advaitam and Kashmir shaivam (Idealism and Realism)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Aug 18 00:24:48 CDT 1997

On Fri, 15 Aug 1997, Martin Gifford wrote:

> Hi All !
> At 01:58 AM 15/08/97 +0000, Jaldhar  wrote:
> >Well if you're just saying people interpret physical phenomena differently
> >then I'd agree.  And I'd say it's a good thing they do.  Imagine how
> >boring life would be if everyone thought exactly the same.  But this is a
> >far, far more modest claim than that which Subjective Idealist
> >philosophers both Eastern and Western make which is that individual
> >observers create their own reality.  That view is untenable.
>         How would you prove that? To say that other people see the same
> reality you first have to say that they exist and how could you prove you
> didn't create them or that they even exist? There are many other arguments
> along this line.

Here's a simple experiment.  1.  Find a tall building.  2.  jump off it.
In the few seconds before you splatter all over the ground, try and
mentally adjust the law of gravity.  Oddly enough it doesn't seem to work
does it?  No matter how many people will try this experiment, gravity and
the way it works will remain the same to each observer.  Because they are
_completely_ independant of the observer.

The idealist might reply that this mental creation of the world is
unconscious and not subject to such direct manipulation.  Already this is
a dilution of the idealist concept but even with this admission the theory
is implausible.  There are what 5-6 billion people in the world today?
Even on a subject as vague as the interpretation of a sunrise, there are a
lot less than 5 billion opinions.  If all these people are out there
creating their own realities, why do so many of them agree with each

Jaldhar H. Vyas [jaldhar at]   And the men .-_|\ who hold
Consolidated Braincells Inc.                          /     \ -)~~~~~~~~  Perth->*.--._/  o-
"Witty quote" - Dead Guy   /\/\/\ _ _ ___ _  _ Amboy       v      McQ!

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