Would you want to be normal and miserable, or crazy and happy?
It seems to us that mental ilness always makes people suffer and struggle, but this may not be true. We don’t know anything about the pathologies that make people happy. People are not likely to see a doctor and complain that they find life too easy and enjoyable.
Wouldn’t it be nice to contract such a disease? Become a bit crazy but in return be a pleasant, active and happy person at all times. No-one has to know.
I had variations of this thought since late teens. But no real answer.
And then I came across Steve Pavlina’s articles on subjective reality.
Steve is a very interesting guy, and I encourage you to check out his website. His story is amazing and he turned his life around several times. Steve’s website is in public domain – meaning people are free to publish books using his articles and not pay him a dime!
There’s just one thing. Steve’s writing is far from concise. By his estimate, Steve’s website has enough material for about 20 books.
That’s why I am writing this article – to give you a very short summary on the topic, with my own view on it.
When I first started reading Steve’s articles I found the ‘hepful illness’ I was looking for. Subjective reality is exactly that – a controlled craziness making your life better.
Subjective reality theory suggests that every person lives in his own reality. Steve likens such reality to a lucid dream. It’s a dream where the dreamer is “awake” and maintains consciousness and memory.
Another analogy is a video game. People are characters in this game, and your physical being is your avatar. With one twist. You are not the person watching the game. You are the game itself.
In subjective reality your consciousness becomes the consciousness of the universe. There is only one consciousness (the dreamer). This conciousness extends to all the people in such reality, including your avatar.
Which means that other people are reflections of you. Because the only conciousness in this universe is yours.
In this universe you hold responsibility for everything. Your consciousness has dreamed it up. And only the things you perceive exist, nothing else. If you don’t know about something, that means you the dreamer have not created it yet.
So far so good – but then things get REALLY interesting.
As your thoughts are shaping your reality, you can change the reality with your thoughts.
One of the ways you can change the reality is the Law of Attraction. If you want something, imagine you already have it and put some emotional power behind this picture. Reality will then deliver this object to you. It can be something linked to your efforts, like getting into physical shape. But it can also be something completely outside of your control, like a random meeting, or even a job offer.
You can tell the Law of Attraction is working by manifestation of synchronicities. They are coincidences that start happening more often then you would expect.
Now, I am a materialist (at least I have been one until this point). Up to now, my thinking has been that we go through random events that happen to us. Our life is like a farm plot, and we need to do our best to protect it from hurricanes and expose it to the rain and the sun. But we don’t control the weather.
I felt that this way of thinking describes reality better than belief in a higher power. A religious person lives in a world where he has no control. When bad things happen, they come from someone you love and who loves you. And the only explanation you get is that it’s a test and the reward comes after death.
Such picture of the world may teach acceptance. It may improve your inner life. But the cost is dissociation from reality. If your reward is in another world, there is no motivation to improve your life on Earth.
How would believing in subjective reality affect you? Imagine someone struggling with fitting in and finding his place in the world. That person would learn that not only has he a place in the world – the whole world belongs to him! After all, he’s the one who dreamed it up. Your own personal universe – if that doesn’t lift your mood, I don’t know what will.
Subjective reality will make you a lot more tolerant of other people. They are now a reflection of you. Treating others like you wish to be treated gets a whole other meaning. You can’t be unfair to other people because that would mean being unfair to yourself. And if others annoy or mistreat you, it’s because you couldn’t control your own thoughts. Steve says you only ever get angry at another person because you see in them a reflection of your own flaws. That seems to be true regardless of whether you believe in subjective reality or not.
The big trick is finding a way to prosper in subjective and objective realities at the same time.
Sure enough, if you look for synchronicities you will notice them. Have you caused them, or is your brain interpreting ‘normal’ objective reality that way? Are the results you getting coming from your spirited efforts, or because the Universe delivered them to you?
Does it matter?
It could be fun to imagine you can change reality – as long as you don’t do something stupid, objectively speaking. Like sell your house and gamble the money away in a casino.
Plenty of things will benefit you in both realities. Feeling in control is good for your mind. Being motivated and active always helps. Positive thoughts and compassion will make you popular with other people.
Of course, taking this concept too far won’t work out well for you. Same as everything. After all, even Steve suggests not to try to fly off high rise buildings with the power of your mind. Although he doesn’t dismiss such a possibility outright 😉 .