Phenomenon of Consciousness (6)

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The physical Universe presents itself to cognition or consciousness as a continuous succession of conditions produced by change. Change is everywhere and incessant. The sum total of human knowledge is knowledge of continuous change in the present and recollection or memory of change in the past. All supposed knowledge of the future is not knowledge. It is only inferential prediction. Because the sun rises today and rose yesterday, the day before and every past day of our lives, we infer and believe it will rise tomorrow, but we do not know and cannot know until tomorrow comes.

Our study of the earth, the sun and the solar and sidereal systems convinces us beyond the possibility of doubt that the sun will rise tomorrow. But that conviction is not knowledge. It is only inferential prediction. All that we can possibly know is that which IS and that which WAS. The future does not yet exist, and it is not possible to know that which does not exist and has not existed. With the same certainty that the sun will rise tomorrow we may predict that an eclipse of the moon will occur on a certain day two thousand years hence. But we do not absolutely know that the moon or the earth will exist two thousand years.

Yet the conduct of our daily lives, everything we do of our own volition, is based entirely on inferential prediction of what will occur—prediction based on what has occurred.

***Excerpt from Charles John Reed: The Law of Vital Infusion and the Phenomenon of Consciousness