What influence does the subjective internal reality have on external reality. I spend most of my time thinking personally about the frustrating lack of influence that external reality has on subjective thinking, but given the reality that as a longtime blogger and generally bluntspoken person the fact that I care a great deal about expressing my own opinion and come from an age where the demand to speak out from one’s subjective internal reality as if it was something important means that there is at least some expectation that people have in expressing their subjective reality. It is not to say that these expectations are fair–we frequently demand to be agreed with and cheered when we express what we view to be true but tend not to be as gracious in dealing with what other people think and feel when it differs from us, mostly because the subjective internal realities of others are no part of our own reality and understanding and experience. This fundamental disconnect between our own reality and that of others is responsible for a great many problems, but so long as we have a private interior reality an the capacity to make subjective and personal judgments it is inevitable that there would be a tragic disconnect between what we feel and think and believe and between what is, and between what we recognize of what is inside of someone else’s heart and mind and what is actually there.
The fact that we express our reality and take the time to write and talk about it with others suggests that we do in fact expect it to have some bearing on reality. So, what do we expect from it? Sometimes we expect other people to agree with it. When someone who is obviously and anatomically a member of one sex wants to be called by another name that they were given and wants to be recognized for their own subjective vision of themselves, there is an expectation that what we say about ourselves and what we may think or feel about ourselves is more important than what can objectively be said about us from our conduct or from that which may be known on the outside. A similar wish is expressed by those who did awful things in the past but who do not want to be thought of or remembered for those things afterward, as well as by those companies who change their names so as to avoid the bad reputation that comes from past failures or corporate bad behavior (Monsanto comes to mind here, among other examples). To live without the hope of being able to clear one’s name or have an honored reputation is intolerable, and in the absence of being able to change people’s mind about what a given name means there is the understandable if lamentable desire to obliterate the memory of that name and everything bad attached to that name and to view with extreme hostility those who demand to bring it up as relevant to someone’s contemporary existence. We expect our longing to start again to be honored and respected by others. Obviously, others may disagree.
At other times our expectations are more modest than trying to set the standard for what aspects of objective reality are to be allowed to define who we are. Sometimes we express our opinion in the hope that we may find people of like mind or that we may find people who are willing to take what we have to say seriously. Recently, for example, an online acquaintance of mine talked about how she had spoken up about a California law that hurts freelance writers and artists and musicians (she happens to be a musician) in the hope that a bad law could be changed or tossed away altogether. Obviously her speaking up about it to local news was done to bring her plight before those who may be expected to support her and others like her. A lot of political advocacy as well as expressions about art and culture is done in search of like-minded company with whom we can agree. Likewise, it is easier to be around people who take what we say and what we feel seriously, and hard to be around people who do not act as if what we think or feel or believe matters. The facts may not care about our feelings, but all of us tend to care about our feelings enough not to regard others well who do not agree about the importance of our sensitivities and opinions and feelings. And if the children in my Sabbath School class are representative, a great many young people are not used to having adults take what they have to say or feel or think very seriously, unless they are good kids who have good parents who do listen to them. Sometimes we want people just to listen, though, and not necessarily to act to do anything about something we may bring up, but taking people seriously also includes seeking and often respecting the limits of what (if anything) they want someone to do upon knowing those thoughts and opinions and feelings.
When people communicate, there is an obvious reason for it. The act of moving what is in our private and internal reality into public requires a great deal of effort. Time must be spent in shaping our words and we may have to think a lot about what we want to say and whether something is worth saying, knowing that we are putting something out there by which we may be judged and criticized by others. It is worthwhile to reflect on what it is that we expect from our efforts to put some part of our internal world in public where it can be seen and/or heard by others. What difference do we and others expect to make by revealing ourselves, or even revealing a version of ourselves that we want to present to others even if it is a masquerade of some kind? Sometimes the reasons why we wish to express ourselves are as important or more important than the specific aspects of that expression themselves. Of course, it may be hard for us to understand or articulate those reasons, much less to express them to others who may use that knowledge against us. But we communicate, or try to communicate, in trust and hope, for what we lack those we often cease to communicate at all.