reply to post by Spiderj
What up, Spider! I hear ya with keeping things on track and whatnot, good ideas for discussion there, too!
I think when it comes to the deepest sense of it, it's impossible to determine whether or not the experience was "real" or just "in my head".
I'm not even completely sure what the difference between the two is.. Maybe, if the experience is collectively, or can be collectively, experienced
that constitutes "reality", whereas an independent experience could be labeled as "imaginary".
As far as it mattering whether or not the experience was "imaginary" and caused by sleep paralysis or something more strange and external I think
there are a few perspectives to consider:
1. From a personal perspective, when only the Self is considered, it does not seem to matter whether the experience was "real" or not. From this
perspective, it seems that learning from an experience is the valuable act, regardless of what external activities come from it. So, in that case,
I'd say that it doesn't matter if it "happened" or not, because my perception of it's occurence impacted my thinking and the perspectives from
which I will view "reality" later in life, and to that end, it was a cause that had an effect. Cause and then effect equals physical reality, so by
that perspective the event most certainly did occur, even if it was not, or could not be, collectively experienced.
2. Following the above train of thought, we should ask the question, "Ok, so for all intents and purposes it did happen, but if it is not a
collective experience, namely that it will not occur again for another individual, how can I be sure that any act or thought derived from it is valid,
healthy, and useful?" And this is where things begin to get tedious. The event certainly did occur, but to what degree can I use it to actually
measure my reality? Can I take it to mean that there are aliens watching me? Can I call it a curious Sprite who wandered into my home through the
fireplace? If I assign it any of these definitions, and they are in truth not a collective experience, then I have lapsed into what most people call
"crazy", which is not an issue, aside from that if I take it to mean that there are aliens watching me (when collective reality may well prove that
they're not) I have launched myself down a path of untruth and misinformation that could waste a good amount of my time.
In the end, I think all events and occurences fall under these guidelines. To what extent can we determine what is real in any way? I remember reading
an essay by a man named Descartes while living there in North Carolina, and he ellaborated on the concept that all occurences are subjective. The time
old statement, " I think therefor I am" is all that I (or we) have to determine, beyond all doubt, that I (or we) exist, but it in no way helps me
(us) assign reality to those things external to me (us).
All I (we) can do, is collaborate with those beings that also seem to be subjectively experiencing this existence along side and attempt to create a
common, collective perception of reality. Which we most certainly have!
And now I'm losing my train of thought, because this is beginning to remind me of quantum theory, in the sense that on a quantum level, all of
reality is existing by it's perception of itself via continuous, collaborated and subconscious (sometimes conscious) efforts to collapse the wave
functions of all that is.
Whoo! Early morning musings! Thanks Spider!
Anyone else got something to add? Pretty cool topic if you ask me. Fundamental perceptions of reality and their validity when compared to the
experiences of others. Good stuff!