Holograms and Process

Someone asked how one can prove that an object exists physically.

You can’t. Ontological Materialism isn’t actually provable empirically, though a “physical” object in the context of a discipline that presumes ontological materialism can be proven to exist…in that context (usually a scientific field).

Illusions are real to other illusions; it is an illusion, yet is truth. Although all things are manifestations of emptiness (codependent origination), they are real with respect to other manifestations. This is the non-dual understanding of Emptiness/Thusness (or sunyata/tathata). This is the realization of the Dharma-Eye.

Idealism and Representationalism is more coherent than Physicalism (the same as materialism; which is fatally incapable of resolving how experiential things can emerge from physical phenomena).

A sense object is like a hologram. It has many codependent factors that sustains the process of its “existence” (it’s duration of apparent substance).

How do you prove an object is physically existent when that object is changing moment to moment until it becomes a different object? What is this “object” that you’re identifying, what makes it distinct from the process of its change? (it’s duration of apparent existence; every moment of which is an “object” of its own, moment to moment).

Worse yet, if I get shot through the head, that object stops existing, since a major factor in its existence (ie, my sense perception and my cognitive faculties) no longer perceives it. It doesn’t mean the object stops existing for the things it is interacting with, but for me it ceases because it no longer interacts with me. That object is also different depending on what it interacts with.

Every angle of a hologram can indeed be different, just like how different math equations can describe the same thing. Great or small, white or black, moving or still— there is much flexibility in any given “object” because it not really an object at all in truth, but a dynamic aspect of the whole. Where does this object end and another object begin? Where from one end of the Universe to the other, does an “object” ever really exists as a discrete entity unto itself, and not just a brief duration of a process that ripples across the interdependent whole?

To complete the metaphor here, in the featured image, imagine that the elephant ages and dies and then rots into nothing. The elephant too had never been anymore real than the rope, the spears, the wall, etc.

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Justin C. Hsu

Designer, Artist, and Consumer of Pop Culture.

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