Philosophers like Plato, Locke, Hume, and many others since have attempted to determine what “reality” is. This has been going on for thousands of years. Psychologists, scientists, religious teachers, and philosophers all basically agree on only one thing. There isn’t a single “reality” that all can agree on.
In a nutshell, the only way to experience the world is through your senses and in the chemical reactions that happen in your brain as you interpret the stimuli that come through your senses. Check that. Read it again. While your senses can provide useful and verifiable information about the actual world around you, they can also provide false information in the form of hallucinations. Such hallucinations can be chemically induced, so we know that the difference between what is “real” and what is “not real” happens in the chemistry of the brain and not in the world we call the physical world. If your senses can lie…. If your brain can be deceived regarding what is happening around you… Then the only Reality is what is happening in your brain and yours alone. That reality may or not be happening in my brain or anybody else’s brain. Even if we agree on some things, for the sake of getting along, that doesn’t make those things more real or less real. End of story, more or less.
There are various historically recorded observations about reality that are shared, which may help more firmly plant this concept in your own mind so that you will be better equipped to live mindfully in the actual present moment than if you have been misled in some way or other.
Interpretation is part of EVERY possible experience of what we are want to call reality. So there you have it. The only reality is the one that we interpret. When people in groups agree on interpretations, they agree on reality. This happens in ethnic groups, cultures, cults, clubs, organizations, and all manner of human combinations.
My books provide more detail about these ideas.
Truth depends on there being one reality that can be objectively determined. But as I have proven already, there is no one reality. So it appears that there cannot be one truth. And if there is not one truth then there really isn’t any truth.
To illustrate, what happens when a person with exceptional eyesight or hearing sees or hears something that the ordinary person cannot see or hear? Does that make it true or false that the thing seen or heard actually exists? For whom? It IS true for the one seeing or hearing that something perceived IS real. But it IS NOT true for the one who cannot see nor hear. Now let’s add hallucinations back into the equation. See where this ends up?
What if I told you that time doesn’t exist. At least not in the way we have been taught. Einstein guessed and was later proven right, that time is not constant but relative to, among other things, how fast we were traveling.
Here, There… these seem to exist, but only if there is a reality… and that is open for debate as I have argued.
How much power does one individual human being actually have. And do people have different amounts of power that allow some to control others? Or is this all in the heads of the controller and the controlled?
Some teach that we are powerless creatures, living out our lives from instinctual drives, like animals. Others teach that we have some personal power, since we can make choices. A final group teaches that we are all powerful, gods and goddesses incarnate, who may or may not realize it and thus live up to the nobility of it all or fail to do so.
Proponents of the powerless or animal drive perspective apparently believe that we act only out of self, for self, and that all other ideas about values, morals, better selves, altruism and the like are created by people who want to control the masses for their own personal gain. They say that every animal wants what it wants, only for itself, and right now would be great thank you very much. According to these types, there really isn’t much reason to exist beyond experiencing hedonistic joy and living out a biological drive to reproduce the species. Following their own line of reasoning, their desire to make sure others believe that they are mere animals and have no power is only to be expected since such teachers are generally seeking their own hedonistic joy.
Proponents of the some power school of thought begin with the same basic world view, or constructed reality (nts: repeat a lot in describing each perspective) as the people are powerlessness folks, but try to overcome the shortcomings of the philosophies that the biological drive is the only one. Why would a man sacrifice himself for an idea, or a country? Why would a mother sacrifice herself for her children?
living inside of or outside of community
We each have far more power than we realize
Meditation and Prayer:
Our thought life determines our reality, controls our experience, and fuels our power.