What on Earth is Non-Objective Reality?
In one sentence
Non-Objective Reality (NOR) challenges and undermines the common belief that objectivity and being objective constitute an exclusive and best means of understanding the human condition.
In a nutshell
Inasmuch as it ultimately and logically debunks all objective views of reality, NOR is a superficially radical but reasoned form of skepticism. Adopting a fuller philosophical approach that includes all things subjective allows NOR to rebalance a currently prevalent form of mad scientism that is sweeping through most intellectual fields. More generally, NOR tackles today’s equally prevalent inability to impartially critique what objectivity really amounts to.
NOR rests heavily on the simple but universal truth that all human abstract thought – that is, all thought capable of using linguistic or symbolic representation to create an objective model of the world – is inherently remote from that which it describes, plus intrinsically divisive.
When for example, we think of the world as land, sea and sky, we cognitively divide that world and – for better or worse – subsequently model it as a set of three related components. Our mind is then preoccupied with this model, as opposed to that which the model supposedly represents. But a question naturally arises over how well such a generic model of things-plus-relationships leads to the fullest possible understanding of a world that is arguably so totally interrelated that such a divisive approach – built entirely as it is on something between a convenient idea and the mere assumption that the world consists of component parts – is nothing more than a contrivance of abstract thought. In other words, perhaps reality is best understood as essentially holistic and, albeit variegated, not at all composed of parts in the manner the mind so reflexively and habitually imagines. Here it can be asked if this is not why so many revered sages have spoken of The Oneness, or stated that All is one?
Although objectivity has without question proven incredibly powerful and useful to humanity, it is patently obvious that we humans are singularly destructive to both ourselves and our environment – all whilst our future looks increasingly precarious as a result of our own actions. It is with these awkward truths in mind that NOR proposes, not to ridicule objectivity, but to complement, balance and transcend it by revealing its intrinsic weaknesses, unjustified assumptions and general illogicality.
Perhaps our abstract thoughts and ideas can in fact never grasp the true nature of the human condition – but the mind that at least sees with clarity the inherent nature and limitations of thought itself must surely be moving in a beneficial direction.
In more detail
Non-Objective Reality (NOR) is a multi-faceted critique concerning the very essence of abstract thinking – the same thinking we use daily to manage even the most mundane of matters. From a philosophical perspective, NOR considers that, no matter how useful they may appear, the conventional models of reality central to such thinking are flawed.
The real driver of human knowledge, ideas, worldviews and societal evolution is presented as an instinctive and primitive pursuit of pragmatic worldly goals, as opposed to the purely rational processes culturally imagined to underpin most human development. Hence, rather than being the supreme form of knowledge it is often imagined to be, objectivity is presented as a limited approach to knowledge that has always valued immediate effectiveness above the pursuit of a broader truth and wisdom.
Thus have we progressively become a distracted and even stupefied species – somewhat lost amidst the fruits of a restricted form of knowledge. Drunk on our technological achievements and forever battling over our many contradictory belief systems, we are easily imprisoned as individuals who cling to narrow worldviews, self-seeking goals and puerile pastimes – all whilst the potential for a fuller understanding of the human condition is increasingly urgent in the face of multiple crises resulting from our collective confusion.
We being the only species to have evolved our peculiar cognitive skills, NOR considers those skills to be only at an embryonic stage in relation to what they would ideally become if humans are to avoid proving too stupidly clever for their own good. More positively, maturing those cognitive skills is seen as a fairly immediate process of personal realization – not an organic form of evolution requiring generations.
To this end, NOR circumscribes all our habitual thoughts, ideas and cherished knowledge by asking if a fixation on ultimately flawed models of objectivity is really the best the human mind can achieve. The long-proven utilitarian value of being objective is not denied; the notion behind NOR is that we can nonetheless transcend certain distortions and limitations inherent to abstract thought, and thereby correctly see objectivity as in fact not the final word in understanding the human condition.
As regards the nuts and bolts of NOR’s critique of objectivity, human abstract thought is seen as providing what are at best only very crude and illusory models of reality – even if such models have mesmerized the human race since antiquity by enabling technological developments unseen elsewhere in nature. Given that the highly abstract form of cognition underlying all such human development apparently constitutes a new and seemingly untested evolutionary departure, it is considered on the long term to be every bit as potentially dangerous as it is powerful in terms of our continued existence. Could it be that our powers of cognition currently exceed our powers of wisdom?
NOR constitutes a reasoned rethink of the widespread but subliminal and rather irrational assumption that mankind can solve his growing number of problems by the same modes of thought that created them in the first place. Viewing such problems as direct results of explosive human development based on the formidable powers of abstract thought and ideas, NOR reasons that expediency alone demands a correction to our established ways of thinking – should our species choose to optimize its chances of survival.
But if such problems are indeed inextricably linked to our mode of thinking and its conceptions of reality, addressing them only requires the intellectual courage and humility to consider that we may have fundamentally misunderstood the true nature of the mind’s actions. In short, we may be a problem with the potential to become our own solution. Clues prove not too hard to find, given that we all have extensive subjective lives but are culturally indoctrinated to treat all things subjective as rather meaningless.
NOR also resolves humanity’s most troubling intellectual questions, including those that have dogged philosophy since its dawn. For example, the supposedly intractable freewill-versus-determinism question is fully resolved within NOR. And while there is no set self-help aspect to NOR, it provides a radical critique of many self-destructive aspects haunting conventional worldviews that potentially leave individuals feeling disorientated amidst today’s increasingly anonymous and impersonal societies.
In summary, NOR is the obvious but revolutionary idea that, however powerful any well thought-out human ideas might appear, all ideas are nothing more than abstractions and, not only are all such abstractions fallible and limited, but it is only to our detriment that we forget this in the manner our increasingly distracted species has so far done.
Reality is evidently infinitely greater than the sum-total of all the ideas human abstract thought could ever frame – no matter how convincing, well-reasoned and objective such ideas might appear. Hence, that we seemingly place complete and unreserved faith in mere ideas is troublesome at the very least. However, it may be that the very problems we face will usher in a new age of realization: an awareness that human understanding actually can transcend the awkward adolescence it currently confronts. But any such revelation remains logically beyond individuals stubbornly holding to the popular idea that wisdom ascends no higher than merely being objective.