categories of insomnia

Having trouble sleeping? Read this post. It's about category error. See how many paragraphs you can get through before you nod off.

Consider the statement: "nothing doesn't exist". Two meanings, apparently contradictory.

There is no thing that does not exist, ie there is NOT a thing that does not exist. Trivial. Ho-hum. Because "there is" = "exists". Once you use the words "there is" you bring existence into existence. By simple virtue of there being a thing, existence happens. Or in other words, being = existence. Every thing that exists, exists. Big deal.

This meaning is tautologous and general/plural: of all the things that exist...

There IS a thing, to which we refer by the word "nothing", that doesn't exist. In fact, non-existence is either one of its qualities, or is its only quality. But if there is such a thing, then it exists, despite having non-existence as a quality. In fact, if it has a quality, then it exists. Because only something that exists can have qualities.

This meaning is paradoxical and singular: there is a thing...

On the face of it, the two meanings contradict each other. On the one hand, nothing exists. On the other, it doesn't exist.

But in fact the contradiction is illusory, there is no paradox. What there is, is "category error": it's that golden oldie, comparing oranges and apples. In the current example, concerning nothing, the error emerges when we equate the thing itself (nothing), with the word for or name of the thing, ("nothing").

There's no paradox in a thing and a word manifesting contradictory qualities: one is a thing, the other is a word. Bang! there's one difference right away. Although, words are things too... But not all things are words.

Still awake?


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At the first place, reading the categories is not sleep inducing but sleep discouraging. These give enough material to think on.

Human mind is limited. What we think, what we imagine, all exist, and even billion of things what we can't imagine also exist. Where it exist? How it exist? Any thought that comes into our minds definitely comes from a source, else how it is possible we think or imagine something that don't exist. Mind has its queer capacity to developing and coloring things, such as in dreams where we may see quadruple monster trying to kill us, may be there is no such monster in our dimensional reality but there is something that poses a threat to our mental being, shape-shifting by our minds and transforms like a monster.

We don't know much of this queer game of mind. In a highly concentrated mind, almost in a threshold of mind and ego death, one can experience that all thoughts are not manufactured in our physical body but come from outside.

masterymistery said...

Hi Shubhajit,

Thanks for your interesting comments. Especially your last point, about an external source for thought/s.

I think you are correct, and as you point out, we still know very little of the brain/mind interface. In fact, we don't even know what mind is. Or consciousness. Or thought. We don't know what those things are, or how they work. Well, I don't, anyway.

So how can we reliably "define" where internal stops and external begins? Is there any such point anyway?

The smaller one is, the bigger things seem; the bigger one is, the smaller things seem.


Antares said...

You come across as somebody who's extraordinarily kind to everybody but yourself. The human brain has been compared to a labyrinth and most of us are our own minotaurs, even though we believe ourselves to be Theseus. One question: are you married? :-)

masterymistery said...

Hi Antares, thanks for the compliment.

I appreciate it especially because "kind" is something I consciously try to be. Mainly to make up for the horrible selfish ugly beast I've been for most of my life until fairly recently,.

Ahh the stories I could tell about myself, my beastliness,: you'd probably not want to have anything to do with me.

I absolutely love your metaphor about mind/brain, labyrinth and minotaur. That is just so "spot on", so evocative it sends a chill down my spine.

Married for almost 25 years, two teenage daughters. They have been a handful, well, actually a bit more than that, in fact even more than an armful...

It's been challenging, but full of potential for growth, some of which I've taken advantage of.

Thanks for stopping by, and for your insightful words.



The Real Cie said...

I agree with Shubhajit. This is indeed a quandry to ponder!

masterymistery said...

Hi The Real Cie, thanks for stopping by. Bit of a dull post on my part, I thought/think, more "ponderous" than "ponder"!

Thomas Hall said...

The statement 'nothing doesn't exist' could be interpreted a third way, that there is nothing which doesn't exist, so this means that everything exists! If you can think of something, it is real. God, Santa Claus, UFOs, the events of TV sitcoms, all are factual. In this world, it would make no sense to say "This is made up!" because there is no such concept. This might be difficult to get your head round, but if you believe in the multiverse theory, it cannot be escaped. Thankfully, depending on who or what you tend to associate with, you may already be accustomed to understanding such weirdorgazmical conclusions.

masterymistery said...

Thomas Hall, right on all counts! I'm quite partial to multiverse theory -- I think it gets closer to the mark than any other theory.

And I have a gut feeling (but no maths to back me up) that multiverse theory offers a way to resolve the "kill your grandfather" time-travel paradox. That you can indeed "go back" in time and kill your grandfather without endangering your future self.

What would happen is that another shard of Reality would be created, in which you and your father don't exist and never will, ALONGSIDE all those shards in which you do exist...

And yes, every thing is real. And so is Everything. And nothing is not. ;-)

Thanks for your comments.