Here is an idea I have about the nature of the universe. The idea is that the universe is solipsistic in that there is one mind and we as individuals experience an illusion of separateness. All consciousness comes from the same source. Perhaps there was some event like the Big Bang that set the illusion of separation into motion. This is not such an original idea, however, I think the way I approach it is a little different than anything else I have heard or read.
I got the idea in law school reading hand written criminal appeals written by uneducated murderers. It occurred to me that the criminal would do anything he could to get out of prison. He would research the law and hand write a complex legal document. Even if he knew he was guilty he had infinite compassion for himself — because he was himself. When we look at murders in prison we probably think they should be there. But if you or I were the murder we would want our freedom. Why? Because on some level we all have infinite compassion for ourselves. This is not to say that we are never self critical, but rather to illustrate that underneath the self criticism there sits a place of self compassion.
According to this model, to the extent we have compassion for others it is because we recognize ourselves (the universal solipsistic mind) in the other person. We see ourselves quite strongly in our children (for obvious reasons) and therefore have more compassion for them than strangers. The same is true for family members, fellow countrymen, teammates and friends we associate with.
In this model the forces of evil in the world attempt to perpetuate the separation through judgement, shame and perhaps even the concept of altruism. When we judge a person we say we are better than them and we separate ourselves from them. When we shame a person we make them feel inferior and separate. The same holds when we judge ourselves. We then become separate from ourselves. This really is the ultimate illusion. We can see that we are one whole and yet when we judge ourselves we act and feel as if this is not the case. The same is true (according to this model) for the universe as a whole.
Now, one might argue that this view of compassion is actually selfishness and that it is morally superior to have compassion for a complete stranger unconnected to ourselves for other reasons rather than having compassion for someone because you recognize yourself in them. This is altruism. But I suspect this point of view comes from a place of shame. It is judgmental and attempts to separate those who love themselves from those who think the purest form of love can only be directed to another person. Anything else is selfishness and selfishness is by that altruistic definition bad. But if the universe is solipsistic then the love of the self is the actually the highest good and altruism is an illusion of separateness.
- Compassion? (2) (mydailyyogapractice.wordpress.com)
- The External World: Further Experimental Evidence of Its Existence (experimentalphilosophy.typepad.com)
- From Solipsism to Transpersonal Reality … How You Are God, the Universe Is Friendly: Transpersonal Perspective, Part Three – Experience Is Divine (apocalypseknow.wordpress.com)
- The Craziness of a Solipsist (carlstromct.wordpress.com)
- Am I a Solipsist? Thinking about this (jaymsuh.wordpress.com)
- A Solipsist Can’t Falisfy their Falsifiable Hypothesis (allzermalmer.wordpress.com)
- ‘SOLIPSIST,’ by Andrew Huang (maiterodriguez.es)
- Descartes and Western Civilization Individualism (veteranstoday.com)
- Altruism Can Be Contagious (scientificamerican.com)