We are used to understand existence as objective and absolute. In our understanding -even scientific understanding-, things may exist even if we don’t know about them. Things exist if they exist into time and space, that is, if they occupy an space and persist for some time. This can be generalized, because some elements that exist may not fit into this rule, as ideas, familiar groups or numbers. We can say that something exists as long as it persist for some time in some dimension.
Even with this comprehensive rule, we are assuming the existence of dimensional spaces, where existing stuff can occupy some place.
The problem here is objectivity. There is no such thing for humans. We can be very objective about small and abstract stuff, like ideas, but for the rest, we are mostly subjective. If subjectivity is related to feelings, it is clear that we understand the world with five senses. If it is related to biases, as humans we have an rudimentary science that is built only with our superficial understanding of the universe. If it is related to impartiality, we are just a grain of sand in the galaxy, how can we be impartial about knowledge?
So, subjectivity may address the issue. Of course. We provide existence to things. For example, music exists because we understand it, because we have electronic players to play an old tape. But it would not exist anymore if all humans dissappear suddenly from earth. Even if all music stores keep playing it, even if tons of compact disks remain in supermarkets, our vanishing would cause music to vanish.
The same idea can be applied not only to music but to all things, even to physical bodies. To say that something occupies an space inside a dimension means that we have provided a valoration of the occupied space. It is impossible to eliminate us from existence. Therefore, existence is subjective.
We transform subjective knowledge into objective knowledge once we have agreed about it and we have removed subjective stuff about it. But we cannot do that with our limited senses, in our limited dimensions of interaction, inside our bounded planet. We are like only one entity, almost completely isolated from the rest of the universe (that includes time, space and all other possible dimensions that exist).
So, it is better understanding in subjective terms. Things do not exist absolutely. Things exist in relation to something else. In our case, we provide and profit of the existence of things. Humans provide existence to things.
Ok. But now, how does something exist for somebody? Does a woman exist for me if I say her name? Do I need to feel my dog to perceive his existence?
This is a beautiful and amazing subject. Let’s see it this way: in the world of my dog, Beethoven may not exist. Beethoven is for him a dog friend on the other street. He doesn’t care about the musician or the music, he just seems to like barfing other dogs. Why do Beethoven existed for me and not for my dog?
In fact, Beethoven did existed for him and me. Not because we are being objective about this. Not because we can barf when the 5th Symphony is being played. Not because my dog knows how to recognize Beethoven’s portrait. But for a natural-systemic reason. We cannot share our objectivity with dogs, even if they are trained to recognize the 5th Symphony or barf at Beethoven portrait. Beethoven did existed because he interacted with my dog and with me in some dimension. In this universe everything interacts with everything -a butterfly moving the wings will impact in the storm that is produced 6 months after at the other side of the world and blah blah-.
So, once more -see the book with my interpretation of the Theory of Interaction on the main page of this site- interaction is the provider of existence. In conclusion, 1) existence is subjective. That means that an entity exists for a second entity but may not exist for others on different dimensional spaces. And 2) interaction provides existence. That is, if some entity interacts with a second entity in some way, it exists for it.
Now this is a solid concept of existence. But probably you wonder how did Beethoven interacted with me. Our behavior seems like a simple unidirectional stimulus, Beethoven writing music, me listening not having nothing to give him. Beethoven didn’t knew nothing about my dog or me. If you think so, again, you are trying to think objectively: you provide him of existence in a separate space than me. But for me, we are sharing the same dimensional space, and it is not physical. The interaction is like this: he gives me music, I give him recognition. He exists for me, occupying now a space in the dimension of my ideas. I provide him of existence in my being, on this letters. And I can even share that with you, even if you don’t listen his music!
Interaction can be always understood as a dimensional dynamic between two and only two systems. I may send money for a payment by Internet. There could be hundreds of things, actions, transferences, chips, banks in the middle. But the actual interaction happens between me that send the money and the seller that sends me a disk. In our example, I am the last in a chain of coupled interactions that leads me to him. I personally experienced music that he himself wrote for me -among others- to listen. He exists inside me because of that. I may share that interaction with others, and that may be called objective, but it is really subjective.
One more thing: interaction seems to be the language of things. Things that interact exist each one for the other on the dimensional space(s) of the interaction(s) that take place. Once the interaction has finished, existence finishes. Here you ask, so, after I end talking by the phone with someone, he ends existing? No! because you are interacting with him in multiple other ways! You hang up the phone, but you have your agenda, and his name is there. He left his shoes on your room the last time you’ve played football. You still have an space in your mind where he exists.
Interaction may seem difficult to understand. Yes, there are a lot of paradigms to break before seeing it as a valid subject of study. This article is an example of that.