Reality is the tapestry of perception

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Reality is the tapestry of perception

Dr. Helen Yetter-Chappell

Quote:The materialist worldview robs reality of its colour, temperature, smell, leaving us with a picture that is radically at odds with our common sense understanding of the world. Helen Yetter-Chappell proposes an alternative: reality is made of experiences, woven together into an experiential tapestry that persists even when we aren’t looking. This essay is the latest instalment of our series ‘The Return of Idealism,’ in partnership with the Institute of Art and Ideas (IAI). It was first published by the IAI on 20 May 2024.

Quote:God is traditionally taken to be an omni-benevolent, omnipotent, omniscient agent. But none of these features are essential for God’s role in sustaining your chocolate cake. God could harbor occasional wicked thoughts or be unable to perform miracles and still sustain your chocolate cake. And God needn’t have beliefs (and hence knowledge) to sustain the cake. What is essential—at least on the view embodied by the limerick—is simply God’s sensory experiences: The experiences of brownness, chocolatiness, sweetness, and sponginess, as well as the structural relations between these experiences. I proposed peeling away the inessential attributes for a more minimal non-theistic form of idealism.

God’s mind is like a “black box” to us. For the traditional theistic idealist, a huge amount of work is concealed from us inside of this black box. Non-theistic idealism invites us to peek inside the black box and uncover the mysteries of how it all fits together.

I suggest that reality is a sort of “experiential tapestry” woven out of experiential threads. The central work is to explain (i) what makes up the threads, (ii) how the threads are structured or “woven” into a world, and (iii) how we relate to the experiential tapestry… and, finally, (iv) to show that we don’t need to abandon our scientific worldview to do so.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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  • sbu
The word 'tapestry' caught my attention. I think I've come across it either in NDE or other spiritual experiences, where each of our human lives is a thread making up a tapestry (in the context of multiple past lives for example).

Perhaps tapestry it is the metaphor du jour.
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  • Sciborg_S_Patel

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