I consider myself to be a Philosopher of Consciousness; to my philosophical thinking, what is most basic is, "what is real." Our Reality, currently, is determined by what we in the Western World have been Indoctrinated and Programmed to Believe it is.

In the past, in the philosophical world, "what is real" was deduced by determining "first principles." Descartes, considered the father of modern philosophy, used a system of doubting everything he could possibly doubt, until what remained he considered as "purely indubitable truths." "His most famous proposition is I think, therefore I am, or Cogito ergo sum." (Wikipedia)

When I first developed my Systems Theory in trying to understand human behavior, I rephrased this to, "I am, therefore I think." In doing so I, thereby, disputed Philosophy's most basic truth.

The main problem with the proposition, "I think, therefore I am," is the assumption/Belief that thinking is primary to existence. (A basic, current, Scientific Belief is that humans are only physical, and that thinking is a function of the brain. That humans, and all other aspects of reality, are only physical being one of the basic underlying Beliefs of Science.)

Current evidence indicates, however, that experiencing/awareness is a function of the whole human system, physical and non-physical.

Unfortunately, an individual human's ability to determine, "what is real" is corrupted from its inception. The reason for this is that thinking, in the vast majority of people, is done with the individual's beliefs, and one's beliefs are conditioned/indoctrinated and programmed into us from the beginning of life, subliminally and overtly. What we bring into life, and our trust in our ability to learn from personal experience, is overridden.

What experiential learning ability we retain, by the time we reach school age, is further deadened in most individuals by the educational system. As a result, the more education/Indoctrination we acquire, the greater likelihood that any experiences we have, which are experienced through innate awareness', are consigned to be the products of our, "imagination," and "coincidence."

This is because a major part of what we take in as, "Education" (Conditioning/Programming) teaches that we are only physical beings. To repeat, a major, Basic Belief underlying all modern education is that we are nothing but physical beings, evolved from an animal; animals also are nothing but physical beings. Another Philosopher of Consciousness reported in a talk he gave recently that, when he tells other Philosophers that his specialty is consciousness, the immediate response is scorn, and he is informed that there is no such thing as, "consciousness."

Whereas, the Western/European religions teach that we have a soul, (a non-physical self) the Programming/Indoctrination built into each of these systems is as great, if not greater, than that which comes with the Religion of Science. To make sure that we never question their teachings, we are taught that we will suffer/be punished in the afterlife, if we do not conform to whatever teachings they maintain are the only real Truth about what is required, or is forbidden to us, as humans; "Thou shalt not," being a major aspect of religions.

So, "What is real?" Much of what is, "real" has been labeled, " the Occult," which are primarily secret and/or hidden Knowledge and abilities. The primary modern human problem, as indicated previously, is that, because of early indoctrination and education, Western individuals have been caused to suppress, by assigning to, "imagination," "coincidence" or mis-perceptions many aspects of reality which they do experience. For those who have not shoved their awareness' into their Unconscious, many true perceptions of reality can be and are gained through our non-physical Awareness System. Most of those individuals, however, rarely talk about them to their friends; interestingly, they are more likely to speak of them to strangers.

While "Reality" is what exists outside of thinking; due to the universal Programming and Indoctrination each individual receives from pre-birth onward, once most of us begin to "think," we begin projecting those Beliefs--Indoctrination and Programming--onto reality. Just as, when a tree falls in a forest, it makes a sound, regardless of a human's presence, reality currently exists primarily outside the awareness of humans.

By making an effort to learn what you Believe, and how you came to believe it, and allowing alternative information in, as well as paying attention to awareness' and experiences, without judging or projecting your Beliefs onto them, you will, hopefully, begin to become more aware of true reality.

Author's Bio: 

My self-educational background has been in learning, and writing about, why people do what they do. My educational background includes the study of established Belief Systems in the field of Psychology, ranging from Freudian theory through Abraham Maslow's work on fully-functioning individuals, as well as Art. My BA is in Human Services, and my Masters is in Art Therapy--MA-AT.

In the 1970's I wrote a manuscript, (unpublished) called: You in the Process of Becoming; A Guide to the Self. In it I outlined a systems approach to understanding human behavioral dis-functioning. My current writing and thinking is an outgrowth of the understanding that, if an individual wishes to be able to think, "critically," i.e., originally, clearly and without contamination from Consensus Belief Systems, it is essential for that individual to thoroughly understand their own underlying Belief System.

This approach can be used in understanding an individual's problems in dealing with everyday situations and problems in relationships. In discovering how one's underlying beliefs shape personal behavior, and examining where those beliefs came from, can do much to change the resultant behavior.

You can access my blog at http://www.ruminationsonresponsibilities.blogspot.com/