• Art48
    My consciousness is all that I really know exists. Everything that I experience as existing, I experience in my consciousness. This may sound like a New Age slogan, but that’s irrelevant to anyone who doesn’t judge based on labels. Slogan or not, it’s true.

    Solipsism is the philosophical view that only my consciousness exists; that everything else exists in my consciousness. So, trees and clouds and other people really don’t exist. Only my consciousness exists. It’s as if the entire universe is a dream, and I’m the dreamer.

    A criticism of solipsism is that other people and an exterior world really do seem to exist. People seem to have a will of their own, and sometime do what I wish they wouldn’t. It rains regardless of if I want rain or not. The nature of the world makes believing solipsism difficult.

    A solipsist might respond that the people and exterior world are parts of forgotten parts of his/her consciousness. Just as when we dream, we might really think we are talking to our deceased Uncle Pete. Nonetheless, the foundation of our dreamed Uncle Pete is really our own consciousness unrecognized. So, the solipsist might continue to insist the people and world really exist only in his/her consciousness.

    The solipsist’s response notwithstanding, solipsism seems an unlikely idea. But if turn things around, thing change.

    How to turn it around?

    1) Solipsism says the universe exists in me. Let’s suppose I exist in the universe. Seems obvious and reasonable.
    2) Solipsism says my mind creates other people. Let’s suppose some sort of universal mind creates me and everyone else. The idea is that a tiny bit of universal consciousness splits off and becomes me. I forget I’m a tiny part of universal consciousness and take myself to be a person, independently existing and free to choose. In effect, I am the Uncle Pete in the solipsist’s dream, thinking that I exist as an independent person when in reality I’m merely a figment of the solipsist’s consciousness.

    This view solves some problems.

    First, it solves the problem of evil. The good and evil Uncle Pete do in my dream are of no consequence. When I awake, they vanish as does Uncle Pete. This is a solution but not a very satisfying one. It says life on Earth is of no consequence. The good and evil we do are mere nothings which vanish when we awaken. An answer is to say that good and evil matter here in this reality. Pain hurts now, even if later we awaken and see it as unreal. Good and evil are as real (or as unreal) as the world we live in. So, while we are here we should behave according. When in Rome . . .

    Second, it solves the problems of what happens after death. Nothing. We simply cease to be. But this is not as frightening as it sounds because we awaken to our real self: universal consciousness, which may well be eternal. Not a bad trade: Uncle Pete, subject to suffering, disease, and death, for universal consciousness.

    Third, it provides a unifying explanation of existence: all existence is universal mind/consciousness, in effect, dreaming the reality we experience and are a part of.

    But whence the universal mind/consciousness? Is it eternal? How did it originate? What is its nature? If that’s what we really are, then we must be capable of answering the questions.
  • Fooloso4
    Let’s suppose some sort of universal mind creates me and everyone elseArt48

  • T Clark
    Here are a couple of clips from past @Wayfarer posts I think are relevant to your OP:

    The God-realised being - Ramana Maharishi, another Indian sage, died 1960, was the archetype - realises that only God is real, and says that the apparent world of multiplicity and strife is actually māyā, an illusion, with which the mind has become entanged through avidya, ignorance.Wayfarer

    This idea is not dissimilar to one in many of Alan Watt's books. For example The Book: on the Taboo against Knowing who you Are, which 'delves into the cause and cure of the illusion that the self is a separate ego. Modernizes and restates the ancient Hindu philosophy of Vedanta and brings out the full force of realizing that the self is in fact the root and ground of the universe.' Watts does bring an element of the 'divine play', the game that Brahman plays by manifesting as the multiplicity, each part of which then 'forgets' its relation to the whole. Which actually dovetails nicely with some elements of Platonism, i.e. the 'unforgetting' (anamnesis) of the state of omniscience that obtained prior to 'falling' in to carnal existence. Note well however the mention of 'taboo' in the title.Wayfarer
  • Art48
    T Clark: Yes, I think they are relevant, too. And then there's Plotinus and others.
  • 180 Proof
    My consciousness is all that I really know exists.Art48
    This is not true.

    Solipsism is the philosophical view that only my consciousness exists that everything else exists n mu consciousness.
    Even if it's the case, despite it's conceptual incoherence, "solipsism" doesn't makes any non-trivial difference to existing day to day.
  • Agent Smith
    Solipsism says the universe exists in me.Art48

    The universe is inside Krishna (you)!

    Solipsism can be refuted if you can prove the existence of other minds, but I'm afraid no one can do that! Even if "other people" behave in ways that displease you, indicating perhaps that they're distinct mental entities, there's a solipsistic alternative, to wit that you don't control the illusion your mind generates (people in your dreams seem to act as if they have independent thoughts and motives à la "other minds").
  • Gnomon
    The universe is inside Krishna (you)!Agent Smith
    This thread should have a warning sign : "twisty Metaphors ahead, not to be taken literally".
    Metaphors can't be refuted with empirical evidence, you either get the oblique inference, or you don't. If you do, it's safe to proceed slowly, and you might learn something -- something meta-physical. :smile: .
  • Agent Smith

    Dance of the seven veils? :smile:

    I should drop everything right now and go to a strip club.

    Nuda Veritas? Must ask her to be more oblique! Can't have a naked goddess on the premises. The men would go crazy! :snicker:
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