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Warning icon orange.svg Warning: Solipsism conversation ahead may rot your brain!

Man photographing himself in cornered mirror to generate illusion cropped.jpg

Thinking hardly
or hardly thinking?

Icon philosophy.svg
Major trains of thought
The good, the bad,
and the brain fart
Come to think of it
I am the 100%!
Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?

Epistemological solipsism is the philosophical viewpoint that nothing can be proven beyond the existence of the self. Popularly identified with the phrase Cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am), solipsism holds that no perception felt by the mind can be regarded as truly verifiable, and so the existence of anything caused by that perception is not certain. Hence, nothing outside the mind of the observer can be rationally confirmed.

Unlike the similar viewpoint of "subjectivism", solipsism goes beyond mere skepticism of just objective reality and regards the existence of other minds, or observers, as being uncertain as well.

More extremely, metaphysical solipsism is the position that I am the only person who exists or who has ever existed; that other people are mere figments of my imagination; that there is no Universe outside of myself, and hence the universe began when I began and the Universe will end when I end… Unless I'm a figment of somebody else's imagination. Nevertheless it can be an incredibly hard idea to shake for some people, especially those with Dissociative disorders.

If solipsism sounds abstract and unreal, bear in mind that it may seep into pop psychology self-help woo as in the form of Werner Erhard's est (1971-1984) or the Landmark Forum (1991 onwards),[1] and Christianity (name it and claim it).[2]

You know how most people tend to come to the realization everyone else is a Human being with their own thoughts, lives, beliefs, emotions and wants? This is the polar opposite idea.

As a side note, solipsism will not save you if you are confronted with a life-threatening event such as a gun-wielding psychopath, a ravenous tiger, a burning building, or oncoming traffic. Deadly things can kill you regardless of whether or not you acknowledge their existence. Use common sense.[citation NOT needed]

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  1. Farber, Sharon Klayman (2012). "Cult-Induced Ecstasy and Psychosis". Hungry for Ecstasy: Trauma, the Brain, and the Influence of the Sixties. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 131. ISBN 9780765708588. Retrieved 20 February 2022. "Erhard's early involvement with Scientology profoundly influenced the development of est and years later, the Landmark Forum. [...] Est, the prototypical self-help therapy, [...] attacked the thinking process directly. [...] Although est does not acknowledge having a belief system, it seems to be essentially a solipsistic one, meaning that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified or that the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist. [...] Est was a real mind fucker." 
  2. Accommodation or Engagement? by Peter Steinfels (April 23, 2012) Commonweal.