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20. Spirit, qualia and form

We experience the world as something highly material and objective and not an abstract illusion. I've already talked about qualia – the sensory, emotional and cognitive experience of everything we imagine.

Qualia accompany all abstractions in our minds, I have said. All physical experiences originate in mental conceptions. Spirit and matter meet in qualia. To understand qualia is to realise that this apparent contradiction does not exist. That is a mainstay of the theory.

In this chapter, we approach an explanation of how the world can appear as it does and, at the same time, have its origins in an idealistic, abstract reality – which comes first.
Everything that exists – the «one» that everything can be traced back to and is – I have chosen to call the Experiencer.

The existence of this one is, in my opinion, a necessary, indisputable fact.

That is our axiom.

The Experiencer is something immaterial, a spirit.

But what does that mean?

In Norwegian, the word ånd (spirit) comes from the Norse ǫnd, whose original meaning was breath.

In ancient Greece – in Homer's writing, for example – this breath of life was originally used about what a living person has as opposed to a dead person. The breath of life is thus also what we call soul1.

In English, the word spirit2 is defined as «an animating or vital principle held to give life to physical organisms», and also «a supernatural being or essence» in the sense soul.

Soul3 is again defined as «the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life» and also «the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe».

The existence of spirit, and that the spirit is the «breath» that gives dead matter life, is thus a mainstay in Western culture and philosophy, not to mention in Eastern thinking and all natural religions.

In Japanese Shintoism, for instance, everything is animated; the Spirit is in everything, both that which is apparently dead and, of course, in everything alive.

We find the same thing with the Maori, the Aborigines, the indigenous people of America, the Sami in the Nordic countries, and so on.

The spirit is the essence of everything.

The main view among the Greeks, however, was dualistic.

They believed in body and soul as separate categories: Spirit and matter.

Dualism has created considerable confusion in understanding the world but is still the dominant view among researchers and most people.

Dualism is, in my opinion, a philosophical concept that doesn't make sense.

We have no functional theory about how the two essentially different things, spirit and matter, interact or how one can lead to the other.

Science has little to say about everything mental and abstract.

Spirit and matter are seemingly incompatible.

This division is the root of the «sickness of the West», our alienation from the principle of life in nature and ourselves.

When we now have to find the way back to an integrated understanding, the spirit, the Experiencer, is the only thing that exists.

We humans have always known this, even though today we mainly neglect the knowledge. It is documented in countless writings and traditions that have existed for thousands of years.

No matter how hard-nosed a materialist you may be, you probably have a nagging doubt deep down.

Could it be that the notion of the material must give way – to the spirit?

Could it be that the soul survives material decay and death?

The answer is yes – I say.

We will soon get there, but first, we must learn about this material «body» and the experience of a personal self that most believe is me.

You are not your body.

You also don't say that you are a body; you have a body.

Like everything else, you, too, are spirit. You have first-hand knowledge of what it is like to be this spirit.

Nothing in or about you separates you from the universal Experiencer.

What we call soul is the spirit in you. It is eternal, indivisible, everywhere, one.

It just is.

Our theory is monistic (all is one) and idealistic (this «one» is spirit).

That is the starting point, that which is.

The claim that everything is a fundamental, total, undivided spirit is not a mystery but a logical consequence of the postulated axiom.

Thus we have also «solved» The Hard Problem, the riddle of how atoms can become thoughts and experiences.

The riddle does not exist.

The causal relationship must be reversed. It is the other way around.