What if what we call ”reality” is an illusion?
Most people are familiar with the movie metaphor. It is commonly used to describe human perception. In the metaphor a person is sitting in a theatre and is either totally absorbed by the movie (the movie corresponds to us humans being 100 % involved with our thinking and feeling) or watching the movie knowing it is a movie.
These are to be considered as our modes of operation and they come with two very different outlooks and perceptions. These outlooks are usually named “illusion” or “reality”.
In my line of work and of course being a witness in my own life I have noticed some things that most people can testify to.
- Everyone recognize and acknowledge these two modes of operation.
- We can only be in one mode at the same time.
- We have no conscious control over the fluctuation between the modes.
- The shift between the modes happens by itself.
- Both ways of percieving feels both real and accurate from their corresponding mode of operation.
When reading or listening people on the subject of self or the “I” there is to some degree a common agreement that one of the modes is an illusion while the other one is not. The notion is that the illusion is fake while reality is real.
I wont make an argument trying to prove that there is anything wrong with this because I feel that everything is exactly as it should be. Therefor there cannot be a right or wrong when it comes to a teachings, a point of view etc.
There is however a point which I would like to make and that is that if we are going to call one mode “illusion” and the other “reality” we might want to take a look at what evidence we have for such a statement. The only evidence we have available on the matter at hand is our own experience of this phenomenon.
I think that we have absolutely no evidence for one of the modes being more real than the other. Even if you say you have “seen” reality you are on thin ice. How can you be sure of that what you saw or experienced was ”THE reality”? So why do we insist on calling one of them illusion? The mere belief itself creates a seperation in our mind.
Why I think this is important is because calling one of them an illusion can give us the impression that one of them are wrong and therefor we must undertake the job of trying to remove or move away from the one that is fake. Both from ourselves as well from all the others…(this has a familiar ring to it huh?) But there is no fake perception to begin with – how could there be? All humans have the ability of being in both. Calling one of them fake would be the equivalence of accusing a predators hunting instincts for fake. Or to think that the apple flavor of an apple is fake.
The only thing worth calling an illusion here is our IDEA that one way of perception is more real than the other.
I can totally see that having the worlds population mostly absorbed in thinking and feeling seems to be causing much suffering both on a personal level as well as on a larger scale but then again, this might be exactly according to plan. Just because it is so right now doesn’t necessary mean that it will stay the same the next day, or in the next moment.
If anything should be claimed as REAL, the current situation as we know it, in this very moment most certainly qualifies.
Thank you for reading this article. It is inspired by my own life and what I have observed.
Feel free to leave a comment or share it with others.
About the author: Patrik Rowinski believes in cooperation and he enjoys to support anyone who has a sincere will to change. He works as a Mental Health Consultant and Three Principles Facilitator and supports personal and organisational growth through conversations, lectures and in his writing.
Get in touch or learn more through patrikrowinski.se.