Question of the Week: 11/05 - 11/11

Does Separation Exist? When I ask this question, I am talking about the need for the self to be separate from other objects. I am here, and you are there, and so on. It even extends to physical, or otherwise, non-living objects. I am separate from the chair I am sitting on. But is it true?

The way it is usually discussed is not really helpful at all, as too much opinion gets in the way. And that defeats the whole purpose of finding out in the first place. I don't want your opinion or your belief about reality, subjective or objective. I want to find out what is really there.

But that is what this argument has turned into; one belief against another. One side says that there is no reality outside of awareness. The other side says the opposite. But they don't really see it, either of them. Somewhere, this information has been absorbed, and they are just repeating what they believe. And they both proclaim that the other is wrong. But what reality is there in belief? If either side believes that they are right, then it is simply a matter of belief, and not one of reality.

This is a popular subject these days, and you can easily find argument after argument on various Internet forums, the most popular being Steve Pavlina's Forum. And while I do not want to make this a post on subjective or objective reality specifically, I will briefly touch on it.

Objective and Subjective Reality Defined

There are slight variations in defining these terms, depending on who you ask. But the answer is generally the same. Steve Pavlina's explanation is about as good as you can find anywhere. (Read his article, "Subjective Reality Simplified," for more of a detailed analysis.) Here is his bare-bones definition:

Subjective reality is a belief system — a perspective. It is no more real or unreal than objective reality, which is also nothing but a perspective. How do you prove a perspective? That question doesn’t make much sense, since your particular perception of reality depends on your perspective.

These few sentences are wonderful, because they get right to the point. And although there are certainly much longer definitions out there, this brings us right to the core of the issue; they are both belief systems. And as we have discussed many times, if we view reality through a belief, what is being seen? Can we see reality through a belief? Is reality dependent upon belief to exist? Or is it only the belief that we are seeing? If I have a belief about Chinese people, whatever that belief happens to be, what happens when I see someone I think is Chinese? Do I really see the human being that is there in front of me, or do I just see my belief about Chinese people?

I bring this up because I know many of the regular readers of this blog know about subjective and objective reality, and have read much more than I have on it. So when I ask about separation, I don't want someone to resort to a belief they hold about reality. Just see the words and go through them thoroughly on your own. Don't rely on what you believe, or that belief is the only thing you will see.

You can go back to your beliefs later, if you want. But they are of no use in exploring reality.

Is There Separation in This World?

Looking at the world, it is easy to say, "Yes. There is separation in this world. You can see it everywhere." I can certainly understand that, but is it true? There are class divisions, religious divisions, nationalistic divisions, etc. But does that make separation real? Or is it just an expression of our fragmented minds? We seem to think that it is real because of what we witness going on all around us. We think it is separate, and we cannot touch it. It has nothing to do with us, because we are not "directly" involved.

This is where some people get into a magical kind of thinking. We magically create the events in the world because we resonate at the same frequency as the event. Because we think it, we attract it. Is it true? Something about that statement might seem accurate, but what is really there? Is it magical, or out of our hands? Are we responsible?

The world seems fragmented because we are fragmented. Any action taken through fragmentation, is fragmented action. That is how a fragmented world is built. There is nothing magical or mystical at all about it. This world is a direct result of the actions we have taken through fragmentation. It is a result of what we believe, and how we have acted upon those beliefs.

We are responsible because the fragmentation in the world cannot exist without us. We ARE the fragmentation of the world. Every one of us is responsible for the state of things. You might ask, "How am I responsible for a bombing in the Middle East?" Certainly, if you are a truck driver in Boston, you did not literally light the fuse. But your consciousness, full of belief, prejudice, and shoulds, is no different from the terrorist whose consciousness is full of belief, prejudice, and shoulds.

"But what am I to do?"

It all begins and ends with you. No one else. But don't believe me. Go into it, and see it for yourself

Is There Separation Without Belief?

What if a virus spread throughout the population of the earth, resulting in the loss of belief? Would the world still be fragmented? If belief is gone, can fragmentation be sustained? If there were no borders in the world, how would you see other people? Would there be such a thing as other people, or would there only be all of US?

You might look at those questions and think that it will never happen. But that is not the point. The self can never give a reason that is completely supportive of life, so why do we trust it?

If there is no separation, what can you cling to? If there is no belief to hold on to, how can you be separate? The only way I can experience separation is through the self; through the beliefs and memories of its composition. Memory, by itself, is no trouble. It is useful for our daily living. But when these memories are used to construct an image of reality, it separates us from what is real. The imposed image takes importance over the fact.