Is it really possible to shift realities?
In order to answer this rather deep question, it’s necessary to know what reality is in the first place. What is reality? How do we know what is real?
When we truly understand the meaning of reality we can begin to understand how we can shift our own reality.
Having a reality shifting experience
In this podcast I explain what reality is, and that shifting reality fast is something we can all do. How deep does the rabbit hole go? Let’s find out together…
Reality pod cast transcript
Is there really such a thing as reality?
A rather deep question, I think, but a question that really is important for us to have some kind of answer to, when we understand the reality of the world around us, we can start to improve the judgments that we make, we can start to improve the way we view the world.
And then when we make those judgments, we are then able to ask ourselves, is this really beneficial to us? Is this is this kind to us? Does this help us? Does this help me and is this kind to me.
So I think having an understanding about what reality is, is a key part in improving our lives and improving our self development. And really making sure that we move forward with our mindset. So this was really stimulated and prompted by a really good podcast that I was listening to the other day on the BBC, I recommend you have a look at Have a listen to it.
It’s called made of stronger stuff. And it’s a psychologist and a doctor. And they discuss various parts of the body, from a biological point of view, and from a psychological point of view. And this week, they were talking about the eyes. And they were saying that what we see with our eyes, we take in, and we assume that that is reality, we assume that that is what is going on around us. And they pointed out a really interesting fact that
When we view colour, we see the colours around us. And we would all look to the periphery of our vision and just give it a go now to just stare at something and then just notice the periphery of your vision. And notice the colours you can see in the periphery of your vision. And what I pointed out was that the cells in our eyes, which are able to detect colour, are not in the peripheral vision.
So the fact that we can see colour in our peripheral vision actually means that we are not seeing it with our eyes, we are seeing it with our brain, and our brain fills in the missing parts of what our eyes don’t see. In fact, they were saying that, up to 90%, of what we see is actually seeing with our brain, rather than seeing with our eyes. And our brain does an awful lot of this filling in of making up the bits and pieces that we don’t actually see.
And along with that, we also have the encoding of that information. So we see what our eyes We visualise with our brains. And then we encode that information, and we call it memories. And I just want to have a look a little bit about that encoding of information. Because when we ask the question, is there a reality is the world around us real?
We are constantly having to refer back to our memories. So as soon as I look around the world to say is it real, I have encoded it. And I’m now comparing my view of reality to a encoding of what has just happened. So even the start of this podcast, you are remembering what’s gone before and everything that you’re remembering you think is real, but actually is just an encoding of what’s going on around you. So let’s have a look at that for a moment. So we’ve talked about our eyes and how our eyes can deceive us. Or rather how, how our eyes provide the information from the outside world and our brains actually do the visualisation in the seeing.
Noam Chomsky, who was a linguist at MIT, he started his programme of study the University of Pennsylvania, studying philosophy, logic language. Noam Chomsky noticed that we have a tendency to do three things with the world around us. We distort, we delete and we generalise.
We do this for a number of reasons. And the primary reason we need to do this in order to survive is that there is a huge amount of information being provided to us all the time by all of our senses. Miller in 1957, I think it was did some research and he called it the magic seven plus or minus one, where we are able to take in seven bits or bytes of information at any given time and any more than that, our brains are not capable of processing.
So we have a tendency to as Noam Chomsky said, delete, distort, or generalise. So deletions are things which we delete around us, the hum of your computer, some background noise of the kids playing, the fridge buzzing in the background, the boiler, the heater, the oven that might be running with a fan going, all of those things are background noises. And unless they are important to the activity in which we are engaging, we will delete because we have to, because that sound or that moment is completely irrelevant.
We also distort, we make things up, we hear things that aren’t there, we look for the meta language. So someone might say something to us. And we actually think Whoa, that’s not really what they mean, actually, what they mean is this. So we distort the information that is given to us. And the tendency is for us then just store that distorted information, and encode that distorted information and view it as the truth and reality.
So someone, if we ask them how they’re doing, that person might say, Yes, I’m fine. But depending on their facial expressions and our interpretation of their facial expressions, we may interpret the fact or we may interpret what they’ve said is that they are not fine, and that they are anything but fine. So we’ve distorted what they’ve said, we’ve encoded that distortion. And now we believe that encoding as our reality, but it may not be true, we may also have deleted some of the things that they said we may not have heard correctly, we may have misheard, we may have found what they’ve said irrelevant to what they were saying. So deleted it.
And we also distort.
We also have a tendency to generalise now, generalisation is a biological tendency, which is something that has been learned as a child. So when we are growing up as a child, we start to crawl around the room, and we start to pull ourselves up on the side of the sofa. And we might start to ask our parents, what’s this? And our parents might say, it’s a sofa, we think, Oh, that’s interesting. And we crawl around a bit more, and we pull ourselves up on a chair, and we say sofa. A mom or dad says, No, that’s not a sofa. That’s a chair. So I started to think, oh, okay, this is interesting. So we crawl around the floor a bit more and pull ourselves up on another piece of furniture. And we say chair, and our parents say no, that’s not a chair. That’s a table.
And as a child, we start to generalise, we start to work out the general rules that set apart a table from a chair from a sofa, and we come up with some general rules. Now we have to come up with rules. Because it would mean that if we were then picked up as a baby, and we crawled around the room of somebody else’s house, and we pull ourselves up on the sofa, we wouldn’t know that that was a sofa, we’d have to ask every single time we saw a sofa that we had never seen before. And our brains wouldn’t be able to do that we’d never be able to learn so we need to generalise the general rule to recognise a sofa, the general rule to recognise a chair.
Another example is when you walk out a room and you turn the door handle, we need to generalise the general rule for what makes a door handle otherwise, if we were in a room, we would never know how to get out of that room. If we could not generalise what a door handle was, unless we’d seen that specific room and that specific door handle before so we need to generalise it’s a healthy thing for us to do. It’s a it’s a an evolutionary strategy that we have to do. We have to generalise to make rules in order to understand the world around us. But we also have a tendency to generalise other things.
We don’t know we group information together.
And when we group it together, we encode it, and we think it’s true, we call it reality. But the reality around us is not a reality. We have distorted, we have deleted, and we have generalised and we’ve distorted deleted and generalised inaccurate information in the first place, particularly if we saw it, because as we said at the beginning, our eyes are only the mechanism by which we view the world around us. Our brains are the things which do the visualisation, and our brains are inherently flawed.
So next time, you think the world is true, you think the world has a reality. Remember, it is just your reality. It is just the memories, the distortions, the deletions that you have encoded yourself.
It is just your own generalisations that you have encoded and everybody will encode the world around them differently.
So in answer to the original question, is there a reality?
No, there’s no general reality.
There is just your reality.
And now you know that reality doesn’t exist, how much can you shift your own reality?
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