To what extent has humanity’s increased understanding and dominance over our external material environment come at the expense of understanding and insight into the nature of our inner mental space?
As Max Planck reportedly said, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” Erwin Schrodinger expressed similar sentiments, “The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one.”
The scientific method has provided an excellent process for examining our surroundings as expressed in the physical universe. It has proved to be superb at exposing false theories. It allows us to whittle away falsehoods in the hopes of getting closer to truth regarding our physical surroundings. Smitten by this success and the technological advances that it has enabled, it seems mankind has focused increasingly on the material world which we inhabit. To many, it is all there is.
Is it possible that the world within our mind is as intricate and expansive as the physical world that surrounds us?
Is it possible that if humanity devoted as much time to the study of inner space as it does to the study and exploitation of external space, we would discover just as many truths about the nature of reality – perhaps truths of a very different kind?
Does the speed of discovery and tempo of modern (Western) life actively discourage inner investigation?
Is it appropriate than mankind should focus increasingly on the material world and forego what can be discovered and experienced inside his/her own mind?
Is this evolutionary “progress” revealing itself?
If not, what is the cost of this partiality?