Perception is not Reality
I’m watching my father lose his memory. It’s manifesting as an exaggerated tendency I’ve seen in him all his life; a certain lack of coherence, lack of making connection between word and action, between action and consequence. Now it’s laid bare and it has got me really thinking about the nature of reality.
My father will ‘create’ a story in his mind about things that are not consistent with his view of himself and who he is, or events that he can’t explain without putting himself at fault. Money ‘disappears’ from his checking account. People steal things from him. His computer is broken into and his e-mail is suddenly gone.
We all do this. We all blame the outside world for things that appear to “happen to” us. But what if our reality is, at the most fundamental level, purely a construct of our own consciousness, made evident by the organ of our brain, full of miraculous neurons firing and not firing? What if our consciousness, or what we are aware of, is very literally CREATING what “happens to” us? What if what is ‘real’ is literally nothing more than what we think is real?
Sure, we’ve heard this all before. New Age stuff.
Except that at this point in my life, I’ve seen it operating with amazing precision in my father. His life is full of hard work and problems—because he is constantly creating them.
So what am I creating for myself?
With a great deal of help and practice, I have been able to peek behind the curtain of my own consciousness and see a bit about how I create my reality. I have certain beliefs about myself and the world that get played out because I show up consistently in such a way as to manifest those beliefs as true. The beliefs that I hold that serve Life, that move Life forward manifest and move Life forward. The beliefs I have that keep me small, keep me contracted, manifest and I stay small and contracted. It’s an amazing design, actually. It keeps the cosmos from flying apart into no-thingness.
Freedom, liberation, enlightenment comes from becoming conscious enough that I can CHANGE my mind. I can choose my thoughts, I can see the connection between what happens to me and how I present myself that elicits certain reactions from others and from the whole cosmos.
And let’s be honest — it’s wicked hard. I’m basically attempting to re-wire my brain, to create new neural networks by seeing my beliefs for what they are (beliefs, not reality) and then ACTING over and over and over again in new ways to de-wire those neural networks.
The hardest thing is believing that this is how things work, and it’s possible to change your own reality in the most dramatic sense. The next hardest thing is getting to and truly seeing your own invisible belief structures that lie below the level of everyday consciousness. Very tricky business. After that, the next hardest thing is behaving in new ways, actively breaking old and very entrenched habits (that I engage in before I’m even aware I’m doing it!). And then going back and finding the next belief that creates a limited reality and do it all over again!
But the result of the diligent hard work (thanks Dad!) to re-wire my own brain out of the belief structures that keep me small and contracted, is a lightness of being, a freedom and joy that makes me want to keep uncovering and re-patterning my consciousness again and again.
Even though I don’t really know my father at some level, I love him. I don’t love his behavior a lot of the time. I don’t love the suffering he creates for himself and others. But I am thankful to him for teaching me the most important things about the nature of reality.
Any internet search into the research being done on this topic will yield a plethora of information. As my mom says, “Google it up!”
Here are some links to start. If you find more you like, let me know:
Institute of Noetic Sciences
Power of Thought: A Quantum Perspective
Science and Anomalous Healing, William Bengston