Idealism and the Post-modern Contemplation of Thought and Substance

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Author’s Note: Post-modern physics now focuses on the precedence of thought over substance, and for this reason, this article focuses on idealism which is the oldest and the formal label of this philosophical preference.

In an earlier article about “post-modern physics and the visions of Hermes“, I talked about thought and substance as they emerge from the vision of Hermes which describes his interaction with Poimandres, the great dragon.

It was in that article and as I looked at the vision of Hermes that I became more conscious of the divide between thought and substance which before now had only been a philosophical divide without any real scientific implication or outlook.

And all these changes are due to the advent of post-modern physics which is now introducing us to the real scientific nature of the mind.

And long after Hermes introduced us to the precedence of thought over substance which he never conceptualizes as a kind of philosophy, another man, Plato, re-introduced Hermes’s conceptions again and as the philosophy of idealism even though some scholars argue that Plato’s view was rather a realist one and not an idealist one.

However, I must say that his idealism or whatever element of idealism he referred to was what set the stage for the intellectual discourses about the philosophy that was to follow after him.

What is the central tenet of idealism? According to idealism, thoughts or ideas are the real elements of reality and not material entities. This is the basic understanding that underlies all the different aspect of idealism that followed after Plato from the works of Wilhelm Leibniz, Friedrich Hegel, George Berkeley, Immanuel Kant, Josiah Royce etc.

According to idealism, thoughts or ideas are the real elements of reality and not material entities.Click To Tweet

While I appreciate the philosophical works of these great men, I have decided to present in this article how the central understanding of idealism presented above is relevant for science, and in this regard, I will not focus only on their philosophical conceptions of idealism.

So, as I proceed, you will find elements of their ideas explicitly presented in this article, and I am so glad that it turns out this way since idealism will be the focus of this article though with scientific underpinnings. Now, being clear about this, let’s now proceed.

So far, science has been about substance and how the laws of the universe are derivable from it. The world of thought however supposed or described has not been captured by science.

This is the natural result of materialism which is the contrary of idealism and which took hold of science from the 20th century. Science became all about substance which is a limited aspect of reality.

In Plato’s idealism, ideas or what he called forms are real and they are the real world. In Plato’s idealism, the world of thought was the conception that transcended (the meaning of) thought as processes that occur in our mind or subjective consciousness.

Plato’s kind of idealism which is sometimes referred to as a kind of realism is the kind of idealism post-modern physics is concerned about. This is why I am fascinated by Plato’s idealism because of its appended realism.

Plato's kind of idealism which is sometimes referred to as a kind of realism is the kind of idealism post-modern physics is concerned about.Click To Tweet

Plato’s idealism informs us that the ideal world is real or that thought is real and not some vacuous concept and this follows from Hermes visions and conceptions of the universe. 

Now, the major challenge that has confronted idealism is to identify the separate processes or phenomena that pertain to thought and how they are relevant for science. Or better still, describe scientifically the processes of thought without any physical or material attachments.

This is where post-modern physics comes in. Before now, whatever processes or phenomena are attached to thought they are usually philosophical, personal, and at least vacuous.

But now scientific processes and phenomena are being attached to thought such as inertia, motion, space, time etc., which gives us a more concrete understanding of this world of ideas we can rather call the mind.

With this attached scientific appurtenances, post-modern physics speaks of thought as an externalization and not just an internalisation and this harmonizes with Plato’s idealism though differently.

And this is what was attempted by some other idealist philosophers. This is an important consideration because ever since idealism and all the philosophical propositions around it, the mind is still being perceived as an abstract or vague concept. This is because we did not have yet the scientific explanation of thought and the mind.

We have to make it all clear. If we attempt to reduce the apparently physical operations of the universe to be mental operations, then we must end with at least some sort of enlightenment. This is my objection against every idealist philosophy ever presented in history even though I find some of their ideas noteworthy.

This is why I have written this article, to enlighten you or inform you about how post-modern physics has now given concrete meanings and definitions to the operations of the mind.

Concerning some of the ideas, I find noteworthy is the conception by Johann Fichte and which was actually a refutation of Kant’s view which is that “consciousness makes its own foundation” and does not have any need for grounding in the physical world of matter.

This is a very important realization, for most of the idealist philosophers could not find that non-material foundation for consciousness. They all indicated it, like Fichte, but they all missed it, and most of them ended up associating consciousness with the material world.

But in post-modern physics, we find this fitting non-material foundation for consciousness, and this is why we now talk about the origin of the laws of physics and how that creation is about the formation of matter and not about the origin or the creation of the universe among other things.

Immanuel Kant had divided the world into what he called noumena and phenomena, and in Kant’s idealism, noumena are “things-in-themselves” while phenomena are “things-as-they-appear-to-us”. Noumena where the external objects that produced the phenomena that we perceive.

The concept of noumena was what Fichte argued against as already said above. Fichte stood for an independent operation of the mind. Moreover, Kant had borrowed his conception of idealism as being based on perception from Bishop George Berkeley who is often referred to as the father of pure idealism.

Bishop George Berkeley

Bishop George Berkeley

To Bishop Berkeley, the outside world only exist or seems to exists because it is perceived by us and God. Without these two perceptions, the outside world cannot be said to exist. He made the famous statement that “to be is to be perceived or to perceive”.

He made reference to a table which he said only exist if it is being perceived by us and if it is not being perceived by us then it can only continue to exist if it is perceived by God. This radical view of idealism holds that objects exist only as perceptions and not as independently existing matter.

He went further to elevate the perception of God to be a kind of causal perception which enables us to perceive matter. This view of idealism is what is referred to as subjective idealism.

Also, the inclusion of God into idealism takes on a more explicit form in objective idealism which was formulated by the German idealist Friedrich Schellings. Objective idealism holds that there is a Higher Mind out there communicating with our own human mind and that this Mind is in harmony with all existence.

Both subjective and objective idealisms reject the idea of physical matter and embrace a spiritual essence for all creation.

However, objective idealism goes further to emphasize the importance of harmony between “the nature of the world” and the awareness of it, which it suggests that the Higher Mind is what has the true awareness of the universe.

The above position of objective idealism is shared by post-modern physics and I sometimes see the new philosophy of absolute relationism as a more extensive scientific label of objective idealism which Hegel referred to as absolute idealism.

Absolute idealism argues that the universe or reality is a giant system of the mind and that God is not “separate from the world” but that he is the whole part of the processes of nature. Every essence in the universe such as space, time, energy etc. all exist in the absolute, and this is regardless of whether he substituted the absolute for God or not.

Post-modern physics now presents two levels of absolute idealism. The first level and which to me is more important is what I call personal absolute idealism and the second level is non-personal absolute idealism.

The personal absolute idealism still maintains the existence of the Higher Mind and the human mind in Schelling’s objective idealism. So, personal absolute idealism is purely philosophical and greatly important.

And on the other hand, we have the non-personal absolute idealism which informs us that all essences in the universe have an absolute description and not a relative description.

This is why we now talk about the absolute nature of space, time, light, gravity, energy, etc., and it is in this absolute descriptions that we find the new dynamicity and changing processes of “the absolute“.

This is one of the implications of absolute relationism and it is clear that the non-personal absolute idealism is what satisfies the empirical requirement of science and it represents the only case where we consider the world of thought purely as Plato conceived it without any reference or attachment to mind. So, in post-modern physics, we find the scientific communication of the nature of thought and the precedence of thought over substance.

This precedence has shown what is shown in my article on the origin of the laws of physics where I informed you about how the orthogonality based motion of the mind governs the linearity based motion of bodies.

We have to begin to realize the different concepts and attributes of motion that are distinctly the exhibition of thought. Post-modern physics makes thought a clear reality both in physics and in philosophy.

Also, in post-modern physics, we don’t deny the external world of material bodies, rather it is placed in subjection to the immaterial and pre-existing universe. This is unlike some propositions of idealism that deny the existence of the external world.

In post-modern physics, we realize that the external world of matter is not permanent and enduring like the world of thought. And it is at this point that we deviate from how philosophy distinguishes thought from substance to how science places a distinction on both.

Before now, science has been focused on the understanding of the laws of the universe based on the practical study of the operations and behaviour substance. Thought had no place in science. It was only in philosophy (idealism) that we found the discourse about the distinction between thought and substance.

However, now, due to the advent of post-modern physics, science is now also about thought and substance but in a more substantial way than pure idealism was. This is because science is about truth and not just mere philosophical musings that have no representations in reality.

The reality of thought has come to us in a more profound way than the idealist philosophers could have conceived even though we find elements of their thoughts in the new reality, just like I have referenced their propositions above.

Thought is now a domain we can explore like we explore substance and it is in this exploration that we shall accomplish the greater practical feats of science. Thought precedes substance, so the laws of the universe can only be discovered by a walk behind substance and its apparent manifestations.

Thought precedes substance, so the laws of the universe can only be discovered by a walk behind substance and its apparent manifestations.Click To Tweet

This argument above is central and it is the only way we could have discovered the theory of the universe. The idealist philosophers spoke of the interaction between the Higher Mind and the human mind (personal absolute idealism), and this interaction is what led us to the theory of the universe, and I agree with the idealist philosophers that without the existence of this Higher Mind we cannot have the assurance of knowledge.

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Personal absolute idealism is what has produced the non-personal absolute idealism that satisfies the scientific expectation of the theory of the universe. The living and active philosophy of thought which began from the vision of Hermes Trismegistus has in this era become a scientific and empirically verifiable experience.

The living and active philosophy of thought which began from the vision of Hermes Trismegistus has in this era become a scientific and empirically verifiable experience.Click To Tweet

The philosophy of idealism represents man’s earlier attempts at going beyond the manifestations of matter to the nature of reality. And no matter the criticism against this philosophy, it still represents one of the most insightful and informed attempts at unravelling the mystery of the universe.

Post-modern physics has only given scientific capacity to idealism, thus transforming it and giving it a more acceptable form. This is why I have decided to write this article so that you can connect the dots that form the path of the progress of knowledge.

Also, the scientific inputs into idealism transform it into a more acceptable form of Plato’s idealism. This is because the explicitly identified character of thought gives it an independence over substance. While the characters of substance are dependent on thought, those of thought are independent of substance.

Thought is the basic independent foundation of the material world. Without thought the material world becomes non-existent. This is why in post-modern cosmology, we don’t talk about the origin of the universe but about the origin of the material world. The origin of the universe as it was first occupied by thought cannot be found and such conception does not exist in the domain of thought.

So, in post-modern physics, we explore the world of thought on two levels: The first is on the level of personal absolute idealism which is about the interaction between the Higher Mind and the human mind and the second is on the level of non-personal absolute idealism which is about the absolute nature of the essences of the universe that are directly the concern of science like space, time, light, gravity, energy etc.

The latter has been the focus of my articles on this blog since its beginning though there are other articles about the former, but as this blog progresses we shall see more about personal absolute idealism — the interaction between the Higher Mind and the human mind.

Personal absolute idealism is an aspect of post-modern knowledge that informs us about the character of our times and the ultimate purpose of man, so it is of utmost importance. Also, like some idealists, I believe in the immense importance of the personification of the two absolutes which are God and man.

The impressions of the Higher Mind on the human mind are real and they are what directs the character of the ages. This is in agreement with the beliefs of the ancients and it was what began, defined and determined the various native religions in the world.

However, this interaction between the Higher Mind and the human mind is what now defines and determines the new science. It is what validates the new age of science man has entered after the age of religion.

This engagement of personal absolute idealism in the unravelling of events and processes is what produces the new and true spirituality of science which is different from the spirituality of religion.

The exploration and the reality of thought are encompassing and transformative. And today, in this post-modern era, substance has lost its hold over the means of attaining knowledge and thought is now the new means by which we attain the true understanding of reality.

Considering the above, one sees how thought is an independent reality that is not just a perception or some processes occurring in the human mind. No, thought is a reality and an independent existing scheme of attaining knowledge that is independent of the operations of the material world which is by its nature deceptive and misleading.

The perceptions of the material world as they are impressed on the human mind are deceptive. They do not lead to the true understanding of the laws of the universe that are important for the scientist. Only an ascension into the non-deceptive operations of thought can unravel these laws.

You may think that I am criticizing Berkeley’s stance on perception. Yes, you are not far from the truth, but I criticize the importance of physical perception which Berkeley made no specific mention of. Listen: There are two ways of perceiving the universe, one is by physical perception and the other one is by metaphysical perception.

Physical perception is what is obviously the concern of Berkeley’s subjective idealism and it is dependent or discussed in relation to the objects and the operations of the material world. But metaphysical perception is derived from the operations of the world of thought and these operations are non-evident in the operations of the material world.

In metaphysical perception, the apparent operations of the material world are bypassed to their true operations as determined by thought. And this is why I love Plato’s idealism because of the reality or independent existence it attaches to thought.

Berkeley’s theory of perception only made the distinction between the perception of God and the perception of man, and though in this sense one may conclude that man’s perception is physical whereas God’s perception is metaphysical, but this was not implied by Berkeley.

The distinction between physical perception and metaphysical perception is a different categorization that gladly shows us that both perceptions are not peculiar to either God or man. They are general perceptions and man can choose either of them, and it is by metaphysical perception that we understand reality and it is the natural perception of God.

Metaphysical perception which is the natural perception of God is why the harmony of the universe is the natural consciousness of God according to objective idealism. And now we are following the same path and with time it will become our natural perception too.

So, in post-modern physics, we are concerned about perception and not according to Berkeley’s which only makes the divide between human perception and divine perception but according to the new divide between physical perception and metaphysical perception, both of which can be arbitrarily chosen by God and man.

The conscious attainment of metaphysical perception which is the perception of God goes against objective idealism which informs us that every perception naturally comes from a single Mind which then communicates its perception to human minds.

It is only now that the higher perception of God necessary for man to see the unity of all things is being revealed. It is only now that the mind of man finds unity with the Mind of God. It was not so before, contrary to objective idealism.

And it is in this unity that we can attain the understanding of the true nature of reality contrary to the proposition of transcendental idealism which argues that man cannot know about the true nature of things.

Also, Rene Descartes’s epistemological idealism exemplified by his famous dictum “cogito ergo sum”, which means “I think, therefore I am” and which defines existence as it is the result of internal thinking processes lends an extended understanding of the above discussion of perception.

Metaphysical perception even though general is as it follows from the internal thoughts of God who made all things, for the material world proceeded from Mind. So, the existence of the material world followed as it was first conceived by the Mind of the universe and in this lies the first reality of all things.

Thought as the internal personal phenomenon of God is what has spun the other levels and conceptions of it, and in this divine and personal attribution lies the preconceived reality of thought which interacts with man and also determines the laws of the universe.

Until next time,

I will be here.

– M. V. Echa



M. V. Echa

M. V. Echa

My message is the universe, my truth is the universe, and this blog contains all you need to know about the universe, from the true nature of reality to the long-sought unity of the cosmos — which is the big picture!