I was interacting with people on an email list and wrote something in response to someone that I would like to share here to see if you have any comment. Here is the interaction:
Laura wrote: "If the quantum theorists are right and there is no place where I end and another begins, then there is only one of us and this entire hallucination is reality. At least on this plane. ( Sundar?)"
I replied: I think there is a difference between having a concept of field in which individuals do in fact exist, and so difference between them exists (and relationship exists), and a concept of field in which all is one, vast confluence, where there is only one cosmic "mind". Consider what it means to say, "The person in the field," as opposed to "The person of the field," as opposed to "The person is the field." In the first, the person is separate and distinct from the field; in the second the person can only be truly understood in the context of the field, and the third, the person and field are the same thing and so there is no distinction whatsoever.
Consensus to me is agreement that there is some commonality among our various experiences, and this relates to Thomas's question, "You mean that 'what is really there' depends on what the majority thinks there is?" No, the objective just is; it doesn't depend on anything. However, our perception of what is varies and is dependent on our position in the field. Say there was a person on planet A in some galaxy a few light years away from us, and they perceived a supernova in a still further remote galaxy. We, on planet B in still another galaxy, wouldn't experience it for a couple more years, but the actual event occurred at this third point in time. The event did not depend on either of these perceptions, nor on the consensus that might develop were the citizens of planet A to compare notes with those of planet B. The citizens themselves, however, would achieve a more accurate take on "what is" by comparing notes and reaching a consensus. If all of them but one agreed that a supernova had occurred in a distant galaxy, and then this lone hold out claimed it was really a flying saucer that came to pick up cousin Jimmy and extract his brain, then perhaps someone would conclude where the reality was most apt to reside. This is all different from someone saying that what they perceive is the reality itself, or what the group thinks is the reality itself.
All this reflects my commitment to the notion that there is something as opposed to nothing or the mere illusion of something. It's also faith in our ability to understand something of what takes place around us and to construct gestalts in response to what we perceive. Consensus is necessary in order to help eliminate weak or flawed gestalts. It is also reflective of the place for linear, cause and effect thinking, and Newtonian physics. Postmodernism rejects such ways of thinking, and commits its own discretion by swinging too far toward the other end of the polarity. I believe in a parallel process in which simultaneously we need quantitative and qualitative approaches.