Objective Reality?

by | Jun 2, 2021 | Personal Development

I don’t think we appreciate how faulty this concept truly is.

We take it for granted that truth is easily found on the internet, in a podcast, in a magazine, at church, or otherwise. And it’s to the point where we’ve started outsourcing truth. We don’t actively search for it, let alone think for ourselves anymore.

“Some scientist, pastor, or billionaire knows more than me. They know what I don’t. I should listen to them.”

It’s gotten worse than that. It’s to where we place our trust in a politician or faceless journalist we’ve never even met and don’t know from Adam.

Satisfied that they have all the facts, all the science, all the data, we shirk our own responsibility. We don’t confirm the facts for ourselves using our own senses.

We’ve grown so uncomfortable with anyone questioning the mainstream narrative that we call people who might have a slightly differing opinion – even if they are better qualified to speak on the topic – a conspiracy theorist.

But I don’t know a single scientist who doesn’t rigorously question and test the “science” presented by others. It’s what scientists do. They are slow to form conclusions.

I don’t know a single pastor that fully agrees with another pastor on the details of their spiritual text, even if they claim to believe in the same God.

And while billionaires have certain traits in common (such as the fact that they’ve made over a billion dollars), in every case, their lives took a different trajectory, and arrived at wealth through different means.

We were each blessed with the same faculties. No, we aren’t all gifted in mathematics, science, music, philosophy, investments, or otherwise. But we each have our own genius zones.

To outsource truth is to negate your own gifts and talents. And it’s to go through life as though life doesn’t matter. Someone else already has it figured out. There’s nothing for you to discover. It’s already been done.

I can promise you that, in telling and retelling what each of us might identify as “truth,” like a game of telephone, facts were changed, details were altered, statements and people were misrepresented.

This is fundamentally what it means to be human, and knowing just how faulty my own biases are, I trust no one else to deliver anything other than their own version of truth.

There are no fact-checkers infallible, no experts beyond reproach, no scientists without mistake. Each of them, if they were honest, would tell you that their faults and errors are what led to their greatest breakthroughs.

God, the universe, spirit, collective consciousness, or whatever you want to call it… only it, or him, or her, is “perfect,” at least in the best way we can understand perfection. Keeping in mind that each of us have our own visions of what “perfect” means to us.

Some would call this a problem. I just call it “being human.” Because that’s what it is. There are plenty of essays and papers on how our memories change over time, and we don’t even remember them correctly. And you’re going to sit there and tell me someone with the same faculties as I might have a better handle of objective reality? These are specialists. They spend most of their days in the narrow world of their defined areas of expertise.

We might be able to agree on events like the September 11 attacks, but we each attached our own meanings to those events. We can agree on the basic facts, but beyond that, it’s up for grabs. If you don’t believe me, ask a friend what the September 11 attacks meant to them. You’ll be shocked at what they made it mean.

The better you understand the human condition, the more your eyes will open to the fact that “objective reality” mostly lives in the thin margin best described as “consensus.” We agree on certain things. And we can build on that foundation. But building the rest of the building together would prove an uphill battle. Inevitably, a fight would break out, countless compromises would be made, or the project would be abandoned before it’s even completed.

People agree with you a lot less than you think they do. And that’s on them, to be fair, but knowing the human condition, calling anything “objective reality” is akin to mental illness.

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