I think it was René Descartes who said, ‘cogito ergo sum.’ Make no mistake I am not at all exalting this philosophy for the mere reason that it’s really no way to live but I do exalt the man, one of my all-time favorite philosophers.
These were the not so humble beginnings of formal solipsism which already existed before him but now it was streamlined for the general public’s use. And it is without a doubt oh so selfish, in fact shockingly so but then again so very common. We see experts proclaim their infallibility every single day be it in matters of finance, mathematics, medicine, faith (the most notorious one) you name it.
But I have a theory of its origins a humble theory at that. I really do think it is like every other bad ideology starting quite innocently with very good and pure intentions until someone finds a way to darken its practice making it all about ME and forgetting its profound object to begin with.
Let me give you a little backdrop to my theory, personally growing up I was a solipsistic child, not selfish and this I must stress .As I grew up it was like the world was a monster doomed to catch up with me and subdue me eventually it wasn’t a matter of if it was a matter of when. In Kenya driving is a truly suicidal sport, all roads are black spots and seeing brains and innards splayed out on the road in a bloody mess(literally) is the norm coincidentally at the time we were also robbed which further heightened my fear of death and imminent rape.
So I created a happy place, a place in my mind where I was free from this fear, for some its recreational drugs, sex, alcohol, work, music or play for me it’s a solipsistic philosophy. That it’s my world and you all are living in it.
This made living bearable news weren’t so frightening because I thought that, ‘that accident isn’t real those people didn’t actually suffer it’s all just to teach me to value my own life and not drive drunk’. Terrorists were an American phenomenon to teach me that bad people exist and that I should be careful. This quite literally helped me sleep at night I mean if all these bad things happened for my benefit it didn’t hurt or scare me as much and it had the added benefit of making me know that since everyone is just a demonstration piece it didn’t hurt them as much and none of these bad things would actually happen to me the only true living thing, right?
Of course sooner rather than later I got a rather frighteningly cold shower of reality with my mother getting in an accident, a cancer threat, increased terrorism in my country to say the very least. But that is not the point although I do advise any one of you who has a child with this same view to quickly get them some fresh perspective because it really can develop into full out madness and that shower is trés cold it would be better to avoid that kind of shock entirely.
My point is solipsism could just maybe be an evolved mental defense mechanism to deal with all the dread this world has to offer. I’m not going to lie my solipsistic realm still exists like the other day a school bus accidentally ran over a 3 year old and I don’t know about you but I’m really trying to not get depressed because that was something else, I literally have no words for the sadness of even the discovery of such a thing.
And I know this makes you even more delicate and fragile, but is it really such a bad quality to want to hold onto our sensitivity and even put up philosophical structures that assist?
I don’t want to ever lose the sheer drain in my face when I hear of stories like the Boko Haram abduction. Because in this world it’s very easy to slip into the mindset of a savage where it’s a jungle and anything goes. This is why my solipsistic realm still exists in fact it must to keep my sanity intact.