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Reality Is Mostly Subjective
A Wall Gazing Experiment
Without much hesitation I will gladly admit that after having read a ton of books dealing with realisms of human nature I opted for idealism instead. In those years of a lot of experimenting to prove or debunk this or that in that fund of information, I naturally wanted to prove the validity of my chosen idealism.
So I would sit facing my living room wall and spend some time just gazing at it, or that's what it would have looked like to my worried family if anyone had happened to be around at the time.
But what I did internally was seeing that wall as happy, then as sad, then as interesting, boring, funny, beautiful, ugly...---basically using it for a projecting screen of my different emotions and attitudes.
I must say, it takes a good dose of mental flexibility to attribute all those things to one beige wall. But by that time I had done some other things which enabled me to mobilize that flexibility in myself.
What did it do for me at the end, after I was pretty successful at it? The closest description would be an unutterable new sense of inner liberation, as I was just confirming my intellectually created truism about the nature of "reality" being so much more subjective than any hard core realist would ever be willing to admit it.
The Fabric of Reality
The great majority of folks calling themselves realists are merely escaping into a pseudo-pragmatism offered by some dry and sterile scientific "facts"---mainly due to a mental laziness to create anything beyond it.
Similar to religionists they stick to their scientific dogmas, while not realizing how those scholars of some depth don't see their realisms as some permanent truths. What is true today gets either modified or replaced tomorrow, while there are always new angles of seeing and exploring the same apparent "facts".
Going deeper into the fabrics of reality it becomes even more uncertain while it depends on who is the observer, and what are their expectations from observing.
As I am shifting the importance of reality away from its apparent objectivity, that doesn't mean that psychology could offer a better clue about a useful version of reality.
Namely, at its best, psychology is not a science at all, but an interpretive art. It's useful in studies of our programmable part of psyche with its emotional variables, dealing with our life-roles and their interactions within and without.
But again, just like that seemingly objective science, it is not offering any guidelines in life. What does it is spirituality being based on an idealistic approach.
So, what are the main tenets and goals of personal idealism?
Common Sense Sucks
Idealism is all about out-of-box thinking which dares to perceive-conceive-believe and act beyond the socially instilled "common sense". Common sense, this much valued form of logic is an artificially produced crap generated by our programmed collective consciousness.
It works well within the frames of our interactions as to make our behavior more recognizable and easier to categorize into files of general agreement---but that's where it stops. Namely, it doesn't offer anything beyond those norms of life orientation.
According to my view of personal idealism, life without continuous creating something new in our model of experiencing is not really worth living. It's merely a form of animalistic-instinctual survivalism, just adapted to the level of our species' intelligence.
In terms of everyday experiencing, survivalism is not based on what we want, but what we want to avoid in the constant battle against lack, sickness, and death. While we may be pampering ourselves with more dignifying explanations, it really boils down to that.
Sameness without creation means stagnation, although we prefer seeing it as security and certainty, supported by realisms of life. Those are the realisms which ignore what we want, merely keeping us focused on all that we don't want and finding strategies to avoid it.
This is most readily noticeable at older folks. All they think about is how to survive another day with help of their doctor, medications, therapies---while also feeding that inner dragon with all bad news, or their hard core realism. Realism which has brought them to that biological defeat in the first place, by weakening their immune system with constant existential fear and an awful stress management.
On the other hand, personal idealism means being constantly aware about what we want from this moment, this day, from our relationships, everything touching our life. Really folks, if we are not in charge of our reality---who is?
Swamp of Sameness
Just think about that gamut of information that's bombarding us on a daily basis---most of it being a copy of something from months, maybe years ago. It's like chewing on a same mental gum day in day out.
And when we accept that to be our reality, we qualify to call ourselves "hard core realists". So many, if not most of us are so proud of the labels we attach to ourselves in the name of that realism. Like: "I am a proud American; a proud Christian; Moslem; Republican; Democrat; woman; homosexual...etc.
Then we squeeze all our beingness into the frames of those labels which identify us, limit us, and dupe us out of our conscious wanting. It never crosses our minds that society is made up of individuals, and if every individual separately and privately chose constructive and positive ways of being, there would be no political or social issues to which to devote our efforts.
Personal idealism spreads then to the way we are treating our bodies. I don't listen to my body spying on every out of whack sensation. In other words, I am not interested so much in the obvious realism of my body---I always think in terms of how I want it to function.
As the result, I haven't seen any doctors for about a decade now; I don't use any meds, not even antacids, painkillers, or preparation-H; and I still don't know what a headache feels like---at this age of 72.
I love my body; I trust it; and I think it trusts me too, since I don't do anything to disturb its biological equilibrium, including piling up stress and weakening its immunity.
Being an idealist means being conscious about what I want, rather than being constantly on guard inside against all that I would not want.
What Are You Going to Do About It?
Our body, starting with brain and nervous system is a goal-oriented servo-mechanism, always expecting from our dominant thoughts, attitudes, emotions, and beliefs to provide directives for its functioning.
So, whatever we are giving our attention to on a regular basis---and especially what we are backing up with strong emotions---our subconscious executive mechanism interprets as those goals to work on. Now, imagine what happens to us as we keep bombarding ourselves with stuff over which we have no control---like politics for the best example.
That's why one of the most valuable mottos of my idealism has been: "What are you going to do about it?" Just revving my nervous engine without moving anywhere ---is harmful. Then, sooner or later body takes over, running on automatic pilot after not taking us seriously anymore.
While we keep seeing those things out of our control as our "reality", ready to swear that "politics very much concerns everybody", we are sending some very confusing signals to our mind/body.
In my views, politics is not everyone's business. You trust, you vote, you let them do their job, like a bus driver does his---period. You are not participating in running a country. Have you tried? Did it ever work for you? If it did, tell me how, and I will gladly try to make my prime minister do something about the pensioners' taxes.
What body gives us in return for trying to live everybody else's life more than our own should give us a hint that hard core realism actually sucks. Being realists we are being re-active to life instead of being pro-active by knowing what we want and doing something effective about it.
Indeed, it seems like we are all the time focusing on what others want or don't want, and then life is merely "happening to us" making us victims of society one way or another.
Weird---if It Doesn't "Ring a Bell"
Being hard core realists doesn't require us to use our minds---we base all our thinking on realisms of science, religion, and common sense. I don't mean to be sarcastic here, but I must say that an incredible number of folks use their heads mainly for wearing baseball hats, turbans, burkas, toupee, wigs, or helmets---and that's supposed to identify them better than what's inside.
Our "realism" is determined by what others have said about our reality, not what we want to make of it. We like "referring to" something or someone. Sometimes I have little discussions and people are quick to ask me: "Where are these ideas coming from?" They want to match my ideas to some existing files in their brains.
They want to "recognize" me, apparently unable to give a fresh look at anything. If they don't succeed---they will call me "weird", because my ideas don't "ring a bell", don't belong to any of those files in their heads.
Personal idealism is about finding that most effective model of dealing with life's demands and challenges---not "seeing everything as rosy or perfect in life". By idealizing we don't see our reality the way others are serving it to us, but the way we choose to interpret it with a mind always open for a fresh, even if never used before approach.
What is real and true to us is our own contribution to life, with our thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and beliefs. The moment we turn into reactive robots merely responding---mostly defensively---we can call ourselves "hard core realists", because we are bound to find many others who will attest to that "reality". It's theirs, not ours. While we can find touching points with others, we do it because we want it, not because it's a realistic thing to do.
So, could we step back a little, and as if for the first time ask ourselves: "Is this life the one I want? Is this the reality my baby-self, or my childhood-self would see as worth dreaming about?"
Don't we owe something to those younger-selves? Like, asking them what they want for a change? For, we left that age when creating something new and growing was a norm of being---later on so brainwashed by others' will that we abandoned our own.
Could we change that? Or, could we become enough of idealists to want changing it?