Solipsism (Cont)

The following are some additional points related to solipsism:

Unreality – Extreme solipsism can spin one’s thinking from reality to a surreal world of living in one’s own universe —-> a true divorce and break with reality. Extreme solipsism can twirl one’s thinking into a kind of twilight zone reality. Unreality is a moving reality that doesn’t stay in the same place. Extreme solipsism can’t distinguish reality from virtual reality. There can be a true break between a fantasy world and the real world. Solipsistic reality can become distorted reality and in some cases a psychotic break with reality can happen. In extreme solipsism there isn’t anything to measure sanity with. Buddha pointed out the illusion the mind can create when one is only able to think from a self-existence point of view, making for an inability to live in the real world.

Invulnerable – What individual has not thought, “I am invulnerable?” You will die, but I will never die.  Thinking about our own death, and that my life will become extinct can be a difficult thing to do. I think that at some level we all believe that we can defy physics? When one is racing down a highway at 100 mph there has to be a solipsistic component to this behavior saying, “I can’t be terminated.” The young are especially prone to this sense of invulnerability.

Duality – Solipsism is an individualistic way to view the world;  a devaluation concept. It devalues other individuals. There is already a dualism of the selfish gene vs. the social gene. Solipsism just contributes to this dualistic condition in human beings. Solipsism has the world split into my existence and your existence.

Developmental – However, solipsism has a developmental component. There are human developmental stages of extreme solipsism to maybe a more refined Kantian egoism. Infants, toddlers, adolescents often can’t go beyond their own existence, and thus only want to satisfy their own needs. As the individual enters his twenties, onto the thirties, and certainly into the forties there becomes a greater appreciation for the existence of other people. There develops a realization that other people have feelings, thoughts, and needs. As the fifties approach a larger realization that “I too, will die,” becomes a pronounced part of one’s reality. With wisdom comes the realization that death always wins! This makes for a worthier appreciation of the world “out there.” Unfortunately, for some of us there never is a development beyond extreme solipsism and I suggest that  makes for a lifetime of not meeting needs, especially the satisfaction of our interpersonal and social Belonging-Needs. Not meeting our needs will guarantee a life that has little meaning, is out of balance,  and one that is unhealthy.

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