Author Topic: Do we create our own version of reality ?  (Read 7440 times)

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Offline Anatta

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Do we create our own version of reality ?
« on: March 18, 2014, 11:52:13 pm »
Kia Ora,

Heaven...Hell...Happiness...Sadness...Love...Hate !

As trans-people we continually pass through all these conflicting feelings & emotions, and at times getting caught up and staying a little more longer with the unpleasant ones than with the more pleasant ones ....

However, judging by some posts there are a few skilled psychonaut members(psychē "soul/spirit/mind" and naútēs "sailor/navigator")) whom it would seem, have developed the ability to just "Go with the flow" of their feelings and emotions, sailing the mind's ocean of uncertainty on their boat of contentment so to speak...
 
Do we 'create' our own version of reality ?( rough or calm seas ?) Or do we have no say/choice in how we perceive things ? (a boat without rudder,sails....or outboard motor)

In a nutshell ....In any given situation do we have a choice in how we will react ?
 
Just a bit of mind tripping  :eusa_think: so you don't have to share your thoughts, but you're most welcome to if you feel inclined ...

Metta Anatta :)

"The most essential method which includes all other methods is beholding the mind. The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included !"   :icon_yes:

Offline Jessica Merriman

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2014, 12:08:04 am »
In a nutshell ....In any given situation do we have a choice in how we will react ?
What gets me is how do you judge reality in the first place? What is real? Am I actually sitting at the keyboard typing and to who? For all I know I am in a drug induced hallucination and part of a scientific experiment to see just what the mind is capable of and if it can be manipulated. Are the replies I get here calculated to direct the experiment or real. How does one judge their consciousness? Pinching you arm, feeling pain, breathing? How do we discover what reality is? What is the dream and what is the reality? What if when we dream that is reality and when we are "awake" the dream? Makes you think, doesn't it? To me personally I don't know if I will ever find what is truly real. In dreams there are emotions, sensations, sounds, smells all of the things that make consciousness. Who knows if we are even here, but are thoughts caused by chemical reactions which can be altered. Freaky, huh! :)

Offline dreaming.forever

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2014, 12:29:24 am »
I think we definitely create our own reality. Beliefs dictate perceptions which influence emotions which influence our actions... and our actions, of course, contribute to creating our reality and our beliefs/perceptions of it. So, it loops around like that, or so it seems to me. Change anything in that cycle, and you're changing (or "creating") reality. If you consciously decide not to let strong emotions sway your decisions as much, then you will act differently and, since the universe is full of cause-and-effect, your reality will differ. Change your mind, change your actions, change your premises upon which you build your beliefs, and reality changes.

Life, I have found, can be heaven or hell (or anything in between). I've been through some pretty hellish times, but after rising above it and letting go of it (no longer viewing it with the same perceptions or beliefs about it), I've found that even hell is not hell unless you allow it to be due to the way you choose to view it. In the moment, it's certainly more difficult to simply change your mind about it and stop seeing it as hell, or as something from which there is no escape/hope, but once you can detach from it and see it from a more objective point of view, you can stop reacting to it and start acting--that is, you can stop letting it happen to you and start changing the situation to suit yourself.

I'm not going to discuss the things that I considered to be hell in my life, but for a more manageable example, I'll say that I used to think that being trans (specifically, I'm FTM) was the most difficult/unfair thing in the world and that, if the world was based on fairness, I should have virtually no other issues to deal with because the balance was already so far out of my favor. I used to think that I couldn't even really start living until I'd finished my transition.

But now I see it very differently. Yes, there's still difficult things such as dealing with hell week or confusing the heck out of people who've never seen someone partway through a gender transition before (I sound male and act male but I can't bind and don't have decent facial hair). But now I'm much, much more relaxed about it all. Less trangst to deal with, now that I don't focus almost exclusively on my gender and the limitations I assumed went along with it. I still wish I suddenly had thousands of dollars for surgery and T and a whole new wardrobe of men's clothes. But there's a lot less "I can't LIVE like this!! How does anyone in this situation survive? I'm 23 and I haven't even got proper facial hair!" and a lot more "That's right: I'm sexy even in this pre-op body and if nobody else sees that, who cares? I'm cool with this. I've got it down."

What changed? My perception, and thus my reality. In essence, I don't see being FTM as a curse anymore. It's just the way I am, and I--this still feels a bit weird to say this, having hated myself for quite some time--I actually like myself. So as just another aspect of myself, I don't really feel the need to focus negatively on my body (e.g. "I hate my chest! It's supposed to be flat but it isn't, and I can't even bind!"). Instead, the self-talk about my body is more along the lines of, "Well, my body's not the way I want it to be right now, but it's a work in progress. It's fine how it is now, because this isn't permanent, and one day it'll look the way I want it to be."

What changed my perception of myself, in case you're interested, is that I lost 45 pounds and realized somewhere along the way that I love my body even when I'm overweight (I just happen to have a great preference for being in good shape!). Once I realized that, I applied the same principle and figured out how to love my body even while I'm pre-op and can't bind. Unfortunately, I can't really put into words exactly how this change in perception happened--it was gradual and not really noticed until one day I found myself thinking that it was actually okay that I'm not skinny and that I have a bit of a belly--but what I can say about it is that it is possible. Somehow.

I have a tendency to ramble. Sorry :)

Offline Anatta

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2014, 12:50:57 am »
I think we definitely create our own reality. Beliefs dictate perceptions which influence emotions which influence our actions... and our actions, of course, contribute to creating our reality and our beliefs/perceptions of it. So, it loops around like that, or so it seems to me. Change anything in that cycle, and you're changing (or "creating") reality. If you consciously decide not to let strong emotions sway your decisions as much, then you will act differently and, since the universe is full of cause-and-effect, your reality will differ. Change your mind, change your actions, change your premises upon which you build your beliefs, and reality changes.

Life, I have found, can be heaven or hell (or anything in between). I've been through some pretty hellish times, but after rising above it and letting go of it (no longer viewing it with the same perceptions or beliefs about it), I've found that even hell is not hell unless you allow it to be due to the way you choose to view it. In the moment, it's certainly more difficult to simply change your mind about it and stop seeing it as hell, or as something from which there is no escape/hope, but once you can detach from it and see it from a more objective point of view, you can stop reacting to it and start acting--that is, you can stop letting it happen to you and start changing the situation to suit yourself.

I'm not going to discuss the things that I considered to be hell in my life, but for a more manageable example, I'll say that I used to think that being trans (specifically, I'm FTM) was the most difficult/unfair thing in the world and that, if the world was based on fairness, I should have virtually no other issues to deal with because the balance was already so far out of my favor. I used to think that I couldn't even really start living until I'd finished my transition.

But now I see it very differently. Yes, there's still difficult things such as dealing with hell week or confusing the heck out of people who've never seen someone partway through a gender transition before (I sound male and act male but I can't bind and don't have decent facial hair). But now I'm much, much more relaxed about it all. Less trangst to deal with, now that I don't focus almost exclusively on my gender and the limitations I assumed went along with it. I still wish I suddenly had thousands of dollars for surgery and T and a whole new wardrobe of men's clothes. But there's a lot less "I can't LIVE like this!! How does anyone in this situation survive? I'm 23 and I haven't even got proper facial hair!" and a lot more "That's right: I'm sexy even in this pre-op body and if nobody else sees that, who cares? I'm cool with this. I've got it down."

What changed? My perception, and thus my reality. In essence, I don't see being FTM as a curse anymore. It's just the way I am, and I--this still feels a bit weird to say this, having hated myself for quite some time--I actually like myself. So as just another aspect of myself, I don't really feel the need to focus negatively on my body (e.g. "I hate my chest! It's supposed to be flat but it isn't, and I can't even bind!"). Instead, the self-talk about my body is more along the lines of, "Well, my body's not the way I want it to be right now, but it's a work in progress. It's fine how it is now, because this isn't permanent, and one day it'll look the way I want it to be."

What changed my perception of myself, in case you're interested, is that I lost 45 pounds and realized somewhere along the way that I love my body even when I'm overweight (I just happen to have a great preference for being in good shape!). Once I realized that, I applied the same principle and figured out how to love my body even while I'm pre-op and can't bind. Unfortunately, I can't really put into words exactly how this change in perception happened--it was gradual and not really noticed until one day I found myself thinking that it was actually okay that I'm not skinny and that I have a bit of a belly--but what I can say about it is that it is possible. Somehow.

I have a tendency to ramble. Sorry :)

Kia Ora DF,

No apology needed...Your ramblings have produced some interesting lines of thought.....I think it's great how you have managed to change your outlook on life and at such a young age too....

Metta Anatta :)
"The most essential method which includes all other methods is beholding the mind. The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included !"   :icon_yes:

Offline Anatta

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2014, 12:59:44 am »
What gets me is how do you judge reality in the first place? What is real? Am I actually sitting at the keyboard typing and to who? For all I know I am in a drug induced hallucination and part of a scientific experiment to see just what the mind is capable of and if it can be manipulated. Are the replies I get here calculated to direct the experiment or real. How does one judge their consciousness? Pinching you arm, feeling pain, breathing? How do we discover what reality is? What is the dream and what is the reality? What if when we dream that is reality and when we are "awake" the dream? Makes you think, doesn't it? To me personally I don't know if I will ever find what is truly real. In dreams there are emotions, sensations, sounds, smells all of the things that make consciousness. Who knows if we are even here, but are thoughts caused by chemical reactions which can be altered. Freaky, huh! :)

Kia Ora Jessica,

Thank you little fish for taking the bait  ;) ;D  >:-)

Now ask yourself...Who is it that wants to know the answer to the questions? Whose doing the thinking ?

Metta Anatta :)
"The most essential method which includes all other methods is beholding the mind. The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included !"   :icon_yes:

Offline MadelineB

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2014, 01:17:17 am »
Do we create our own version of reality? Perhaps a better question is, since I posit that there are as many versions of reality as their are individual instances of this phenomenon called humanity, does our own version of reality create each of us?

In my personal experience, having lived through multiple conflicting versions of reality, at least for me the answer is that my perception of reality and the values I project onto those perceptions, directly shape who "I" am. If I want to change me, easy-peasy, just change my reality, and "I" will come tumbling after lickety-split. At least, that is how I have experienced the full-life transitions I have experienced so far. The essence of me didn't change, just the reflections of reality that I call "me" changed to catch up with my world.

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
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Offline Nero

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2014, 01:38:33 am »
I think we do. But my beliefs and emotions are always whacked out so...
Nero was the Forum Admin here at Susan's Place for several years up to the time of his death.

Offline Hikari

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 02:35:04 am »
Reality doesn't exist, only that which I can conceive and perceive exists. 

On that note, how can I be certain you all aren't figments of my imagination?
私は女の子 です!My Blog - Hikari's Transition Log http://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/board,377.0.html

Ev

Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2014, 11:06:48 pm »
Reality is reality.  We just don't see it in its entirety all the time.  The smartest, most educated, experienced and informed person in the world will not even know .001% of the collective knowledge in the world, let alone the universe.  That is over 99.9% of reality being lost to that one person.

There is reality and there is the abstract.  Reality is in the physical realm, while the abstract is in our minds.

For example, a chair is a chair.  The object itself is what it is.  Its color is reality, whether we see it the same as another or not.  But things like its name...chair, seat, so forth so forth...is the abstract.  Its function is in the abstract.  Some people may view it as a place of rest, and others may view it as an instrument of sloth.  To a cat or small child, it is cover and not a seat all the time.  But the chair as an object...as a physical item that consists of what we call matter...and takes up space in the universe.

Actions are in the physical realm and cause a physical reaction or change, are not to be viewed as abstractions.  Killing someone else is killing someone else, ending their life in this world.  They are dead, killed by another.  Period.  THAT is reality.  However, things like murder, self-defense, cruelty, mercy, justified, unjustified, right, and wrong are all abstractions.  There are some abstractions I find easier to digest than others, like self-defense is more understandable than murder.

In terms of the abstract...which things like gender roles fall in...I heard a quote once that tickled me a little, but found a lot of truth in it:

"Reality is what you can get away with." 

For example: if you must lie, you HAVE to be able to sustain it.  As crazy and "immoral" as that sounds to some, think of an androgynous MTF transgender like myself: I lied for years about being exclusively male, and people bought it.  Heck, I bought it.  Why?  Because I thought I had to.  How?  Because I dressed like a male, sounded like a male, married a woman, had 3 kids, went by "Mr." and called myself a man.  That was a lie in my realm of perceptions, but not others.  BUT it was a lie I got away with, effectively making it reality because all these things happened in the real (physical) plane.  My conceptions about being androgynous and being feminine are abstractions.  So, to sustain in reality that I AM an androgynous MTF, I have to create it in reality by becoming it.  By undergoing the surgery, dressing the part, so forth so forth.  Some could call the "new me" the lie, because I was born biologically a male.  Other people can view the male I presented as the lie.  Abstractions, all of them.

To make Ev a reality, I have to be able to get away with it first.  And to get away with it, I have to shape myself into a form that can sustain my reality: it being a lie or the truth in the abstract is irrelavant.

Offline Jessica Merriman

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2014, 11:11:39 pm »
Kia Ora Jessica,

Thank you little fish for taking the bait  ;) ;D  >:-)

Now ask yourself...Who is it that wants to know the answer to the questions? Whose doing the thinking ?

Metta Anatta :)
I knew it! You are the Matrix!*giggle* Should have taken the blue pill!! ;D

Offline Anatta

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2014, 01:16:54 am »
Reality is reality.  We just don't see it in its entirety all the time.  The smartest, most educated, experienced and informed person in the world will not even know .001% of the collective knowledge in the world, let alone the universe.  That is over 99.9% of reality being lost to that one person.

There is reality and there is the abstract.  Reality is in the physical realm, while the abstract is in our minds.

For example, a chair is a chair.  The object itself is what it is.  Its color is reality, whether we see it the same as another or not.  But things like its name...chair, seat, so forth so forth...is the abstract.  Its function is in the abstract.  Some people may view it as a place of rest, and others may view it as an instrument of sloth.  To a cat or small child, it is cover and not a seat all the time.  But the chair as an object...as a physical item that consists of what we call matter...and takes up space in the universe.

Actions are in the physical realm and cause a physical reaction or change, are not to be viewed as abstractions.  Killing someone else is killing someone else, ending their life in this world.  They are dead, killed by another.  Period.  THAT is reality.  However, things like murder, self-defense, cruelty, mercy, justified, unjustified, right, and wrong are all abstractions.  There are some abstractions I find easier to digest than others, like self-defense is more understandable than murder.

In terms of the abstract...which things like gender roles fall in...I heard a quote once that tickled me a little, but found a lot of truth in it:

"Reality is what you can get away with." 

For example: if you must lie, you HAVE to be able to sustain it.  As crazy and "immoral" as that sounds to some, think of an androgynous MTF transgender like myself: I lied for years about being exclusively male, and people bought it.  Heck, I bought it.  Why?  Because I thought I had to.  How?  Because I dressed like a male, sounded like a male, married a woman, had 3 kids, went by "Mr." and called myself a man.  That was a lie in my realm of perceptions, but not others.  BUT it was a lie I got away with, effectively making it reality because all these things happened in the real (physical) plane.  My conceptions about being androgynous and being feminine are abstractions.  So, to sustain in reality that I AM an androgynous MTF, I have to create it in reality by becoming it.  By undergoing the surgery, dressing the part, so forth so forth.  Some could call the "new me" the lie, because I was born biologically a male.  Other people can view the male I presented as the lie.  Abstractions, all of them.

To make Ev a reality, I have to be able to get away with it first.  And to get away with it, I have to shape myself into a form that can sustain my reality: it being a lie or the truth in the abstract is irrelavant.

Kia Ora Ev,

That's an interesting take on reality...."I" like the abstract.....

 ::) Or as some people say "Reality is for those who can't handle drugs!" ;) ;D

Metta Anatta :)

"The most essential method which includes all other methods is beholding the mind. The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included !"   :icon_yes:

Offline Anatta

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2014, 01:19:49 am »
I knew it! You are the Matrix!*giggle* Should have taken the blue pill!! ;D

Kia Ora Jessica,

Regardless of colour, the pills are all the same-they mess with your mind  :icon_evil_laugh: >:-)

Metta Anatta :)
"The most essential method which includes all other methods is beholding the mind. The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included !"   :icon_yes:

Offline Pica Pica

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2014, 06:33:30 pm »
Do we 'create' our own version of reality ?

No.

But we do interpret and understand it differently and uniquely, doesn't mean we create it.

To use an analogy; When white light passes through a prism and separates into the colour spectrum it doesn't mean that those colours been created but that the refraction of light has separated into the colours that were already there. I think there is a big difference in creating and interpreting the world.
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Offline Serenahikaru

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2014, 10:57:05 am »
I believe everyone lives in their own reality and mine is far from society.
"There'll come a day where you realize you were so afraid of what others thought, you never got to live the life you wanted."

Jess42

Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2014, 11:08:50 am »
I don't think we create those realities that you mentioned as much as experience them according to our conscious and emotional resonanace allow us to experience them. I think those realities are just there and through differences in conscious thought, emotions and consience allow us to go through those levels. I know it really don't make sence and I really don't know how to explain it but the difference between heaven and hell is just a footstep or one action away from one another. Happiness and sadness, contentment and anger too.

This brought to you compliments from the resident crazy lady on susans, me ;).

Offline Baiorensu

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2014, 01:37:37 pm »
Reality doesn't exist, only that which I can conceive and perceive exists. 

On that note, how can I be certain you all aren't figments of my imagination?

"Solipsism: a philosophical theory, which asserts that nothing exists but the individual’s consciousness."

Probably my greatest childhood fear

Offline Gabrielle_22

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2014, 02:02:44 pm »
Well, as Bertrand Russell wrote in The Problems of Philosophy, one thing I can be sure of is that "I" am receiving sensory information about things, as when I "see" a brown table in front me; although I cannot prove, beyond all possible doubt, that the table exists, there is clearly information being received by me about something, namely this brown table, and that implies, if not matter, per se, the existence of *something.* It doesn't solve the problem of solipsism or of the many versions of the brain-in-a-vat thought experiment, but it does show that there is a thing--"I"--and that this thing, the "I," is receiving data about something, suggesting that there may be something outside of the individual. Of course, reality could have been created five minutes ago, and this is all in my imagination, but that's as unfalsifiable as the existence of hundreds of undetectable invisible elephants in the room I'm typing this in right now.

At some point, one has to draw a line and take a stance based on likelihood, while acknowledging that problems like solipsism, the five-minute theory/the Omphalos theory, etc. cannot be 100% disproved.

I don't personally think we "create" reality, though. While I am not 100% certain of the existence of material reality around me, I assume that there is, in fact, something real and material around me (and that I, too, am a material object, my self--the "I"--simply a production by my material brain). Perhaps we all modify reality to some degree, filtering it through our individual and human limitations--after all, reality to a bat, as Thomas Nagel noted, is similar to but not the same as what a human would interpret things as--but there is still something there. One might see the table in front me as a lovely shade of beige, while another person sees it purely white, and another person, quite at odds with the others, asserts it is no less than the shade of MAC's Russian Red. There are reaons why these variations in colour interpretation might exist; very probably one of the persons has a form of colour-blindness, and if majority consensus for people who see colours normally is that the table is beige, well, it would be sensible to believe the table is this shade. It would not confirm it beyond any possible doubt, but we can't really do better, and if everyone appears to be at very least seeing a table, shade regardless, well, that's a good start. If we are all being deceived by an outside agent, being made to see a table in varying shades--well, that still implies outside existence, as well as a deceiving agent with a bit too much time on his or her or its hands.

I realise this is a simplification, but without succumbing to solipsism, I'm not sure how much better we can do.
"The time will come / when, with elation / you will greet yourself arriving / at your own door, in your own mirror / and each will smile at the other's welcome, / and say, sit here. Eat. / You will love again the stranger who was your self./ Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart / to itself, to the stranger who has loved you / all your life, whom you ignored" - Walcott, "Love after Love"

Offline Annabella

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2014, 02:39:19 pm »
I think the problem I have with solipsistic arguments is that they are obsessed with absolute certainty. It is not necessary to accept a thing or even consider it probable if you cannot provide 100% certainty that it is false.

Having no evidence FOR solipsism is the reason I reject it. Every inference I can make about the world indicates it is more likely to be an objective reality which I am experiencing from within my limited frame of reference provided by my senses.

Also, whether or not I am a brain in a vat and a machine is producing this sensory input would not effect in any way how I should act unless I am given evidence of some special features of the simulation which are inconsistent with the rest of the virtual reality. Again, there's that evidence word again. :)
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Offline Baiorensu

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2014, 03:11:00 pm »
I don't think its necessary or even wise to believe in anything. But pondering the potential is a great exercise for the expanding mind; allowing yourself to be drawn into the mindset for a moment and fully experience the possibility.
As perception of reality is merely ones own perspective, one who allows for multiple perspectives could potentially gain a truer understanding of the world around them.
In a sense, as we expand our awareness, we do create reality where it wasn't before, if only from our own perspectives.

Offline Shawn Sunshine

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Re: Do we create our own version of reality ?
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2014, 03:16:36 pm »
Ireject you're reality and substitute it for my own! Hehe sorry couldn't resist.
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