virus: Consensus Reality

Tim Rhodes (
Sat, 12 Apr 1997 13:38:36 -0700 (PDT)

Last night at dinner with some friends, one of them mentioned, in passing,
"Consensus Reality" and I was taken by the term (coined, I think, by the
author of _Psychedelic Shamanism_, whose name escapes me at the moment).
It is kind of a middle ground between Objective and Subjective realities.
It's the aspects of our subjective understanding of objective reality
that we (as the name implys) can all agree on. Consensus reality varies
from culture to culture as well as over time within a culture and is, in
essence, the reality we deal with on a day to day basis. It also has the
memesphere built into it's definition, and I like that part. As well as
alluding to non-consensus realities that can exist in smaller pockets of
culture (Heavens Gate, Microsoft, etc) such that, say, the consensus
reality of CofV may be different than that of Heavens Gate, but both
make contributions to Consensus Reality as a whole.

A truly successful meme, then, is one that spreads to the level at which
it becomes a part of the Consensus Reality of that memesphere.

-Prof. Tim