Have you ever perceived a situation in a completely different way than your friends have? Have you ever recalled a situation differently than someone else had recalled it? These questions, along with my growing love for psychology, have led me to have an intriguing interest in the abstract concept of reality. I’ve always been fascinated by how the human psyche and mind work. Due to this interest, I’ve researched several different concepts about reality. For example, Buddhism discusses how reality connects to the mind, which has inspired my thinking about this topic. My initial thoughts on reality were the following: it is neither a concrete concept nor a tangible concept. I then asked myself, why is this so? Is it because reality fails to exist? Does reality only occur within our individual minds? As Buddha said, “The mind is everything. What we think, we become.” This led me to ask, what actually exists? What IS reality? Is it what we physically see? Or how we perceive what we see? Is it how we feel? Or how we react to a situation? Charles Swindoll, who also (like Buddha) has an interesting outlook on reality, said, “Life is about attitude. It’s 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.” This states that your reality (how you perceive everything) will transform based on how you react to a certain stimuli. Reality, in a way, is similar to the concept of time. You’ve been told reality is there but you can’t physically see it. You can recognize the word but don’t know the definite meaning. The philosophical views of reality provide the foundation. The next level of understanding is to factor in experience. How does real life impact us? Next, I found a quote (Bacon, Francis) which addresses experience in my view. “The human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it.” This quote prompted my thinking about experience and how, or if, it links to reality. Some people say that attitude affects outcome. For example, if you’ve been sporting a negative attitude since the second you woke up, most would say that you’re more likely to have a bad day than if you woke up in a good mood. Could experience be linked to reality as attitude is to outcomes? Referring back to Bacon’s quote, your “nature” most likely refers to your inner psyche which has been altered due to your past experiences. Do your experiences create your reality? For example, if you are continually involved with bad men as a teenager, your reality on love and marriage later on in life may be significantly different as opposed to someone who has had only positive dating experiences. You may see a genuinely good man as being like “all the others”, therefore missing out on a good opportunity. You assume he isn’t different from “all the others” since all you’ve known in your past were bad men. This is an example of your own nature mingling with “the nature of things” and distorting your reality. Also, people tend to have “selective seeing”. They only want to be aware of certain things, perhaps to protect their psyche. They purposely attempt to block something out because they don’t want to face “the reality.” An example of this is teen drinking. Most parents are aware that numerous amounts of high school teenagers drink recreationally. Although, few parents want to acknowledge that their teens may be one of the statistics. Instead, they’d rather believe that there child is out doing something productive. Next, I found an article about how to understand reality (Scivicque, Christine). The following excerpt is one that I found to be particularly interesting: “Your past is possibly the most important part of what creates your perspective; the things you experience, your upbringing, your personal story. The past allows your brain to create expectations. Thus your perspective of the world around you adapts to these ideas. You begin to see the world as you expect it to be, not as it really is.” This quote fueled my theory that your experiences shape your reality. As Shakespeare says, “Expectation is the root of heartache.” Your brain creates expectations of what your reality should consist of based on your past experiences. Your brain doesn’t like change; therefore if the “real” reality doesn’t match up with your brain’s expectations on reality, your brain will see reality as it wants to see it and will fail to see reality as “it really is.” This statement leads to me to ask the following question: Who is to say which reality is real? What does it even mean to be “real?” If everyone has a different reality, than who is to differ as to which version of reality is “real?” If this is the case than what is the difference between realities based on one’s expectations and reality “as it really is?” Or is there even a difference? My extreme interest in psychology, as mentioned earlier, led me to continue researching to attempt to answer the preceding questions about reality. I then found the following article which prompted me to ask more questions (Roets H.E and Opperman M.C): “The life script, or characterological pattern, coupled with the belief system that feeds it, becomes a magnet or self-fulfilling prophecy that keeps on creating and attracting life experiences and people to confirm and reinforce this erroneous pattern, forming a feedback loop. Consequently, the magnet becomes increasingly strong, resulting in the repetition of these pervasive patterns throughout our lives. Life than merely mirrors what the individual has created.” Is our reality is simply a mirror reflecting our internal world? Growing up I’ve always been told, “Background and circumstances may influence who you are. But only you are responsible for whom you become.” Does that mean that our internal world shapes our outer world? This question furthered me into finding an answer. I then stumbled upon the psychological concept, created by Robert K. Merton, of a “self-fulfilling prophecy” which goes hand in hand with this idea. A self fulfilling prophecy “is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes it to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior.” This also connected to a quote that I had previously found (Bacon, Francis) about how our mind mingles with the “nature of things” therefore producing an outcome based on how our mind interfered. This strengthened my belief that our reality truly is a reflection of our inner psyche and that our thinking patterns, attitudes, and behaviors change the outcome of things. For example, I’ve never been good at math. It’s always been a subject that I’ve struggled with. I’d use to say things like, “I’ll never be good at math! I’ll never understand it.” Or, “I’m going to fail this upcoming test due to my inability to understand this mathematical concept!” My mom would tell me, “You’re a self-fulfilling prophecy! If you believe in yourself that you will succeed, you will! Saying you’re going to fail only makes for a bad outcome.” At first I was skeptic of her ideology on the concept. I now agree with her. Once I entered high school I changed my outlook on math. I accepted that it can be difficult, but with a little extra help and focus I can make an A. Because I started to believe that I can succeed in math, I now do. Later, I started inquiring whether or not there is a difference between appearance and reality. The following quote (Kreyche, Gerald) triggered this inquiry: “Aristotle once defined sophistry as ‘having the appearance of knowledge without the reality.’ How many of us are living in the world of appearance, rather than that of reality? Perhaps we would rather not know.” This quotes correlates back to my original and persisting question…who is to say what is “real?” For example, commercials sometimes try to tell a consumer what’s “real”. A commercial may display their product to appear better than it actually functions therefore provoking the consumer to purchase it with having only seen the appearance of the product and not having the knowledge of how it truly works. Lastly, I’ve concluded that reality is real. You shape it by your experiences and you decide to accept, selectively, what you will carry forward. Being aware of how reality is formed is a major step in being able to shape it for your own benefit during your life to achieve more, be more positive, and enjoy life. Reality is intangibly there, if you believe it is.
To dream that you are dealing with the enemies, represents a resolution to some inner conflict or waking life problem.
me- “zylan, Buddha says you only loose what you cling to…is that true? because i definitely cling to you and i would never want to loose you!”
zylan- “babe, Buddha was a fat Indian guy who tried to hard to give wisdom & advice and failed at it. so no, you don’t loose what you cling to.”
“never settle for less than you deserve”
now i know.
& i deserve zylan. he’s amazing :)
i’m in love with zylan
& these feelings aren’t going away anytime soon…if ever
You’re my everything I need in this world
I don’t understand why someone would create such vicious lies to try & destroy the wonderful relationship I have. I would never, ever, ever no matter what the circumstances, I would never cheat on my baby. not only is it completely wrong, but I wouldn’t even be able to do and nor would I want to. I only have my eye on one boy and one boy only. my Zylan. I’d feel so guilty and worthless if I ever cheated. I would be hurting him and myself and I would never want to hurt him. I wouldn’t want to hurt myself either. regardless of what anyone says I know the truth. I have remained faithful to him & I always will be. I want more than anything for him to trust me completely, drop this situation, don’t confront anyone or talk to anyone about it, and move on. I would hate for this one little thing to ruin us. I didn’t do anythig wrong. I would never hurt him. he’s my everything. he makes me happy. I love him. I’m in love with him. it’d kill me to loose him. please trust me baby. I love you more than you know. I’m yours.