The idea of enlightenment or liberation put forward in Hermann Hesse “Siddhartha” is quite wonderful.
There is a long standing tradition within philosophical thought of distinguishing between the world as it appears and the world as it is. Kant calls the two Noumenal reality and Phenomenal reality. In Hindu thought the world as it appears is reality seen through the veil of Maya.
I think the reason for the prevalence of this belief is that as humans we have a tendency to put things into words. It is not enough to see a flower but we must know its name. We must capture it in language. This is all well and good. It is useful. If someone else wants to experience flower then it is useful for us to be able to communicate where the flower is. It allows experience to become more communal.
The idea of enlightenment put forward in the book is enlightenment is seeing reality in appearance. That what appears is reality appearing. Now this sounds like ideality. It sounds like it is saying esse est percipi. But it really isn’t. It’s basically a forsaking of the question “What causes reality to appear?” and “why does reality appear as it does?” and “is there a reality that does appear?”. It is realizing that these questions are unanswerable. That in a sense they are meaningless.
See Berkeley didn’t prove that esse est percipi. He just showed that whatever causes experience is inconceivable not that nothing causes experience. In a sense nothing – no thing – is the cause of experience because a thing is something that is perceived, that is conditioned, and that has the qualities of experience such as extension, color, weight and so on. All we can really do is give an empty placeholder for the cause of experience – which may very well be non-existent; it may very well be that esse est percipi but we cannot authenticate such a claim.
So what is the grounds for knowledge? Experience and subjectivity are the grounds for knowledge. Even claims for the existence of God are grounded in experience and subjectivity. What are the grounds for objective knowledge? None.