line in our consciousness although we know it is somewhat arbitrary. No absolute dividing line exists. The universe is an indivisible whole 

and our consciousness merges seamlessly with the universal consciousness. For this whole to have meaning and substance it must be particular and have structure but there are no metaphysical boundaries  to this structure. Our consciousness feels individual 

because of the organization of our bodies and nervous system. That sense of individuality is both an illusion and a practical necessity. It is important for the ego to grow beyond this individuality and to build physical awareness of the seamless whole from which our individuality emerged and will soon return. The expression of this unity is an important theme in many religions. In catholicism  it is expressed as the mystical body of Christ 

which encompasses all humanity and divinity  .

What exists is the wholeness and unity of all experience structured in its necessary particularness.

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