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The Philosophy of Subjective Equality -- How "Everything" Could Be Equally Real

Updated: Feb 21

A worried man.

Many people love a good afternoon rest. For them, it is "the definition" of freedom, which is essentially the freedom to do nothing but lie down and close your eyes.

Not everyone is able to rest as much as they would like, due to many reasons, such as work, family, and anxiety.

For me, I have never actually managed to rest peacefully when I was healthier. Only in the rare times when I was sick was I able to easily succumb to rest. However, since I have been in good health for most of my life, I have seen little reason to rest, whether or not I was actually tired.

As a kid, I forced myself to stay awake as much as possible during vacations so that I could seize the day (or night) by doing the things I liked.

Have you ever wondered why time passes so quickly when we rest or are asleep? It is as if we are in a different "dimension" that boosts our own empirical conception of time.

Seven or eight hours can pass so quickly simply by entering a state of being that we are not fully aware of. A state of being that somehow "makes" time travel faster, even though for the awake, it drags along normally.

Time is not objective because it is a duration of experience that is manipulated by said experience to be "faster" or "slower" than it actually is.

Are you familiar with the phrase "Time flies when you're having fun"? Why does it happen? How does fun make time go faster for us, but not for someone who is extremely bored?

This just goes to show that time is not exclusively subjected to mere numbers on a digital clock; it is also subjected to our own experience, which changes individually.

This proves my theory that subjectivity does not transcend reality. Simply because subjectivity does not necessarily exist only outside of real life or exclusively within fiction.

Your conception of time when you are asleep is as credible as that of someone who is forced to stare at a wall in solitary confinement. It is what can be described as subjective reality.

How can we determine, in practice, which subjective experience is the most "correct" one when it comes to relative things such as time?

What makes your fast-paced experience of sleep more or less legitimate than that of someone who drives recklessly because of boredom? It makes no sense to determine that one is truer or more false than the other because both are legitimate in their existance.

I am not talking about moral legitimacy. I refer to the fact that both exist even if the sleeper and the reckless driver experience its duration of time differently due to their biases. Time sure goes quickly when you are in danger, right? It may "go quickly" the same as it can go "even quicker" to the one sleeping, at the same, objective duration of time.

This is what I mean by subjective equality. The belief that subjectivity can exist within the framework of objective reality, while also being a part of that reality, like any other objective fact.

Therefore, the question of "objective" and "subjective" becomes irrelevant because both are truths, whether perceived or independent of perception.

In other words, the fact that it is currently 2 PM in my time zone does not mean that it is also 2 PM universally, not only on planet Earth or in a specific region, but also in the minds of others.

What we fail to realize about illusions is that they exist in our minds, and since they have a certain way of existing, then they are real in one way or another.

After all, everything that is real exists, and everything that is not real does not exist.

Of course, if I watch an animated production, the "world" beyond the visuals does not exist, but what does exist is the representation of that world, in our minds and on the screens.

Our imagination is "real" in a way because we perceive the world through its lens. Focusing on the reality beyond the mind means that we degrade our focus from the imagination within the mind, in favor of the external world. The same goes when it is the opposite; it is called daydreaming.

Have you ever wondered to yourself, "Why do I tend to daydream? How come you suddenly see a reality that doesn't exist beyond your eyes, and yet you see it beyond your eyes? Reality is not a single layer; it is like an onion.

Each reality has its own level of "real-ness," depending on how universal it is objectively. As such, the physical realm is more real than the illusion realm. However, all "reality" is real in its own way. Fiction is "real" in the sense that we can talk about it and imagine it, just like we would see something that exists beyond a movie or any other medium of fiction.

In philosophy, it shouldn't matter whether something is a "subjective opinion" or not, because one's opinion is, in theory, as real as anything else that is perceivable.

Society, armies, and countries do not exist beyond our consciousness. They are all abstract terms that we collectively agree to see as true, just like concrete things such as tables and stones.

Fiction is something that we simply agree to see as less than reality. Whether or not it actually happened is independent of the perception from our minds. In a sense, subjectivity is a tool to assess reality, like when figuring out if the flower we look at exists, and if we're to advance, if that flower is beautiful or not.

How can you know if a flower is real or not, when we are all confined to our senses, both outward and inward? What, exactly, makes the outward experience more real than the inward one? It is simply the collective agreement, the norm, that a pink flower is more real than a movie we watch on a screen.

The movie was still broadcasted, as the flower still existed. Our conception of what makes them "more reaL" than otherwise is a product of an attempt to escape the reality of subjective equality. As such, the subjectivity of our perception lies in our ability to regard things as well, and give them different degrees of importance.

This is the exact logic that technically justifies the dangerous philosophy of solipsism. It is the belief that we are the only ones alive, while the rest is merely a projection of the mind. It is like a movie, which is a projection of digital data or an actual, broadcasted film; a projection of a frame, and the illusion of movement of connected pictures.

Of course, when you are hurt by something, like a knife stab, the pain is real within both the inward and outward experiences. However, some may experience physical pain when under stress. How can you tell me that my psychological pain is not as real as a physical wound just because others do not feel the same pain from stress that I do?

Why does the truth have to be the exclusive property of the collective, and not of the individual, who is also a human being like others, with the ability to experience both within and without?

The premise behind my theory is the fact that each experience is true in its own way, without necessarily leading itself into an oxymoron or a paradox. The pain that I feel when doing basic actions has its own "reality" as someone who does basic actions with no physical pain or exhaustion whatsoever.

They do not contradict one another, because they happen to different people, and the fact that they do not happen to the majority of people does not necessarily mean that said experiences are not as real as those that are held by the majority.

Despite subjective equality, I believe there is a world that exists beyond our senses. I call that world the "world beyond the mind." Both "worlds" are real, just like one's brain and one's consciousness, just like a film that generates the illusion of animation. Even documentaries are built on this illusion of animation, which technically makes them prone to our subjectivity, while still retaining their perception-independent facts.

This is why, when someone accuses me of subjectivity, I would tell them that subjectivity can be true in its own way; it is simply true to the mind that perceives it, and to the body it is confined to. Do all truths have to be universal, and apply to every single thing and being in the universe?

The fact that we are individuals shows that our consciousness is a projector of a reality that might appear different to someone else, based on the state of their own consciousness.

The consciousness is not a delusion! It is as real as any other thing we consider real. Thus, the things it creates are also real, because if they are created, they exist, and if they exist, they are real, for all existent things are real in their own way.

Even if there is a "hierarchy" of realism, we cannot deny that existence leads to realism nonetheless, and that realism is true to all existent beings and things. It makes them all true in that regard -- the regard of basic truthfulness which all existence has, be it a pink flower, a fictional movie, or a dream you have. The fact that you can think about something is created by the thought, which makes it existent in a way, which makes it real.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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