There are two issues here:Eugene I wrote: ↑Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:38 pmLet me give a simple analogy to illustrate this. Let's say we go to an art exhibition, look at one of the paintings and see a mythical Unicorn depicted on it. Now, our visual sensory experiences of the painting are absolutely real, there is no doubt about it. But in addition to the sensory experiences we recreate a mental representation of the painting with the mental image of the Unicorn and accompanying thoughts about the Unicorn. Again, such mental image and the thoughts are real to us - they are mental though forms and our experience of them is absolutely real. However, the meaning of those thoughts may not represent or reflect any realities (other than the meanings themselves). For example, the thought that "the Unicorn exists" has a meaning - the existence of the Unicorn. However, there is no "real" Unicorn in the universe other than our image and thought about it. In that sense, our image and thought about Unicorn that we experience in our consciousness are absolutely real, but the meaning of the belief-thought that the Unicorn exists independent of our imagination about it is an "illusion" (illusion meaning that it does not correspond to any reality outside of our imagination and thought about it).AshvinP wrote: ↑Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:50 pm The other issue is this - how can we say the qualitative experience is "real" and "illusory" under idealism at the same time? If the story of our "selves" navigating a world of qualitative experiences is an illusion, then everything which is experienced within that story must also be an illusion. Yet BK still maintains the idealist can confidently state that the redness of red or the brightness of light is a real quality of objective reality, whatever that is.
Similarly, the "self", if taken as a meaning of our mental representation/reflection of the totality of our private conscious experiences, is real - we all do have an idea of self and an intuitive sense of self as some mysterious "entity" or "being". However, there is no evidence or proof that such "self-entity" is actually real and that it is anything more than only a meaning of a thought. In that sense it can be said that the "self" is an "illusion".
1) Under idealism, how can we consistently claim the Unicorn image-thought is any less "real" than a horse image-thought (both in paintings), or a horse perception-thought (not in painting)? Clearly there is a difference between all three, but does that difference reside in the essence of those things? Put another way, are they different because one is independent of our perception-cognition and the others are not?
2) The Self-representation (not to be equated with isolated ego) seems to be even more fundamental to the objective world than any perception-thoughts. Yet many idealists will still claim it is an "illusion" in the way you mention. If that is true, then what is the implication for all of the other qualitative representations experienced within the Self-representation - are they equally as "illusory"? If so, then what right does an idealist have to claim their worldview maintains qualitative experience while the materialist worldview chucks it out the window?