What is Reality?
Sometimes the illusion is reality and vice-versa. How to make sense of it all
Many students of the spiritual life like to say “everything is an illusion.” The fact is that you cannot live sanely without some sense of reality. Most individuals live from day to day without being conscious of who they truly are and what the nature of the world truly is. For others, this is not so easy a task. Throughout their lives, some extraordinary individuals have a calling to expand or recreate their understanding of reality.
The great western philosopher Rene Descartes asked, “How can we be certain that what we think we see is what is actually there?”
There are things that we understood to be real when we were young that no longer seem real when seen through adult eyes. That youthful reality did exist but those perceptions from the past may not fit neatly into your adult reality.
There are as many different realities as there are people. Reality is not limited by the mind, the senses, or what you have been told it is. The Wisdom Path will show you a deeply penetrating insight and can offer you knowledge of a reality that is beyond ordinary intellectual or emotional comprehension. My teachers have often said that “at times the extraordinary individual must act insane to themselves in order to appear normal to the ordinary person.” Through this way of thinking, you must create two realities — an extraordinary reality that reflects your spiritual practice, and an ordinary reality that will allow you to function in the world of ordinary individuals — individuals who are comfortable living from day to day without being conscious of who they truly are, what the nature of the world truly is, where they are going, etc.
Beyond Reality and Illusion
What is reality? Is it possible that you are constantly creating new dysfunctional realities while living in what seems like a present reality? Maybe you do not even exist? If you study the great philosophers and some of the great spiritual teachers throughout history, you will see that they often approach this idea of existence from two perspectives:
There is a reality that we think we know but don’t truly understand. We live in change coming from a place we can’t remember as we move towards a future we cannot see. Birth and death are the only reality and we don’t understand either. All realities, other than love, are created by the mind through the influence of the senses. Their very existence is relative and dependant on interaction with the world. There is an authentic self that we know but don’t realize we know.
Let’s consider that creating reality is not so much about giving form to something as much as it is the discarding of things. All realities may be no more than mental games or constructs — processes defining our lives and guiding our actions. What really exists beneath the veil of our intellect? — For many, it is the emotions and subconscious mind.
We can spend years and even decades looking for reality, never realizing that the power of any reality lies in its tranquility, introspection, silence, and, formlessness. Any scientist, physicist, mathematician, Taoist Sage, and Zen Master will agree; form is based on formlessness.
The great Taoist sages say, “Look at a wheel, a water pitcher or a room. You can see that the form and function of each of these lie in hollowness and emptiness.”
Have you ever thought of reality in this way before? — As the emptiness within the forms, we create? Consider that you must hollow your mind if it is to function efficiently. With a “blank mind,” you will learn to cultivate spiritual wisdom, creating a functional reality out of “nothing.” At the moment you empty your mind, a new reality appears. It is the blank mind that is most apt to come to know inner wisdom. It is in a hollow mind that Wisdom manifests. It is also in such a mind where a deep and profound clarity of thought arises. In this space, you begin to clearly distinguish your wants from your needs. It is here that you will come to experience a struggle-free life.
Author: Lewis Harrison is a practical philosopher, a certified trance worker, Ericksonian Hypnotist, and a Spiritual Teacher in the Wisdom Path Community. He has been an advisor for the Council on Foreign Relations and teaches applied game theory and strategic thinking
His website is AskLewisGameTheory.com and he can be emailed directly at LewisCoaches@gmail.com