Recognition in the Domain of Thoughts
Recognition in the Domain of Thoughts
The Devices and Tools for Discovery and Gaining Knowledge
1-The Senses: Man's natural senses are his first tools for identification. His senses provide him with a means to gain facts. Phenomena that find way into the human mind by means of natural senses to not remain the same as they are outside. A smell we sense, for example, is not the same when it has entered us. Likewise, when we taste something sweet and the message about it is transferred to our nervous system, our nerves will not exactly feel that sweetness. Our nerves do not turn into different colors when we see different colors, either. When we lift a heavy object, our nerves do not become heavier. Therefore, we may conclude that having entered inside man, no phenomenon retains its identity. We undoubtedly have to eat something sweet to realize its sweet taste, but is the same sweet food passed on to our nervous cells? Furthermore, internal contents and conditions influenced by external factors can change the identity of the external factors, too. For instance, let's say we encounter a dead body. What we feel through our senses is the view of a dead person. If the dead body belongs to a close friend, it would cause sorrow, and if it belongs to an enemy it would delight us. Two different reactions to a single phenomenon; hence, how internal factors can influence our perception of external facts.
In fact, man's natural senses are justified through internal factors. In other words, phenomena that enter us through our senses are interpreted and accounted for by man's own wishes and knowledge.
2-Artificial Devices and Tools: Man has made tools and devices to help him explore nature and the universe. The invention of the telescope, the microscope, and many other devices has helped man discover phenomena he could never explore using his own senses. No matter how powerful these devices may become, they cannot eliminate the role of the senses and internal conditions; they cannot change the mind into a mirror which passes things into humans exactly as they are. The reasons for this are:
a) These tools and devices are man-made, so they are dependant upon man's selection or elimination.
b) What tools and devices reflect to man is limited to certain circumstances. For example, they reflect insect fur, the human body, mercury, leather and cement each in a different way. Any modification in the magnifying glass can influence the appearance of the observed phenomena.
c) Even if the artificial tools and devices reflect facts as they are, the internal passages they must go through will affect them, for they are being received by human senses and mind.
3-Man's innate talents and powers, such as intelligence, wisdom, imagination and thought can also serve as tools of discovery.
The Importance of Adjusting and Refining the Senses
Intellectuals studying identification and recognition have neglected the issue of adjusting and refining knowledge in both domains of the mind and in the real world. From the mental aspect, the function of the senses must be corrected, for any fault in the senses may deform the reality. Thus, man's internal management should take charge of adjusting the senses.
Apart from adjusting and refining the senses and tools that make possible the contact between man and facts, the mind also needs adjustment and refinement. Many powers are active in the human mind – imagination, memory, abstraction, comparison, aesthetic search, association of concepts, and others – which can, if not functioning correctly, damage man's process of gathering facts.
The Factors that Influence Recognition and Identification
Recognition and identification, like other phenomena, have a cause. As a mental phenomenon, identification and recognition can be caused by these factors:
1-The involuntarily natural, primary recognition and identification by the senses and the mind: Man's mental structure shows a variety of mutual influences to and from facts, and identification is one of them. In other words, once the mind establishes contact with the world outside, the phenomena are reflected into the mind.
2-The need to continue life: Human life is not possible without knowledge and discovery. Mental effort is the key to feeling what life really is like. This factor is also fatalistic, however, for its necessity lies in the need to continue life.
3-Selfishness: Man's selfishness makes him go after knowing things that are not crucial to his survival. There are various forms of human selfishness. When one considers oneself as the end and others as a means to the end, such a viewpoint will infiltrate all of his knowledge. Likewise, if man regards his identity as dependent upon other people in the society, his knowledge will definitely be much purer. The highest level, of course, belongs to the one who moves along the path to perfection.
4-Innate enthusiasm: Man is innately eager to know more, and this is not merely for his own benefit; it goes far beyond that.
5-Moral ethics: Moral ethics form one of the most important and most dignified factors in recognition. Moral ethics means activating every human aspect on the path toward the highest aim of life. It can make the truth flourish for man, which in turn can make gaining knowledge the means and the end of his life – as the means, discovering knowledge can help man gain the facts on his way to perfection; as an end, it involves the expansion of man's identity in the universe.
6-The arousal of love: Love can also cause knowledge and recognition. When love is the motive for the discovery, man will see the facts as beautiful. Discoveries based on love ignore all logical reasoning.
7-Belief: Belief refers to the mental state in which all events are considered in a special way. When one believes in the struggle for survival, for instance, it will make the knowledge of power his first priority.
There are two kinds of belief – dynamic and static. In static belief, man sees everything in a specific, fixed way. For example, if an intellectual considers man as virtually evil, he will also interpret everything else from this viewpoint, too. In dynamic belief, however, man does not interpret all facts from a single, inflexible aspect; his belief makes him able to accept other phenomena and facts as they really are.
8-Faith: Faith is accepting the truth that is the most active element of the human character, and accounts for every aspect of man's existence. The knowledge brought about by faith is the most soothing and motivating. Faith is a truth that shines on all of man's darkness in life like an immortal sun and can save his character from falling apart and multiplicity, and adjust his life by means of patterns of order and harmony. Faith makes every action carried out on the path toward man's desired ideal feel like life itself.