Monism is as close as philosophy can get to the truth. Why? Because of Occam’s razor, rigorously applied. The physical world is produced by the sensory apparatus rather than the other way around. Who doubts it has yet to look hard enough.
The Idea that consciousness exists is just that, an Idea. It’s true while it is true. On the other hand, Idealism is closer to truth. The most radical cut to irreducible present fact is required, rather as Descartes attempted, but he was insufficiently radical in his reductionism. Only presently demonstrable experience can be admitted, all speculative extrapolation must be abandoned.
What is, is presence. ‘Thought’ is another shibboleth. No thought is required for presence, but few know that as they have not tamed thought. States do not exist. What exists is senses and their results, the apparent physical universe. No senses — no universe. The central self is false too.
‘Thought’, ‘consciousness’, ‘feelings’, ‘states’ — these are all false because only the present moment and its content actually IS, all else is false. Past false, future false.
In this moment I am conscious of that of which I am conscious and not conscious of what I am not conscious of. The thoughtful act of reification of this present conscious awareness into ‘consciousness’ is false. There is no state of consciousness, only what I am conscious of. Equally in the absence of thoughtful speculation there is no movement in the moment, merely the experience of this moment…
Evidential confirmation: death and life. All philosophy, science, art and psychology collapse at the edge of physical reality, the black hole that is death.
The Eastern philosophies have for thousands of years stated the monist conclusion.
There are only two fundamental sciences, physics and psychology. Of course there are many emergent sciences, that are not reducible to just that. With psychology the emergent sciences are social and other non-reducible aspects, but psychology is fundamentally compromised by its abandonment of its primary field, the psyche. Physics envy has lead to attempts to mathematical-ise psychology but number is not the primary modality of conscious experience (except perhaps for a very rare few).
In terms of knowing there are more than three modalities. Well known are the scientific and artistic modes of knowing, very loosely attributable to the conocer/saber pairing.
But also there is a third different knowing sometimes indicated as gnosis or gnostic knowing. This unfortunately is largely identified with esoteric religious groups, but in real experience is referring to direct unmediated knowledge that is not dependent on any medium – intuition is a lower form of it.
And there may be non-knowing beyond.
That’s quite enough of that…
‘You must now live what you have been reading about’…
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.
― Rumi, Masnavi i Man’avi, the spiritual couplets of Maula