Get ready for this post. It’s a mind blowing path to enlightenment. We are going to consider some different theories of reality. We’re going to open our minds and consider an array of possibilities to define our existence. Use caution while reading, you are likely to experience brain ache by the time you get to the end of this post. If you do make it to the end with your brain intact, I’ll share some ways of applying these mind bending realities to drastically improve your life.
I was recently introduced to the concept of subjective reality through some posts at StevePavlina.com. Steve has started at 30 day experiment to live in and embrace a subjective reality. Subjective reality is a new term to me, and it spurred some interesting thoughts within. When approaching the topic of subjective reality, I think it’s best to start with (what I’d call) the opposite, Objective Reality.
Objective Reality is based on the idea that our world is “mind independent.” Meaning that the physical world we live in really exists, is subject to universal laws, and that everything in this world is the same for everyone. Everyone sees everything the same. In this world, facts are facts. Objective reality may also be referred to as philosophical realism.
Basically, it’s the world that most people believe we live in. A physical world defined by physical laws and is not and cannot be changed by perception or thought.
Now that you have the concept of Objective Reality, let’s move into the world of Subjective Reality. Let me get you primed with the Wikipedia definition of Subjective Reality.
“Subjective reality states that reality and all of the things, concepts, and “truths” in the universe change between individuals. Simply put, we all live in different worlds. All of these worlds may have things in common but because of each of our unique perspectives on our worlds we are left with an altered existence or reality of existence. If someone in Africa is aware of fire and is seeing it and an Eskimo in the Arctic that has never seen fire before to him the fire does not exist.”
I find it helps to think of Subjective Reality as a dream world. Your real self, which you may think of a spirit or soul, is somewhere else. It could be physical or non physical, but in either case, it brings the physical you to this world through a dream. That is, the reality is manifested by your thoughts. To say it another way, the real you is the dreamer, and the physical world you see is the dream.
From there, my thoughts really took off. Once I started considering different possibilities for “reality,” my mind started racing with ideas.
Perhaps there are no other dreamers participating in my dream. This entire physical world is created for me, and possibly by me. It’s like a dream that you might have while you are sleeping. The entire world is created by you, and nobody else is participating. The other people in this dream are simply manifestations of your own thoughts. You create all the people in your dream.
Then I started thinking about other possibilities. Perhaps it’s my dream and yet other people come into my dream. Or maybe someone else created the dream and I’m part of their dream. In order to solidify these thoughts, I broke them down into some categories so I could corral them before pondering them further. To me (at least for now) it came down to who created this world and are there really other people in it. When reading through this, keep in mind that I am approaching each reality concept as me being a dreamer with an avatar or physical manifestation in the dream.
I am the creator
First we have the worlds where I create the dream and thus create the physical world in which the dream takes place.
The entire physical world is created for me by me. I am the only player in this dream.
This type of world can be compared to our dreams when we sleep. I create the dream. I may see other people in my dream, but they are all created by me. Everything, including the world, the people, and the rules of this world are created by me.
I think this would be considered to be Solipsism or is at least very similar, although Steve Pavlina (if I understand him correctly) considers Solipsism to imply the dream and the dreamer are one, meaning there is no differentiation between the two.
Further, and again if I understand him correctly, Steve Pavlina considers this “physical world created by me, as the dreamer, and I am the only player in the dream” to be his concept of Subjective Reality.
In addition to comparing these concepts to dreams and dreamers, I like to compare them to video games. It gives me another frame of reference to work with.
Example: Consider the Pac Man video game. In this example, I am Pac Man, and I created the Pac Man video game. I control myself, the ghosts, the placement of the dots, the layout of the game board. I control all aspects of the game and can change them to the extent that I believe I can.
In Steve’s definition of Solipsism, I am the Pac Man, but there is no controller, I control myself from within the game.
Physical world implications: I can’t fly because I believe I can’t fly. I self imposed that rule. Since I self imposed it, it’s very difficult to overcome. It requires a complete change in belief to overcome. The rule limiting flight can be overcome at any time when I accept the belief as truth. The people I interact with are all a part of me. If I argue with someone, I am actually arguing with myself.
In a personal development and law of attraction sense, this subjective view of reality is very powerful. It’s self centric meaning that everything in life (in our dream world) is created by us. We create them to deal with and overcome our own issues and to create opportunities to learn. And since we create everything then anything we believe can manifest into reality.
The entire physical world is created by me. There are other players that enter my dream.
This is a world where I create the dream, and but it’s open for other people to enter. It’s like when two people have the same dream and that they interacted together in this dream. This would mean there are multiple worlds. We are always a part of our world, but we may enter the worlds created by others as well.
Example: Considering Pac Man, I create the game, I control my Pac Man, the placement of the dots, the layout of the game board, but I may have Ms. Pac Man or maybe even Donkey Kong jump into my game for a while. This would also imply that I may enter their video games as well.
Physical world implications: I can’t fly because I believe I can’t fly. I self imposed that rule. Since I self imposed it, it’s very difficult to overcome. It requires a complete change in belief to overcome. The rule limiting flight can be overcome at any time when I accept the belief as truth. The rules of my world would create the limitations of those entering my world, and I am subject to the rules of world created by others. The rules of this world would be very limiting as it would be the sum of all limitations.
An outside entity as the creator
The next two examples consider subjective realities in which someone else creates the world. This could be a God created universe. Or it could be a Q created universe as in Star Trek.
The entire physical world is created for me by someone else. I am the only player in this dream.
I like to think of this one as a virtual reality world, or as a video game. A programmer creates the game and I’m the player of the game. I am still the dreamer, and my dream world is created by this programmer. I enter the dream through my physical representation. Once entered into this world, I must follow the rules of the programmer. I am free to move about and experience this world, but I’m constrained to the rules created by the programmer. There are no other players in this world. All players are created by the programmer and respond to me based on the input I provide.
Example: Consider PacMan as an example. I enter the world as Pac Man. I eat a bunch of dots, and then I meet some ghosts. These ghosts are other people, but they are just here for me. They are not actually controlled by anyone, but are created by the programmer for the sole purpose of interacting with me in some way.
Physical world implications: Everyone and everything that I interact with is here just for me. I can’t fly because that is the limitation placed on this world by the designer, programmer, or God. Everyone I interact with is here just for me, to teach me, for me to learn from, or me to experience the physical and emotional with. In this world, murder would have no meaning, since all entities other than myself are simply part of the program and not attached to any sentient being. Murder does not affect any other sentient being since none exist in this world, but it may impact the rules of the programmer, and thus have an impact on me.
The entire physical world is created by someone else. There are other players in this dream.
This world is like a multiplayer video game. As with the prior example, a programmer creates the game world, and I must follow the rules established by the programmer. In this world, however, there are other dreamers that I interact with. These dreamers control their own physical representations, and things they do in this world may affect my world. For those accepting a subjective reality, this is likely the most common perception of it. God creates a universe, and our soul bodies inhabit physical bodies to experience this physical world.
Example: Think of it like two people playing Pac Man at the same time. If one of them eats a ghost or a dot, then that dot is no longer available to me. I can interact with this other player. I can team up to get all the dots, or I can compete to get more dots. Every action I make has an effect on the other player(s).
This is also the reality as portrayed in the movie The Matrix. The dream world is created by the machines, and all the dreamers plug into the dream world.
Physical world implications: The people we interact with are sentient beings. My actions will affect others in this reality. I can’t fly because that is the limitation placed on this world by the designer, programmer, or God. Murder will terminate the physical representation of the dreamer.
Open Source worlds, we’re all creators
After thinking about worlds that I create and worlds that are created by God, I considered another alternative; Worlds that are created by many. I call this the open source reality.
The entire physical world is created for many or by many, but I have my own interpretation of it. We create the physical by agreement. There are many players in the dream, but my vision of this dream is different from all the other players.
This is like open source software. Many people may contribute to the design and creation of the software, but we all might use it in different ways. Like a web browser for example. I might use that web browser to pay bills, while someone else might use it to watch videos. My interpretation of the software is based on my own needs and interactions.
Example: This is one of the harder concepts to grasp (at least for me,) so let’s consider another example. I am playing a video game. We’ll use Pac Man again. This version of Pac Man was created by many people. We’ll consider a version with two players; two Pac Men moving around the screen. In this version of Pac Man, as the game starts it’s full of dots. I can see the other Pac Man moving around the screen, gobbling up dots. After they eat a dot, in their reality, the dot is gone. But, in my reality, I still see a dot. It’s a dot that’s still available for me to chomp, even after the other player eats it. Zoom out to see the overall picture as an all reality seeing observer. You might see everyone on one screen, and as one player eats a dot, it becomes slightly transparent to indicate that it’s been eaten by one player, but still available to another. We all interact in the same world, but we see our own version of reality.
Physical world implications: The rules of the world are defined by many based on an agreement. The rules might be broken or changed, but it takes either a strong individual (like a Neo from the Matrix) or a group decision. I can’t fly unless the group as a whole decides it’s possible to fly. My actions may or may not affect others, it depends if my actions are part of their perceived reality.
The entire physical world is created by many, and we all interact together. We create the physical by agreement. All players in the dream see the same vision.
This is a more mainstream belief. Well, mainstream in that many people share this idea of reality more so than some of the prior ideas. It’s also more of an Objective Reality since everyone sees the same reality, yet I think it holds some subjective components since it’s created by agreement. In this reality, we are all dreamers, and we agree on a reality. This agreement creates the reality. We may be able to change small things within our reality, but the world as a whole requires the agreement of many. This world would be strong in the Law of Attraction. There have been experiments on ideas like this, where a group of people meditate on a single idea. One example is changing the weather. The idea being that when enough people think about shifting the path of a hurricane it or thinking (praying) for rain, their thoughts can manifest the reality.
I think this could have happened during the world trade center attack. I suspect everyone watching thought those building were going to fall (I know I did.) With so many millions of people thinking they would fall, in this type of agreed reality, it would cause it to happen. The questions becomes: Did I think they would fall based on a premonition, or did the combined thoughts cause them to fall?
All this consideration of different realities that may or may not exist can definitely be a strain on the brain. You may want to take a minute now to stand up and stretch. It took me several days of starting and stopping just to put all this together, so you might need a brain break, or maybe a KitKat (break me off a piece of that KitKat bar.) I’m sure I have only scratched the surface of various types of subjective realities. There are likely many more that could be imagined, but these are the ones that came to mind when I started thinking about it.
WDET (What Does Eric Think?)
You might be wondering what realm of reality I consider to exist. Honestly, I haven’t a clue. There’s likely a whole slew of realities that I haven’t even considered yet. I will tell you of an interesting experiment though.
This experiment is one currently being conducted by Steve Pavlina, which I mentioned at the beginning of the post. He is trying to live life subjectively. He is diving into the belief that the real Steve is a dreamer, and the world and the avatar Steve are in the dream world. This is like my first example of Subjective Reality, one in which the dreamer creates the dream and is also the only participant. Steve says it’s expanding his entire world for the better.
Your turn to Delve into the Subjective
I was really intrigued by all this, and being that I already subscribe to the law of attraction, this wasn’t too much of a leap. In fact I found it to be a powerful mind technique for using the law of attraction to manifest reality. You can use these ideas of subjective reality to activate the law of attraction for yourself.
Getting Started in a Subjective Reality
To get started, look around and imagine that instead of actually being here, you are far off in a galactic bed, and you have dreamt this world and everything that you see. You are in a dream. Everything here is your creation and it is all here in some form to benefit you.
I’ve read that some people have trouble getting started with this, and for others it’s an exhausting process. Maybe my experiments with the law of attraction, lucid dreaming, and out of body experiences have helped me to prepare for such a reality. I’m sure past experience has some bearing on this subjective reality experiment.
Even so, I think anyone can do it. I find it helps to not try too hard. Use your imagination. Relax and think of what it’s like to dream. The dream world is fixed for a time, and then it changes suddenly. This world is the same, over the course of a day or two, the world doesn’t change much, but over 20 years the world is an entirely different place. (Don’t get tied up in the time, since time is a relative term.) Notice the changes around you. Think back to your childhood town, if you went back now, you’d notice huge changes. It would be just like a dream that jumps from one place to another, huge changes.
You accept that your real world changes to your amazement, much like a dream does. Now consider the people in your dreams. They seem absolutely real in the dream. You talk with them, you interact with them, yet they are all created in your mind. They don’t really exist. Now expand that to the objective reality to make it subjective. Could you consider that all the people in this world don’t really exist either, and that you created them.
The next step is to think about a lucid dream. A lucid dream is a dream that you control. Have you ever controlled a dream? It’s a very interesting experience. I recommend you read up on lucid dreaming if you’ve never tried before, but for now just accept that you can change your dreams. You can recognize that you are dreaming and you can begin to control the dream.
Now apply that to the objective world to make it subjective. Imagine that you are in the dream, and you can control it. Controlling dreams may take a little practice, both in your bedtime lucid dream and in your new subjective reality dream.
Jump into an experiment
After considering for a couple of days how this world could be a dream world, I decided to give it a try. I started on a trip to the grocery store. I imagined that I controlled this dream and everything would go the way I wanted it to. I wanted to go into the (dream) store, find exactly what I wanted without wandering the isles. That’s truly a dream, to enter a grocery store and find the right isle every time. I wanted everyone (all my dream characters) to be friendly and feel good around me. You know what happened? I went in, found what I needed on every single isle on the first try, and the checkout person was really upbeat and friendly.
That went well, let’s try another
On a trip to Walmart, as I walked in the back door through the garden center I saw a huge line. I told myself that in my dream I never have to wait in line. I also decided that in my dream I wanted the checkout person to be friendly and chatty. I then continued into the store, made my shopping selections and headed for the checkout. In this case I think I needed to clarify my thoughts, because when I arrive there was one person at the checkout. I’m not sure if two people constitute a line, so I made a mental note to be clearer in the future. The checkout guy was super friendly and we did chat for a minute, which is very unusual for me at the checkout.
A couple days later I made another trip to Walmart for some sleepover supplies. My niece and nephew were over for a sleepover with my daughter. I needed some goodies for dinner and desert. In my dreams, I go with the flow and follow my thoughts or instincts. In this case I decided to skip Winn-Dixie and head to Walmart instead. I thought about how I wanted my dream visit to the dream store to go.
I wanted to find what I needed on the first try, and I wanted to find a checkout where I could walk right up and check out. I headed inside and was like a machine, moving through all the right isles and finding everything quickly. I also remembered that I needed some new underwear, because in my dream I always remember the items I need from the store, which was also the reason my intuition pointed me toward Walmart instead of Winn-Dixie.
After getting most of my items I heard it start to poor down rain. In my dream I don’t have to walk in the rain, the rain will stop for me. It seems this new intention affected the other intention of finding items quickly. I had a hard time finding the underwear, but I knew this was because it would take a minute for my dream rain to cease or slow. When I found the underwear it was marked down to half price! I like to save money in my dreams.
I headed to the checkouts, and right in front of me was a lane that was completely open, now waiting at all. So I checked out and headed outside. The rain had slowed from a torrential downpour to a very light drizzle. My dream knows I don’t really mind a light drizzle, so I headed out to the car.
The rest of the night was pleasant and fun, even with three kids tired and wore out from a full day of activities. It went that way because that’s how I dream it to be.
After a few days of experiences like this, I felt a need to analyze a little. There are a couple of possibilities and I’m fully aware and open minded to the fact that subjective reality could be a bunch of hogwash. All the happenings during my experiment could be explained away. They could also be the results of the Law of Attraction, by manifesting my thoughts and desires. If the Law of Attraction is the explanation, then approaching life as a dream world is a very powerful mind technique. Or it could be that the world really is all in my dream and I am beginning to learn to control it.
In any case, I’ve had a great week and I feel great. I’m going to end this post with an excerpt from The Matrix. This scene shows Neo placing a phone call to the machines. It’s not a perfect fit for my dream world, since I don’t imagine any machines, but I like the call to action. It’s a call to action for me and for you to choose the framework of our lives and to live the life we desire to live.
I know you’re out there…I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid. You’re afraid of us, you’re afraid of change…I don’t know the future…I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end, I came here to tell you how this is going to begin. Now, I’m going to hang up this phone, and I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you…a world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world…where anything is possible.
Where we go from there…is a choice I leave to you…