Thread: Existence.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:12 AM   #1
Keith Larman
Dojo: AIA, Los Angeles, CA
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,604

I had promised to post a thread about Plato's theories of knowledge. Instead I had a nasty headache last night so I didn't post although I did think about it. This morning I get up feeling better, but just now something started that I want to post about.

I suffer from migraines. Sometimes before the migraine hits there is a thing called a migraine "aura". For me it is a visual disturbance that is somewhat hard to explain. The world just seems "different". Perceptions of distance and proportion seem "off" for lack of a better term. I remember once as a teenager having an aura strike in class that left me in a panic attack. I distinctly remember staring at a dime I had in my hand. It looked so small. And my hand so huge. I remember hearing the teacher call my name. I looked up and it was like she was 1000 miles away at the other end of the room. You know that cinematic effect where things distort and zoom away? Yeah, that was going on in my head. Weird.

Anyway, these aura sometimes include something called "Scintillating scotoma". These are odd little blobs of light/dark/weird stuff that appear in the visual field. It is literally a visual disturbance (which might just be a nice way of saying a visual hallucination). Right now I'm having an aura (yes, I just took my drugs -- we'll see if it aborts). And right now there is a big honking blob of flashing, weird stuff floating right in front of my computer screen making typing this really difficult.

So... like I said I was going to post about Plato and how his theories related to knowledge and transmission and issues in Aikido. But that seemed like a gigantic endeavor and I now think (through my rather muddled brain) that this is a good starting point that is a bit more accessible.

So let's jump in. Right now there are shimmering "Floaties" in my visual field. I can see them. They are visible. Just like my hands, the monitor, the computer, the table, etc. Even if *you* can't see them, they're floating right now in front my computer screen.

So here's the question. Scintillating scotoma exist. I can see them. I am experiencing them directly via my senses. There is no question that scintillating scotoma exist in some sense. The *real* question is defining exactly what we mean by "scintillating scotoma exist". Or better yet, exactly what does it mean when I say that "I can see scintillating scotoma right now and they exist."?

So... What does it mean when someone says "I can feel my ki flow and it exists."? Is it the same? Is it different? Are there different "levels" of existence? And how "real" are they?

Okay, I'm giving up. Migraine setting in. Time for a dark room and a hot cup of tea... I'll be back when things are better.

I will say... The "aura" is sure real to me. The scotoma "exist" in some sense. And having your perception of the world "falter" in a sense is a very disconcerting thing. And *that* also raises questions about the meaning of "knowledge" of the world, even of those more "solid" things like my computer screen, table, hands, etc... But that's for later...

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