I’ve been formally delving into epistemology and relevant lateral root domains recently and have been re-encountering several ideas that I’d previously casually explored with intrinsic motivation.1
This isn’t my first accidental implicit intersection of thoughts with core philosophical theories like constructivist epistemology and ontology.2
Given my natural inclinations towards personal interdisciplinary research, apart from my core specializations, I do deliberately maintain an extensive scaffolding around several domains that I plan to build foundations in soon. This allows me to generalize over multiple realizations of similar concepts in different epistemological clusters and identify some interesting patterns.3
I’ve been dealing with the abstract notion of reality for a while now. My explicit dive into the same was about 4 years ago when I was exploring the tibetan yogas of dream and sleep.4 This was triggered by a particular lucid dream5 feeling all too real - incepting ideas about what really exists and what feels like it exists but is just a neuronal game your mind plays on you (or itself - who’s “you” - are we really sure? (who’s “we” - (“who”’s really asking these questions))).
I actively practiced the meditations and techniques relevant to lucidity for around 20 months for during the beginning of my 20’s (am ~23.5 now) and did quite some cool stuff:
- practiced jump rope tricks to build muscle memory
- practiced form for the big 3 lifts when I was just starting out with powerlifting
- had plans for crafting a dream bat cave where I would work on stuff I used to work in my waking life but with all the imaginary bells and whistles
- manipulated matter like Neo could in the matrix
It was basically a consequence-free6 sand box that allowed you to do a bunch of societally questionable stuff and realize all your thought experiments.
It wasn’t all work and this practice also doubled as an extremely vivid first person gaming console. Crudely speaking (very crude), dreams are the result of your brain consolidating memories and abstract thoughts, filling in gaps to make sense of the current abstract notion being processed : I used this to schedule movie nights when I was sleeping by consuming some intense first person video game footage7 and play out similar scenarios in the dream.
All this un-proctored fooling around does take its unique mental toll and you might start questioning the existence of your waking life to some extent. So I’d recommend you approach this field with a little caution as to never forget about what “really”8 matters.
My intention with this post is to highlight the ubiquity of some philosophically loaded domains like epistemology and ontology - that I could personally encounter significant aspects of these without a formal introduction to the same. It was only after I’d done a bit of thinking for myself that I began researching philosophical outlooks on what I was practically experiencing.
It does feel nice to rediscover a prominent thought and later realise that it has been formalized and well-documented - makes me feel like one is asking the right questions when beginning with a new domain. ↩︎
Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge is a great theologically agnostic introduction that I myself began with. ↩︎
I’m not sure of this claim - spiritually speaking - I’ve “read” that if you chop off trolls with customized blades of chaos and rampage around a bunch, that is bad karma some how… ↩︎
https://dyinglightgame.com/ : amazing stuff, highly recommend for the purposes discussed above. Another (not first person though so you’ll need some imagination) good alternative is https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/days-gone ↩︎
there was a point where I used to wonder quite a lot about what does “real” really mean? Such questions are indicative of introspection but in my personal opinion, not worth dedicating too much effort into if you can’t figure them out right away - see Zen Koans. ↩︎