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Veiled Reality: Affirmations of the Apophatic from Physics

6 May

Chapter 9 Veiled Reality: Affirmations of the Apophatic from Physics – The God
is No-Thing An Apophatic Assertion: An Introduction for Humankind’s
Transpersonal Actualization– revised -. Copyright Rodger Ricketts Psy.D.,2023.
All rights reserved.

We have seen that science supports the apophatic assertion that a
transcendent reality is beyond the normal range of human perception
and conceptualization. Yet, at the same time, the Transcendent is a
reality in the human life process. We have also seen that awakening or
transcending the ignorance of duality is a common experience of the
mystic. I will now highlight how the theoretical physicist Bernard
d’Espagnat argues that we cannot directly know the transcendental
reality or mind-independent reality:
When, in its spirit, quantum theory and Bell’s theorem are used as
touchstones, the two main traditional philosophical approaches,
realism, and idealism, are found wanting. A more suitable
conception seems to be an intermediate one, in which the mere
postulated existence of a holistic and hardly knowable Mind Independent Reality is found to have explaining power. […] This model considers Reality as not lying in space and time, indeed
being a priori to both, and it involves the view that the great
mathematical laws of physics may only let us catch some glimpses
on the structures of the Mind-Independent Reality.
(On Physics and Philosophy (2006) vol. 41)
D’Espagnat calls this model “veiled reality” to suggest that the
mind-independent reality, like the transcendental of transcendental
idealism, is, for the most part, unconceptualizable. “Veiled reality”
refers to a “world” independent of human perception, brain structure,
and the language of our minds’ participation in knowledge. D’Espagnat,
as well as others, also assert that we are directly involved in this
actuality; we exist in it. We are an integral part of the actual. We are
“swimming” in it. Reality is not a specific area of the universe that
exists separate from our senses. Our limitation is that we have the
capacity to delineate only an exceedingly small aspect of it.
As the Buddha taught, d’Espagnat explains that sense impressions
and sensations are genuine, as are our sense organs. In sight and color,
both the photons or waves, as well as the retinal cones are actual and
their interactions create our vision. The same is true of our other
sensations. This is the middle way of understanding our place in reality.
We do not have to seek our participation in it; we are a part of it.
However, in our dualistically based ignorance, we normally take our
cognitive representations, or pictures of reality, to be reality itself.
However, under certain meditative conditions, we can understand how
our subject/object dualistic world creates this illusion—the illusion that
is our ignorance
.

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