Looking at reality on two levels

Taking a radically different approach to looking at reality.

The “form” here is the flower and the bee, the “hypostasis” is the interaction of the purpose of the flower to be pollinated and the purpose of the bee to gain nectar.

Bronze statues

Aristotle introduced the idea of two statues made of bronze: one in the shape of a ball; one in the shape of a horse.  We can look at these two statues in two realities: what they look like (ball and horse), and what they are made of (the bronze).  I may say that the ball and horse is the form of these statues, and the bronze to be a hypostasis (the underlying reality) of the statues.  I could melt the ball and horse down so that all is left is the bronze i.e. form is gone, hypostasis still exists. I could create a new bronze statue of an eagle from the melted ball and horse bronze, it thus has a new form (eagle), but the same hypostasis (bronze).

Three philosophy camps

If I asked what is the reality of these bronze statues, the philosophers would break into three camps:  I would suggest both realities, form and hypostasis exists (team Alex Jones); others would reject the form as illusion and only accept the hypostasis as real (idealists), and others would reject the hypostasis in favour of the forms (realists).  Some of the great bust ups between the philosophers throughout the last 2500 years has been the champions from amongst these three camps.

Example of Amun-Ra

The ancient Egyptians have a god called Amun-Ra, who exists in two realities, a result of the combining of two archetypes.  “Amun” means “hidden” or “invisible”, it is a hypostasis; “Ra” is the form, the face or revealed aspect of Amun-Ra.  All gods of all human cultures have a hypostasis relationship with human minds. Hypostasis may be equivalent to purpose, whereas the form is the outer manifestation of that purpose.

Examples of WordPress and the human body

Another example of these two realities is WordPress.  How WordPress looks and behaves is its form, the WordPress software code is the hypostasis.  We are another example of two realities, how we look and behave is our form, our DNA in ten trillion cells of our body is the hypostasis.

Examples of practical use

In practical terms I use the “two realities” approach in website design, where the code is the hypostasis and how I would like the website to behave or look is its form. In marketing the form is the “look” and “actions” of the marketing campaign, and the hypostasis is the purpose of how the target of the marketing campaign should “react”.  In dealing with people I will note how they look, speak and act as their form, and their intentions as their hypostasis.

Examples of animal mothers and babies

Below are two videos of animal mothers adopting babies of a different species.  These mothers appear to be unable to recognise a different species (form), but are acting out a universal mother-baby pattern that is shared between all mammals (hypostasis).

Dog mother, tiger babies.

Cat mother, squirrel babies.


11 responses to “Looking at reality on two levels

  1. The ancient Egyptians were great philosophers, I love the layers of meanings hidden behind their pantheon and mythologies. A thought-provoking post, as ever Alex. Much appreciate the cat and squirrel photos.

    • So many cultures became mixed into the Egyptian culture it has created a complex and interesting philosophy to study. This week has been a period of deeper thinking than usual 🙂

  2. Pingback: Looking at reality on two levels | Simply Simplistic Complexities

  3. Going back to the bronze statues, could you not also say that they exist in each formed state. We see them in one state, then another as them and us travel forward in time.
    If we were to have the ability to move in forward and backwards in time, would we not then appreciate that they actually exist in two states or more, depending upon which temporal universal position we choose to look at them in…?

    Surely we are simply used to saying ‘but they can’t be in two states at the same TIME.’

    …just an idea…

    • Firstly, every object in the Universe at any one moment, outside of the Quantum realm, exists in only one state, and in that moment is in a state of becoming. I reject the existence of time, there is only the now. What we think of as another state for an object in the past is but a memory, like a photograph.

      • A person I used to follow also taught that time didn’t exist.
        My understanding was that time doesn’t exist in the same way that a meter of distance doesn’t exist. It is merely a measurement, not something tangible.
        However, if time is intangible and can therefore be argued that it doesn’t exist, do you hold the same argument for all other intangible things? … love and hate; happiness and sadness?
        These things are intangible, but we know they exist because we experience them.
        …we also experience the passing of events, and we choose to name the passing of events as ‘time’.
        I choose to think of ‘time’ as ‘—the length of the interval between two events—‘.

        Brian Greene explains in his book ‘The Fabric of the Cosmos’ how by slicing through spacetime at different angles (you’ll need to see the diagram) you can see different combinations of things existing at the same ‘snapshot of universal time’, thereby arguing that all things exist in all states of evolution throughout the history of the universe.
        …blew my mind when I first read it…!

        I think that this is where my current understanding of time comes from. It merely describes a point of measurement in history or future.

        Don’t know if this helps… it’s certainly confused me!

      • Thanks for your well considered comment Danny. In philosophy there has been a debate for hundreds, even thousands of years over what is reality. Can we trust what our senses tell us? I dream I was a Hollywood movie star; does this make me so, because for a brief period in the night I had a sensory experience of being a movie star in a dream? If I took drugs and saw a large pink bunny on the ceiling, does it really exist?

        Time and emotions, only exists in our heads, not out there. We are gifted with memory. We remember how a person looked one year ago; we have a new picture of them standing in front of us; we note the change between memory of what they were and what they are now, we call this time. As you said, time and distance are measures of change in the state of objects in relation to each other or a memory of them.

        There is power in being able to see the illusion of such mind traps like time, for we can then step outside of it, then ask what is really there.

      • Illusions…! Oh yes. What a trap.
        I’m currently trying to write something about the illusion of Peace being the opposite of Conflict…

        Have you ever watched the film ‘What the [bleep] do we know’ ? Gives a good take on reality…

      • Danny, thanks for your awesome comments. I have today written a new blog post to better deal with one of your questions, for I felt I was unable to do justice with my comments.

        I look forward to reading your blog post on your new topic. I have never seen the film, is there a source I can see it on the internet?

      • Don’t know… I have it on DVD. It is a well made docu-drama explaining the weirdness of reality at the quantum level, and how everything is merely down to possibilities… fantastic stuff.
        I’ll take a look at your new post later!

      • I recognise that the rules of the quantum level is different to that of the material level. For instance electrons can be in two places at once, but the moon is only in one place. My view is that at a certain level of mass entropy causes a chaotic state, but higher levels of mass creates resistance to entropy, thus you get stability such as that which the moon exists in.

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