The unitary consciousness : toward a solution for the ontological crisis in modern theories of the self
The overall aim of this research project that is done in the field of
Phenomenology and Ontogenetic Epistemology, is to investigate the possibility of
employing the Illuminative elements for solving the Ontological Crisis in Western
epistemology of the self.
Descartes, the father of modern western thought, gave through his Meditations
a priority to Cogito over Sum, and this historically became a turning point for the
movement that crystallised in Kant's Copernican Revolution by which metaphysics
was identified with epistemology indicating that epistemology can thereafter be
considered without any need for ontology. One of the immediate consequences of
detaching epistemology from ontology in this history has in the main been the
dismissal of the 'being' of the self in modern theories.
In parallel to the existential phenomenology's purport to supply this lack in
modern epistemology of the self, this research attempts in its own way to achieve a
solution by delving into the Persian Illuminative school and by seeking even to assign
a new role to its philosophical system to gain a new vision of the self and
To remedy, first a reconstruction of the Illuminative Method is introduced. This
embodies the claim that although legitimate in itself, epistemology that is based upon
the theory of essence cannot be detached from ontology. This method ultimately
appeals to a very subtle and special field, the Ontetic Field, under which everything is
reduced to Being and is grounded by it.
Applying of this method provides an entry to considering the problematic of the
self in the ontetic field in which the being of the self is encountered as an epiphany of
Being that is immersed in and, at the same time, present to Being. The keen relation
of 'Being' and the 'being' of the self is exposed as a performative, existential
experience called the unitary consciousness. This moment implies that there is no
subject (mind, etc.) in modern subjectivistic sense; the subject is only a self as unitary
In this context, the Illuminative philosophy is also directed to answering some
major problems that arise from modern subjectivism, including our consciousness of
private states (esp. senses and body), reflective (ISubject-Objectlive) knowledge and
our grasping of the reality of objects.
On this basis, some immediate conclusions are set forth, including (i) a
refutation of a triple trap which follows from the ontological crisis: skepticism, solipsism
and idealism; (ii) the agreement of the Illuminative theory with common sense; and (iii)
a suggestion as to how one could read the authors of modern theories of the self in
an Illuminative context.