“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” ~Robertson Davies
Two people with the sun at their backs standing shoulder to shoulder on a busy street, observe a man walking toward them. The man is olive skinned, bearded, wearing a turban speaking to himself in a language neither understands. One observer sees a terrorist plotting the downfall of Western civilization, the other a holy man lost in prayer beseeching god to bring peace to the world. What is the reality? Perhaps, neither is reality. Perhaps, both are reality.
“Your opinion is not my reality.” ~Steve Maraboli
The xenophobe fearing those from other places, speaking other languages, worshiping other gods, is a person who sees right and wrong in diversity. This is in complete contrast to my reality that says the world is a beautiful place ripe for exploring with an amazing diversity of people each having unique value just by being themselves believing the concept of right and wrong are irrelevant. People are simply different. Our realities, mine and the xenophobe’s, conflict. Can both these realities be true?
“Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.” ~George Orwell, 1984
If both are indeed true, mine to me, his to him, is there such a thing as objective reality? I lean towards no. Two people can see the exact same event with vastly different experiences, different realities.
“I learned there were lots of realities in the world.” ~Haruki Murakami
Perhaps the question should be, what reality do I need to see? Or, is it realities? It seems realities can shift based upon circumstances, alter with knowledge, mutate with experience. Is this then a new reality? An expanded reality? If new, was the original real or illusion? Perhaps, there are parallel realities?
“Reality is frequently inaccurate.” ~Douglas Adams
I can safely say, my reality is colored by my fundamental belief that people are people are people and that each individual has more intrinsic value than the wealth of nations. It means to mean the homeless woman is just as important as the queen of England. This is the reality on which my understanding of life has a foundation, a true north by which I navigate existence. It is the reality I need to see for my life to have meaning.
“I realize now that the reality of things is not something you convey to people but something you make.” ~Haruki Murakami