- Oct 2022
the reason is that a perception 00:10:38 is kind of perceptual in structure and the buddhist world encodes this by arguing that the internal um sense the the manus venana is a sense faculty just like external faculties 00:10:52 and so just as our external faculties present us with a world that just seems to us even though we know it's not to be just as it is that we see it just as it is 00:11:03 it's tempting to think that we've got this apparent object distinct from our sensory apprehension of it but is but an object that's presented by a completely veritable process 00:11:15 because as i say perception just feels like it presents the world to us as it is i look at a red apple and i think damn i know exactly what that apple smells like looks like tastes like and 00:11:27 feels like forgetting that all i have is the apple as it's mediated by the peculiar perceptual system that i have and by all of the conceptual resources through which i filtered my perception 00:11:41 so in the same way a perception or introspective awareness just feels like it presents our own cognitive affective and perceptual states to us just as they are 00:11:53 independent of that appreceptive system and those conceptual categories so just as external perception gives us the illusion that we're just detectors of the world as it is inner perception can give us the illusion that we are just 00:12:06 detectors of our inner um our inner world just as it is so even when we remind ourselves as i'm reminding you right now of this 00:12:18 extremely complex mediation of our perceptual encounter with external objects we find ourselves in constantly experiencing our own experience as though 00:12:31 we've got the world just as it is and then we sometimes say okay maybe we're not getting the world just as it is but at least i'm getting my sensory experiences just as they are the apple might not be red but the redness i 00:12:42 experience is exactly the redness that i think i experience the sweetness that i introspect must be the sweetness just as it is and so forth so even if we give up for a moment and it's hard to give it up 00:12:54 for more than that the notion of immediacy with regard to external perception we often retreat to thinking that that's mediated but my awareness of my own inner episodes is the immediate 00:13:06 awareness that mediates my knowledge of the external world and i think that in the sense of that perception that sense of immediacy is even greater it's really hard for us to be convinced that our inner experience 00:13:20 could possibly be deceptive we seem to think that if i think that i believe something i must believe it if i think that i'm feeling something i must be feeling it and that feeling and that believing grab my inner 00:13:33 reality just as it is and so part of the problem that arises is that the mediation of our introspective awareness by our introspective faculty becomes 00:13:46 cognitively invisible to us just as what i'm seeing the world my visual faculty is invisible and it just delivers a visible world to me and i have to really think to to understand 00:13:58 what my own visual faculty visual organ and visual consciousness are contributing i think i experience my introspective faculty as just giving me inner objects and i have to think and remind myself 00:14:11 that actually my inner sense faculty is also a fallible instrument and that i may be misusing that instrument or that instrument might be intrinsically deceptive and that's a hard thing to get one's mind around 00:14:25 as a consequence we've become seduced by this idea that even if our knowledge of some things is mediated that mediation can't go all the way down we get seduced by the idea that there's got to be a 00:14:38 basic foundational level of experience to which we can have some kind of immediate access and to which when we know it we know it absolutely veritically in the theory of knowledge that leads us to foundationalism in the 00:14:51 philosophy of mind it leads us to sense datum theory um and i find that in a lot of buddhist situations a lot of buddhist practitioners take it to be this idea of an infallibility of an immediate kind of 00:15:03 experience if i'm sitting on the cushion just right so with all of that in play um i want to move to exercising that myth of the given that i've been characterizing 00:15:16 and to show that buddhist philosophy offers us powerful ways of doing that and i'm going to begin by talking about first person knowledge through the lens of the madhyamaka tradition
Jay emphasizes the compelling sense of this allure of immediacy. We believe that our perceptual and our introspective faculties give us an infallible representation of reality, and never question that it could be fallible.
This is very much aligned with the research on Umwelt by Jakob Von Uexkull.
Aperception, the introspection and awareness of our inner space is just as alluring.
So in summary: perception gives us the feeling that we are sensing the way the external world actually is and aperception gives us the feeling that we are aware of the inner world as it is. However, both are relative, the first to our peculiar sense faculties and the second to our linguistic and conceptual modeling of reality. Both are specific filters that create the specific situated interpretation of reality as a human being.