by , under Me, Newest thoughts, Uncategorized

It is easy to use logic to discount the subjective experiences of others.

“How could you be cold? I’m perfectly comfortable.”

“How could you see a ghost? They don’t exist.”

“How does that upset you? You’re so unreasonable.”

Usually, we get away with this trick of denial. It seems to be the norm in society to use our internal logic to find fault with feelings that are not our own. It goes like this: we all have some level of logically structured thought, so if you can’t rebut my argument then you must be wrong.

By definition, all perspectives are at odds with each other:

a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something;
a point of view.

No two points of view can possibly be the same; even the perspectives of your left and right eyes are different from each other. So in a very real way we are rewarded for this dismissive behavior. Our unified conscious experience requires some level of consilience  (convergence of evidence) between our two points of view and the perspectives of the people in our lives.

By invalidating the reality of the internal worlds around us we think we can elevate the validity of our own internal world. While we can come to an agreement about what we perceive to be true, there is no way to achieve 100% congruence: your eyes can never be my eyes. Some people take this to mean that everything is an argument. Perhaps it is. Or is it?

Whichever side you choose to occupy existence does not have to be a struggle if you can keep sight of the validity of the opposing side. We think that discounting the feelings of others is a way to make our own feelings more valid, but, in fact, the only way to validate your feelings is to validate your self. Or as Alan Watts would put it:

“If you […] understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death […] you can conceive yourself. Not conceive, but feel yourself, not as a stranger in the world, not as someone here on sufferance, on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke, but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental. […] In Hindu mythology, they say that the world is the drama of God. So in this idea, then, everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality. Not God in a politically kingly sense, but God in the sense of being the self, the deep-down basic whatever there is. And you’re all that, only you’re pretending you’re not. And it’s perfectly OK to pretend you’re not, to be perfectly convinced, because this is the whole notion of drama.

You don’t need to affirm yourself as God if you don’t feel comfortable, but don’t invalidate others through your denial.

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