The Battle Between the Self and the World

by Arthur Khachatryan

true or falseHave you ever heard someone say something like this: ‘Well, you can believe whatever you’d like. I’ll keep on believing what I want. But don’t impose your beliefs on me. Live and let live. You have your truth, and I have mine!?’ If you’ve also made similar statements, it may be time to evaluate such sentiments carefully by critically thinking through these things.

If you’ve not uttered such phrases, but have felt uneasy about them when you’ve heard them spoken, it may be because your rational intuition is scanning for known problems. Though you may not be able to put your finger on it, there is this uneasy feeling that something’s wrong here. And you would be right; there is something terribly wrong.

We are subjective creatures. We have a consciousness that provides us with an internal reality, one we experience within of our inner self. We have private preferences, opinions, fears and biases, which are very real in our thoughts and actions. This internal reality is immediate and cannot be overthrown, at least not without receding into irrational alternatives.

However, there is also the external world for which we have to account. Reality is after all comprised of not only conscious creatures, but also the environment in which they live. When people say, ‘you have your truth and I have mine,’ are they suggesting that the world is different for them? Or are they trying to say that truth is merely subjective? It couldn’t be the later though, since truth is that which corresponds to reality, and since reality includes the entire known physical world, it cannot be a personal internal thing. So, while the ‘your truth, my truth’ mentality is fairly representative of the popular sentiment of the day, it is rooted in a subjective internal battle with the external reality…


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