Reflections

What is real?

I grew up in a world where reality was believed to be something solid and concrete.  It was observable, measurable, testable, and consensual.  Any deviation from that norm and you were labelled: “eccentric,” “weird,” “unusual,” “strange” and “crazy” are all labels I have worn with pride.  “Delusional,” “paranoid,” and just plain “wrong” I have tolerated because I had no choice, being, at best, on the fringes of what society named “okay.”

But these days, the labels themselves seem off.  With the mainstream acceptance of quantum physics, and its inevitable creation of a more malleable reality, everything that made me “creative” and “unusual” now falls easily within the realm of possibility, even probability.  What once would have sent me back to the psyche ward, should I choose to voice it aloud, is now almost common dinner conversation.  Even the local state hospital, the prison I fought so hard to avoid, is now being “re-purposed” to something everyone can use…

And the very world around me seems crazy, out of control, and so unreliable that I no longer trust my senses, my instincts, or my interpretations of what is actually happening; I cannot know what is true…

I remember, not so long ago, when I looked forward to this time.  I understood, somehow, that reality was not nearly as stable and reliable as society believed, and, more importantly to me anyway, that one day my personal brand of “crazy” would become more commonplace and normal.  So imagine my excitement when the first evidence started to emerge that those long-held convictions might be true…

It started small enough.  Odd happenings reported by friends and strangers whose paths crossed mine.  Social media hot topics where others could confirm confusion, and find comfort in validation of their own unusual experiences.  Several “New World” views, often at odds with one another, emerged, gaining momentum, form, and substance as they were shared, proving the power of group-think to create new interactive realities.  My excitement peaked, for Now real change could finally occur!

And I knew I was well-trained to maneuver in this new world of constantly shifting, ever-changing, fluid reality.  I had spent my whole life here, and I was not only ready to live here, but I could also instruct others how to maintain a sense of balance and stability in a real world devoid of both!

I was wrong…  I know that now.

I see myself today, as confused as any other.  I sit, despondent, shaking my head slowly, desperately trying to comprehend what is happening in the world, trying to make sense of it, even knowing that what once quaified as “logical” and “reasonable” no longer applies.  I see daily small happenings that confound me even more than what is occurring on the larger stage, which I have had to simply accept as inherently incomprehensible.  It’s the small things that scare me most right now because the big things are simply too big, and so my mind, trained as it has been over a lifetime of “insanity,” knows instinctively to focus small when big is out of control.

But, when a long-time customer (say at least 15-20 years of regular, consistent patronage), who has more than enough money in retirement to spend on hobby quality toys and technology, and enjoys conversing with staff and trading ideas, is caught on film openly stealing from our store, I am beyond baffled.  And when the police phone him (not go to his house) to tell him to bring the stuff back, and that he is now banned from the store, and he does so without argument.  And when no one can seem to determine whether the act was intentional or not, in spite of the film evidence…  I realize that nothing has prepared me for this level of “uncertainty” in reality…

And I am reminded of a dream I had long ago, when the internet was still new ( yes, I predate the internet by decades – lol!)…  In that dream I saw the whole world connected by the internet, learning from it, socializing through it, being subtly manipulated through it.  Until one day, some subliminal code was released and the whole world turned on each other, madness and violence and the urge to destroy overwhelming all who were exposed to it.  No one could be trusted.  And there were only a handful of us in my community who had never been exposed or corrupted by it, trying to survive amid the chaos…

The dream scared me enough to keep me off the internet until it was no longer feasible to remain disconnected.  And I gave in…

And the “end of the world as we know it” came not through some apocalyptic world event, or through another World War, so much as through the dissolution of a shared reality.  For when individual realities take center stage, human behavior becomes unpredictable and often irrational to anyone outside that particular world view.  And it becomes increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to “save” anyone, even oneself from the random acts of chaos that result…

So clearly I was wrong back then to suggest that we could all live in our own little worlds and still interact productively with each other.  And clearly those doctors and social workers were correct in telling me that my beliefs and convictions were “dangerous” to myself and others.

Or so my interpretations of “reality” today seem to reveal…

Could it be I am still dreaming that dream now?  Or has that dream actually become real?

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15 thoughts on “What is real?

      • For example a goal is achieved by trial and error. In the process there is success and fail ratio. If the ratio of success in the process is mild, then it’s improving. But at the end its fail, then the goal did not progress. In other words, you can try as much as possible, but in the end, nothing happens, then there is no progress

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  1. The complications of perception and the ever-changing values society imposes on the individual. I think we Humanity are still dealing with adapting to an Age of Information. In times gone by we lived in small communities be they villages or small parts of cities; our news came in small digestible portions and knowledge itself even amongst the educated was ‘limited’. Now we have all this information coming at us everywhichway packaged and labelled in myriad forms; we can go looking for this information and maybe not really approaching that wisely. We have people sounding off about all manner of things they are not qualified to speak about, or if they are qualified to their communication skills are limited. We have a ‘system overload’. In my last two years of public service (racked up 40+) I used to say to my colleagues when talking about the ramshackled way our work was organised and how we were told how to do things ‘Yes Reality is all very well in small doses. But it is over-rated’…Some took me seriously, some didn’t (and I was only three-quarters joking). Sometimes we need to step back from the information flow and think ‘This is being sent and acted on by people and people are imperfect’ then pause with a mug of one’s favourite herbal brew and think ‘This is how it is. I will just keep on keeping on’….PS..Touch, smell, see, hear and feel all creatures do that differently and the world is still the world.
    Best wishes
    Roger

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  2. Thank you, Roger, for putting it all into perspective for me. You are right, of course, on all points. Everyone has an opinion and access to ways to communicate it, and it can all get a little overwhelming. When I focus on small, I need to go even smaller… I truly appreciate your wisdom and your sharing. Thank you!

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  3. I have been having very vivid dreams lately some of which relate to personal life issues. Some dreams reveal answers to questions that have been nagging me for a while. Is it the brain’s way of resolving issues while I’m asleep? Or is it the Almighty guiding me via dreams. I’ve only shared 2 so far with my mom and the other person to whom the dream referred. They were both astonished by the details like I was so I am careful now to wait a while before revealing the others. I just write them down so I won’t forget.

    Then there is the issue of my personal reality being turned upside down a few years ago, when the man I married turned out to be a monster in disguise.
    Essentially, he pretended to be someone else while we dated but his true personality was revealed after we were married. I was devastated! I’m just now starting to feel normal again but how to do I trust again?

    The Internet has made it so easy for us to be deceptive all while making it easier for us to be connected. Reality and the sense of what is normal and accepted is shifting at a rapid pace and keeping up with it all can certainly seem overwhelming. But to disconnect from the grid leaves us somewhat vulnerable since we become unaware of the dangers around.

    But that’s OK with me. I need a bit of blissful oblivion to survive all this chaos. I find solace in my cave of silence until the silence gets too loud, then I plug back in to the grid. It’s all about balance really. But I’ve gone on way too long, my apologies for getting carried away.

    Your piece is very thought-provoking and we’ll written. Be well and have a lovely day ☺

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  4. I love that you shared your thoughts so openly here! I understand exactly where you’re coming from. My dreams, too, have taken an oddly prophetic turn these days. Not that there weren’t always a few sprinkled in, but lately, I’m not sure if I’m dreaming the “future” or if the future is actually created from my dreams…

    I also married that man who became a monster. It baffled me always that I was the only one who could see the man living behind the mask, even dear friends of mine who had known me longer, and still chose to believe his charm over my litany of facts.

    To complicate things, he married another, though we never actually divorced. I’m still shaking my head over that, since we occasionally meet at family gatherings… lol

    In any event, work calls, so I must go. Please stick around and voice your thoughts, opinions and dreams as long and as often as you’d like. I love the company, and I sense a “connectedness” between us I am eager to explore… 🙂

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    • Thanks for drawing my attention back here, Kamea. Like so many things I’ve written, I forgot about it, and yet now, reading it in today’s light, I understand better how prophetic it was, and how my Self has been preparing me all along for today’s challenges.

      Perhaps it’s time to re-share this, for there is wisdom and hope in it for some, I’m sure…

      Hugs and love, dear One! 😀

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  5. Reblogged this on the otherhood of one and commented:

    Special thanks to my friend KAMEAMOONMAIDEN for drawing my attention back to this old post, as it now takes on even more meaning for me. Repetition, cycles, synchronicity… these universal processes still function as expected in a world where the unexpected has gained the upper hand… 😀

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  6. Interesting read… I go in the opposite direction, looking for, and at, the bigger picture, for that’s where the explanations and solutions reside. While the world is “Balkanizing” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balkanization ) (for explanation) the self-empowered individual rises above the maelstrom of disinformation (that’s what information overload essentially is) and “walks between the worlds” in order to make sense of them (the worlds, that is). This is the overview that puts things in perspective and makes sense where there seems to be none. To focus on the small is to live in overwhelming denial. It may provide some temporary peace and comfort but it’s too much like entering into a favourite novel or story and pretending it is our reality; when you close the book, wham! Reality reasserts itself, along with all its aches, pains, bits and pieces of its pleasures and sadness.

    Better to never lose sight of all realities; to engage them constantly, from the macro to the micro, knowing that an ocean is made up of drops of water but it is a lot more than drops of water because a drop of water, or a few, won’t drown you, but the ocean will and knowing that life is not lived between drops of water, but in the ocean, for life is the ocean. The walker between worlds knows how to swim that ocean and not get overwhelmed by it.

    I’ve taught myself some survival tricks. Life is like shopping in a supermarket: of the million items (micro) offered for sale, I only need a few, so instead of examining each item and reading every label, enter with a list, grab what you need and get out like the place was on fire! Having a list implies you thought about your interaction with the micro and you have a plan on how to remain separate from its screaming demands for attention. Another way of putting it is, I can engage anything, any thought, any claim through detachment. None of that will be able to claim me, or my allegiance. I can swim the ocean without feeling the need to observe each drop of water in it; without drowning in its details. Sorry, long-winded today, watching a sudden blizzard blown in by our bitter easterlies from “the interior” of the province.

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