What Is the Dao of an Ant
- Like many before me i find that the philosophical schools of China and India are
useful metaphors to discuss Physics.
- The atman of Buddhism well represents the spacetime events of Relativity but
fails to capture the nature of the observer of Quantum Physics (who causes the
existence of objects by the act of observing them).
Buddism is about the object, not the subject. By definition, there is no
subject in Buddhism.
- To me Daoism is thus complimentary because it focuses on the conscious
"observer" and its relationship with the world of objects.
I don't think the world "is": the world is always and only perceived.
The sound of a tree that falls in the forest does not exist if no conscious
being is listening. In fact, neither the tree nor the forest exist if no
conscious being is perceiving them.
Matter without a conscious perceiver is only a shapeless, colorless, soundless
amalgam of particles, waves, fields and who knows what.
It is the perceiver who creates the world of trees, forests and sounds.
- If i had to improve Quantum Physics, i would generalize the "observer" as a
"perceiver". There is more to our perception of the world than just vision.
- A popular paradigm in Biology is that the interaction of organisms with
their environment is about picking up information from the environment.
Perceiving is actually "recognizing", which in turn is the essence of reasoning,
which in turn entails action. They (perceiving, reasoning, acting) are all
facets of the same process, which is, ultimately, living.
- The dao is the way of the world, the inherent harmony of nature.
However, that is the world of the perceiver.
- Therefore there must appear a different world to each different "perceiver".
- In the case of human perceivers, we can assume that the differences are minimal:
that one may see red a little brighter and hear a sound a little louder, but
that ultimately we all can see that color and hear that sound if the appropriate
organs are working.
- I wonder about other animals, though. They too have organs to perceive the environment, except that those organs (notably the brain) are significantly different from ours.
They presumably perceive a different world. Some animals perceive a world with
no sound. Some animals perceive a world with no light. Some animals perceive
a world in two dimensions.
- Hence: what is the dao of an ant?
- And is there a dao of all daos?