If I told you that an Orange is not orange, and that if you gave me that non-orange citrus sphere, that you'd be giving it to you, would you shutter your ears and run away singing happy songs?
- Read the Short Version of Subjective Reality here.
There is a lot to discuss about New Thought, or a Higher Conscious. Mainly a lot because they are such expansive ideas that it requires many, many words to clearly articulate them. We run into a problem like trying to write 1,000 words to describe a photo, instead of just showing the picture to you. Unfortunately, when we're dissecting alternate realities like Subjective Reality, there aren't any pictures available. It's all in your head, or as we might see, all in my head.
I'm going to stab at this with four prefixes:
- Note that these thoughts are not "new," as the New Thought, New Age tags suggest. Those labels have worked their way into defining a general set of ideas, though, for this generation.
- As something of a glitch, there is a logic loop that ensues wherein it can only be broken when you decide to accept something. This is unfortunate because that leap of accepting is neither logical, nor "scientific."
- I will use quotation marks a lot because I don't want you to take everything as literal as possible; we want to leave room for expansion on the thought.
- Lastly, I'm going to interchange Pronouns a lot! In Subjective Reality, they can be interchanged at will, and working that into your reality is a large step in "getting" it.
What is Subjective Reality?
According to Subjective Reality, your present everything (all that is in your life, and around you) is there, is manifest (existing) because you wanted it to, or you want it to...e.g. you allowed it, you accepted it, and you currently accept it. This makes people who aren't ready for any other perspective a little annoyed. If you don't have any exposure to Subjective Reality yet, start with Steve Pavlina's comparison of Subjective Reality and Objective Reality. As far as I can tell, he coined the term. The concept is similar to a wave of thought that I was already riding, so it was chewable for me, but I still had some objections that I needed to work out. You probably share some, so they follow this summary of what Subjective Reality is.
In Subjective Reality, there is only "you" in this reality, and everything else is a projection of your consciousness. I am a projection of your consciousness, your mother, and your memories are too. This is only a problem as people's interpretation of the word "you," or their perception of themselves is skewed.
Really understanding it comes with thinking more about the "one mind," or "one consciousness." When you overcome the this is hokey new age crap objection you can logically agree that ecosystems are one system of "many," and that energy, in its literal sense as we know it from 9th-grade Science is circular, or better put, pervasive; it transcends. Ice, water, vapor, push, pull, give, take...all results of energy changing intensity, or passing from one object to another, but never coming out of nowhere, or vanishing into the same. It was there, and it is there. This phenomenon is widely evident in the many ecosystems that we observe living with each other on our planet, and they illustrate that we are all one.
Who's Running This Show?
There's a great example in Wiley and Formby's Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival; a fantastic book about sleep quality and being fat. (You notice that as you're more aware of higher thought, it appears in many smart people's vernacular, reaching into many different subjects.) They point out, as we sorta know, that we are host to countless swarms of bacteria inhabiting us in the same way we inhabit this world.
Our "personal bacteria" are constantly at war with other bacteria and viruses over the occupation of us. The outcome of this battle determines our health, fertility, and life span. In their words, "All of evolving species had to evolve around, or, more to the point, with, bacteria." Bacteria had claims to this existence long before any of us got here!
We co-evolved, and these bacteria keep us alive literally, and largely for their own benefit. They augment our immune system, and they're also kept at bay by our immune system. One effect of you getting sick is a mass exodus of bacteria jumping ship, in the form of diarrhea. So are they part of our immune system, or are we part of theirs? We are one. We are an integrated immune system, an ecosystem, contributing to the larger immune system of this planet. Biology and Physics are pretty amazing.
When Paradigms Shift with a Click.
Leading into paradigm shifts, a large problem encountered before the change comes from using words from the current paradigm to explain the new one. Paradigms have to "click," which is accepting something as a reality, and in turn (afterward) seeing the evidence. Unfortunately, that click is a logical conclusion that contradicts logic and "scientific" processes.
For example, most of us agree that everything is vibration (frequencies, expressions of energy). If you don't, a little study of a spectrum chart, running from sound waves, to radio wave, to light, to radiation, will bring you up to speed. "Solid" state would be a little below sound. We can also agree that energy isn't created or destroyed. Now use that to jump to the conclusion that we're all related in substance, we're connected, and everything is created by the same "thing," or at least is of the same thing. Further, "we, you, I," are that thing. If you make that leap, we're at a place where we can explore Subjective Reality.
Objections, and Q&A from a Smart Guy.
I think I'm intelligent, and open minded. With that, though, I had several objections when first digesting Subjective Relativity. What follows is the exploration of those objections, that you probably share, from the perspective of a smart person as they were overcome.
Why can't you just give to me without having to think of it as giving to yourself?
This was my wife's actually. This morning she thanked me via text message for a long hug I gave her in the kitchen before she left for work. She was washing dishes, oddly enough, being in a rush, while I hugged her.
I sent her a text message in reply, "That hug is a part of my oneness experiment. If you consider that hugging another is hugging yourself, then you'll hug those that you care about frequently. :) I love you."
Her response was, "Eh..." A simple, awkward, "Eh..."
I tried to ask her not to dismiss my hokey-pokey explorations, but she was more concerned about why I couldn't hug her just to hug her, to love her.
I responded, "You're missing the point. I do love you. Very much. That's why I hugged you. If you look beyond that, there is no 'me' so it's not hugging you to hug 'me.' It's hugging you because I love...and I love you." I was intentional with my words there. She hates it when I get tricky, but if you take the center off of "you," as in 1st person, "why can't you hug 'me'?" then there is a larger hug there. In intention, I'm hugging "her," but I see her as an extension of my chosen reality, an extension of me (and then onto "you," and "him," ect.).
Mother Teresa said, as quoted by James Twyman in The Moses Code, "When I'm hungry give me someone I can feed, and when I'm thirsty, give me someone I can give a drink to." You see where she was going there? She views the act of giving something, the same as receiving it. But not so much that she gave to get, just in that she is the same being as that being she is giving to. She is giving to herself without taking the words literally. She is looking through the lens of Subjective Reality.
How can I be me, and everyone else?
What I've found with this objection is that you're limiting the idea of "you" with this question. 1.) Remember that we're using words again to help define a paradigm. 2.) The metaphor, when you explore it for meaning, is just another way of envisioning (on a simpler level) the fact that you are completely responsible for everything in your life.
If you accept the paradigm element of "you are him and her," and "she is he and you," it's another way of accepting, or acknowledging (consciously owning) that anything anyone does (read, anything that happens) around you is a product of your making. "You" must own it, and one way of owning your entire situation is thinking of others that act on you as you acting on you.
If I stop thinking about you, do you stop existing?
I only had a mild hurdle with this. Sure. The answer is, yes, in theory. The problem here is that you rarely stop actually thinking about someone, to the extent of that thought actually being blank, absent in the mind, or taken out of the mind. Think on that. And if you did completely stop thinking about that person, how would you "know?" Does that person really exist then? Not in your reality...not in "reality."
So, everything I experience is just occurring inside my own head?
Quoted verbatim from the Pavlina Q&A, and his answer is, "No. Everything you're experiencing is occurring inside your consciousness, not the other way around."
There's a word trip-up there for the over-thinkers like me. I rephrase it as such, for clarity: "Everything you're experiencing is occurring inside the consciousness." Don't get hung up on the, "Your." The "You" doesn't own it. Work with that wording for a second, "the You." It's not a possessive quality, it is a reality...subjective to your thinking. Of which, depending on what level of consciousness you're on, or want to be on, should help you understand, or accept the broader meaning of "You." Everything you're experiencing is occurring inside the consciousness, of which you're a part, but further, of which you "are."
So can I stop time then, or reset to the '50's?
Theoretically, yes. But this would also be a denial of your present situation. Time, in that sense, is just a label of some manifestation within your reality, like a memory you accept as a reality. Secondly, I would argue that we, as a consciousness, routinely recreate time. The styles of the 80's are already gaining strength, 30 years later. As humanity, as far as we can observe, or chose to "remember" it, we (I, you) tend to go in cyclical patterns of thought and awareness.
Well, Hokey-Guru Sir, Can I walk through a wall, or run into a tree and not have it hurt?
There are several variations of Yes for this one. With the preface that at this point we are just splitting theoretical hairs, well below the level of conscious we (I, you) want to be at right now. But let's entertain it!
In 2000, when I was a junior enlisted sailor in the Coast Guard, I was sailing in the Pacific and a shipmate posed a question to me when I told him that Philosophy was a collection of mental garbage. Things are absolute, and that is that. He assured me that he could prove anything wrong, or to be other than absolute. So I threw the quickest fast ball I had at him and asked him to prove to me that an Orange, the fruit, is not orange, in color. There was no way. An orange was orange, that why it's called an orange! He returned a curve ball with swift timing that changed my opinion on philosophy forever. I later used the retort on an Economics professor that was giving me a problem with his literal interpretations of everything.
My friend's matter of fact response was that an Orange is actually every color but orange because it absorbs all colors and reflects, or rejects, orange. Its simplicity caught me off guard.
BUT- Can I walk through a wall? Well, yes, if we walked hard enough, if we hit the right fault in the masonry, or simply if we will it so, but that last one would require a drastic paradigm shift that your (our) awareness might not be ready for, or want yet.
And regarding the tree, that is yes also. ...relative to who is defining, or how we define hurt. Ego? Physical? Do we acknowledge the body's signals saying that running has stopped and its force was met with equal and opposing force? Did that "hurt?" The annoying answer to this question is that it didn't have to hurt (try telling your wife she doesn't "have" to be angry!).
I would argue, and I choose to believe that pain is a healthy signal. You also hurt that tree, but the ego will only focus on its own hurt. There was something greater going on there, however. Your (our) foolishness in running into the tree posed damage to an ecosystem that we have willed in place. A better question is, why is that tree (you) in your (my) life, and why do you want to hurt it? Finding these answers will prove much more edifying!
How do you know what Jesus, or any historical figure, actually meant when you quote him, and aren't you contradicting yourself after saying there is no past or future?
A reminder: We are bound by words within our common language to convey an idea that is much larger than words. If any three people are on different levels of consciousness, and the same set of words is used, there will be three different meanings for those words.
How do I know that this is what Jesus meant when he said he and the Father were one, for example?
I "know" for the same reason I "understood" what it meant when I was nine, in Sunday School, and then actually understood when I was 13 in big-person church, and then actually understood when I was 19, on my own in Alaska with my first Coast Guard assignment, reading it myself. I know in the same way that later when I was 22 I actually understood it, and cast it away, and now, many years later, I actually understand it as I view it through the lens of "New Thought." You follow me?
This "knowing" is subjective to your own understanding, or what you choose to accept. See the logic loop problem from the opening paragraph?
Regarding time (past tense, and future), it only contradicts itself in the way I choose to express my words, as I attempt to exchange an idea with you. I could argue that I know it was said because I wanted it to be said, and it is helpful in defining the vast Subjective Reality that I'm attempting to swallow. I could also argue that it is being said now, this very moment, or further, that I am saying it; I said it. If you change the word, or transcend the literal meaning, it says "you" and the Father are one, or "we" are one. Chew on that for a while. We are one, I am one with the Father, because Jesus and I are one, in the same way that you and I are one, enveloped in the same consciousness.
Calm Down Now.
It's easy to get carried away with words. In every flavor of New Thought, though, there are several reoccurring principles whether you accept an Objective Reality, Subjective Reality, Matrix Reality, or philosophical nothing-exists reality. You see these principles in Prentice Mulford's Thoughts Are Things, first published in 1889, Wallace T. Wattle's The Science of Getting Rich, from 1910, Charles Haanel's The Master Key System, published in 1912, and countless other books that have come after them like Think and Grow Rich, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Secret (pretty much a remake of Haanel's Master Key System), and any other self-help book on the shelf. Any of them!
The Four Reoccurring Principles of New Thought & Personal Development:
It's not a bad thing that these ideas keep getting regenerated. They are effective, and they are qualities that better people's lives. The first step in any process of growth is accepting your reality, which leads to taking full responsibility for all of it. This is probably the most difficult step. This in itself is a paradigm shift. You are responsible for it all. Items in this world, your world, can only act on you to the extent with which you choose to react. You are responsible for your behavior, the things that happen to you, and your surroundings, from the color of your bedroom walls, to the people you hang out with.
After acceptance and responsibility comes gratitude, expressing it, and giving thanks for everything thing that is around you. It is good. And that ends in giving. Giving is the next reoccurring principle, and if you accept that everything is connected, is a whole "one," then giving to another person is giving to "you."
We've landed full circle at the definition of "you," and looking inside to define that is the beginning and, in many respects, the end of this...if you accept time in your reality. I personally hang on to metrics that allow me to learn and discover in life, and time is one of those. Subjective Reality is less about figuring out the mechanics of each minor why regarding what you know of life now, but more about redefining it completely and shaping a platform of thought from which you can fly circles around the universe, literally, or just in thought.