The Me Filter

"No matter where I go, there I am."

For some, that's a joke. For others, it describes a torment. They are in a vital conference call, while a willful child disrupts every exchange by grabbing the phone away. The torment is that they are both the adult and the child. The adult is trying to grasp reality, while habits from childhood are trying to break the connection.

To grasp reality, one must continually ask, "What is it?" All questions boil down to that one. What is its nature? What is the method for finding out? What is the context? What is the result of comparing things?

Once you answer the other what is questions, then you can ask the pay-off question: "What is its relationship to me?" In other words, once you identify a fact, then you can evaluate it. Only a spoiled child would reverse that and insist on first demanding about everything, "But what is to ME?"

If a child has that habit, then a parent can say, "We have to find what it is first, then we can figure what it is to you." If instead the parent bows to the demand for instant evaluation, then the habit can stick around. The adult can be crippled by a habit of first guessing at an evaluation, and then looking for facts to fit the guess.

It feels like a filter. Others see things in relation to the big picture, or the little picture, or the technical picture, or the family picture, or something. But all I can see is things in relation to me. Since the filter blocks so much out, I can't even be certain about that relationship. I suspect that if I could just put aside the me filter for one moment, I would see a new, clear reality. But I cannot even ask, "What is the way to do that?" I have already evaluated it as too scary.

That's the curse of subjectivity. It tries to derive fact from evaluation, which is a pretense that consciousness rules existence, which in action makes every item of knowledge a guess. No wonder subjectivists insist that certainty is impossible. For them, it certainly is.

Fortunately, all is not lost. Subjective habits do not negate free will. If you have a habit of evaluating before you identify, you are capable of recognizing that such an evaluation is arbitrary. Since it is not based on facts, it is meaningless. It amounts to nothing more than a fright. It can safely be ignored. Take note of the fright, and go on.

To cure subjectivity, learn objectivity. Let Ayn Rand teach you to understand similarity and how you use it to sort things out, to make comparisons, to find relationships, to establish identity. When you learn objective habits, that old fright fades away.

To get rid of the me filter, kick the habit of premature evaluation. Become the judge instead of the prosecutor. Save the verdict until the evidence is in.

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