Objective vs. Subjective Reality

Today’s blog is one part rehash of an ancient dilemma that has puzzled and divided philosophers and scientists for millennia and two parts The Universe – Solved!

First a couple definitions…

Objective Reality – a reality that completely exists independent of any conscious entity to observe it.

Subjective Reality – what we perceive.

As it is well known, subjective reality is “subject” to an elaborate set of filters, any one of which can modify a perception of that reality; sensory apparatus (e.g. the rods and cones in our eyes), sensory processing (e.g. the visual cortex), higher level brain function, and psychological factors (e.g. expectations). As such, what one person experiences is always different than what any other person experiences, but usually in subtle ways.

Fundamentally, one cannot prove the existence of an objective reality. We can only infer its properties through observations, which of course, are subjective. However, it may be possible to prove that objective reality doesn’t exist, if, for example, it can be shown that the properties inferred via a particular observer fundamentally contradict properties inferred via another observer. But even then those inferences may be hopelessly subjective. Suppose person A sees a car as red and person B sees the same car as green. We can’t conclude that there is no objective reality because person B could simply have an unusual filter somewhere between the car and the seat of their consciousness.

What if we can use some sort of high-precision reproducible measurement apparatus to make some observations on reality and find that under certain controlled circumstances, reality changes depending on some parameter that appears to be disconnected to the reality itself? There are a lot of qualifiers and imperfections in that question – like “high (vs. infinite) precision” and “appears” – but what comes to mind is the well-known double slit experiment. In 1998, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, demonstrated that reality shifts depending on the amount of observation, even if the “observer” is a completely non-intrusive device. IQOQI upped the ante in terms of precision in 2008 by showing that objective reality doesn’t exist to a certainly of 80 orders of magnitude (probability of being false due to error or chance = 1E-80). That’s good enough for me. And, in 2012, Dr. Dean Radin conducted what appear to be well-designed and rigorous scientific experiments that show to a high probability that conscious intent can directly alter the results of the double slit experiment. Just as it only takes one white crow to prove that not all crows are black, it only takes one experiment that demonstrates the non-existence of objective reality to prove that objective reality is an illusion.

So that debate is over. Let’s get past it and move onto the next interesting questions

What is this reality that we all perceive to be “almost” solid and consistent?

I believe it is a digital consciousness-influenced high-consensus reality for reasons outlined here. It has to have a high degree of consensus because, in order to learn and evolve our consciousness, we have to believe in a well-grounded cause and effect.

What does “almost” mean?

We could define “almost” as 1 minus the degree to which apparent objective reality is inconsistent, either between separate observers, or in experiments that have a different outcomes depending on the state of the observer. For now, I’ll have to punt on the estimates because I haven’t found any supporting research, but I suspect it is between 99.999% and 1.

How does “almost” work?

Subjective reality does not mean that you can call the shots and become a millionaire just due to intent. The world would be insane if that were the case. Because of the “consensus” requirement, the effects are much more subtle than that. For you to see a passing car and make it turn red just because you want to, would violate the color consensus that must be maintained for the other 1000 people that see that car drive by. In fact, there is nothing to say that the aggregate of conscious intents from all conscious entities fully shape the subjective reality. Most of it may be driven by the rules of the system (that aspect of digital global consciousness that drives the projection of the physical reality). See the figure below. In the digital global consciousness system (see my “The Universe-Solved!” or Tom Campbell’s “My Big TOE” for more in depth explanations of this view of the nature of reality), Brandon and I are just individuated segments of the greater whole. (Note: This is how we are all connected. The small cloud borders are not impervious to communication, either from other individuated consciousnesses (aka telepathy) or from the system as a whole (aka spiritual enlightenment)).


Brandon’s reality projection may have three components. First, it is generated by the system, based on whatever rules the system has for creating our digital reality. Second, it may be influenced by the aggregate of the intent of all conscious entities, which is also known by the system. Finally, his projection may be slightly influenced by his own consciousness. The same applies to my own projection. Hence, our realities are slightly different, but not enough to notice on a day-to-day basis. Only now that our scientific instrumentation has become sensitive enough, are we starting to be able to realize (but not yet quantify) this. Perhaps 5% of reality is shaped by the aggregate consensus and 95% by the system itself. Or 1% and 99%. Or .00001% and 99.99999%. All are possible, but none are objective.

24 Responses to Objective vs. Subjective Reality

  1. Alex Jones says:

    Heraclitus has probably beaten you to the conclusions, he says that all we can go by is what are common patterns in nature, for instance it is common that all things are changing. Heraclitus offers the opportunity in “common” that sometimes a result that is common may under certain circumstances do something else. It is common for instance that energy follows the second law of thermodynamics but at the quantum level this law gets broken as revealed in a recent scientific experiment.

    Heraclitus says a lot about the subjectivity of individual experience in nature, even in our reactions to it, for instance a fish lives in drinking seawater, but seawater is death to humans that drink it.

  2. RogerV says:

    Reblogged this on VossNetBlog and commented:
    Nice to see Jim frame up this idea of how the subjective reality experience might work. Have had discussions about this with him from time to time.

    Another aspect we’ve talked about is the nature of our dream time realities that our consciousness is presumably responsible for (though I’ve had the same dream on the same night as another person I was linked with in a special way, so there’s that group consciousness thing slipping in).

    I made the analogy to cartoons, animation, on up to CGI, and then live action film, as different degrees of depicting realism. Our individual consciousness, when dreaming, produces realism down at, say, the cartoon and animation level of resolution. Sometimes we dream more vividly (or profoundly) and kick into CGI level realism. The global reality rendering is produced by super consciousness at obviously live action film realism resolution. All, though, are products of reality simulation projected by consciousness. Our dreams are more crude than the global reality as our individuated consciousness is not bringing the processing power to bear that the consciousness force rendering the global reality does.

    I know all these people that get into these metaphysics concepts centered on manifesting their intentions into their reality experience. Here’s a tip – concentrate your consciousness intentions on the well being of others – or keep your personal desires scoped to that which is needful but not indulgent.

  3. Ramesh says:

    Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change form one form to another. Does this not mean that energy never had a birth (beginning) and cannot have a death (ending) or be in a time line (as we know it in our reality). It simply “Is.”

    “I am John” could be read as “I am..” which confirms the knowledge that “I exist” and “John” as the persona (or form or version) of existence.

    No matter how you answer the question “Do you exist?” it will always confirm that you exists !! Since you cannot (by definition) experience non-existence, you cannot ‘not exist’, if you exist now you have and will always exist. Hence the “I am” (which seems to shares the same attribute of energy), has existed outside time and space and will always exist.

    The ever changing forms of existence (similar to the various forms that energy takes) come and go and are constructed within time and space.

    Energy and existence cannot be fragmented by time or space. Otherwise there would be a beginning and ending for the fragmented part. They are outside time and space (unlike our reality experience. Therefore consciousness ( which I equate with existence or self knowing energy) is the un-fragment-able whole and all there is.
    The fragmented appearance of the one whole un-fragmentable consciousness, happens only in the time-space frame work or the illusionary frame work created for purposes of experiencing in a field of inter-related opposites.

    The experience is real, but the rest of the stage on which the game is played is a simulation by consciousness itself changing (and appearing and disappearing as various forms) for experiencing itself in rich diversity. If it were not for this duality (fabricated) stage, experience would not be possible (only the knowing will be there or one will stop at “I am….” and not be able to go further to say John.

    The ‘Knowing existence’ is the first split from existence. That is from existence to “knowing existence”. At this point the duality has already been created between itself and the knowing self. The physical brain/mind contains the personality construct to segregate and separate (beliefs and definitions) so that a diverse set of experience can be had, by augmenting all experiences through the individuated personality construct. The individualization is achieved as an output of the persona or personality construct (thoughts, beliefs, definitions, feelings, emotions, actions and perceptions etc.)

    Can you critique and comment on this??

  4. Ramesh says:

    Continuing what I wrote on 10th September I have the following to add:

    Since one can only experience what exists (and conversely one cannot experience what does not exist) everything everybody experiences (be it physical experience, imaginative thoughts, ideas) must all already exist prior to the experience.

    If we assume this to be the case, it could support the idea that while everything ( let us call them frames of reality) exists in the now moment, the design of experience in a narrow area called “physical reality experience” is to experiencing them sequentially one after the other (as opposed to the confusion that could result if multiple things were experienced in the one moment).

    Consensus reality is generated by having all humans sample the frames consistently (almost fixed rate of frames per second) while psychological time is generated as an individuated sample rate that can be varied to some degree. The feeling of time arises out of the the sampling rate.

  5. Jackie says:

    The question was I thought,,,”Can We create the world just by looking at it??” I believe Yes We can..for example, now this may seem too very easy for everyone to accept. When you make a future board where you place all the pictures of what you want in your life.and everyday you look at it,,.then eventually you are supposed to get what you put on the board..that does work…
    I know I put a white Mercedes Benz on my board, now every time I go out I see a white new Mercedes….isn’t that creating the world by looking at it?.xo Jackie I see I am the first female to even join this conversation,,,

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  9. GREG HANSON says:

    Doesn’t the conclusion that “objective reality doesn’t exist” state an objective reality that proves itself false?

    • jim says:

      Very nice, Greg. I would have to correct myself and say that the underlying reality level may or may not be objective, but at some point, at the most fundamental layer of reality, it must be. However, our apparent physical reality is not at all objective. Make more sense?

  10. Charles says:

    Reality is subjective, we create our own reality by our thoughts. What you thought existed doesn’t exist, it’s all in your head. Nothing really exists, and it’s our consciousness that makes the realities of life, not matter. Objectivity isn’t proof in itself, if you can’t perceive it you have no reason to believe it. Science has proven things intersubjectively, it’s not objective. That’s proof. But we can’t perceive God, he therefore doesn’t exist. I rest my case.

    • Lance says:

      Just because we can’t perceive God does not mean he does not. We don’t “perceive” a radio wave, yet they do exist. There are lots of things we don’t perceive directly, but they do exist. Also, people have been having mystical, spiritual experiences for thousands of years. Some encounter a “presence” they can only describe as God. In Near Death Experiences people often encounter a “being of light” that they feel is God. These are perceptions, so would not therefore God exist? In addition, there are sound, logical, coherent philosophical arguments for the existence of God, especially Kalaam’s Cosmological Argument.

      • jim says:

        Excellent argument, Lance. It is so unfortunate that people disregard mystical experiences as bona fide evidence for something real, when all we really have is subjective experiences.

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  14. Mark says:

    Objective reality exists apart from any subjective experience of it. As Einstein said, the existence of the moon does not depend on a mouse on earth viewing it.

    • jim says:

      That is only an assumption. All evidence points to it not being true.

    • Ramesh says:

      Reality: That which exists independently and does not depend on anything else for its existence. This automatically implies that it is outside time and space and therefore is unborn, unlimited and not fragment-able by time or space. It is also unchanging. Example: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed is a scientific observation. Hence it is unborn, exists and cannot not-exist.

      The forms of energy is a phenomena appearing in space-time framework and is unreal. All forms are subject to birth and death are in space and time and not outside of it. Everything in time-space is an appearance.

      Unreal is that which changes and is therefore in time and space and fragmented by both. Appearances do not have an independent existence of their own. They have a conditional existence and once the conditions change they no longer exist. Example: Mirage

      Since any movements can only be known if there is something that does not move (or change can only be known if there is something unchanging), existence of “reality” is thus proved.

      Both real and unreal can be experienced. Hence the statement “the world that is seen in sensory perception is unreal (or an illusion) but it’s experience is real.”

      Once this is clearly understood there is no further debating required.

      The observer and the object observed are always entangled. See “Quantum Conspiracy” on u-tube for a detailed presentation. There is no such thing as a subjective reality or objective reality. There is consciousness without a subject or object and subject-object consciousness.


  15. saad ahmed says:

    Our reality is just a figment of our imagination, which is powered by our senses and how they are processed. But i am glad that i am not a platypus…

  16. Ruth says:

    Thank you for helping me to understand.

  17. Iam Timothy says:

    When we speak of reality in the true sense of it, it is expected that whatever falls within the context of reality is a classified illusion. Reality is not directly the opposite of illusion if we may choose to automatically construe what is real to us. Although reality can be stratified into objective and subjective but artificial divides. Though no reality is absolutely objective as every reality follows a pattern of objectivation, habituation, internalization, and institutionalization through a somewhat narrow subjective lens. Every reality that exists within the confines of our consciousness is more or less subjective since it is always hinged on perception. Reality by this is the sum total of our experiences and perception about issues, events, and objects. It is in the light of the submission above that one may choose to narrate his encounter with a ghost in which case no validations to his/her experience can ever be attempted. The truth is that the experience is real to the one who experiences the ghost and goes a long way to affect his daily living and perhaps biography, to anyone else, it might be an illusion, a figment of the bearer’s imagination. Isn’t this real to the bearer? of course, it is. It is in this manner that reality could be said to be relative to the person, space and time and that in the context of reality, illusions have no place as they are really subjective entities themselves.

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