The Universe

Can you prove you love your wife?

I tend to break the universe down into three parts:

The Subjective Universe

This is the realm of our feelings and beliefs. Love and Faith and Hate and God live here. It’s all internal to our minds and psyche. There is no truth or proof here – only opinion and faith.

The Objective Universe

This is what we perceive. It’s still not fact – but it’s as close as we can get to truth by ourselves. Our perceptions are all edited for content by our subconscious as they are traveling the neural pathways into our minds. We basically have a few passive sensor systems – our eyes, ears, touch and smell (taste is part of smell). We have parts of our brains that are dedicated signal processors. They take as input the raw data from these sensory systems and output processed data that we can understand.

There is a time lag between the perceptions and the post-processing data. So, the external world is not really perceived as it happens. The processing takes place in the subjective universe. Everything is spun according to the whims of your subconscious. This leads to…

The Real Universe

This is what is really real. We cannot directly perceive this. It’s like the story of the four blind men and the elephant. We each base what we believe reality to be on our perceptions. It’s only when we actually sit down and discuss what each of us perceive that we can come close to approximating what reality really is.


I see the universe as a matrix made up first of the bubbles of each persons subjective universe which are contained in overlapping fields of people’s objective universes all contained in the greater real universe.

So – to answer the question: No. I cannot prove it except through my actions. Love, Hate, Good, Evil – these are all parts of each of our subjective universes.

9 thoughts on “The Universe”

  1. […] So, in an earlier post, I expounded on a way of looking at reality and the universe that depends on your internal filters. To sum up, there are three universes. The real external universe, the universe of what you perceive and the universe of how you comprehend what you perceive. You cannot directly interact with or perceive the outermost real universe, because of the time delay between when something emits a signal and when that signal makes it back through your sense receptors and sense processors to your subconscious. […]

  2. <strong>Roundup for Dec 5 – 11, 2005</strong>

    After beginning with the startling question "Can you prove you love your wife?" The Roost’s Greg cleves the universe into its subjective, objective and real aspects. In the comment thread to his post, Greg/tsykoduk writes, "If you allow your feeli…

  3. Hume says that all valid knowledge is limited to experienced mental phenomena. Mind is the psychic content, the stat of consciousness, the bundle of perceptions which are called impressions fi the are more lively sensations, and feelings or ideas (thoughts) if they are faint images of impressions. Hume held that it is not substances or qualities that man percieves but his own subjective states, i.e. the impressions which enter by the senses. Mind is constituted by the successive perceptions, and hen the substantiality of the ego is delusion.

  4. He lives in all three of them – just like you and me.

    I do not believe that people ‘only live in one’. That would be impossible. Everyone has an internal monologue, Everyone has some way of sensing the outside world (even if it’s only through touch) and everyone exists in the real world. I think that some people give to much power or weight to their subjective universe, not seeing the larger picture.

    I would say that a acceptable moral code would be totally based on a subjective view. Acceptable is a subjective term after all. What would be an acceptable to you would not be acceptable to a conservative Muslim. Your subjective paradigms are very different.

    As our subjective universes determine our objective universes, the thing to realize is that when you see a ‘thing’, be it an action or physical thing, that thing could be very different in another persons objective reality.

    If you think about it, subjective reality is created by our parents, our culture and our experiences. Buddhism is in part about learning how to see the real world for what it is. Basically seeing through your own objective reality. Seeing things for what they really are.

    <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satori">Satori</a&gt;, or enlightenment, is the point where we actually get a glimpse of the real world for what it is. Did you ever take those tests where they give you a bunch of dots or something and ask you what is there? That is designed to key off of the subjective minds interpretation of the form, which misleads you to show what it is not. Enlightenment is seeing all possibilities at once.

    The first step towards <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kensho">Kensho</a&gt; is realising that what you see is in fact not real. :)

  5. What world did Stalin inhabit? Certainly plenty of ends justify the means arguments occur, or at least think they occur in your real world.

    I doubt that you can build any acceotable moral code that is not based upon the subjective universe. Undoubtably you could build unacceptable moral codes based upon it as well.

  6. If you allow your feelings, hope and faith to rule you, then they are infact more real then the rest of the Universe. I would suggest that a Sucide Bomber is in this boat. He <b>feels</b> and <b>belives</b> that what he is doing is justified. Same with folks who follow the means are justifed by the ends argument. (not that I am implying that you are either, Justus)

    The danger lies in beliving that the subjective and objective universes are more real then the real universe. That is what allows fanatism to grow in a mind. If only your inner universes are real, then the other beings that inhabit the outer universe, the Real universe, must not be the same as you, if they really even exist.

    I would propose that a health being would have a balanced view of the reality of the three realms. They would understand the interaction between the three. They would realize that what they percive as the universe is an illusion, transient and ethereal.

  7. How do you determine which universe is ‘real’?

    Descarte of course started with the first, as the only one that he could be sure was ‘real’ and was never able to convincingly get beyond it.

    And if we are to trust quantum science, the ‘real’ universe that you describe may be as ephermal as anything in the subjective universe as you call it.

    Love and Faith and Hope and all of that are as real to me, more real perhaps and more important than anything generated by a consensus of the blind.

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