The problem


Already during more than 20 centuries, we deal with a fundamental problem in Western philosophy, a problem that also rules all other less fundamental problems. That problem is often called the body-mind problem .
That dualistic view is also causing problems in physics, especially in quantum-physics. There, on that deepest level of reality, there does not seem to exist that distinction between object and subject, thing and idea. So obviously that dualism only exists in our mind.

We, Western people, in a way have a basic attitude or even picture of reality, wherein everything is split up into matter at the one side and the sphere of mind, spirit and ideas on the other side. These 2 spheres then are considered to be completely isolated from each other.
With mind and idea we then mean our own mind and ideas, our science for example and the things we call true knowledge or truths. We are the only beings with a mind, that is what we think, and therefore are living in a for the rest mindless nature.

But if matter and ideas, so the things on the one side and the thoughts we have about these things at the other side, are completely isolated, how can we know then that our knowledge of the things is true? How did we get these ideas anyhow? How do we bridge that gap between body and mind?

By seeing a gap between mind and body, the human also has isolated himself from animals and plants, so from the rest of nature. We are the only beings with a spirit or mind, that is what we think.
That is also why we often feel superior, elevated above the rest of nature, above nature as a whole. That is also how we act and why we have a multitude of environmental problems in a polluted and even destroyed nature full of endangered species.
There is nature there below, and there is the human being, living and dreaming in his elevated mind there in heaven, that is what we think, especially in science like philosophy.

This dualistic view at reality is a rather illogical picture, that is also what many philosophers have said in the past. Some philosophers for example believe that matter is the root of all. The sphere of ideas then of course is just a result and not the origin.
However, if there is not an idea playing behind the form of a bird or an eye, so no building scheme, then all these things are just accidents. Fill a box with neutrons, protons and electrons, shake and heat and cool and mix the particles, and then suddenly, a living being can appear, just by accident. That is the ultimate conclusion of a materialistic philosophy, I think.

I think that most of us ordinary people believe that there is a plan behind nature. So most of us do not have a materialistic but a spiritual view. That spirit does not necessarily have to be a God-person on a cloud then, but also can be an artist or a physicist, a creator or at least a creative force.
Such a spiritual view is most logical, I think, since it is very difficult to believe that all this harmony and symmetry we see, mathematical harmony as well, can come to existence by simply shaking a box of elementary particles. Statistically that seems impossible to me.
There must be building schemes behind all these creatures and creations, like we people also use building schemes to build our machines. We know that it is impossible to make a car by just shaking a box of parts.
Maybe you can see a kind of thing coming to existence then if you are lucky and have patience. But how to explain then the fitting of things to each other, the flower fitting the light of our sun, our left eye fitting our right eye? How to explain the harmony and symmetry we see everywhere?

So I think that most of us are spiritual people, believing in a God or at least a creative force, a Mother Nature or a skilled artist or scientist or at least the mind of a scientist as the origin of all there is.
How can you take your own thoughts seriously if you do not believe in such a plan? According to your own materialistic philosophy, your thoughts then are nothing but an arbitrary product of your brain, and that does not really make you strong in a philosophical discussion. Of course you can say then that your material brain necessarily produces your materialistic view. But I have the same brain but a different view. Then my brain must be damaged, in a really materialistic view. So materialism also seems to lead to intolerance.

But how can material things come to existence out of immaterial ideas and plans? First we need parts, so at least something like matter, atoms, protons and electrons. And even there we see harmony, we see a building scheme behind the protons and electrons and we call it physics.
So where do these protons and electrons come from? That is the crucial question in a spiritual view, I think. What is matter? It is just space I think, taken space, taken by the plans of nature. See also the essay 'Beginning as basic force'.

In the relational view, the only purpose of this website, that body-mind dualism firstly is formulated in a different way. The distinction between mind and body becomes a distinction looking like the difference between a building scheme of a thing (spirit or mind) and the real thing. And our knowledge indeed often is a kind of building scheme or map we have in mind, also if it concerns paintings or music.
The question 'How do we get knowledge and ideas?' then becomes the question 'How did we get that map?'.
And the answer then is 'We drew that map, we then only write what we see and measure.'. Even when we invent a new thing, we see the parts of it in nature.

Spirit then is dwelling in the whole of nature, in the building schemes of flowers, animals and the human, and in the building schemes behind their eyes, legs, hands, ears and other parts, and in the building schemes behind the elementary particles and stars and galaxies.
There we see the laws of nature working, there we see the harmony in mathematical relations, there we measure pi and other constants, there we see the principle of a pump in our heart, the camera in an eye, the microphone in an ear, the lens, the breaking and coloring of light, the electric tension and current, the light and fire, the sender and receiver et cetera.

Our own mind then is just a seeing of mind. We not only see the things in nature, but also see the building schemes and plans behind these things. And we often, actually always, see these schemes in the fitting of forms to each other, like the bolt fits the nut, the shoe the foot, the man the woman, and like the electron encloses the proton.
Our own mind then only is a sense-organ, an extra sense-organ we have, a kind of meta-sensing, sensing what is behind, inside and between the things. And like I already said, that seeing is not difficult since we see it in the forms of things. The bolt fits in the nut like the light in the flower. That always is the whole idea we have, just seeing that forms fit to each other.
Animals clearly also see the forms of things, the trunk rolling down a hill for example or that same trunk floating on water. They then see trunk and hill or trunk and water separated. We also see the relation between hill and trunk, we see the rolling, the wheel, like we see the boat in a floating trunk, the satellite dish in a flower, and an aircraft in a bird or flying insect.
We not only see the parts but also see the working of reality and every working is a relating between fitting forms.

So actually we are not creators, not the creators of our mathematics or other science. These relations like pi or the speed of light are all living and playing in nature and we only have to look and see, to measure and to map if we wish. We are not creators, but just dis-coverers and de-velopers, arrangers at the most.
The difference between an animal and a human then only is this: The monkey sees the shoe and foot as separated and not related things. We see that the shoe fits the foot. That is all the difference, just a question of seeing relations between forms, or not seeing that fitting of forms.
Why do animals overlook, what so obviously and clearly is visible?

In these relations between forms, we see the plans of nature. And since we can see the plans, we also can change them a bit, forming our own surroundings and environment for example. The result of that also is that we are free, the only free birds of nature.
And while forming our own environment, it looks as if we are creators. However, we did not create the real building blocks of our machines, buildings or art, we did not make the mechanical, chemical, electromagnetic and nuclear possibilities of atoms and molecules. We only see these technical possibilities in the relations in nature, and then use this creative force of nature in our own recreations. We are only arrangers.

Do we still have that body-mind problem now? We anyhow have made it a general problem, a problem of the whole of nature, instead of only a human-body and human-mind problem.
Reality then consists of things and of building schemes of these things, and such a dualistic picture is very well acceptable and also logical.

The question 'How do we get our ideas?' now is answered. We just look and see and picture and map and make photos and films and the like. And on that map, we then see the laws of nature and the harmony in mathematical and other relations.

Many other Western philosophical questions find a simple solution in the relational view on this website.
Furthermore, the relational view also can become a frame for quantum-physics. Quantum-physics is based on facts, so is factually true. However, we can not fit these facts in our overall basic view, our dualistic view wherein reality consists of objects separated from subjects. So we need a new philosophy, and the relational view can become that philosophy.

It is obvious that the human must come down a bit, if he accepts the relational view wherein mind is a characteristic of the whole of nature, while our own mind only is a seeing.
Spirit then still is something superior. However, this superiority then no longer is living in us, human beings, not exclusively anyhow.
The miracle is there, in nature, and we only see the miracle.
We no longer are creators in the relational view, no longer are images or copies of God, but are only able to see God, in the relations in nature. We see the creative force in nature and then use it.

But a human still is special in the relational view, the only being on earth that can see the spirit of nature.

Furthermore this website also is designed and written in a kind of playful way. You will not see difficult words, and everybody, even a child, can follow the text and story. Also because of the fact that every thought or idea is illustrated with a daily life example, so imaginable and even touchable, often even in the form of a simple drawing.
Then the impression may come in mind, that this relational way of looking at these fundamental philosophical questions must be a rather superficial, and therefore too simple, way of looking, so not really going into the depth of the problem.
That impression is false.
Actually, these fundamental philosophical questions and problems are completely stripped, so that only the kernel of the matter is left. And that kernel actually is the whole problem. And since real truth always is simple, that is also what you believe, these fundamental problems then often seem to be dead-simple. And life also is that simple.

end 1999 - beginning 2000

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