What is reality? That's a question that philosophy and science are still trying to determine. However I want to look at something altogether more personal.
I want to examine your reality?
Many people think the eyes are like cameras, capturing images and the brain is like a storage device on a computer, first letting you view the image in real-time and then storing the image(s) away for use later down the line.
That's not quite how it works. I won't go into the details of the eye and how it works, but suffice to say light enters the eyes, it's turned into electrical signals that pass along the optic nerve to the brain. When it's received in the brain, in an area called the visual cortex, it's received upside down, which has to be corrected. The visual cortex then has to do some more work taking the signals from each eye and blending it together to make a 3-dimensional image.
Wow! Already a lot of work and interpretation has been done, but this is where the fun starts.
This is where you start to give meaning to what you see. Where your thoughts come in to play to assess what you've seen and what it means to you.
So in essence your eyes see nothing, they capture the light and do a brilliant job of it, it's your brain that processes what's out there and lets you actually see. This is where your reality comes in, as opposed to everyone else's. All our realities are different.
So what the hell do I mean by 'All our realities are different'?
If you take a step back for a moment and think about all the things you believe. All the things that you probably don't even realise are beliefs but accept as facts instead. These are experiences you've been through, both good & bad as well as ideas planted in your head over the years by parents, siblings, teachers, friends and even people who you may not like.
Also your cultural and religious background. Even the mood you're in when you have the experience as well as who you are with will affect your interpretation of it.
So every time you experience something via one or more of your senses your brain kicks into action. It will run the external stimulus through all those beliefs you hold, without you even realising. It happens in an instant, and so your view of the world and what you experience is filtered.
Your filtered experience of life is totally unique to you.
So back to your version of reality. Imagine that you have a cinema screen inside your brain. Now imagine, that you've just had an experience or seen something. It gets processed through all your filters and then it's re-presented on this screen inside your brain, with all the beliefs you have attached to it.
The experience when it came in was neutral and had no meaning until you gave it one. What's more, when you give this experience meaning, by the way of thought, a feeling is attached to that.
For example two different people see a clown. The first person smiles as their mind quickly associates childhood fun with a clown (after running through all their internal filters) and they have a warm happy feeling associated with that. So that is their reality about what they're seeing. The second person however, associates fear with clowns and they don't even know why (it may have been in childhood, they saw a clown and then a loud noise frightened them at the same time and caused this fear association). So the second person has anxious thoughts and the feeling of fear associated with the thought manifests itself (as one of their filters is based upon their perceptions of clowns).
Both people in the above encounter with a clown witnessed the exact same thing, seeing a clown, yet their realities and experiences were completely different. The only difference was the meaning they gave to the external stimulus (the clown).
It's why some people love tattoos and others don't, why some people love the sea and others are afraid of going in it. It's all down to the meaning we attach to external things, including other people.
An example of where this plays out in everyday life that's easy to see is when you've been to an event or party a while ago and someone you know has also been to that same event. You hear them talking to someone else describing what happened and you think to yourself. Is that really the same event I went to? I don't remember it like that. However your friend describing it is genuine in what they're saying, but they just had an experience in their reality which is different to yours.
This affects everything in your life and how you respond to everything in your life. Your reality is created from the inside out, not from the outside in.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this article.
If you'd like to understand how your thoughts work and how understanding this can transform your life (your reality) then join me on my Awakening Programme.
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