Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon

Reality Is Absolute:
The Primacy of Existence

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.
Francis Bacon, Novum Organum

Francis Bacon knew that in order to command nature, one must act according to its rules and identity. The statement Reality is Absolute is the explicit recognition of the primacy of existence. This means that reality is not subject to wishes, whims, prayers, or miracles. If you want to change the world, you must act according to reality. Nothing else will affect reality. If you evade this fact, your actions will most likely not have their desired effects. Your failure will be metaphysical justice.

The primacy of existence states the irrefutable truth that existence is primary and consciousness is secondary. Consciousness is the faculty which perceives and identifies existents (things that exists). For two reasons we say that existence is primary, that consciousness requires existence, and that there is no consciousness without existence.

Because consciousness identifies existents, there can be no consciousness without something existing to perceive. Nothing can have an identity (to be identified) without existing. The fact that something is identified necessarily implies its existence which necessarily implies existence in general. Thus there is no consciousness without existence.

Because consciousness identifies existents, consciousness itself must exist in order to do the identifying. Along the lines of Descartes cogito, to be conscious (to identify), a consciousness must exist. A faculty can not operate and not exist at the same time. A verb without a noun makes no sense, and the noun must exist in order for the verb to take place.

Consciousness is not responsible for creating reality or creating an individual reality. It is completely dependent upon reality. Existence is primary because it is independent of, makes possible, and is a prerequisite of consciousness.

All forms of mysticism derive from the false premise of the primacy of consciousness, which is demonstratively false. Also, the assertion that existence somehow requires consciousness, sometimes called the Interdependence Theory, is arbitrary at best without objective basis.


Copyright 2001 by Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands