Most people don't want to be freed from illusion and thus disillusioned - they prefer to remain in illusion. When we are illusioned, truth tastes bitter, but becomes sweet in the end, whereas untruth seems sweet, but is bitter in the end. We hope you are strong enough to first face the bitter basic truth and to then explore the sweet sublime truth.
Let's be brave to face the bright light of truth - it may blind us for a while, but then we'll see the higher dimensions of the sublime reality.
Sublimism: Paradigm that the self is a sublime being beyond the material body.
Skeletonism: Paradigm that the self is one's material body or a part of it.
Sublimism is not promoting any particular human tradition or faith. Sublimism is the challenge to admit the illusion of thinking to be the material body and to discover our sublime self and the sublime reality.
Premise 1: A clinically dead body cannot perceive, process and memorize any new external event.
Premise 2: A person is able to perceive, process and memorize external events correctly while that person's material body is clinically dead.
Conclusion: The person is not dead when the material body is clinically dead; the person is not the material body, but something more sublime.
3. Arguments from Neuroscience Supporting Sublimism
One article about optical illusions on www.neurosciencenews.com is entitled “How Your Eyes Deceive You”. Certain optical illusions in the article also include deceptions of our brain. Thus the title could also be “How Your Eyes and Brain Deceive You.” From such phrases, we can understand that we, the observers, are different from our eyes and brain. It is not that we deceive ourselves when we are dumbfound by optical illusions.
If we would stick to skeletonism – the common belief that we are the material body – then the eyes and brain would be part of our self, and that would mean that we are deceiving ourselves in the case of optical illusions. Let us observe the phenomenon of optical illusion by watching the images below and ask ourselves: Do we really deceive ourselves? Would the title “How You Deceive Yourself” be acceptable?
>To get the best effect, zoom in so that the image fills your entire screen.
Image 1: Watch closely, and move your focus point slowly over the picture. The eyes and brain then create the false impression of turning wheels. Are your material senses really your best friends?
Image 2: Which square is brighter, A or B? They have the same color and brightness! In the close-up to the right, they are connected with a rectangle of the same color and brightness. Now, who is brighter, your bodily senses or your self? Obviously, your self. Hence you are not the body – you are beyond the body, something more sublime.
Image 3: Try to count the black spots at the intersections. Who exactly is fooling you? If you and your body were one, that would mean that you are fooling yourself. Is that really so? No. Thus you are not the body, but something more sublime.
Most people will agree that we are not deceiving ourselves when we encounter optical illusions. The eyes and brain that deceive us are thus not part of our self but alien elements. This supports sublimism.
When we say “I see that the sun is shining”, we should be aware that actually, “I am accepting optical data from my eyes that suggests that the sun is shining.” We have no control over how reliable the data is that we receive from any of our sensual organs. For this reason, many people in search of reality have reasoned that we must discover ways of direct perception without having to depend on unreliable alien agents like the material bodily senses.
Premise 1: Our eyes and brain sometimes deceive us, even against our will.
Premise 2: We don’t deceive ourselves – we want to experience the complete reality.
Conclusion: We are not the sensual organs and brain, but something much more sublime.
5. Arguments from Psychology Supporting Sublimism
(A) In a publication of the Cambridge University Press of the year 2006 entitled Behavioral and Brain Sciences, on pages 453–498, we find a thesis named The Folk Psychology of Souls authored by Dr. Jesse Bering from the Institute of Cognition and Culture of the Queen’s University Belfast. Its introduction begins with the following words:
“By stating that psychological states survive death, one is committing to a radical form of mind-body dualism [in other words, that what survives, the self, is not the material body]. Yet this radicalism is especially common. In the United States alone, 95% of the population reportedly believes in life after death (Greeley & Hout 1999; Lester et al. 2002). The majority of people from other societies, as well, see death as a transitional event that unbuckles the ethereal self from its body.”
A few paragraphs later, Bering quotes the findings of a survey in which children were asked about the biological and psychological functioning of a dead mouse (emphasis added):
“Kindergartners understood that various biological imperatives no longer applied to the dead mouse. (...) Yet when asked whether the dead mouse was hungry or thirsty, or whether it was thinking or had knowledge, most kindergartners said yes. In other words, young children were cognizant of the fact that the body stops working at death but they viewed the mind as still active. (...) In general, however, kindergartners were more apt to make psychological attributions to the dead mouse than were older children, who were not different from adults in this regard. This is precisely the opposite pattern that one would expect to find if the origins of such beliefs could be traced exclusively to cultural indoctrination. In fact, religious or eschatological-type answers (for example, heaven, God, spirits, etc.) among the youngest children were extraordinarily rare. Thus, a general belief in the continuity of mental states in dead agents seems not something that children acquire as a product of their social–religious upbringing, because increasing exposure to cultural norms would increase rather than attenuate afterlife beliefs in young minds. Instead, a natural disposition toward afterlife beliefs is more likely the default cognitive stance and interacts with various learning channels.”
Bering thus explains that the concept of a life after the death of the material body is actually the natural human default concept that may be changed by external indoctrination. He further exposes that this natural concept is present even in adult materialists by quoting a survey (Haidt et al. 2004), in which those who classified themselves as extinctivists (people who believe that the self is the material body and thus dies at death) refused to sign a contract relinquishing their souls at death to an experimenter.
Nobody wants to die. It is not unreasonable to think that most people don’t want to die and believe in life after death because we are immortal by nature. We are not the mortal material body, but something more sublime.
(C) Another argument for sublimism from psychology comes from what we may call the ‘overpower-phenomenon’. Criminals often tell that they were overpowered by some sinful urge despite trying to fight against it. The same pattern occurs when one is overcome by anger. We are not angry by nature, but we can be overcome by the mind and senses to act angrily.
This is the science behind the subtle humor in the cartoon in which a man is shouting in anger: “I am not angry!”