Partial moon against blue sky

Do we live in different worlds?

At this point, is it true that we essentially live in quite different worlds? Each person increasingly seeing this world their own way, informed by their own experiences, ideas and conclusions as to what it all means. Everyone, then, responding to what they encounter in their own way, based on their own values, beliefs and interpretations of what’s going on and how best to work within it to achieve their own ends.

Sometimes it really seems to be true, as if we’re each speaking from our own unique take on life – often, slightly at odds with how anyone else might be looking at the exact same realities. As if life’s now taking us off on all these tangents where, after a few left turns, we’re finding ourselves in quite different places, looking at things from different angles and reading them differently. (Notes One)

As opposed to a world of fairly common experiences, beliefs and responses, aren’t we now living quite differently? As if there’s no real common culture or set of ideas with which we’re looking at life, no common channels down which our thoughts travel. The landscape of our shared existence having been carved up by all these individual paths we’re taking to places where common ground seems to have disappeared.

Seeing ourselves as standing within reality and reflecting it in thought, what does it mean to be living that way? Each of us thinking whatever we like. Bearing in mind that our thoughts become our words, our connections with others and our relationship to the world, what happens if we each take our own path and believe it the only acceptable one?

Almost as if, alongside reality, there’s this world of thought – in reality, many worlds. Each of us creating this bubble of all we think and believe to be true: all these subtle, possibly unexamined ideas we have in mind about everything we’ve ever encountered and the narrative we’ve spun to connect, justify or understand it all. All of us carrying that world in our heads as we navigate the realities we still share. (Notes Two)

How well can those bubbles coexist? How interested are we in what others think? Should we just push our bubble over anyone else’s? Seeking to correct whatever “misconceptions” their life or thinking might’ve led them to. Or, might we be better off letting things merge into a larger, shared bubble capable of encompassing all of our experiences, perspectives and concerns in life? (Notes Three)

Clearly it must make communication important: if we’re to live like this, don’t we need to be skilful in tracking alongside one another in respectful, companionable ways? Otherwise, we’ll surely just experience life as a series of conflicts, disagreements or misunderstandings – feeling that others aren’t listening or aren’t interested in seeing what life is like through our eyes.

However we look at it, finding ways to stand alongside one another within this single reality of the systems and planet we share seems a challenge we all face.

Notes and References:

Note 1: All that we carry around with us
Note 1: Is there any end to the power of thought?
Note 1: Joining the dots
Note 1: Seeing where others are coming from
Note 1: Can “how we relate” really change?
Note 2: Connecting truthfully with life
Note 2: Where do we get our ideas from?
Note 2: The thought surrounding us
Note 2: Words & relating as paths to change
Note 2: With our words, do we cast spells?
Note 3: These ideas we have of one another
Note 3: Attention as a resource
Note 3: Modern challenges to relationship
Note 3: What does it mean to be tolerant?
Note 3: Can there be beauty in communication?

Ways to share this: