Intersubjectivity: How Reality Is A Story That We Write From Within
The myth of objectivity is starting to crack under evidence gathered by quantum physics experiments — just as I deduced from logic previous to these new findings. In two separate articles I also discussed Narrativism, an alternate theory of reality, and posed the question — Part 1 of this exploration: What if our dreams are where we go when we die? They key to understanding all of these ideas is a concept called intersubjectivity.
Intersubjectivity is a difficult concept to grasp. Let us start by looking at objectivity and subjectivity.
Objectivity generally describes facts that are true beyond our experience of them. A thing is objective because it exists outside of the minds which perceive it, and can be observed by those minds. When enough minds can agree on observations about the phenomena, we call those agreed upon observations objective facts.
Subjectivity is used to refer to personal experience, that is the experience of a phenomena that is unique to the individual, which contains no objective facts. Generally we tend to reduce subjectivity to mere opinions.
So then if we rule out objectivity, does that mean we are only experiencing an individual subjective reality, rather than some shared existence with phenomena and qualities common to all living beings? Not if we consider that reality is intersubjective.
Intersubjectivity is the sum of all subjectivities. It is not a solid state of reality, but a state of possibilities. Therefore there can be no formula which predicts exactly what will happen to any given individual in any given circumstance, however we can approximately guesstimate odds. It is helpful to think of intersubjectivity, rather than axiomatically like math, as a dynamic system, like weather.
The creation of weather patterns happens in a dynamic, self-referential environment. Meteorological conditions inform and create new meteorological conditions through complex interactions whose outcomes range from highly to impossibly predictable. There are so many factors involved in weather that, although we do know it has causal relationships, those relationships are governed by so much complexity that we can never describe weather with anything greater than an approximation.
Intersubjectivity is much the same. Nothing we can say about it will ever satisfy the certainty or absolutism which the myth of objectivity playacts at. For that reason it is incredibly hard for modern people to understand. We have been conditioned by our worldview to expect solid answers, and even as we lean further into the understanding that no solid answers exist ,through science, philosophy, psychology, etc., most people will reject any type of understanding that does not empower them with Absolute Truth.
Further, an understanding of intersubjectivity is highly unlikely to net any material gains, therefore making it unappealing to our materialistic sensibilities. However, there is one thing that pursuing an intuitive grasp of intersubjectivity can provide, which is peace of mind.
note: Even intersubjectivity is experienced through the subjective lens of the individual. We cannot observe intersubjective reality ‘as is’ — but only as it appears filtered through our own ideas, beliefs and expectations. We can speak axiomatically of intersubjectivity, but the intersubjective matrix of reality is itself unknowable in any absolute sense.
Now let us move back to that business about our dreams being the afterlife.
Everyday waking reality, as discussed above, is intersubjective. That is, our experiences of reality are dependent on all other experiences of reality, to varying degrees. However the reality of our dreams, although fed information from intersubjective experience, is entirely subjective. The world of our dreams is produced entirely within our own personal consciousness, which explains why people are generally as disinterested in hearing our dreams as our opinions. Dreams are an entirely independent enterprise.
Life, that period of existence during which we are plunged into waking intersubjective reality in order to learn from the imaginations of others for the purpose of enriching our own, is a prison of everyone else’s beliefs and ideas. Death, the final emergence into ones own subjective reality, therefore is ultimately liberation.
We need not fear death. It is the removing of training wheels from our consciousness. It is liberation. It provides escape from the limitations created by a shared medium of existence with other living beings. The weather of our mind, while alive, is constantly being affected by the mental conditions of those all around us. Death brings the storm which only our own conditions create.
An important thing to remember here is that there are no bad dreams. A dream is raw experience, for which there are no permanent consequences. In dreams we can lose everything, become terminally ill or jump off a cliff — but the game doesn’t just end or create a permanent handicap. We respawn continuously into the endless possibilities of experience. We become capable of witnessing every iteration of reality possible. We are each a self-contained multiverse.
In dreams nothing from our lives can ever be lost. Every person, place, thing, feeling, sensation, etc. — joins us in our dreams. The sense of loss we experience at death is false. And that falsehood leads to misery, suffering and generally disharmonious social conditions.
The myth of objectivity has been a bum trip for a very long time. It creates a nightmare of the waking reality we should be using to expand our imaginations, and thus our eternity, through the limitations of that falsehood. By understanding intersubjectivity we can renounce that myth, and make waking life the sort of classroom where we can enrich our imaginations so that we can each build ourselves a better infinity.
It has taken me many years to piece this understanding together. I have labored under every belief system I could find, trying to find some kind of answers to existence. In the end it was not the addition of information which informed me, but the chipping away of decades of ego-gratifying abstractions that obfuscated understanding. Nor do I expect you to be transformed by this writing. Words cannot convey the deeper truth here, which doesn’t become apparent through review, analysis and argumentation, but from many hours of quiet contemplation and reflection.
So quiet the protests in your head. Let this float on the ocean of your being until it begins to sink in. And if it should wash ashore unsunk, that is okay, too. Just try not to be a buzzkill about it.