Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound? That is as preposterous as it gets. In other words, Immanuel Kant and all the lunatics that came after him and followed his one horrific error concluded what your boss tried to get you to conclude, which is: If you’re not there to witness it, it didn’t happen. It’s not real unless a brain is there to perceive it. Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: How about Jason in DC? Jason, how you doing?
Caller Jason: Hey, guys. One of the interesting things is that, from a philosophical standpoint, it’s interesting how so much has to do with the idea that power resides in the ability to force people to do things rather than convince them. Again, I’m always after this thing, you want to know how you fix being fat? You change something. You don’t create a law to outlaw sugar. You think global warming is a problem? Guess what? You alter your behavior but you don’t create laws. It’s this whole idea –
Mike: Compulsion is what you’re talking about.
Caller Jason: – that somehow people have nothing within their power. The most powerful vote and mechanism we have to change the world is us as individuals changing our own behavior. I’ll just give you one quick example. In 1970, the United States had to kill 20 million animals a year. Just by changing the public conscious, with Bob Barker on TV “spay and neuter your pets” – do you know we were able to drive the number down to 3 million even though the dog population has doubled? That’s over a 92 percent reduction just through people changing their ideas not through a government dictate. You tell me a government program that’s been able to eliminate or reduce something by over 90 percent.
David Simpson: Jason, that’s a great point. I’d even go one step further. If we had anyone who would take actions, even independent, one-person actions, like Bob Barker making his announcement at the end of every show, I think you would see a sea change in lots of areas. The fact of the matter is most people are waiting for that program to start that’s going to fix anything. It’s just a ridiculous wait. Get off your duff and do something. Philosophically the answer is, if you believe in something, you should act upon it. If you don’t believe in something, you shouldn’t. We can’t wait and find out what the truth is later on. We’ve got to take action now. I think that’s a great point.
Mike: It is a great point, Jason. Way to start Wisdom Wednesday off. Tim in New Orleans is next up on Wisdom Wednesday. How are you?
Caller Tim: Hello, Mike. I work in the service / sales industry and often the results are very subjective. When we come across the statement “Is perception reality?”
Mike: David’s nodding his head.
Simpson: There was a fellow financial advisor who called me and said he’d heard that line. Before he’d heard it and thought it was pretty smart and wise and a good little comment. He said: Thinking about this again, that sounds kind of stupid. I said: Of course it’s stupid. Perception is not reality. Reality is reality. Perception is, of course, what we can either construe properly or we can construe improperly. If I see a tree and say it’s black or purple or whatever and you see it’s brown and green, as most trees are, there’s something wrong either with my perception, in other words something wrong with my eyeballs, or I’m looking at a very unusual tree. Just because I perceive a purple and black tree would not make it so. That line is just false and it’s always been false, but it sure is used a lot.
Mike: I’ll give you an even better example, or a similar example. I talked about this one on the show a couple weeks ago. The adage that the philosophical class loves to throw up – they’re usually all libs, either libs or they’re very confused others. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound? That is as preposterous as it gets. In other words, Immanuel Kant and all the lunatics that came after him and followed his one horrific error concluded what your boss tried to get you to conclude, which is: If you’re not there to witness it, it didn’t happen. It’s not real unless a brain is there to perceive it. There is perception, sensory perception, and then there is knowledgeable –
Simpson: By the way, Berkeley in California is named for a philosopher.
Mike: Did you know that, Tim, that Berkeley is named after a nut-bag philosopher?
Caller Tim: I did not.
Mike: He was a Jesuit, wasn’t he? No, he was Irish.
Simpson: I don’t know, but that was his famous gift to erroneous philosophy, which is perception is reality. This all falls into a field called epistemology. The question is: How do we know what we know? That’s a very deep question. In other words, you could sit there and go: Where do we get our fundamental ideas from to start thinking to begin with? It all falls into a class of thought called epistemology. What Berkeley came up with is that we don’t know we know; we know what we sense and everyone senses something different. So when someone says: How do we all see red? Why do we all call it red? We’re all having the same dream. That was the answer to it. It starts getting so ridiculous. Let me explain away my perverse thinking with some other perverse notion.
Mike: And then there’s the ridiculousness – Brother Francis brings this up in philosophia perennis. The rose is red. It’s not a wavelength or spectrum or a bunch of little particles of whatever. It’s red. You’re looking at it. You see red. It’s in its nature. There are two kinds of perception. There’s what you see, sensory perception, and then there’s knowledgeable or intellectual perception. Think about this, Tim. Have you ever been to a star?
Caller Tim: No.
Mike: Neither have I. Are you certain that they exist?
Caller Tim: Yes.
Mike: We know this because we look up on a cloudless night, stare up into the atmosphere, and you see these twinkling bodies. None of us have ever been to one. No human has been to the sun, which is a close star. We don’t question the fact that it’s there. How do we know it’s there? How do we know that’s not just all our brains in sync believing it’s there.
Simpson: Maybe it’s pinholes on top of the box.
Mike: Right. Maybe we never went to the moon, either. That was all done in a movie studio. Even though you’ve never been to a star, you don’t doubt the existence of it. Neither does the scientific class. We know the star because of what? We can see, eyes, perception. This is sensory perception. Francis’s point, and St. Thomas’s point and others that have studied this, is that it is impossible to hold a thought in your mind of all of these things that are real and that we have as reality that just so happen to happen and occur for the enjoyment and the nourishment of man. Everything in universe is for man. Even scientist that says he’s atheist who looks out into space and says: No, this is big bang. The star exploded and all this is going on. He is fascinated by what was created for man to see. Even though he rejects creator, he does not reject the creation.
Simpson: Something about this is these thoughts – the reason this is important – I think some people think: This is some esoteric little mind game –
Mike: Most people are thinking right now – if you think it’s just esoteric ridiculousness and I should get back to bashing Obama, you would have a better bash of Obama because you would understand the error of his thinking.
Simpson: Right. Why is this destructive? If perception is reality, then everybody has their own perception. We are not atomized into individuals and subjective consciousness.
Mike: And nothing is universal.
Simpson: There is no universal.
Mike: We can’t agree on anything.
Simpson: Therefore I can do whatever I want to you. I can bash your head in or I can buy the product you’re selling. But it doesn’t matter what I do because my perception is whatever I want it to be and my reality is therefore conformed to it. In other words, we become mini gods and make our own universes and make our own rules. If you don’t think some of these horrendous crimes we’re having in our country now – I’m talking about the sickest things where we have these people doing these serial murders and they get more despicable every year and more of them – it’s coming from people who are completely lost because they bought into some false philosophy, and “perception is reality” is one of them. Some people don’t believe there’s a connection here, but I’ll tell you there is and you’ll just have to trust me on it.
End Mike Church Show Transcript
one of the best things ive heard on your show yet mike, and im just making this comment because i revisited the information with a colleague of mine. thanks to you and david for introducing philosophia perennis to those of us who have failed to have been taught such insightful knowledge.