Subjective Reality vs.
http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2007/09/subjective-reality-vs-solipsism/ Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www.foxitsoftware.com For evaluation only.
Subjective Reality vs. Solipsism
September 16th, 2007 by Steve Pavlina
I want to make a distinction between subjective reality and solipsism, since many readers still confuse the two. I think the best way to explain the difference is by way of a simple analogy: lucid dreaming. Imagine you’re having a lucid dream. This means you’re lying in bed having a dream, and while still within the dream world, you become conscious and aware that you’re dreaming. In the dream you might be playing some role other than your real-life persona, but you know the real you is lying in bed asleep, and that your dream persona is just a character you can control. Even while you’re lucid, you probably can’t control everything, nor would you necessarily want to, but the knowledge that you’re dreaming gives you a fascinating new perspective on your in-dream experience. You can interact with the dream reality on a whole new level. I’d say the main difference is that you become virtually fearless, since you know that nothing in the dream world can hurt the real you — the dreamer who’s having the dream. It will still feel scary to fall off a building, and a hard landing may still trigger the sensation of real pain, but you’ll be a lot more willing to try interesting things just for the experience. Subjective reality = lucid dreaming while awake Subjective reality is basically lucid dreaming while awake. It’s not really a belief — it would be more accurate to say that it’s a perspective. Subjective reality is the perspective that recognizes that you are in fact the dreamer and that everything you perceive in the dream world, including your dream body and the other dream characters and objects, is taking place within your larger consciousness.
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com/blog/2007/09/subjective-reality-vs-solipsism/ Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. like you get beat up by another dream character. Solipsism
http://www. If it experiences pleasure. your knowing that it’s all a dream adds an element of enthusiasm and fun to everything.
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2013/06/29 03:23 ﻅ. the one I’ve described in my previous writing on the topic. If your dream body gets hurt. you know that the dream character you control isn’t the real you — the real you is asleep on a bed somewhere. you may feel that emotional reaction. it’s such a wonderful feeling you never want to let it go.ﺏ
. it can be frustrating. you may still feel the pain.Subjective Reality vs. having the dream. it’s normally a very exciting experience. a construct of consciousness. In effect you become lucid while physically awake. except that you apply it to waking physical reality instead of your nighttime dreams. and that outer consciousness is in fact the real you. When you have a seemingly negative experience while lucid dreaming. Your dream body is merely your first-person interface to the dream world. is basically the same concept of having a lucid dream.stevepavlina. But when that dream body dies.” Once you get a grasp on that perspective. You’re still experiencing reality — it doesn’t simply stop – but because you recognize it as a dream. pain. In a very immersive game. and you simply wake up. But on another level. recognizing that there’s another layer of dreaming and that this physical reality is also fully contained within a larger consciousness. Your physical body-mind is merely your first-person interface to the dream world.
When you’re fully lucid. The non-dream version of subjective reality.com For evaluation only.foxitsoftware. “Wow! I’m dreaming. everything changes. you begin to relate to life from a state of inherent fearlessness. When people experience their first lucid nighttime dream. the real you lying in bed remains alive. when something bad happens to your character. on one level you may still experience some fear or other negative emotions. but because you know you’re really the outside dreamer who cannot be truly harmed by anything within the dream. If something in the dream startles you. and fear as you react automatically to in-dream events. This is absolutely amazing. I can describe the feeling as one of exhilaration… like. Once you reach this level of lucidity. You will still experience pleasure. you’re able to interact with it on a whole new level. you may feel the pleasure. It’s like playing a video game.
sees ALL the dream characters (including yours) as equal projections of the outer dreamer. However. This perspective regards your dream character as real and conscious. Solipsism is basically what you get when you try to interpret subjective reality through an objective lens. also recognizes the dream nature of reality. Solipsism
but it’s still fun. and no character is more or less valid or conscious than any other character. but the other dream characters are just projections and are not conscious by themselves.foxitsoftware.Subjective Reality vs. Solipsism doesn’t recognize the existence of the outer dreamer in which the whole experience is taking place. solipsism assumes that your dream character (aka your in-dream ego) is in fact the real you and is somehow creating the other characters as a projection of its own ego. If you filter reality through the objective lens and then
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2013/06/29 03:23 ﻅ. but it just didn’t feel right to me. Subjective reality is a perspective that allows you to tap into the joy behind every negative emotion. on the other hand. like subjective reality.com/blog/2007/09/subjective-reality-vs-solipsism/ Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. Solipsism is the perspective that says your avatar is the only thing in the game that’s real. and the whole simulation is somehow a product of your avatar’s mind or ego. Maybe you can find some value in the perspective of solipsism. Subjective reality. I know they’re really talking about solipsism. Subjective reality filtered through an objective lens is not subjective reality When people tell me they’re concerned that seeing the world through the lens of subjective reality will make them feel lonely or depressed. Imagine you’re playing a video game where you control a particular character who can move around within the game world. To me it seems objectively unprovable and subjectively disempowering.stevepavlina. That character is your avatar. they’re all just projections of a larger consciousness. Solipsism = degenerate. I tried holding it for a while. but I don’t find it particularly useful. partial lucidity Solipsism.com For evaluation only. It assumes everything is emanating from the dream ego and that there is no outer dreamer. This is the perspective I described in The Joy of Sadness. Even so.ﺏ
In fact I rely on both lenses just
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2013/06/29 03:23 ﻅ. but if you try to run them sequentially. First. I think that gave me a major head start in being able to apply these same perspectives to physical reality. What happens when you try to listen to blue? You get nothingness. If you wish to grasp the perspective of subjective reality.ﺏ
. It’s like taking the output of your eyes and then running it through your ears.
pass the result of that filtering through the subjective lens. How can you explain sound in terms of sight. He thinks he’s the only conscious being in the universe. The only conscious being in the universe? I sometimes stumble upon people writing on their blogs. When the objective perspective is all you’ve ever known.foxitsoftware. Solipsism
http://www. but my words can never adequately describe the real experience. I know this isn’t easy to do.Subjective Reality vs. Imagine if you were born deaf and then suddenly gained your hearing after decades of filtering reality through your visual sense. etc? But that’s essentially what I’m trying to do when I write about subjective reality through an objective medium. independent perceptual filters. you end up with essentially nothing. lucid (subjective perspective) dreams.com/blog/2007/09/subjective-reality-vs-solipsism/ Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. If you’ve never experienced lucid dreaming or astral projection. You can run both filters in parallel.com For evaluation only. For everyone else the best I can do is provide a pointer to the experience. It might take a lot of practice before you could successfully rely on your hearing in parallel with your vision. it assumes that I equate my identity with subjective reality. meaning that I don’t also perceive reality through the objective lens. The people that are able to grasp it easily are usually those who’ve already had some experience with it. smell. “Steve believes in subjective reality. it’s hard to even conceive of other. you have to put down the objective lens first. I imagine it would be much harder to understand subjective reality.” That’s false on two levels. What helped me most through this process was that I was an experienced lucid dreamer for years before I began to explore the perspective of subjective reality. the null set. I already had the experience of distinguishing between non-lucid (objective perspective) dreams vs. you’ll never get it. and I completely sympathize with those who find this a frustrating endeavor. It’s like trying to explain hearing to a deaf person.stevepavlina.
To say that I believe this Steve persona is the only conscious being in the universe is simply untrue. It’s like playing a video game — you know you’re playing a game. such statements confuse subjective reality with solipsism. partial lucidity. accurate. personally I don’t find solipsism very practical. you may temporarily focus on one perspective more than another. For me the adoption of the subjective lens was like gaining a new physical sense. While solipsism is a distinct perspective from subjective reality. just as you may focus on your hearing more than your eyesight under certain conditions. or empowering.com/blog/2007/09/subjective-reality-vs-solipsism/ Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www. so the game is experienced both subjectively and objectively. and it certainly won’t switch off your common sense. Subjective reality and creativity Some people fear that perceiving physical reality through the subjective lens will somehow mess up their lives or make them do stupid things. At any given time. The process can be confusing at first. Imagine being deaf your whole life and then gradually learning to hear. The subjective perspective runs in parallel to the objective one. Hopefully you can see that solipsism is not remotely the same thing as the subjective reality perspective I’m describing. but they assume their creative power lies within their individual ego. If you can make sense of the new
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2013/06/29 03:23 ﻅ.com For evaluation only. Then you get the hard-core objectivists attacking such people as loons. I notice a lot of people these days try to utilize the Law of Attraction while harboring a perspective that’s pretty close to solipsism. Consequently. Oh well. but you simultaneously perceive the game world through the eyes of your in-game avatar. Their results are often dismal. I suspect such people have never had a lucid dream. I consider solipsism to be a degenerate. But at no time do you ever lose access to other perspectives or senses.ﺏ
. I don’t perceive consciousness as being centered within my ego. They hold a semi-objective view of the world. but solipsism keeps you trapped in the dream world by making the assumption that your dream ego is somehow the real you. Subjective reality is lucidity. but it isn’t going to cost you your eyesight.foxitsoftware. Solipsism
http://www.Subjective Reality vs.
as I rely on both my eyesight and hearing.stevepavlina. Secondly.
I think you’ll find the addition of the subjective viewpoint to be very empowering.
perceptual input coming through. Overall the lucid perspective is very empowering. By gaining a new input channel. Sure. The perspective of subjective reality adds a certain spiciness to life. the subjective perspective can greatly enhance your creative ability. it’s a very empowering and amazing experience.ﺏ
. you also gain new output channels. much like gaining a new physical sense. and other physical senses are perceptive filters.
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2013/06/29 03:23 ﻅ. and you gradually begin to hear sounds. but it does mean that if you choose to pursue it. I find that when I’m lucid dreaming. hearing. but I still have to practice in order to build skill. Accuracy vs. If you live in a world where most people are deaf. The empowering perspective of lucidity gives me access to new abilities I wouldn’t otherwise possess.com/blog/2007/09/subjective-reality-vs-solipsism/ Generated by Foxit PDF Creator © Foxit Software http://www.Subjective Reality vs. Solipsism
http://www. you could do it. I can do a lot more. but it’s still fun and interesting at times to pay attention to the objective perspective too.com For evaluation only. and there are still many things I can’t do very well. your ability to make the dream world “better” increases dramatically. but the output will probably be bland and mono-dimensional. you’re likely to encounter people who think it’s invalid because they’ve never experienced it… or they’ve experienced something like solipsism and assume you’re on a similar degenerate path. The dream doesn’t automatically switch to full “God mode. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try — I’m obviously willing to make the attempt — but don’t be surprised when you witness some resistance from the other dream characters. but they’re also creative ones. Eyesight. When you’re having a dream and you become lucid. You’ll have to ask yourself which is more important to you: accuracy or popularity. That doesn’t make it invalid.stevepavlina.foxitsoftware. Similarly. how will you explain your new perceptions to others? Good luck! They’ll probably think you’re daft. Imagine cooking a meal without your sense of smell or writing a play without being able to hear. popularity The main issue with the subjective reality perspective is that it’s not very common or popular.” I’ve been lucid dreaming since 1994. If you can pull it off. but I still have limits. both in terms of perception and creation.
Subjective Reality vs. Feel free to share.com.stevepavlina. www. Subjective Reality Life in a Dream World Living Subjectively
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