Interpreting Objective and Subjective Reality?

galaxy wallpaper

Have you ever thought about what Subjective and Objective Reality is?

Something which we can notice through one of our senses and has a physical existence independent of whether we can perceive it in the mind or not is Objective reality.

For example, Planets and Sun are part of the solar system.  It is real, physically existing and thus is objectively present.

But have we felt the solar system?

Not all of us would have seen every planet and someone blind may not have even see the sun, although if you ask them to stand in front of it, they too could still feel its presence.

However, we still need to interpret objective reality by making a perception inside our mind. Even if something exists, the existence can only be proven once our own mind has interpreted in the same objective way as done by others or we accept based on the proof presented in this case, scientific studies proving their existence.

Giving a name to various objects is also a ploy to invoke similar perceptions about them and obviate the need for an explanation.

close up of coffee cup on table

When someone say coffee, I can visualize it immediately, however our mental picture may differ.  I might see a black coffee where the other person views a latte.

However, conceptually we both would be on the same page in terms of what constitutes the major ingredient.

A clearer picture would form as we begin to use specific words to describe our experience.

Cappuccino, Latte, Americano, Espresso, Irish Coffee, all these names will ensure a consistent picture emerges in the mind of the listener and the speaker.

This is objective reality although this too requires an interpretation to some extent.

Subjective reality on the other hand exists in the mind only.

My perception may be dissimilar than others but we can still live with it our entire life without even knowing how different our awareness had been.

man and woman wearing brown leather jackets

Let me explain this with an example.

Suppose, you watch two people engaged in a conversation.  One of the participants is making generous use of gestures to explain his point of view while the other person is listening attentively.

However, suddenly we observe the listener running frantically away from the speaker while touching his ears with his hands.

What would be your perception of the individual running?

Well, if you are a normal human being, you would say, the listener probably didn’t like what he heard and might be running away from the speaker.

Or the two may have had a difference of opinion and so, this person instead of arguing decided to move away from the other individual.

This perception though may be totally different than what is held by the speaker or an individual aware of the preceding interaction that occurred between the two of them just before they began conversing or is privy of the discussion now.

The listener had to catch a bus and speaker just had a few minutes to explain his idea.  He tried to maximize the usage of time by animatedly explaining his thought, but could not complete as the bus arrived and the listener had to rush.

They however decided to speak on the phone as the listener touched his ears with his hands to indicate they will soon speak on the phone and complete the conversation.

The assumptions we made here are pretty common, when we thought of the listener running away from the speaker as we can’t be blamed to always think with such an acute sense of discernment.

Any sane person, would probably guess what you would have guessed initially when put in a situation like this and asked to interpret the behaviour of the person running without any knowledge of the background.

The reality becomes subjective here as what exists in the mind of the two conversationalists is different then what exists in the mind of the observers.

Another example of subjective reality is how we interpret advertisements, politicians’ speeches, even price of various products and services.

We all carry our own mirror of reality with us, at times its objective and many a times subjective which we might still construe as objective.

And the last one, when the tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound.  The answer is subjective, as both the options, no sound or noise may be right.

Which one would you like to believe in?

Do share your examples of subjective and objective realities, would be a great read I am sure!

Looking forward to your comments.


3 thoughts on “Interpreting Objective and Subjective Reality?

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