Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Imaginary Life We Call Reality.

It seems to me one of the biggest problems we face today is how we go about defining reality. Everything happening in the world today is happening because of the way we, as human beings, have been trained to define it. That's right, the implication is, if we defined reality in another way the entire world would radially change to reflect this new perspective. Does this sound to far off, hokey, or new age for you? I promise it is none of these things; it is a basic, practical fact that the way we define reality creates the reality we experience. Like the way you interpret what you see, in turn, informs how you will see it in the future. So how are human beings defining reality and can I really sit here, alone in front of my computer screen, and explain how you, yourself, are defining reality? I can and here's how. We all, the world over, define reality in the exact same manner. Not WHAT we consider real but HOW we go about constituting it as real. The exact same 'internal' process rules humanity.

'Reality' is defined through subjective images created in the mind. In fact, images are all we ever know of reality, they are all we experience, inside or out, and they are what dictates the defining and remembrance of events. Every brain on Earth shares this image-making process. If I were to ask you what is going on in the world today you would tell me by conveying to me a series of images. Maybe those images were from a television screen, maybe they were words on a page, maybe a conversation with a friend, or maybe an image you created of yourself that reacts to another image you've just observed. Of course, there must be images in place and already defined in order to interpret, compare, or measure such images with others. In all ways, through all mediums, images are dictating 'what is' and 'is not' happening in your life. Not only your life, but the lives of those you learn about through the continuous feed of images on display around you and in your own head. Every form of stimuli, from a thought, feeling, or musical note evokes an image in the mind and the mind, holding onto that image, creates a reality it can relate to it through. In fact, it would be unfair to not call the very stimuli itself an image, for that's exactly what it is. This is the exact same process whether we are talking about images on a television screen or the images you form when sitting across the table from your husband or wife. Images form 'me' and images form the 'world' this 'me' encounters and relates through.

Everything is image based and the more images one holds the more restriction, limitation, one feels. Therefore, whenever someone attempts to change the world, or themselves, or their spouse, it is always based on an image already formed in the mind. So, in fact, there is no change at all even when images change shape or form, for the image-making machinery goes on. Every move one makes is towards, or away from, an image and therefore exactly the same process is occurring, fundamentally speaking, no matter what is seemingly taking place.

Furthermore, we have been trained since birth to accept these 'external' images as 'reality.' By external, I mean images already formed and holding meaning. These images are not merely representing reality, or a possible reality, but are taught to us as if they were reality itself, an 'objective' reality that the one observing must except and adhere to in order to survive. WOW!! This image based existence is, in fact, a totalitarian state of mind! We accept any and all images as being real, even if we declare them as being wrong, and we accept a total ignorance as to the source of these images that create our reality. It's as if our response to reality is, 'it's reality!'

This particular post was jump-started by watching a young child at the beach with her mother and father. She couldn't have been more than a year and a half old and was so passively curious about everything around her. No sense of time, no sense of a self who needs improving, no sense of a fixed reality that holds all of humanity hostage in its grip. Watching her relate to her body and her surroundings I was confronted with the fact that her perspective was almost entirely free of definition. There was so little meaning, if any at all, held in any form around her, including her own body. It was all open, unknown, and intimately related. Her mind was probably incapable of forming images yet, or only very crude ones at that, and therefore no fixed reality was set for her. In effect, nothing was actually happening to her because her mind was incapable of recognizing images as holding meaning, including the image of 'myself.' Everything would simply move through her with hardly a trace. Of course, once her brain develops a little more she will begin to create and hold onto images in her mind in order to inform her as to what is and is not real. However, the images she will create in order to inform her as to what is and is not real will be taught to her from the 'outside,' the space where images are already dictating reality.

So the creation of images in her mind is more along the lines of re-creating images already in existence, with there meaning already developed for her. So the brain, trained as it is from birth, forms a dependence on receiving images, from its surroundings and fellow humans who are already enslaved to them, in order to create a reality to relate within. Biologically speaking, it makes perfect sense, in order for the body, a relatively stable physical form, to navigate the world of other relatively stable physical forms. I mean, that's why the one and a half year old girl totally depends upon her parents for survival. She cannot hold any sense of a fixed reality surrounding her body and her body's needs yet. But it may also, in fact, be this immense dependence on her parents for physical survival that opens the doors to the 'setting in wet cement' of the reality she will come to accept through the forced implementation of countless already agreed upon images of 'what is.' So what of the source of these images that create our reality? Subjective, imaginary, past interpretations of 'what was' which, in turn, depends upon still further past subjective, imaginary, interpretations of 'what was' which, in turn...well you get the idea, all the way back to sheer and utter ignorance of all things. The radical, immediate possibility of true revolution is freedom from image-making, not freedom within image-making. For images form the basis of 'reality' and 'reality' always locks a self-image within its imagined boundaries.