Subjective Reality

Do you and I share the same reality?  Reality is such a subjective thing.  We can have two completely different realities on one level, but on other levels totally agree.

For example, when you and I stand on the sidewalk and look at my house, we both see the same house.  We agree on its shape, color, size, etc.  We say that the house is real because it is an object with measurable features that we both agree on.  We can quantify it and agree on its measurements.  Its reality is not subject to our individual interpretation, so we would not say my house is a subjective reality.  Our perception of its size, shape, and mass is an objective reality that we can share.

In science, objectivity is the perspective of observing something for what it really is without the interpretation of the mind.  Objectivity wants to find truths that are “mind-independent” and not the result of any judgments or filters made by our consciousness.  Objectivity says that these are “real” truths.  Real truths can be shared and duplicated by others through a series of proofs that we call the scientific method.

An objective observer doesn’t actually exist in science because no matter how hard we try, we always bring subjectivity to our observations.  Humans don’t really perceive in any other way than subjectively.  We can never really be objective, but we can find objective truths.  Science is basically the search for objective truth with a subjective mind.

So, here we are standing on the sidewalk, sharing an objective reality about my house.  We agree on certain truths about my house, but the way we feel about the house is another story.  Our feelings are not objective.  Our feelings are subject to our individual interpretations so we say they are subjective, or maybe cognitive.

Our feelings and thoughts are influenced by a myriad of emotions and memories, and as such it is virtually impossible for two people to share the same subjective perspective about feelings.  We may have similar perspectives, but not shared perspectives.

This is an important distinction in science.  Objectivity requires a shared perspective.  Subjectivity does not.  Objectivity requires that a result can be reproduced with the same methods.  Subjectivity does not require that everyone experience something the same way.  It allows for a multitude of experiences.

For the past 300 years we have been using science to explore the objective realities of the world, and we’ve done a good job of it.  We have theories and equations for almost everything under the sun.  We can calculate energy from the mass of an object; we can explain Earth’s rotational effect on the atmosphere; we can write a differential equation to explain the flow of water over a rough surface.  We can do so much to explain the objective world of science, but we don’t really know how to describe the subjective world.

The subjective world of science is a vast area waiting to be explored.  It includes subjects like consciousness and awareness, birth and death experiences, reincarnation, telepathy, our ego, the power of prayer, unexplained ghostly apparitions, and God.

These are real human experiences that do not fit into the objective scientific mold.  Scientists have been satisfied for centuries to dismiss them as “unreal” artifacts of the human mind.  But science is changing and the subjective world is opening itself up to us in new ways.

Quantum physics recognizes that as a perspective changes the observation changes.  It has helped us to discover that the “real truth” can be quite subjective.  How do we deal with subjective reality?  This is the conundrum of science and of quantum physics.

The barrier that science has imposed upon us is that it doesn’t know how to explore subjective truth.  Things that are objective are considered real and can be shared, while things that are subjective are somehow “not real” and cannot be shared. This is one reason why science minds have such a hard time with the concept of God.  God is a purely subjective concept.  There is no way to objectify it, no way to quantify it and subject it to the scientific method of testing, and therefore the subjective notion of God to many scientists is not “real.”

The deeper we look into the particles of the universe, the more we find that everything is subject to perspective.  There isn’t really that much out there that is objective compared to how much is subjective.  There are whole worlds within the subjective that have not been explored, because science has stayed away from them.  Science has tried to weed out subjectivity from its theories and minimize its application in practice, and in the process has ignored a vast amount of human experience.

The leap that science has to make is to jump from the objective to the subjective and still retain a sense that what they are experiencing is “real.”  Science has to let go of the scientific method of proof if they are going to explore the realms of the subjective or cognitive world.  There will have to be a new “scientific method” developed that allows for subjective realities to exist as real forces that influence matter in the universe.

Subjective reality is the next step of scientific exploration.  We are now on the very threshold of this new way of perceiving the forces that surround us.  This understanding is more prevalent in the non-academic community at this time, because science really has boxed itself in with objective reality.  It will take a greater leap for them to see the opening into the fifth dimension than it will for those of us who are not scientists.


About Geography of Life

I look at the world with the eyes of a geographer. I look for patterns and forces to explain the world around me, and share my observations with you. I explore a wide variety of subjects but always have a scientific slant to my thought. I am not politically correct. I say whatever I feel. I explore my ideas, my emotions, and my choices. In the process, some interesting things happen. I am painfully honest about what I am thinking. I divulge my deepest thoughts and fears with you. Sometimes it is like watching a train wreck, other times like taking a nice walk.
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One Response to Subjective Reality

  1. Lee Offenhauer says:

    I agree that science has to open up it’s collective mind about the subjective realm. This may take awhile because their objective box, as you put it, is a result of historical reactions to the hegemony of the church. Serious battles were fought; people were burned at the stake (Giordano Bruno, for example, and Galileo just escaped that fate); so the position of Science has become hardened into an ideology as a reaction to that. It’s ironic because they’ve become the new Church. But I do believe it’s possible to bring something of the scientific method into the exploration of subjective realms.

    To me one of the most promising areas is the study of Near Death Experiences. There is an enormous amount of evidence out there – mostly anecdotal, but some objective – that the mind and the brain are not the same thing, and that the former does not rely on the later for it’s existence. I think that once this is more widely accepted you’ll see a loosening of the grip on the notion that the only thing real is what can be studied objectively. A new definition of mind and consciousness will usher in a new appreciation of the subjective, or interior, dimensions of life. This will allow science to proceed into these areas, whereas now they are mostly off limits. (As a scientist you don’t get much credibility – and therefore funding – if your area of expertise is poltergeists or something.)

    That’s my vision anyway. I hope to see it come to pass.


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