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To: Dr. Robert Saltzman

If a person is in touch with reality, then how can it be possible for that same person not be able to describe reality.

Many of those who have claimed to be in touch with reality that I have spoken to, also were not able to answer my questions concerning Particle\Wave duality, "Spooky" Action at a Distance, Collapse of the Quantum Wave, etc.

None of them knew what reality is! Instead they were in touch with conformity, and NOT in touch with reality.

It is said that a Schizophrenic is detached from reality. Is it not possible therefore that the " Schizophrenic " is actually attached to reality, unlike those that those whom claim they are attached, but in truth are not attached to at all.


If this is the case, then would it be not true that all complete truth will be rejected by the conformists since the conformists believe that what lies beyond this conformity is nothing but delusions and hallucinations? Is this not a case of a conformist rejecting fact?

What proof is there that there is not some truth embedded within the reports given by the so called "Schizophrenics?"

Hello, Sean--

In order that I might answer your question in the most useful way, please define what you mean by the word "reality."


To: Dr. Robert Saltzman

Thanks for responding.

You said "In order that I can answer your question in the most useful way, please define what you mean by the word 'reality'."

That is exactly my point. People do not even know what reality is. There is still no clear cut description of what is real. As the result of this, people are dependent upon conformity instead. The danger that then arises out of this, is that people confuse being connected to conformity, with being connected to reality.

And so the answer to the question: That which is "REAL" is that which fits into the category "REALITY ", and not that which is assumed to be real.


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© 2007 Robert Saltzman

OK, Sean--

I think I understand your question now, and I will attempt to reply, although speaking about "reality" is always a difficult challenge.

To begin with, no one can ever know reality. Why? Very simple. Each of us is a part of reality, and the part can never know the whole. In order to know something fully, one must be able to stand outside of it and regard it in its totality, and this is exactly what cannot be done in regards to reality, since "reality" is everything, and the human observer is only a small part of that everything.

For example, when you pose your questions about "Particle\Wave duality, Spooky Action at a Distance, Collapse of the Quantum Wave, etc," you are not asking about reality per se, but only about observations and theories in the field of quantum mechanics. But quantum mechanics is not reality; QM is a field of speculation and human theorizing which is only a very, very small part of "reality" which includes not just ideas about quantum mechanical probability waves, but everything we know, and also everything we do not know: the human brain, planets, stars, and black holes; trees, flowers, bacteria, quarks, ideas, words, thoughts, emotions, dreams, ad infinitum. All of that is "reality," and it can never be known fully or understood completely by a human mind, since, as I said, the mind is only a part of reality, not some observer outside of "reality" able to take it all in. I hope I am making myself clear, for as I said, this is a difficult subject, and we human beings lack both the vocabulary and the perspective to speak about it in the best way.

Now when one says that a schizophrenic is "out of touch with reality," the "reality" with which she or he is said to be out of touch is not the same "reality" which quantum mechanics or science of any kind attempts to understand. In fact, the world's foremost expert on quantum mechanics could also be schizophrenic, and his or her ideas about QM could be useful while, at the same time, that person also believed that George Bush is really the Devil in disguise or that baseball was invented by invaders from another galaxy. This is unlikely, I admit, but possible.

The "reality" with which the schizophrenic is out of touch is consensual reality, not necessarily the ultimate reality about which you were asking. For example, the schizophrenic may know perfectly well that under some circumstances energy may appear to be composed of waves, and under others, particles, but at the same time believe (wrongly) that the teapot is speaking to him with instructions to kill someone.

In other words, Sean, your question to me is a classic so-called "category error," or "category mistake," in which you have taken the word "reality" to mean only one thing, when in fact it is used to mean two very different things entirely which belong to two very different logical categories. Then, having conflated those two meanings--mashed them together, so to speak--you begin to compare concepts from those two vastly different logical categories, thus treating them as if the categories belonged together or could be compared. But they do not belong together, and they cannot be compared.

The schizophrenic is not necessarily someone of exceptional understanding, or unusual perception, and the schizophrenic is not necessarily a non-conformist. The schizophrenic is simply someone who is mentally ill in the sense that he or she is troubled by perceptions and/or ideas which do not relate to ordinary, everyday "reality," and this has nothing whatever to do with the kind of ultimate reality which quantum mechanics, superstring theory, and other such speculative schemes attempt to address.

The non-schizophrenic is not necessarily a conformist either. The non-schizophrenic may know perfectly well that ordinary consensual reality is not the only game in town, and that, as Shakespeare wrote, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." In other words, the non-schizophrenic may or may not be a conformist in the way that you used that word. What makes him or her a non-schizophrenic is simply that he or she is not troubled by beliefs such as that the soap dish is issuing suicide instructions, that the CIA has all the television sets bugged, or any of the psychotic delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, severe paranoia, and other such negative symptoms which characterize the group of brain disorders called schizophrenia.

And this is not a question of intelligence or philosophical depth at all, for the schizophrenic may be both more intelligent and more philosophically aware than his or her non-schizophrenic neighbor (or less intelligent and less philosophically aware, for that matter). In fact, I have often found speaking with people in the throes of psychosis to be interesting and thought provoking. The difference is simply the presence or absence of symptoms.

I hope this helps.

Be well.

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