Friday, March 16, 2007

Relative Reality and You

Perception is reality, and reality is relative. If there are 300,000,000 people in the United States of America, then there are 300,000,000 different versions of reality. These myriad realities find a common ground and create one or more consensus realities. For example, a ten dollar bill is only a piece of paper unless there is a consensus reality that agrees the paper represents a value of ten dollars.
Consensus reality is developed from the merging of individual or group relative realities and the perception of truth within those realities. We develop our basic individual perception through personal experience and education. As we grow in experience, we become aware of the realities of others in the form of opinions and beliefs, which often result in events that occur in consensus reality. For example, consensus reality tells us that the events of September 11, 2001 actually happened. It was the result of a relative reality that is percieved by some that anybody who does not follow the Law of the Koran is an infidel who does not deserve to live on this planet. That relative reality was not generally part of consensus reality until the events of 9/11.
Events can be taken as fact only if they occur in consensus reality. Otherwise, the event or news item is seen only as a matter of individual belief or perception. If we, as individuals, were to stop our experience at our personal individual reality, we would stop our education and personal growth. There would be no further purpose for us to continue on this plane of existance. Recognition of consensus reality is necessary for personal growth.
In these days, when many people base their perception of reality on the opinions of others, in the aspect of editorial comment or political rhetoric, it is harder to create a consensus reality. As an example, many people believe the current warming of the earth is a natural cycle, while just as many perceive it to be the result of human activity. Those in the set that believes human activity is the cause will not accept any part of the reality of that set which believes it is a natural cycle, indeed, they try to silence and undermine those who disagree with them. Conversely, the reality of the set that believes global warming is a natural cycle, does not accept the perception of those who wish to forgo personal responsibility by blaming global warming on "big oil," or "big capitalism." A consensus reality can not occur in this matter, and will not be reached until something manifasts itself as a fact that is universal truth. Universal truth is something that invades the realities of all and is undeniable and unavoidable.
There was a time when high school and college education wasn't about indoctrination into one form or the other of non-consensus reality. High school teachers and college professors would present different views and theories of a subject, and task the student to come up with a view of his or her own, wheras now, many teachers and professors present only their own personal reality, cherry-picking historical facts and theories that agree with their own perception and imposing them on their students. This is detrimental to creating a consensus reality of many factors that affect us, and it inhibits creativity in problem solving and new ideas.
In many cases, consensus reality can be seen merely as common sense. In the politically polarized atmosphere of our world today, common sense is a rare thing. Politicians may believe in a consensus reality, but they do not want those of us who may vote for them to know that. Like the aforementioned teachers and college professors, they cherry pick consensus reality facts that most closely resemble that reality which they want to present to the public.
Thus several different non-consesus realities prevail, and nothing is accomplished that will ensure a better future, such as independence from foreign oil, or a long term solution for national security. Without any appearence of common sense, they present their beliefs to a public whose perceptions they want to mold to their own way of thinking. The only purpose a politician sees in life is to get re-elected, and in order to do so, the politician must set him or herself apart from other politician. Long term solutions do not have a place in the reality of the so-called "public servant" on Capitol Hill.
Thus it is important to listen to different views of what is important to us, that we experience the realities of not just that with which we agree, but with that we don't usually see or hear. In order to have a consensus reality, in order to show some common sense, we must listen to many points of view. More improtantly, we must act on what we learn, if only it means taking personal responsibility in the stewardship of our planet and of our future. Otherwise, Nature may impose on us a consensus reality we can not live with at the level of luxury we live in now. That will be a reality in which there will be no more internet, or any other form of communication for that matter, no more freedom of expression or religion, no more principle of ownership. Do we really want to experience that reality?

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