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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Reflections On Reality.

A re-post and still relevant to me.

Today I spent some time here, like while I was having coffee, then alternately, lots of time outdoors. The sun was lovely and the temperature was fantastic. I cleaned out some messy flower beds, moved some stuff around and even put up a porch swing all on my own. No plan had formed in my thinking about what chores might need tending to, I was just going on whim, whatever struck me to do at the moment. Then when I tried out the porch swing I began to get these ideas. They came from the joy I experienced when I looked around me and as far as I could see there was nothing but peace and quiet. The bright sun, the cloud lined blue sky, the tiny buds bursting from the sleeping trees, the daffodils waving their fragrant trumpets my way, all conspired together to shout out to me, "hey look here at this wonderful world right before your hungry eyes."

I began to recall all the news stories I had watched on my television over the past couple of months. The unrest in the Middle East, the political upheaval here in our own country, the death of a little girl in our hometown that shook a community to its core. And now the latest disaster in Japan bombards us with news, pictures, videos. All to inform us of what goes on outside our own back yards. Our reality. The reality we individually experience is like the reality of no other person. It is ours, we own it. We create it.

I loved experiencing my world of tranquility. I loved hearing the birds sing, the distant dog bark, a lone automobile crunching the pavement with rubber feet as it whizzed by my house.

What am I to make then of the chaos that is apparent in the world that comes to me via my tv set and my computer? I don't have a stone heart that makes it possible to not care for the trouble others are having. I get just as excited over seeing Egypt win their battle against a dictator as I feel the fear of the people of Japan. But it does not touch me. I still get up in the morning, I drink my coffee, I talk with my Grandarling, or I call my daughters or chat with friends online, I still go to my job, I still eat when and what I want, I still lie down at night in my warm, soft bed and I feel safe.

Appreciatively, when I fix my gaze all around my world I see no war, I feel no earthquake and I hear no gunfire! What is this all about then? That old saying comes into my head. "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear does it make a sound?" If I did not see the conflict in Egypt and Libya on my TV and computer, if I didn't see the earthquake happening in Japan would it still be happening? Of course I believe it would. I believe collectively the people in these events right now are experiencing them but I am not. I am an observer of their turmoil and their grief and triumphs. And I can choose how I will experience it with them. I can lend my energy of peace and love to their situations or I can be terrified and dreadful that the same things are coming to rock my world to its knees. I can be excited when I see the acts of bravery and kindness they show to one another and rejoice and be hopeful for their recovery or I can stockpile supplies and guns and whatever else for my own protection when the disaster hits my paradise. It's all my own choices how I deal or experience the drama the unfolds in the lives of others. And that is powerful.

There is so much we can learn as observers in these events. I see and remember how the Egyptians conducted themselves during their protest. They lost their fear, they co-operated in a monumental way with each other, they showed love and acceptance when the Christians in Egypt protected the Muslims during their prayers and then the Muslims protected the Christians during a memorial service. In Japan there are stories of tremendous courage and grace under pressure. There was one instance when a group of people were picking up fallen goods in a grocery store and re stacking them neatly on the shelves and then stood in line waiting to buy the same food they had just helped to pick up. And 83 year old woman pedaled her bicycle to safety from the Tsunami. A baby was miraculously found. The stories are endless. I am also struck by how the news media is over-blowing some of the dangers but the people who actually are living there are reporting something quiet different. Once again...individual realities differ greatly! I can't get away from that truth.

I don't know where else to go with this. I will simply end by stating I think I'm beginning to understand that will a bit of belief in ourselves....we can create anything. If I have made my world can it be so for others? And how can I keep it that way, or will I even want to?

I have a friend who has been out of work for three years. She has been looking diligently for jobs anywhere she can find to look. Today she interviewed with a company that she believed would be a good place to work. According to my friend the interview went without a hitch. The interviewer and she seemed to "click." As she walked away at the end of the interview, she turned and said to the lady who would be influencing whether she would be hired or not and said, "It will be a pleasure working with you." Her statement was met with a quizzical stare. When she had been home but a few hours she got a call to inform her she got the job. My friend had confidence in herself and it created a magical experience. I'm sure she was more than qualified for the position. But many job seekers are qualified. I think the magic was her confidence, exhibited by her departing statement.

I'm simply attempting to explain that it's time we looked around us and see what we may have individually or collectively created and try to understand why and how we can go about changing it if we no longer feel it's necessary or simply because we don't like it that way anymore.


  1. "I get just as excited over seeing Egypt win their battle against a dictator"

    A perfect example of why living in the moment is rarely a good idea. They are worse off now - that's the reality!

  2. In retrospect Scott, it was and still is inspiring to see people come together in such massive numbers. Whether or not you believe they are worse off now than the were. Perhaps so, but they haven't buckled and they haven't given up. Which is more than I can say for the conditions we see here in this country. So far we haven't come close to the same kind of unity and conviction of the Egyptian people.

  3. Living in the moment is always better than living in the past and the future doesn't exist anyway.

    1. I can't imagine why we have no unity in this country??

      I wasn't comparing living in the past with the moment, but there is such a thing as seeing trends, which is very much sort of like predicting the future that doesn't yet exist. It becomes clearer every day that those people were right about Egypt's so called uprising, rather than those with the feel good knee-jerk reactions.

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  5. As I understand it you are advocating the value of having a 'world view' which is the result of the individual's unique perception of what constitues reality here She?
    This seems to me to be a perfectly valid way of interpreting the world from a psychological or spiritual perspective I think.

    I do have a question though.

    The thing I always want to know is where do our values come from?

    How did we get this unique take on the world, or what actually comprises the individual 'self'...what is it made of?

    I think the answer we choose to that question explains a lot about diversity, whereby our uniquness is a paradox demonstrated by our fingerprints on the one hand (where else?)... but our idea of ourselves as a socialised and enculturated human being on the other hand.

    We are implicitly signed up to a social contract from soon our after birth imbued with language and culture which of course we cannot claim to be our own, or originate in our own minds alone.

    The shape of our ears may be unique, but we are social animals created for the most part by our environment.

    You're environment sounds well cool to me She!

    I am glad that you have the lifestyle you have, whatever we all do to make sense of the world.... its nice to be cosy in bed isn't it?

    AA :-)

    PS I deleted the first go - typos I hate them....there are probably dozens here still, but here goes anyway ;-)

  6. Thank you Aaran for understanding that this post is merely my own way of making sense to ME what reality is all about. Yes, my physical environment is delightful at present. And I do not enjoy what I enjoy without being ever aware that there are others not experiencing such as I have created here. But over the past couple of years in seeking more spiritual answers to my questions I have come to accept that everyone is living their own experiences as they choose to live them. And while my heart "feels" the turmoil, I try to accept what I am not able to change. The only thing I can change is myself. But I can and do try to contribute to a better world over all in my own way, as everyone does.

    And I agree our values are taken from the individual experiences that we each live. All kinds of influences factor into that too don't you agree?

    A do like your thoughts on this subject. Thank you. :)

  7. I think it's true that a most people (myself included ) are part of our environment and upbringing, Sheila. The frustration I feel in watching the news is how impotent I feel in making sense of events that are so violent and tragic. Locally there was a recent death of a young man by a knife-wielding nutcase who remains at large. AS for Egypt, so much long pain and brave protest would seem to demand a betterment of the society yet so much remains uncertain with the rise of Muslim extremists and the culture of authoritarianism that needs to evolve there. But I agree we can only change ourselves and as Gandhi said "be the change in the wold we want to see. Very enjoyable post. :-)

  8. Thank you for your very thoughtful comments Doug. It's true that not much has changed in Egypt but they keep bravely fighting. Are we just brain dead here, or do we really feel that divided as to what we want? I have no answer. Yes Gandhi was an inspiration.

  9. Hi Sheila Neat to find you here.......I connected...enjoyed the read and remember WE create our own reality from our vibration so what your presently seeing is who you truly are...I must keep reminding myself of this with each moment

  10. Thank you Akuna. I have to keep reminding myself too. Good to see you here too.