The million dollar question:“How can I know my thoughts create my own reality?”
Questioning the questions
A freshman philosophy student decided to stump his Professor one day;“Hey Teacher, prove to me that I exist!”
The teacher didn’t miss a beat. He shot right back;“I would love to, but whom shall I say is asking the question?”
Sometimes we can arrive at the best answers simply by questioning the questions.
In a similar way, it might be helpful to challenge yourself to provide an example of how a person’s thoughts DO NOT create their reality.
BUT BEFORE YOU DO THAT….
Reality versus Experience
I would start by making the distinction between “Reality” and “Experience.”
“Reality” refers to the world. It refers to what is actually happening independently of anyone’s perceptions, beliefs, feelings, etc.
“Experience” refers to the way in which a particular individual perceives, processes, and reacts to “Reality.”
When proponents of the Law of Attraction say “you create your own reality”, they are not saying you can uproot a tree from the ground just by visualizing it for a few minutes using Harry Potter styled magic mind power. They are referring to the control you have over your own personal experience of Reality.Although there may seem to be a single Reality we all occupy, we each experience this Reality differently because every person has a unique way of perceiving, processing, and reacting to the world.
A lesson from dogs about perception and reality
Here’s a simple example:
Scientists tell us the spectrum of sound extends indefinitely in both directions. This means there are sounds we can’t detect because they lie outside the range of human hearing.
Dog whistles prove this. A room can be very noisy to a dog while seeming silent to a man. This clearly illustrates how we do not experience reality as it “actually” is. We experience reality only in accordance with how our perceptual filters have processed it.
Is the room REALLY quiet or is it REALLY noisy? Well, which one IS it? It all depends on who you ask. Are you asking the dog? Or the man? When a man says “it’s quiet in here”, he’s not describing the room. He’s describing the way in which he’s experiencing the room. This is true of all things.
We often speak of how things are, but we’re really just telling a story about how we are experiencing things. This is what the philosophers were getting at when they asked “Is the glass half empty or half full?” Well, it depends. As Bill Cosby quipped “Are you drinking or pouring?”
Life is exactly as you think it is
Our beliefs, expectations, moods, assumptions, etc., act as perceptual filters that literally color and shape our world into a unique personal experience.
When you’re in a good mood and everything has been going your way, you may not mind when someone steps on your toe. They apologize and you say “it’s all good!” But when everything seems to be going wrong, someone stepping on your toe might honestly seem as if the universe is conspiring against you. You might stub your toe and say “I can’t BUY a break!” Now if you’re in a REALLY good mood, you might be happy with the opportunity to say “hello” to the guy who stepped on your toe which might lead to making a new friend. One event, three experiences.
The difference between an opportunity, an incident, and a conspiracy can all come down to how you process reality with your thoughts. The same guy can be a “loser”, a “saint”, a “lunatic”, or “the funniest cat ever” to 4 different people.
So…back to the challenge. Try to observe some facet of reality from a purely neutral perspective. Describe anything in a way that is not influenced by your own personal vantage point. This simple little exercise may help illuminate a very basic idea;You can’t observe the world without observing it from your perspective.
Even when you ask others what their take is, you are filtering their descriptions through your perspective. So it always comes back to you.
Your thoughts create your experience because you can’t have an experience, by definition, until you take Reality and mix it up with your thoughts.
At least that’s how I see it over here in my reality 🙂
What do you think?
T.K. ColemanUpdate: A friend of mine just informed me that I should not limit the capacity of our human potential by implying that we can NOT uproot trees. I stand corrected. Folks, if you put your mind to it, you can even uproot the tree 🙂
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