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20.1. Qualia, qualia, qualia 

Time, space, motion, mass, energy, forces, particles, atoms – the whole universe is something the Experiencer imagines – and also experiences; as qualia.

Qualia is the experience of the weight of a rock, the smell of bread, the sorrow of lost love, the greenery of a leaf, the shape of the leaf, the tree, the ground, your bike, the cat, the mountain, the sea, the clouds and the stars in the sky.

The sky, The Milky Way, The Big Bang – are all conceptions of the universal spirit.

Each notion is accompanied by qualia, either in the form of:
  1. experiencing thought or something abstract, or
  2. experiencing things, or
  3. experiencing being the thing, or the abstract, for that matter.
Are we now in the process of creating a strange tripartite division, an artificial system?

No, on the contrary.

In all three forms, we are talking about experiences.

We can rather say that the Experiencer is brutally consistent; it experiences – regardless and all the time.

Experiences can have infinitely many expressions, but they are and will always be experiences, notions, conceptions in our consciousness.

This is precisely how you work.

All spirit functions this way, necessarily, when we say everything is this spirit. A universal spirit does not work like this one moment and like that the next.

The spirit processes abstract impressions; it experiences. That's why I give it the name the Experiencer.

In some mysterious way, you must also be «an experience» at the same time as you, yourself, demonstrably also experience.

You experience being «something in your own right», a separate individual. You experience being you, not a fluffy, ubiquitous spirit.

How can this be?

The thought itself has the ability to think, sort of? The experience is able to experience?

There is something here we have not yet understood.

The keyword is qualia.

Qualia are often described as the properties of something, the quality of something:
  • The lyrical in a poem
  • The longing in the music
  • The wetness of the rain
  • The metallic of a frying pan
  • The light reflected everywhere
  • The warmth of the Sun's rays
The term qualia is unknown to many, and even those who know it well understand it exactly as I now described it. Qualia is the extra, the additional dimension, the quality that springs from something else.

Qualia is the music experience that comes from the notes, the instruments, and the musicians – in sum. Qualia is the higher aspect that transcends the material.

That sounds great but is still too narrow.

Qualia is a fact.

You experience qualia here and now, in multitudes of varieties.

Qualia accompany everything you see around you and everything you experience inside you.


Is qualia something separate, outside, above or in addition to the things they are related to?

No, that's precisely the point.

Such a thing is not possible.

How could we separate the quale from the thing that «creates» the quale?

The world is one. Everything is qualia.

Think of a violin. It's a thing. The strings are things. The bow is a thing. The molecules in the air set in motion by the strings are things. Your ears and brain are things.

And from this arises a subjective experience of music, which is not a thing, but which we choose to give a separate name, qualia.

Where does the transition from things to music take place?

What is the difference between the two concepts, the two categories, which is the philosophical term for something that is «essentially different».

Here we are again at the question of how spirit and matter relate to each other, the overshadowing problem of dualism. This is the apparent distinction between the material and the subjective experience that science has not figured out.

This is «The Hard Problem».

The answer is banal.

There is no separation.

Dualism is wrong.

Things and qualia must be the same. Our axiom dictates it.

Qualia exist and are something universal and elementary, i.e. something that occurs everywhere and can not be broken down into something smaller or different.

Qualia is the very thing Descartes talks about when he says, «cogito, ergo sum» («I think, so I exist»). He's talking about us thinking. Thinking is an experience, qualia.

What Descartes did not realise is that both thinking and the consequence of thinking – that I experience being something both spiritual and material – is the same.

Descartes was a dualist1, although he is best remembered for pointing to the spiritual with a scientific finger.

We are now taking the step Descartes did not take.

We ask what is the origin of both thinking and being.

Everything must be qualia, experiences.

The experience of the physical violin is essentially the same as the mental, subjective experience of the music it creates.

We've talked about conceptions and qualia many times. I have said that both are something the Experiencer does, abilities it has. The Experiencer imagines things mentally. It experiences something and forms an idea of what this something is. It creates a concept, an idea, a thought.

The experience of thinking and conceptualising are variants of qualia.

The Experiencer also experiences that which it has conceptualised, naturally enough, because all the Experiencer does is experience.

It «knows» how imagined light with a specific frequency is perceived as the colour yellow. It conceives of an apple and experiences an apple. It is experienced precisely as you experience an apple.

Thinking of an apple and experiencing an apple appear to you as two different things.

Now I say that the notion of an apple and the experience of an apple have something important in common. They are both qualia.

The thought apple is experienced in one way, as thinking with content.

This content of the thought – the shape, weight, structure, consistency, colour and smell of «apple» – is experienced as something completely different, namely a «materialised» apple.

Should the two somehow be the same?

Can you experience an apple just by thinking about it?

Of course not.

Still, this distinction between notions and experienced materiality should go away because I maintain that everything is qualia.

Everything is experiences.

Please take a short break because this is demanding, and we're about to go much deeper.

Are you ready for the next step, the one about you?


The one, universal Experiencer experiences a multitude of different impressions, which together form the notion of a human being. The combination of atoms, cells, tissues, organs, skin, hair and limbs creates the higher emergent interpretation of «a human being».

This mental, subjective interpretation «in your head» – the abstract notion of a person – is also experienced as something concrete and material.

You, too, are an Experiencer and experience that there is a human being standing in front of you. It looks very material and tangible. The experience of the material is qualia.

It's just like when you imagine holding an apple in your hand.

You experience the apple as material, with weight, shape, colour, structure, smell and taste. In the same way, you experience people around you.