“Weak people believe what is forced on them. Strong people what they wish to believe, forcing that to be real.”
― Gene Wolfe, Shadow & Claw
The following is an experimental approach, a musing, a reflection on experiences.
Each individual lives within their own subjective sphere. Multiple individual spheres form groups and contexts through communication. This does not deny an objective reality outside of the subjective, rather that an individual can only experience himself and the world through the personal subjective. For preventative purposes let me clarify I am not advocating total relativism nor solipsism.
The subjective sphere of which each person lives, the sensory input, the thoughts, emotions, sensations, streaming process is where anything a person experiences resides. The ascetic empiricists advocates that if it cannot be felt through the senses and repeatedly tested with the same results then it is hogwash or unworthy of consideration. This approach to existence is incredibly anemic. It is not adequate enough to comprehend consciousness. Even if an experience is not backed by evidence does not mean it is without value or power. If the experience is real to the individual, within their subjective sphere, then it is worthy of consideration. One can reduce it to chemicals, but the reductive materialist explanations of consciousness have not been sufficient thus far. And again I question the assumption that experiences must be backed by evidence to mean or have value. In a religious experience a devotee may experience euphoric peace or flashes of divine light when immersed in their practice. The wrongheaded approach is to shrug it off as mere chemicals, and equally wrongheaded is to accept it wholesale. The primary value is this experience is real within the individual’s subjectivity, and that alone can contain serious meaning. A severe example is a schizophrenic that has audible hallucinations or paranoia. Studies have confirmed there are actual neurological issues behind this. Nonetheless to that individual, within their own subjective, this paranoid fantasy is quite real, too real, as are the hallucinations. The same goes for a person who has a religious or occult experience. These experiences to that individual are valuable and potent. Tossing them aside in the name of physicalism is insufficient to say the least. Taking a further leap, perhaps there are truths or knowledge or experiences which cannot be acquired through the five senses. Again it is a founding assumption that knowledge must and can only be acquired through the five senses. There could be far more to existence.
The subjective has a powerful impact on the world, though not in a sappy New Age sense. We are within our own subjective sphere, and thus our existence is within our subjective sphere. Whether this be true objectively or not, it is what one experiences looking through their own eyes on a daily basis. Charismatic figures have a unique magnetic present, as in, within their own subjective sphere they are pressing outward in presence, projecting their subjectivity onto the world around them. The subjectively weak are easily overpowered by the stronger subjective. The weaker’s subjectivity, or subjective sphere in which they live, is impressed upon and altered by the stronger subjective. Furthermore there are those who allow the world to mold them and others who mold the world. Unfortunately that is a severe oversimplification. It goes without saying there are external factors, habits, challenges, obstacles of which are not easily removed, such is life. No matter, the dynamic presence and role of the subjective sphere is ever constant. It is existence as we see and feel it through our own eyes. These experiences from this angle should not be dismissed as mere chemicals or without validity.
The altering of ones subjective sphere of existence via mystical experiences, occult ritual, fasting, entheogens is useful if not essential for growth. If one takes a psychedelic and has an experiential ‘trip’, it is perceived and understood as completely real according to ones subjective, according to ones own eyes and consciousness. Rationalizing it away as mere chemicals or subconscious bubbling is denying the greater whole of experiencing the universe. It is said that the mind can make this life a heaven or make this life a hell, although the word mind is a misnomer. It is our subjectivity which we experience moment to moment that can be suffering or pleasure, constricted or expanded, malnourished or hearty. Our floating subjectivity of which we experience moment to moment is the whole of reality according to oneself. There is plenty that exists outside of our moment to moment experience, but to ours elf and our self alone this is it. Make of it what you will.