NarrativePhilosophyPsychology

Deeper and wider


I’ve had some very deep conversations with some very interesting people this week. Sometimes life is like that for me, I can incubate my own ideas for a while and than someone comes along and adds to them, taking me on a different trajectory.

Whilst I have my own opinions, I’m fully aware that I’m not always ‘right’. I learned a lot about incubation of ideas, and the difference between subjective experience and objective knowledge about ten years ago. Whereas subjective experience is centred around the self and and spoken in the ‘I’ and ‘my’, objective knowledge is about other people and the world, and apart from personal experiences and opinions.

The difficulty comes when some one thinks that their subjective experience constitutes truth, and overlays this with ‘personal proof’. That is not to say that objective knowledge constitutes truth either. However, the difference between the two is fluidity and flexibility. Contrary to popular belief, objectivity can be extremely fluid and subjectivity can be rigid, if harnessed by lack of empathy. It isn’t the personal subjectivity itself, outside the interpersonal relationship, that is rigid; all stories and narratives are constructions, including opinion, which has been assimilated, after all, from other people’s ideas and claimed for the ‘self’. It is the belief that this personal experience and opinion is entirely true that sets it aside.

Objective knowledge is like a matrix of thought, weaving in and out of other people’s theories and assimilating that knowledge into a respectful, shifting reality. We learn something from every encounter with another communication, if only we can look further than our own lives.