Consensual Reality or Consentual Reality?
Submission of Theory of Plenary Metaphysical Solipsism for Peer Review on ATS
In former days, pre-1999, I'd say, in an old psychology book, which I can't remember the name of, consensual was defined as what was detectable by
more than one of the 5 senses. An example would be, you look at an apple, by sight, it seems to be a certain size, and sure enough, when you hold it
in your hand, it still seems to be that same size. The two senses concurred, therefore consensually, the apple is a certain size. That definition has
disappeared from usage, it seems.
I will relate a true story to illustrate the old usage, and the transition to the current usage.
It started out as a normal noc shift, formerly known as graveyard shift, in the alzheimer ward of the local nursing home. I was a CNA (certified
nursing assistant) on duty with another CNA I'll call Jane. The alzheimer unit was separated from the rest of the facility by a keypad locking
About an hour into the shift, Jane and I both heard banging on the locked partition. I opened the door, looked on the other side; nothing to see that
would account for the banging; lack of consensual verification according to the old definition, but consensually real by the newer definition, in that
we both heard it and agreed that yes, there was in fact a banging sound occurring on the door.
Jane went to the phone and called the charge nurse at the other nursing station while I narrowed down possible explanations. The banging, as far as I
could tell, perfectly matched the pattern of sounds made when Tillie(made up name) one of the residents, banged her walker against the door, wanting
to go through. So I did what I thought was reasonable by waking Tillie up, transferring her to her chair and telling her to look out the picture
window and think about walking around by the tree. It made sense to me, she wouldn't be dreaming about getting through the door.
Meanwhile, Linda, the nurse, had come down to our unit and was discussing with Jane the recently fired employee. And wouldn't you know it, but the
banging on the door noise stopped. I went outside to have a smoke. When I came back in, Jane jumped all over me. "What are you doing? You can't open
the door! Don't you know that Dwayne has a gun? He could have killed you, then come in and killed the rest of us!"
"What?", was all that I could reply, because it seemed quite obvious to me that the banging noise that we had already agreed was coming from an inside
partition door had nothing whatsoever to do with a disgruntled ex-employee with a gun. But evidently, Linda and Jane had some disconnected scenario
that they decided to agree on. Consensual reality for them. As far as I was concerned, I wasn't in on it. Did not consent, therefore their
reality was not my consentual
Then, to add to the disagreement about reality, the outside door started rattling. Linda said, "Thats it, I'm calling the cops," and ran down to her
own station. I went up to the door to get a closer look. Jane yelled, "don't open the door!" I watched how the door moved, how the latch moved, and
determined to my own satisfaction that it was being rattled from the inside rather than the outside.
"Jane", I said, "It's being rattled from the inside, I'll show you, there's probably no one out there." And I got my hand in position for a quick
flinging open of the door.
"No", pleaded Jane, just as the rattling resumed.
I flung open the door, "see, no one there." But Jane was running down the hall screaming.
The police called back and said they had a couple of patrolmen walking around outside the building and recommended that the doors remain locked. They
didn't see anything like evidence of a prowler.
There were a couple of other less than explainable occurrences that night that also had nothing to do with Dwayne having a gun.
I still don't consent to the accepted explanation. Do I lack consensual reality or consentual reality?
I know I didn't get to the theory yet, but I'm a slow type writer, and I still haven't got an outline yet. Illustrative stories can be told
edit on 23-12-2010 by pthena because: (no reason given)