In answering this questions I have to look at how subjective the universe is to me. In my own perception of reality I can only assume my universe is 32 years old. I was not here from 13.8 billion years ago to 32 years ago so I cannot say with absolute certainty that anything existed before I was born and could perceive anything. Now I keep reading about things being based on subjective perceptions, e.g. I see a table in a completely different way than you see a table, I understand that yes it’s has 4 legs and a flat surface but the the way it feels and is interpreted by each individual is different. So does that mean there are 7 billion different tables in the world or there is no table and each of us generates it? So if there is a different universe for each of us does that make each individual universe as old as the person perceiving it?
What I have come to realize is that solipsism can be dangerous. To us, this discussion of “do I shape the world or does the world shape me” is innocent and one with good intent. However, in the last year, I have hung out with people who are very socially solipsistic (as opposed to existentially solipsistic) and to tell you the truth, I can’t hang out with those people. Not only is it annoying, it gets dangerous because it gives them permission to do or say anything no matter who it hurts. Also, I think it’s cruel to think that way. I have seen this happen with girls mostly. I know guys like that too but the group I know that does that consists of mostly girls. Okay. Got to get a vaccination. Bye :)
I think this is somewhat paradoxical. There’s a theory of quantum physics, that everything is like vibrations and as soon as someone glares on that thing , it manifests in that form. It’s being uncertain of what is inside a box. There are all possibilities but only one exists. And I believe in power of thoughts and creation so,it is we who shape our own world. Hope it helps
Ahh just looked up that word “solipsism” how fascinating and it applies to thinking patterns I’ve experienced before.
I think the deeper and deeper you get into that the scarier it can become? What’s to put someone off doing whatever they want? Based on the theory that there are no other minds to consider.
@gazz,Yes, solipsism is the view that recognizes the fact that your consciousness is the only thing that is truly existent in this universe. Our mind is like a filter, interpreting everything we believe is in the universe. We can’t be sure if we’re observing it exactly the same as everyone else or if it is changed differently by each person as it goes through the filter of the mind. So your wife, husband, child, mother, anyone you know could simply be a figment of your imagination. Filtered through your senses.
In a personal experience of enlightenment for me, I came to a realization of this view. Close your eyes, block out your other senses except thought & sense of self-awareness. As I skipped over “reality” & the gaps between, I realized the only thing I could prove was the non-tangible part of myself. What I came out with was a metaphor: Life is like a game & what we perceive as other beings are simply players that try to alter you life & create obstacles in it. Every thing I know is perceived, there is simply no easy way to prove anything but my very own consciousness.
@gazz, @whiteoak, @rajivnelvoy, I think that in terms of “do I shape the world” vs “does the world shape me” all depends on how you want to interpret it. I believe that the world shapes us until we finally wake up and start thinking more consciously. I just started my journey of changing, waking up, becoming more conscious over a year ago and now I feel I have a bigger impact on the world and people around me than before. But I believe for the first 24 to 25 years of my life I was letting the world around me shape and mold me because I wasnt aware of my surroundings, the signs of the universe. So now I focus on shaping the world/people around me and trying to help people see the world differently, as a more beautiful place.
@reinvented2012 Good to hear about the positive transformation! However, isn’t the realization or coming into awareness simply a product of your environments? Even though you may now be able to see through a different perspective and make a new set of impacts if you had not become more conscious, everything set out by nature led to that moment to let you think more consciously, therefore you would remain shaped by our world.
@prethoughts, Descartes-esque, nice thought experiment. However, the following assumptions can be said equally about any concept maintaing unfalsifiable status i.e. There being a little invisible, intangible leprechaun on all of our somehow simultaneously coexistent solipsistic heads. Not trying to bash your thought process, just pointing out how such claims are impossible to defend in any serious light.
@vskren, Well. They aren’t much different. I was just describing the setting. Socially solipsistic in the sense that people assume that they are going to be the cynosure of the group. That it doesn’t matter how the others are dressed because no one is going to look at them. I have had people worry about what others think (not even part of the group) like they are the only thing there worth observing. It just annoys me. Don’t do it for them. Do it for yourself.
And existentially solipsistic is solipsism in its purest sense. The textbook definition if you will :)