Solipsism in Inner Space

It’s a philosophical position that, because “I” cannot feel your pain or see the world through “your” eyes, “I” and the only really real person, and the rest of you are all a complicated visual, aural and tactile illusion designed purely to give my life (positive or negative) meaning; or else that “you” do have some kind of independent existence, but only as unfeeling, unthinking automata that merely feign the appearance of thought and feelings more or less successfully.

As the only genuine living creature in the multiverse, the solipsist is supreme, almost godlke, although, ironically, often sees him/herself as a “victim” of these automata or illusions around them that only exist to thwart them.

Some time ago, talking to a physicist I know, he said that many physicists on the leading edge of physics where also on the leading edge of insanity.

And leading edge artists, writers, philosophers, indeed anyone “walking between the worlds” are also close to insanity. A good working definition of insanity is mental function not common to the majority of humankind.

In short, thinking predisposes people to being clinically insane.

It also occurs to me that we as a species have a species-wide solipsism that works rather as extreme racial prejudice works: because we do not speak Goat, or Cat, or Horse, or Emu languages, we assume therefore that they have no mental function (a core belief of solipsism), and therefore no feelings, and it is therefore all right to treat them far worse than we expect to be treated ourselves.

You only have to see a feral cat (whom I’m sure we would all wish dead) with their hindquarters mashed flat into the road by a large, heavy vehicle, their front paws convulsively clawing at the bitumen, their neck arched back, and their head screaming, to know that a bunch of inert, unfeeling cells is not what that feral cat is. It feels, just as you or I do. It may not think the same way, but it certainly has self-awareness, and it certainly feels. Its life may not be desirable, but a slow, torturous death is only acceptable to sadists and solipsists.

Which leads me to ask: is there a clinical relationship between sadists and/or killers, and solipsism? Leave a comment and let me know what you think. (If you exist).

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5 Responses to Solipsism in Inner Space

  1. Quiet says:

    Your definition of insanity is problematic. I don’t think that ‘thinking’ predisposes people to be clinically insane.

    I’m actually not sure exactly what you are saying anyway. Your comments are confused, a bit of a mixture. Are these just random jottings?

    Few people adopt a totally self-centred way of living, although we all have experience of self-preoccupation. Sometimes self-centred thinking is a passage of life, sometimes a matter of survival, sometimes a spiritual unwellness, sometimes circumstantially and socially induced. It is , indeed, difficult not to have some degree of self-occupation. Hopefully we learn to reach out as we grow and have positive opportunities to relate to others.

    As a species we can have narrow world views and experience. Nationalism and religion are sometimes symptoms of this.

    I agree with you that western human kind in general has little general understanding of the innate nature of animals, other than ourselves, and of plants. Possibly we are evolving towards deeper understanding of these things.

    I don’t think that leading edge artists et al are any close to insanity than anyone else. Perhaps it is our society generally, shaped as it is by western commercialism and inane media, which is more problematic. The real world is one of connectedness and love. Our spiritual natures constantly call us to these realities – love of others and service, and the creation of beauty.

  2. nisaba000 says:

    I didn’t know I actually attempted to define insanity, which is a huge subject on which many, many books have been written without a definitive definition having been arrived at. In the society most of us live in, being functional is probably a bit insane anyway, as we never evolved to deal with the chaos with which we surround ourselves. Being then thoughtful within that society does in the experience of many, make them acutely uncomfortable in themselves, at least a step towards insanity, whatever its definition might be.

    No, these aren’t random jottings – they were following a particular given line. I wasn’t interested in deviating from that line, even though it would still have been roughly on-topic.

    If the real world is one of connectedness and love, then the huge majority of urban humans by their own accounts, though striving to experience such a reality, are only ev er hopeful that they might find it at some stage in the future. It is a sad indictment of society that so many of us live outside of your apparent concept of the real world.

    Thank you for your comments – other people’s views are a huge part of my own reality, whatever that is.

    • Quiet says:

      ” A good working definition of insanity is mental function not common to the majority of humankind. ”

      Your words. But it is hard to have a conversation like this on a blog.

      My understanding of the real world is aspirational but also much more common than I used to think. The world around us is very complex and it is so difficult at times to understand where someone else is coming from and what experiences and feelings fashion ‘their’ lives.

      I think that many people do strive for and experience connectedness and love in their daily lives. Those experiences may not always be consistent for us but they are more common than people realise.

      Without such experiences life can be bleak indeed.

      • Quiet says:

        In relation to your question about the connection between solipsism and sadists/killers, I think that is very difficult to answer.

        There is an interesting article in this week’s “Independent UK” (on-line) about a forensic psychologist in Britain who tries to make such convicted people safer within themselves so that people around them will be safer. She is a compassionate woman. You should be able to find the article. I read it but didn’t keep the reference.

      • nisaba000 says:

        Absolutely agreed.

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