Why We Seek Truth but Will Never Know It Fully

Humans are made up of a certain type of duality: free will and limitation (self-direction and fate). The free will comes from consciousness and limitation from physical existence. Thus, the free will-limitation duality is the reflection of the mind-body duality. Our ultimate goal is to have as much free will as possible and as little limitation as possible.

Limitation comes from the basic evolutionary need to survive and reproduce and from a physical form developed through evolution that is intrinsically limiting. Free will comes from the privileged ability of humans to ask questions instead of being fully guided by instinct like most animals. By asking questions, free will aims to uncover truths about the world. The purpose of free will seems to be reducing limitations. By definition, limitation is not being able to do, be, and know everything. Free will, by questioning and finding out truths about the world, enables us to know, do, and be more than before – it reduces limitation. Therefore, the ultimate goal of free will is full freedom from limitation – absolute freedom – which coincides with the uncovering of all truths.

Ironically, the physical body that has enabled us to have a mind has become a barrier to the attainment of all truths. Humans may eventually figure out the truth about the physical world through science but this will not answer questions about the meaning and purpose of life. We already know how humans came into being through evolution and while this has led some to adopt the stance of nihilism – the belief that there is no meaning or purpose of life – questions about existence persist nonetheless: why did existence come about and why is there change(time)? Therefore, even if humans can uncover all the truths about the physical world (the how questions) through science while remaining within the physical bounds of the body, the ultimate truths that we have been seeking since we became self-aware will remain elusive. Science is out of its depth when dealing with the question: “Why do I exist and why do I change?”

Can we, then, ever answer the fundamental ‘why’ questions about existence and change with absolute certainty? What is preventing us from finding these truths is that we do not know what we do not know. As a famous saying goes, “There are known knowns, known unknowns, and then there are unknown unknowns.” Humans are intrinsically limited by their physical body and the brain that evolved in this four-dimensional (space-time) world. Theories in physics have already discovered up to eleven dimensions. While this can be calculated by mathematics, we simply cannot grasp the concept of a fifth – let alone eleventh – dimension. This discovery was possible because there are tools – mathematics and science – to uncover the physical world that can go beyond human experience. The physical world – at least the one we know of – follows laws and things that exist within it have certain properties, which enable tools such as mathematics to discover truths about the physical world. However, consciousness is limited neither by laws nor by properties. In essence, all thought is possible – logical or not; therefore, there is an infinite set of thoughts, which can be called universal consciousness. In other words, the world of consciousness – the endless ocean out of which all thoughts arise – is inherently not fully knowable to humans because not only can we not experience it fully because of physical limitations but there also exists no tool to calculate and ascertain its ways.

Universal consciousness – a subset of which is the collection of all possible thoughts – by definition contains all truths. Only by tapping into the entirety of universal consciousness can we attain the ultimate truths about existence and change. Therefore, the only way to uncover all truths – to end the quest for knowledge once and for all – is to transcend physical limitations. However, it seems that without a physical container of the mind, the mind cannot exist as an individually identifiable mind. Further, an individually identifiable mind is by definition finite, which, in turn, means it is limited. Therefore, no individual person can ever uncover all truths because individuality can only exist in the physical world that is inherently limited. The only way to know all truths is to become only consciousness – without a body. By becoming only consciousness, one automatically becomes infinite – a set of all possible thoughts – as consciousness is not limited by any laws or properties. Therefore, the only thing that can know all truths – know the entirety of universal consciousness – is universal consciousness itself. The transcendence into a state of only consciousness by leaving the physical body is what the Hindus call Moksha and the Buddhists call Nirvana – considered the ultimate goal of humans, gates to absolute freedom, where the human journey forever ends.

Moksha

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About fliqside

This blog is called back to evolution because it is partly influenced by evolutionary psychology as a tool to explain human behavior in the modern world. It is also influenced by the belief that nothing should be taken at face value and everything should be challenged. Most importantly, it is inspired by the possibility of understanding the human psyche in order to promote the well-being of our global community as a whole. - Hridesh Gajurel
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6 Responses to Why We Seek Truth but Will Never Know It Fully

  1. deuralima says:

    Excellent article, As you said, physical body has a limitation, while consciousness had no limitation. You may be right when you say, one can attain infinity by being only conscious.But for being conscious also you need your physical body. They are complementary, so let us not undermine one for the other. Together we live, separate we die. Through this physical we can attain truth about this world. This article somehow, led me to believe that you give more importance to consciousness as compared to physical body. But in my opinion, both should be equally cared for since one is dependent on the other. ANY WAY. I enjoyed reading it. Keep it up.

    • fliqside says:

      Thanks for reading, appreciating, and commenting. I agree with your point, which is similar to what I wrote around the end of the article. I also believe that for being conscious, we need the body. However, we are talking in terms of being human — an individually identifiable thinking human. Although as humans we cannot have consciousness without a body, cosmic consciousness does exist without a body and only cosmic consciousness contains all truths. Our consciousness as humans is not capable of attaining all thruths. Therefore, although we can delve into our consciousness as humans, our consciousness is limited (only a small subset of cosmic consciousness); if we want to attain all truths, however, it is not possible with the body — this will have to be done by transcending physical limitation. But if attaining all truths is not our current aim (like most people), then we can stay in our body, and attune the body in such a way that it helps us achieve a wide consciousness but that consciousness will not be unlimited because of our physical limitations.

  2. I just wrote a long response but it disappeared!!! here it goes again:D

    Great article, i really like how the article builds up to end, i.e. the duality argument where one cannot achieve one without giving up the other. I disagree though. I believe one can attain the state of cosmic consciousness or enlightenment even when u exist in this physical world. For example, Buddha, Christ, Krishna, Vivekananda, etc etc were all believed to be enlightened. However, they still existed in this physical world. When, u do not know the truth your freedom is taken from you, u r stuck in this world. But when you realize the truth, you have a choice of either staying in the metaphysical, physically non-existent state or coming back to the physical state while knowing all truth. I am sure a lot more people have become enlightened and decided not to come back and stayed in forever bliss. But what makes Buddha, christ, etc great are that they came back with a purpose of helping others out of this state of endless struggle and into Nirvana.

    • fliqside says:

      Oh no! I hate when that happens. Anyway, thanks for reading, appreciating, and REcommenting 🙂

      You bring up a good point. It is true that the people you talked about claimed to have attained enlightenment. However, although they tuned into the cosmic consciousness (becoming cosmic consciousness), they could not express this in human language or even human thought — they just felt (assuming from what I’ve read about enlightenment that you feel enlightenment but cannot really think it). This again points to the limitation of physical existence — the need to separate the whole into parts; our style of thinking is thinking separate thoughts as opposed to thinking all thoughts at once and this is due to our evolutionarily built physical mechanisms and our physical experiences. Cosmic consciouness is unitary and it can be defined as all possible thoughts at once; as soon as you try to extract thoughts separately (in finite parts) from this universal consciousness, the lose their full meaning that can only be understood when all thoughts are considered together. Therefore, humans may be able to feel universal consciousness but they will not be able to translate it into human thoughts, which essentially means that the physical body is limiting when it comes to attaining all truths.

      Hope that makes sense 🙂 I also think that gaining access to this universal conscousness (feeling it so to speak) and realizing that it is where all truths and absolute freedom lie must tempt one to leave the body but it is admirable that people like Buddha and other Bodisattvas stayed behind to help the less fortunate.

      • thats what i think too but once you transcend the limitations of the physical body through enlghtment i dont think you get bound by it again. It is not a choice of either this or that. u can have both

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