The Apprehension of Reality: Chapter 1. The Monolith

In the distance stands a structure. It stands against us, but not as a obstacle but as a form of measure. It tells us where we stand in relation to it. It provides a stopping point from here, but a starting point that lies thereafter, or beyond. It has a structure, a texture, even a point in time. It advertises solidity, but may conceal its own fragility. This is the beginning of matter.

We may know of it if we perceive it or even imagine it. In the imagination we may construct it based on other forms we have perceived before, or we may know this phantasm by an innate acquaintance with the a priori nature of cognition. The object existing or the idea in itself can draw on each other for subsistence, but do not depend on each other to manifest Being. Obstacles must be beholden, for if not where would the individual dwell?

Existing in a world which is perplexing draws the mind into examination. Can we know matter? Does matter exist at our satisfaction, or for a point in time without a master? Does the world put itself at our disposal, or does it permit us to cohabit within? A stencil drawn of the human form elicits a matter of knowing, which the form has created, and the dregs left over, not essential to the form carved which is discarded.

Drawn to animation, like a series of drawing thrown into a row creating the illusion of movement, this stencil form too imitates life as it moves through the shutter of time displaying its independence from the stencil originally carved. Like Felix the Cat with the bag of magic tricks, this hominoid transverses the world, encountering other forms as objects of itself. This illusion settles on the fact that one sees the world as  one perceives themselves.

As the objects of sensation depend on the perceiver, so does the object itself depend on itself for its own continence. To be perceived or to be the perceiver seems little different. The thing in itself knows only itself, except as it may know another as an object of itself, like the original perceiver’s cognition knows it. All sentient things perceive other things and perceive each other in turn, nothing, almost nothing, stands alone in this exercise.

The one thing that stands alone is the monolith. This monolith can be found puzzling to sentient beings.   Can one really know it to exist now? Can one show it existed before? Does any confidence exist that it will exist in the future? An even more important question is, can we know that what we perceived ever existed and if so how can we prove it.

Does this monolith stand as a monument or a token that represents human ethics and conduct? If one knocks on this monolith to gain entry to a friends abode is this different from taking axes to an enemies dwelling beating the wall down? How much of ourselves have we invested in this material entities and maybe even more important, how much of the raw stuff have we converted and molded to suit our own ends?

If we are made from the same stuff as the monolith, then when we mold this stuff into something else we are changing our own nature to something else. Can one really separate one from the other? If the nature of the monolith falls victim the vicissitudes of nature are we not affected in a like manner being matter ourselves? If a bomb blows up a home doesn’t it destroy our vitality as well if we dwell within this home?

Matter is a lifeless composite of stuff whose origin is from the exploding of stars and from the beginnings of time. Life on the other hand can grow and become stronger, can heal itself, recover from catastrophe and celebrate in victory.