The Things Level of Reality

The 4th in a 9-post series on Perceived Levels of Reality

A third level of reality I want to describe focuses on what is here now. You experience things. They are everywhere. You depend on them for your existence. In reality, you are also a thing, a noun. You have a body. It is made up of material things, such as carbon, water, and air. You eat food, breathe air, drink water, sleep on beds, walk on the ground, and ride in vehicles. These things are the nouns of language, the subject or object that you relate to, such as people, places, things, states, or qualities. You are a noun, and you need nouns.

You can look at your own self and see what you have. You have capacities; capacities to do something now. You know things. You can use this noun you have. You know what two plus two is. You know how to ride a bicycle and cook a meal. You can apply these capacities now. You can also see the capacities others have that they can apply right now. Whether it is an individual or a group, you know what they can do today, here. This is the world of nouns.

While the apparent tangibility of the here and now of the things-noun level seems to make it more real than the possibility-light and development-verb levels of reality, science is very unclear what here-now actually means. Until the quantum revolution at the beginning of the 1900s, things seemed to be real. Yet, since then physics has shown that, at the very small level of the quanta, there is nothing there. The social sciences have also dealt with this question, divided on whether reality actually exists or is simply created by human intention. For example, by the time you “realize” something is happening “right now,” you are already looking at the past – once you see something, it already happened. Even the term people commonly use “to realize” means to make real, to convert into reality. So, what is real? Even the seemingly tangible is not. The relevance for our exploration is to see that the things-noun level of reality is useful, just like the possibility-light and development-verb levels, and is just as privileged.

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28 thoughts on “The Things Level of Reality

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