How we Create Illusions Like a Soul and Thought

I think "external material world" is a dualistic habit we continue to carry from religious language. It presupposes that there is some homunculus that is presented the external world in a mental theatre inside our head. But it serves our syntax well . The use of a subject and predicate places the I in the brain by tradition. Our language almost insures it. But if we posit a monism would not the only difference between a physical monisim and a mental one be semantics? What would be the means of comparison? What is internal to that mental "external world?"  Does the idea of a spirit comes form all of this?

If thought or consciousness is a terminate of a causal chain then it is simply a physical effect of a whole neural correlate of interacting physical events. They find their nexus as a symbolic effect of that which is sensed. The real issue is a causal one when dualism is set aside. Does a person's thought effect what occurs or does what occurs effect what one experiences? Obviously we mean the latter.  The former is a new Age idea that we see in popular trash like 'The Secret." 

Solipsism, the antithesis of physicalism,  is rare and seems to be held only by contrary philosophers. It says only our thoughts are real and particularly only mine. You in fact are but a thought in my mind. Another extreme is Eastern mystical thought.  We mistake the Eastern view of claiming the world is an illusion as meaning it is unreal. An illusion is quite real. "Illusion" simply means the experience of something though  real as experienced other than it really is. In other words something is experienced but misinterpreted. Illusion is that something quite real that deludes us. The Eastern mystic (esp. Buddhists) asks one not to be attached to sensory experience (in other words not to make biased judgements of an experience). This supposedly leads to better analysis of a real world.  Attachment causes one to read into things their own opinions. On the other hand one is left wondering how one ever comes to know the world as it is.

Our use of "external" and "internal" is but a linguistic device so that the mental narrative world as an analog to the real world is distinguished from the real world and tagged as thought and memory.  These devices are generated by neural processing mentioned briefly above. They are terminates of multiple modules working to create complex structures that correpsond to external stimuli and are related to memory for interpretation and presentation to the conscious.  Idealist want to say that this experience is of ideals and not real physical entities.  But it is apparent that ideas are created by real physical entities, processes of neural firings in complex associations.

I really do not know of many idealists but those of philosophical history. They want thought and memory to be real and spiritual entities and our physical world an illusion.  But as we can see there is no soul nor world of ideas, transcendent mathematics or logic.  We are left with empiricism as the best and safest means to understand the world. it speaks of a physical world remembered as symbols or memories made by neural connections physically stored in the brain.

Written by Tommy G. Baker