We can use our bodies to interact with an unlimited variety of media—whether newspapers (through the eyes) or podcasts (through the ears) or Braille (through the fingers), etc. But how do we ever comprehend the meaning of information (the meaning behind the media) if that meaning is, in fact, immaterial—having zero tangible qualities? (I have a separate post for this, What Words Are Not .) Regardless of how well we understand information, how do we perceive it in the first place if it is immaterial? How do perceive something that cannot be directly or indirectly seen, heard, felt, tasted, or smelled?
Many will argue that the premise of that question must be wrong: information simply must be a physical phenomenon, end of discussion. And yet we can prove that it is not. To the extent that we know anything at all, we can know that the physical medium of information is completely distinct from its nonphysical meaning. (Numbers, for example, are immaterial.)
But what if our minds were likewise immaterial—does that resolve the mystery? After all, how would a nonphysical mind ever “use/push” the physical brain? We seem to be at an impasse…until we come at the mystery through a side door. Instead of asking how mind directs matter, we can first ask when. For meaning always precedes media.