The Nature of Reality


The Nature of Reality


Why does reality never please us like possibilities can? Why do only perfect situations and beautiful ideals console us? Reality can be frightening, it can be hateful. It can hurt you, it can make you sorry you ever wished for whatever you ended up getting. But there is a strange power, a powerful fascination that exists in looking at the web of life. How tiny changes, all the broken things which seem so repulsive and all the seemingly perfect ones, add up to a world that is incredibly diverse. To some, this world just seems horrid. And yet to others, it makes them fall more in love with life every day. Is the difference here merely a concern of circumstances, or is there something fundamental that we could change in our viewpoints that would allow us to view the world differently?

I personally think it’s the latter. With every new discovery, every new interpretation of ideas that have been around for millenniums, it’s becoming more and more clear that even the concept of reality itself might be subjective. Perceptions are all that matter. Something which is an unspoken fact of life to some, may be a farce to someone else. It all depends on what you believe and what you understand of what others believe.

Take the idea that the Sun revolves around the Earth, that is the geocentric model of the solar system that many ancient philosophers and astronomers like Aristotle and Ptolemy proposed. For over 1500 years, this idea was taken for granted. Every religion, especially Christianity, felt that this anthropocentric view was useful to them and granted that it was correct. It helped to sate the egos of many theologists to think that man, the most important creation of God, occupied a central place in the universe. It was not until 1543 that anyone even dared to suggest an alternate model, namely, that the Earth revolved around the Sun. And even then, it took many years and the work of many a scientist, some of which were condemned as heretical for their efforts, to bring the Copernican theory of the solar system into popular belief. Such an obvious truth to some, and yet clearly a farce to others.

So, what can we conclude from this? It’s clear that our preconceptions and our ideas influence how we experience the same events. It’s not possible to alter in which situations we are born, so we bear no responsibility for the same. But there are things in life that we do bear responsibility for, such as the choices we make, the opportunities we miss, and the way we live our lives. In these cases, it’s not the way the world treats us that is to blame, but simply us ourselves. Circumstances certainly affect how we live, because other people do affect you, as do your surroundings, and not everything depends on you. You are meant to meet some people, and to lose others. Some things are bound to happen, and there’s only so much you can do about that. But we always have a choice to make, that could change our lives and that could put us on the paths we wish to take.

After all, life can knock us down, but in the end, it is if, and how, we get up that decides what we can make of our lives.