Sense data are supposed representation of real objects in the world outside the mind, about whose existence and properties we often can be mistaken.

According to the theory, sense data objects appear to us exactly as they are. For example, when we turn a coin it appears to us as elliptical. This appearance is not identical with the coin, since the coin is perfectly round. Therefore it is sense data, which somehow represents the round coin to us.

Another example is the reflection which appears to us in a mirror. There is nothing corresponding to the reflection in the world external to the mind, for our reflection appears to us as the image of a human being apparently located inside a wall or a wardrobe. The appearance is therefore a mental object, a sense data object.

From a subjective experience of perceiving something, it is theoretically impossible to distinguish something which exists independently of oneself from an hallucination or mirage. Thus, we do not have any direct access to the outside world that allows us to distinguish it from an illusion based on identical sense data.


Philosophical realism is the belief that our reality is completely independent of our conceptual schemes, linguistic practices, beliefs and intellectual constructs. Those who profess philosophical realism also typically believe that truth consists of a belief’s correspondence to reality.

Philosophical realists tend to believe that whatever we believe now is only an approximation of reality and that every new observation brings us closer to understanding reality. It functions as an opposite to idealism and anti-realism.

This type of realism may be thought of with respect to other minds, the past, the future, universals, mathematical entities, moral categories, the material world, or even thought.

The philosophy is often relative to a specific area. One might, for example, be a realist about physical matter but an idealist about ethics. The high necessity of specifying the area in which a realist debate is made has been increasingly acknowledged.


Spontaneous regression is an unexpected improvement or cure from a disease which is usually taking a different course. It is a term that is mainly used for unexpected transient or final improvements in cancer.

It has long been assumed that spontaneous regressions from cancer are a rare phenomenon, and that some forms of cancer are more prone to unexpected courses than others. Frequency is estimated to be about 1/100000, however, in reality this ratio might be largely underestimated. Not all cases of spontaneous regression can be apprehended, either because the case was not well documented, the physician was not willing to publish, or simply because the patient did not show up in a clinic any more.

For small tumors, the frequency of spontaneous regression was probably drastically underrated. In a carefully designed study on mammography it was found that 22% of all breast cancer cases underwent spontaneous regression.

In many of the collected cases, it must be acknowledged that the factors or mechanisms responsible for spontaneous regression are unknown in the light of present knowledge. In some of the cases, available knowledge permits one to infer that hormonal influences probably were important. In other cases, the protocols strongly suggest that an immune mechanism was responsible.


A perspective is the choice of a context or a reference, or the result of the choice, from which to sense, categorize, measure or codify experience, cohesively forming a coherent belief, typically for comparing with another. One may further recognize a number of subtly distinctive meanings, close to those of paradigm, point of view, reality tunnel, or worl view.

To choose a perspective is to choose a value system and, unavoidably, an associated belief system. When we look at a business perspective, we are looking at a monetary based value system and belief. When we look at a human perspective, it is a more social value system and its associated beliefs.

In social psychology one would talk in terms of the other person’s point of view when soliciting or motivating the other person to do something for you. Being able to see the other person’s point of view is one of Henry Ford’s advice towards being successful in business. “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own”.

Perspection, a related concept, signifies the ability to inspect one’s own perception, or the perceive another individual’s inspection.


Ethical dilemma is a complex situation that will often involve an apparent mental conflict between moral imperatives, in which to obey one would result in transgressing another. This is also called an ethical paradox since in moral philosophy, paradox plays a central role in ethics debates. For instance, an ethical admonition to “love thy neighbor as thy self” is not always in contrast with, but sometimes in contradiction to an armed neighbor actively trying to harm you. If he or she succeeds, you will not be able to love him or her.

But to preemptively attack them or restrain them is not usually understood as loving. This is one of the classic examples of an ethical decision clashing or conflicting with an organismic decision, one that would be made only from the perspective of animal survival. An animal is thought to act only in its immediate perceived bodily self-interests when faced with bodily harm, and to have limited ability to perceive alternatives.

However, human beings have complex social relationships that can’t be ignored. If one has an ethical relationship with the neighbour trying to kill you, then, usually, their desire to kill you would likely be the result of mental illness on their part. Such conflicts might be settled by some other path that has strong social support. Societies formed criminal justice systems, ethical traditions and religions to defuse just such deep conflicts. Such systems always impose trained judges who are presumed to have an ethical relationship and also a clear obligation to all who come before them.

Ethical dilemmas are often cited in an attempt to refute an ethical system or moral code, as well as the world view that encompasses or grows from it. Where a structural conflict is involved, dilemmas will very often recur. A trivial example is working with a bad operating system whose error messages do not match the problems the user perceives. Each such error presents the user with a dilemma: reboot the machine and continue working, or spend time trying to reproduce the problem for the benefit of the developer of the operating system and everyone that experiences the same situation.


Contentment is the experience of satisfaction and being at ease in one’s situation. The source of all mentally created dissatisfaction appears to stem from the ability to compare and contrast experience and find reality as one is living it to be less than ideal. The solution is to seek out ways to either make experienced reality conform to the ideal or to lower expectations to the level of the experience. When one can live in the moment with expectations in harmony with experience, one has achieved the greatest mental contentment possible.

In a Buddhist sense, contentment is the freedom from anxiety, want or need. Buddha’s task was to find the solution to this never ending descent into dissatisfaction or Dukkha. The Buddhist faith is based on the belief that he succeeded. In yoga practice, movement or positions, breathing practices, and concentration can contribute to a physical state of contentment.

Contentment is the goal behind all goals, because once achieved there is nothing to seek until it is lost. A living system cannot maintain contentment for very long as complete balance and harmony of forces means death. Living systems are a complex dance of forces which find a stability far from balance. Any attainment of balance is quickly met by rising pain which ends the momentary experience of satisfaction or contentment achieved.

The American philosopher, Robert Bruce Raup wrote a book Complacency: The Foundation of Human Behavior in which he claimed that the human need for inner tranquility was the hidden spring of human behavior. Dr. Raup made this the basis of his pedagogical theory, which he later used in his severe criticisms of the American Education system of the 1930s.


The endless knot is an ancient symbol representing the interweaving of the spiritual path, the flowing of time, and movement within that which is eternal. All existence, it says, is bound by time and change, yet ultimately rests serenely within the divine and the eternal.

It is a symbolic knot and an important cultural marker in places significantly influenced by Tibetan Buddhism such as Tibet, Mongolia, Tuva, Kalmykia, and Buryatia. It is also sometimes found in Chinese art and used in Chinese knots. The endless knot is known as one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols.

Various interpretations of the symbol include the endless cycle of suffering or birth, death and rebirth within Tibetan Buddhism, the inter-twining of wisdom and compassion, and the interplay and interaction of the opposing forces in the dualistic world of manifestation, leading to their union, and ultimately to harmony in the universe.

It represents the union of wisdom and method, the inseparability of emptiness and the underlying reality of existence, and is also symbolic of the linking of ancestors and omnipresence in the magical ritual and meta-process of binding.

Since the knot has no beginning or end it also symbolizes the infinite wisdom of the Buddha. Endless knots appearing as mystic and mythological symbols have developed independently in various cultures. A well-known example is the various Celtic knots.



A false awakening is an event in which someone dreams they have awoken from sleep. This illusion of having awakened is very convincing to the person. After a false awakening, people will often dream of performing daily morning rituals, believing they have truly awakened. A dream in which a false awakening takes place is sometimes colloquially referred to as a double dream, or a dream within a dream.

It may occur either following an ordinary dream or following a lucid dream in which the dreamer has been aware of dreaming. Particularly if the false awakening follows a lucid dream, the false awakening may turn into a pre-lucid dream, or one in which the dreamer may start to wonder if they are really awake and may or may not come to the correct conclusion.

A false awakening has significance to the simulation hypothesis which states that what we perceive as reality is in truth an illusion as evidenced by our minds’ inability to distinguish between reality and dreams. Therefore, advocates of the simulation hypothesis argue that the probability of our true reality being a simulated reality is affected by the prevalence of false awakenings.

Certain aspects of life may be dramatized or out of place in false awakenings. Things may seem wrong. Details, like viewing a painting on a wall, not being able to talk or difficulty reading are often difficult or impossible. In some experiences, the subject’s senses are heightened, or changed.

Another more realistic type of false awakening, is a continuum. In a continuum, the subject will fall asleep in real life, but in the dream following, the brain will simulate the subject still awake.


The MILD technique (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams) is a technique developed by Stephen LaBerge used to induce a lucid dream at will by setting an intention, while falling asleep, to remember to recognize that one is dreaming or to remember to look for dream signs when one is in a dream.

One easy-to-apply method is to count yours or other people’s fingers during the day, making sure it is done diligently and reaches the expected number. If this is done frequently when awake, similar behavior may continue into the dream, where by some discrepancy from reality, the dreamer would realize he or she is dreaming and the dream could become lucid.

Another method is to look at text (such as a digital clock, or a road sign), turn away, and then look back. If the person is dreaming, the text may change to something else. The dreamer would then realize he or she is dreaming and the dream could become lucid.

A key element in MILD is reviewing in memory the dream from which one has just awoken. When a point is reached in the dream at which an obvious dream sign occurred, individuals performing this technique depart from actual memory and instead imagine they became aware they were dreaming. Upon returning to sleep, these individuals will often find themselves back in the same or similar dreams, sometimes even encountering similar dream signs. This is a situation that can improve the odds they will remember their intention to question whether or not they are dreaming, and thereby achieve lucidity.

The wake-back-to-bed technique is often the easiest way to encourage a lucid dream. The method involves going to sleep and waking up five to six hours later, focusing all thoughts on lucid dreaming while staying awake for an hour, and going back to sleep while practicing the MILD method. This technique has had a 60% success rate in research. This is because the REM cycles get longer as the night goes on, and this technique takes advantage of the best REM cycle of the night. Because this REM cycle is longer and deeper, gaining lucidity during this time may result in a lengthier lucid dream.


The “dream argument” is the postulation that the act of dreaming provides preliminary evidence that the senses we trust to distinguish reality from illusion should not be fully trusted, and therefore any state that is dependent on our senses should at the very least be carefully examined and rigorously tested to determine if it is in fact “reality.”

While people dream, they usually do not realize they are dreaming. This has led philosophers to wonder whether one could actually be dreaming constantly, instead of being in waking reality, or at least that one can’t be 100% certain that he or she is not dreaming. In the West, the philosophical puzzle is referred to in writings as early as Plato and Aristotle. Having received serious attention in René Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy, the dream argument has become one of the most popular skeptical hypotheses.

In the East, this type of argument is well known as “Zhuangzi dreamed he was a butterfly”. It relates that one night Zhuangzi dreamed that he was a carefree butterfly flying happily. After he woke up, he wondered how he could determine whether he was Zhuangzi who had just finished dreaming he was a butterfly, or a butterfly who had just started dreaming he was Zhuangzi. This was a metaphor for what he referred to as a “great dream.”

He who dreams of drinking wine may weep when morning comes; he who dreams of weeping may in the morning go off to hunt. While he is dreaming he does not know it is a dream, and in his dream he may even try to interpret a dream. Only after he wakes does he know it was a dream. And someday there will be a great awakening when we know that this is all a great dream. Yet the stupid believe they are awake, busily and brightly assuming they understand things, calling this man ruler, that one herdsman ‑ how dense! Confucius and you are both dreaming! And when I say you are dreaming, I am dreaming, too. Words like these will be labeled the Supreme Swindle. Yet, after ten thousand generations, a great sage may appear who will know their meaning, and it will still be as though he appeared with astonishing speed.