Saturday, August 7, 2010
My philosophy tutor and I were discussing a theory called Solipsism, which is the idea that our entire perception of reality is a product of our imagination, a sensory experience whereby we are simultaneously creating as well as perceiving the world around us, similar to the thought process that occurs while we are dreaming. This would mean that The Self, for example your Self, is the only conscious mind in the universe and that everyone and everything else in the univers is simply the incarnation of your dream world. We both agreed that this would make for a fairly lonely universe and that if this kind of notion was commonly accepted that it would discredit the legitimacy of feeling a strong connection with other people (seen as though they are just a play-thing that you have created for your own world). However! there is a similar theory called Transcendental Solipsism, which suggests that once again there is a single Self except that everyone in the world embodies a unique mask for this one Self and each individual stands for a certain facet of this one Universal Self's personality. Think of it as some sort of highly schizophrenic transcendental being. In this case, a belief such as this would encourage compassion and true empathy, seen as though we all share the same mind. This theory, as appose to the previous one, would intensify the legitimacy of having a connection with someone. It could also explain the phenomenon of remembering a past life and the idea of reincarnation, because you may be simply remembering a life that another individual facet of your Self has lived. Perhaps each of us has been inside the mind of a neurotic genius or a Buddhist monk. Perhaps there is a common thread, a power line that binds our collective unconscious. Perhaps not.