I have been getting a lot of feedback about Subjective Reality, so it seems it is time that I should write some more about it.
First off, let me start out by clarifying my terms. What I mean when I say that I Am the Ultimate Reality, I do not mean Dara Fogel, my ego-centric, vice-ridden, lousy little self. I mean that nameless part of me that existed before I was born into this realm of reality, and shall continue long after this personality is forgotten. What I am referring to is the eternal and (dare I say it?) most divine part of me – that fragment of Source that became embodied in this particular time-space nexus.
This seems to be where a lot of people get hung up about Subjective Reality. They mistake the Self for the self. They think the ego must provide all the answers, and they know intuitively that their limited egos don’t have them. The Self that is the Ground of Being of Subjective Reality is not something that has to be made, as it was already created whole and perfect outside of time-space. Rather, it is something to connect to. It’s existence is not dependent on what I as my ego-self do or say or think, instead, it is about whether or not I choose to be a part of that larger Self that is connected to Everything That Is.
If you are reading this, then you already are questioning the mainstream paradigm version of reality. Either you started noticing the editing fingerprints on your life (ex: strange synchronicities, against-all-odds events, unexpected last-minute saves, etc.), or something knocked you out of your accustomed view of reality (ex: psychedelics, exposure to conscious material, spontaneous experiences, etc.). This would not interest you unless you were already on your way to waking up to Subjective Reality.
Since Subjective Reality is so… well… damned subjective, all I can really know is my own experience. But the ancients teach us “As Above, So Below. As Within, So Without,” and experience has proven to me that this is true. Everything I experience is the perfect expression of my consciousness at that given moment. My ego-self may be agonizing and hating, but when I stop and truly observe myself, I always see that that which I am hating and agonizing over originates and ends in me. It is but my own thoughts that create my hell. Even when I am in pain, it is not necessarily the physical sensations that are so bad. Rather, it is what I tell myself that makes any pain, physical or emotional, bearable or not. I know this from personal experience – not from something I read or someone told me.
Subjective Reality is necessarily gnostic – that is, it is based in personal experience. You are never asked to take anything on faith in Subjective Reality. In fact, as the Microcosm of the Macrocosm, it is your job to explore your world and discover Truth for yourself. No one can give this to you, and if they could, you wouldn’t want someone else’s regurgitated Truth. If a second-hand truth would suffice, again, you would not be interested in learning more about SR.
But the self that we usually experience is the “little s self,” not the vastness of the All Conscious Self. Unless we have a spontaneous experience, such as a Near Death Experience (NDE), or some kind of other Out of Body Experience (OBE) that jerks us into that other, larger plane of existence, you have to figure it out for yourself.
Luckily, the clues are everywhere you look, in everything you touch, see, smell, hear and taste. But you have to choose to recognize the clues as clues, and then follow to see where they lead. Even if you are thrown into that other state by a NDE or OBE, like I was, you still have to choose how you will interpret your experience and how you will respond. And you have to keep choosing, lest you revert to the Default Reality you started out with.
But again, our larger Self is generous, as He/She/It is always as close as your own heartbeat. The trick is to quit beating up on yourself with your thoughts long enough to make and maintain conscious contact. You are not asked to trust anyone but yourself. You are not asked to listen to anyone’s advice (including mine), but instead are always pointed back towards your own counsel.
Some find this immensely freeing. I did, as I never could quite swallow any of the world religions’ teachings – until I encountered Hinduism and Gnosticism. These traditions encouraged me to explore my experiences and provided an invaluable guide and framework for me to develop in a balanced way.
(Note: if you are interested in knowing more about my own awakening experiences, check out my novel, The Impossible Lover. Although it is fictionalized and placed in totally different circumstances and characters, I drew greatly from my own experiences for the descriptions of states of being and consciousness.)
But some find this appalling/frightening/bewildering. This is based on a lack of trust in yourself. If you can’t trust yourself to know what is real, then, by default, you must rely on someone else’s conception of reality and choose to adopt it as your own. But how do you know that those you have chosen to trust are truly trustworthy? What if those you take your reality cues from are not acting in your best interest?
In SR terms, this is Self Sabotage. Instead of trusting our own Inner Guidance, we look outside – but there really isn’t any outside. It is like we are inside a holodeck that can only reflect back what images and experiences we program in. So the lower, limited, scared little self creates these horrible fantasies, and puts them into the mouths of “authority figures” or other characters whose words we put high value on, effectively programming the holodeck to play that scenario, whether it’s an illness, financial/career, or personal. The unconscious mind then starts to repeat these stories, and goes about enacting them, often without our conscious awareness… but many times with our conscious awareness. For how many times have you done something knowing that it would come back and bite you in the butt, but you actually kind of wanted that butt-biting, in a weird sort of way. When you get four or five decades under your belt, you start to see these patterns.
Current science tells us that 95 -98% of our choices are actually unconscious. We are actually mostly running on knee-jerk reactions, and putting a rational justification gloss over them. For me, this is a whole lot scarier than the idea that SR is some sort of overblown egotism and self-indulgence. If most of what I do is unconscious, and there really is a real external reality and most of what everyone does is unconscious, driven by deep hidden emotions and agendas beyond anyone’s control, then we are in big trouble!
If I am a part of the Ultimate Ground of Being, then I have an active part to play. If all of this exists because of me, then I must be meant to participate in some meaningful fashion. In SR, we choose our own meaning, rather than just uncritically swallowing someone else’s. That doesn’t mean that my ego-self knows everything. But it does mean that I have access to an Inner Self who does.
People freak out about SR because they think that they have to know and do everything. They think that radical responsibility is something to be afraid of. But the truth is just the opposite: the consciousness that you think of as YOU is the one being known and seen by your Inner Self – that highest, purest and completest part of that swirling of potential energy that is you. Then, your job becomes keeping the little ego self out of the way of gumming up the works of the Inner Self that is your portal to All-That-Is. Your job isn’t to micromanage the Universe; it is to recognize that you already are the Universe, and were before your puny ego ever came into existence.
Now, I like my SR with a chaser of Determinism. This is a result of my direct experience. Your experience might inform you differently. That’s ok in SR. (Steampunk, too. That’s why I love it so!) You get to have your reality and I get to have mine, and we can hang out where they overlap. My experience was of a storyline outside of time. Without time, that means that all of the story exists at the same time and is complete, and therefore determined. (Again, for more detained descriptions, I refer you to my novel, The Impossible Lover.)
Of course, this brings up the inevitable question of morality and responsibility. SR is not against karma or cause and effect… necessarily. Karma and cause and effect can be transcended by intention and alignment, hence those miraculous last-minute saves, extraordinary coincidences and beating overwhelming odds that make up so much of our personal biographies. But, again, the ego is not the one who is or should be in charge. Even with the best of intentions, the little self is so encumbered by false beliefs and misperceptions that it should not be trusted as final arbiter of morality. And as G.I. Gurdjieff said, the average person’s mind is so weak that he cannot “do” anything. Rather, he is being done by everything. Recognition of this is the starting point.
But it all comes down to the simple choice: Who are you going to believe about what is real? If you have had an NDE or an OBE, you may not have that option. Then your choice is about follow-up – now that you know, what are you going to do with that knowledge?
Plato, Krishna, heck, even Wayne Dyer tell us that becoming aware of what you do is the first step on the path to Self-Mastery. I’ll list a couple of easy exercises below for you to start to observe and make your own decisions about what approach to reality is realer. J
I am asking you to accept my personal testimony as evidence that our inner work is much more important than our external – social lives. SR’s subjective nature makes it impossible for me to discuss the topic except through my own experience. But I am in very good company in seriously discussing the topic. SR has gone through many different names through the ages. Subjective Reality is just the latest packaging of the same awareness found in the Bhagavad Gita, Plato, the Essenes, and Quantum Physics.
The more writing of fiction that I do, the more I realize how much this everyday reality is a fiction. As the author of the Story of Dara’s Life, I have unlimited access to the plot structure, IF and only if I am willing to utilize it. Most of us don’t. If my life is like a narrative story, then it is up to me to decide if I am playing the Protagonist or the Spear-Carrier in the Third Act who delivers a message and is never seen again. That is where Free Will comes in.
But, ultimately, YOU are the one doing the choosing. YOU are the one who is making a leap of faith, no matter what you decide. There is just as much evidence for a Subjective approach as there is for an Objective – more even. For quantum science even tells us that it is observation that is the determining factor in the universe we experience.
But nothing beats personal experience.
So I dare you – I double-dog dare you to look inside yourself and see what you find.
1) Self-Observation 1
Pay attention to how you talk to yourself. Particularly when you are emotional or frustrated. Try to “catch yourself in the moment.” Do these exercises for a week and keep a journal to keep track of your observations. How do you treat yourself? What kind of language do you use? Who else do you treat this way?
2) Keep a Journal.
It helps a lot to record your thoughts and observations. It is especially helpful to go back and read later, when in a different mood and mindset to see how differently you feel with the passage of time and events.
3) Self-Observation 2
Track coincidences, deja vus, unusually vivid or strange dreams, etc. You might be surprised at what you find over time.
4) Self-Observation 3
Pay attention to what triggers you. What makes you feel bad? What makes you feel good? What are the circumstances of each? Are there any patterns or recurring themes you can decipher?
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