More Fact or Fiction: Reality

As a continuation of yesterday’s conversation about “fact or fiction”, I thought I’d explore my view of reality… you know, that thing we seem to walk around in every day. To be clear, this is not meant to be a definition of what reality is (or isn’t) but rather a questioning into our individual and collective mindset surrounding it. After all, it is the one area of our lives that everyone must navigate through and one’s ability to be “successful” (or not) depends heavily on how well each of us is able to relate to the “realness” of IT.

One thing I observed very early in life is that each of us lives in our own unique reality, no matter how much we think we have in common with anyone else we share it with. Sure, we can agree in many areas and have tons of common interests but, like snowflakes, there is no one that has your exact perspective. It’s as if each of us lives in our own alternate reality yet we are somehow able to communicate and interact in a “normal”, acceptable fashion. Few of us would argue that, despite our differences, we are able to get along fairly well. However, once you start to catch a glimpse of how diverse our perceptions are, you can’t help but be in awe of the magnitude of that accomplishment.

Before I get too far into this conversation, I’d like to discuss the limitations of language in general, and words specifically, to communicate and describe the essence of any idea. Words are twice removed from reality. By that I mean, words are symbols of symbols and as such are very lacking in their ability to clearly reflect the speakers intent. If you were to observe your mind closely, you would see that there is a moment, before a thought actually materializes in consciousness, that is without words, pictures or any other describable content: it is a sort of “movement of mind”. That ripple instantly gets converted into a more “tangible” pattern, which is the first symbolic representation… we call this a thought. We then go about the task of trying to express that idea into the world, using words and other devices to communicate it to others. Thus, we have the second level symbol. The observer (the person we are trying to communicate to) receives that symbol through various organic input mechanisms (eyes, ears, etc) (which, by the way, can be functionally flawed or defective in any number of ways), processes it through a myriad of personal filters and draws some kind of conclusion as to the meaning of the original offering. Usually, at this point, there is some response or feedback and we have, what most of us would call, communication. There is no way for the original “thought source” to be fully transmitted nor received. My truest and deepest hope is that, despite all these limitations, we can enjoy a useful discourse as we wade through this subject.

I’ll start with two premises: the world we think we see “out there” isn’t there at all, but rather a projection of our mind AND our mind is not in our brain. I’ll start with the second assertion. The brain is the mechanical device that resides in our body. The body is the thing each of us has come to believe (know?) is our “home”, our identity, our “self”: we pamper it, we feed it, we abuse it, we strut around as if it is the most important thing in the world. But, alas, it is but a body, a temporary fixture that allows us to navigate this illusory world. We are totally convinced that our thoughts are in our “head” and that our minds are trapped in the that organic computer called a “brain”. What if this is all a dream, and “reality” was just a figment of your imagination, continuously created in a tiny part of your partially asleep “mind”? What if “you” weren’t an individual consciousness at all but rather a holographic splinter of  One Mind, that just believes that it is separate and alone, trudging through “life” in an isolated, decaying mote of dust called a “body”? And, what if that fragment of mind, unconsciously and intimately connected to all other “minds”, is creating the world you think you see “out there” (my first assertion, above)?

Of course, I have no “proof” for any of this except my own experience, and since I’m operating with the same set of “defective equipment” as anyone else, my observations have to be weighed accordingly. I’m not asking anyone to believe these contentions but I am suggesting that, before dismissing them with a self-assured roll-of-the-eyes, please take a little time to “try it on”. Try to digest the deeper significance of it and live in it for awhile. Is it not possible? What would it mean if it was? How would you know if it wasn’t the “truth”?

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