Your Perspective isn’t Valid if it Contradicts Objective Reality

A common misconception that many spiritual people have is that spirituality tells us that we each create our own reality. Some take this very literally, believing we are each manifesting our individual physical lives and world with our thoughts. Others take it more figuratively –– meaning that the entire world is but a construct and each of us simply has a differing perspective. You’ll usually find these folks saying things tantamount to “reality is subjective and my experience is just as valid as your experience.”

What they often don’t realize, however, is that reality isn’t what is subjective –– your experience of it is what is subjective. The personal beliefs and opinions formed by those experiences are may not be valid, particularly compared to someone else’s.

Where did “you create your own reality” come from?

This misconception comes from a bastardization of Eastern religion which suggests that the world is an illusion and we are living in a collective delusion. Many a guru has touted this as the ultimate reality. Many a spiritual charlatan has touted it as, “the physical world isn’t real.”

I propose that what this actually means is the way you perceive the objective world — your biased and misinformed opinions drawn from your subjective experiences that make up your worldview — is the illusion.

Science tells us that there is, indeed, a real world around you which is objective and tangible. It can be studied and measured. That is the reality we live in and it’s the one against which we measure the validity of our perspectives. The subjectivity of our experience does not override what is observable, tangible, measurable, and thus, factual. And when someone refuses to believe the objective reality in front of them, that’s called delusion.

Delusion: an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument

As a result, those of us who refuse to believe in that which is observable, tangible, measurable, and thus, factual are living in a delusional reality of our own making.

When we are faced with factual information that conflicts with our perceptions of reality, we experience a stress response called cognitive dissonance. The psychologist Leon Festinger argued that people would inevitably resolve that dissonance by blindly believing whatever they wanted to believe.

Here’s an example:

A couple of weeks ago I stated in a post that you can either be a trauma-informed coach or a high ticket coach, you cannot be both, and I laid out the rationale as to why this is true.

 

Someone rolled up on that post and told me: “You have some very interesting judgments about the coaching industry. You do you, boo ❤️”. Incidentally, that’s exactly what I was doing, but nevertheless, absolutely nothing I said was a judgement, nor an opinion.

 

Capitalism creates wealth inequality. That’s a fact.

 

Wealth inequality results in cyclical poverty. That’s a fact.

 

Cyclical poverty perpetrates, perpetuates, and exacerbates trauma. That’s a fact.

 

Coercive sales copy and high pressure sales tactics use shame and scarcity to drive purchases. That’s a fact.

 

Shame and scarcity trigger trauma responses. That’s a fact.

 

High ticket pricing structures eliminate access to the most traumatized people. That’s a fact.

 

When you eliminate access, you contribute to those people’s systemic oppression, and you perpetuate their cyclical trauma. That’s a fact.

 

A trauma-informed framework aims to create a safe container for clients who have been traumatized in order to prevent them from being further traumatized. As such, it attempts to eliminate as many causes of harm as possible.

 

All of the things I just mentioned cause harm and perpetrate trauma. They are also part and parcel to high-ticket coaching. Therefore, you cannot be a high-ticket coach and truly be trauma-informed, otherwise you would not be participating in such a system.

 

Naturally, that person attempted to play this off as a difference in perspective:

 

Commenter: “I think we all have a place to be and people to serve and it is up to the individual to decide for themselves what that is. I encourage you on your mission. I do not believe there is any need to throw shame on any perceived group of people. Some millionaires build empires off the backs of others who are essentially slave labor. And that is horrible. But there are others who build multimillion dollar empires by uplifting their employees and donating much to help bridge the wealth gap. Although it can feel radically empowering for a moment to put others in a blame box..[.] often it is the box itself that does the most damage.”

Two perspectives are not equally valid when one is based on a body of scientific research made up of observable facts and measurable consequences, and the other on anecdotal evidence, cherry-picked facts, subjective experience, and confirmation bias.

Valid: (of an argument or point) having a sound basis in logic or fact; reasonable or cogent.

A handful of well-intentioned millionaires does not offset the detrimental effects of capitalism. The climate crisis is here. Billionaires have more money than ever in the last two years and the rest of us are falling further behind every day. Trickle-down economics doesn’t work and we have 30+ years worth of data that proves it. Capitalism is the blame box. It is indeed the blame box that is doing the most damage. The “others” are putting themselves in the box by participating in it. If you don’t want to be blamed, then stop trying to shoot the messenger -– and get your ass out of the fucking box.

When someone is being directly confronted with factual evidence which contradicts their subjective perspective, the ideal response would be curiosity. But when someone feels not (just) guilt, but shame after learning that they’ve done something that resulted in the harm of another person –– that’s rooted in a trauma (typically childhood). Some have labeled this perpetrator trauma. It’s the same reason people get defensive during conversations about identity-based social privilege.

When that individual is unable to hold and process their own feelings of shame, the result is that they interpret this factual evidence as criticism and judgment, and then become defensive and engage in denial. This often leads to some form of a toxic coping mechanism.

Especially in the spiritual community, gaslighting in order to deflect emotional responsibility and twisted psycho babble are often the weapons of choice:

“You’re being critical and judgmental.”

“You’re living in fear.”

“You’re attacking me.”

“You’re projecting your own issues onto me.”

“This is your own ego’s attachment.”

“Our experiences are both valid.”

“You’re spiritually invalidating me!’

“There are multiple versions of reality.”

“You’re not taking responsibility for your reality.”

Am I actually judging high-ticket coaches for participating in capitalism? If they do nothing after learning that they’re contributing to the trauma and oppression of less privileged people, then I’d say that’s a character flaw and moral failing, especially by standards of the spiritual integrity they purport to uphold.

This begs the question: am I really being judgmental or are they just becoming aware of their own hypocrisy, dislike how that feels, and refusing to take responsibility for their emotions?

Spirituality provides us with the tools to build self-awareness and deconstruct this delusion by examining our beliefs, biases, social conditioning, and ego identity, as well as tools to help us heal the underlying traumas that manifested them.

Instead, many cling to misinformed beliefs that only serve to protect them from the emotional consequences of their actions.

The end goal of spirituality is not now nor has it ever been to create your own reality, as these individualistic ass hats claim — it’s to get everyone to see through their own delusions and join the fucking real world that’s right in front of them and become conscious co-creators. That’s what it means to expand/raise your level of consciousness and create unity.

*NOTE: many people will also twist this argument in an attempt to discredit the lived experiences of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other instances of discrimination which perpetrate trauma by saying if not all perspectives are valid, then neither are those of trauma victims.

 

While someone’s experience of trauma is deeply connected to that individual’s subjective experience, trauma is perpetrated by objective circumstances and actions in the real world which are observable, typically the behavior of others, and that’s why trauma is measurable and has tangible mechanisms in the real world, and as such, there is also a measure of accountability toward perpetrators.

PS: If you found today's topic intriguing and you're a spiritual entrepreneur or practitioner who offers services to others, I would recommend checking out my articles on conscious business and subscribing to get notified when there are new posts.

Xo,

Ash

 

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