“Solipsism: the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.” This is the word according to Google who also points out that the use of the word solipsism peaked in books 1992. That is kind a strange time for it to peak. Further thought will be needed to tease out a reason there.
There are some thoughts that have germinated in my mind further back than my current memory allows me to track. My views on religion, for instance, lay fallow for most of my life through the interminable hours of mediocre church in my youth, a couple of years at an Episcopal prep school, and some actually enlightening times in another New York cathedral. All of that influenced by the 1960’s/1970’s Eastern jaunt we made thanks to George Harrison and gang. One would expect a maturity of belief combining all of that training and thought and meditation. Note. What I discovered was a little light buried deep in my mind that had been there as far back as my Sunday school training (I don’t think they taught me what they thought they taught me). I finally pushed aside all the rubbish, reached way down there and hauled it to the top of my consciousness. It was not a combining or a transformation but a realization and rediscovery.
This is what happened with when I finally heard the solipsist voice in my head yammering about reality. It had been there all my life but I wasn’t paying attention. It does not turn off. It is the little boy who did not know the word but understood (or grokked as Heinlein would say) the concept. The only reality is my reality. It only takes a short journey down the Internet rabbit hole to hear the screams against such a concept as a philosophy and I don’t disagree with those that call it bullshit. But the voice is there and doesn’t go away when someone says it is unreasonable.
I once read an author who talked about the solipsism fallacy by saying that we all see the movie as ending when we die. The cellulose reel flaps as the light flickers and then is gone. The reality is that the movie, of course, continues. We may be a wave, however large, that peaks for some time then subsides but the ocean remains. All true. All true.
But the world that is exclusive to my mind, THE WORLD, is so valuable to me. It is the very fact that I’ve got that voice saying there is nothing elsewhere that makes it so fragile, such a gem sometimes.
For those of you who populate my world, thank you. I appreciate and respect you and hope you live long and prosper.
I’ll probably catch up with you when we’re all back in the ocean. Ciao.