The Meaning of Reality – An Ancient Mystery


Do you consider reality mysterious? Have you ever heard that question before?

In Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery, the first book of the trilogy, our heroine, Avery, had constructed her reality around her current life and dedication to microloans for women in the third world. Suddenly that reality was shattered and her adventure began.

Let’s begin with some definitions of reality:

The world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
The state or quality of having existence or substance.
(I have no idea whose definition those are. Google sent them to me.)
(The next two come from Merriam-Webster) The quality or state of being real.
The totality of real things and events.
(And here is one from Something that exists independently of ideas concerning it.

Oh dear. Now we are in trouble. These definitions clarify the nature of reality not at all. It seems I am to get over it and just accept that reality is real. Really? Or perhaps I should turn to prophesy, visions of the spirit world or fantasy.

What About Being a Visionary?
My philosophical nature gets in my way but I find it all up to interpretation. And that’s what I mean by an ancient mystery. There are enduring mysteries and dreams. Simply accepting reality as reality is considerably less intriguing than to pursue speculation and evaluation of possibilities. Perhaps there is no fixed vision but the process can be fascinating.

Okay. Let’s Begin With a Reality Being Presented to Us
For example, there was this morning. When I opened my eyes I saw the reality presented to me. It was, however, conditioned by my mood. Was it a good day or a bad day? What did my perception of the weather tell me about the moment or the day ahead? But that reality may change over the day and is different every day.

And there is the matter of how we see reality as we proceed through our lives. As a child I passed through various realities and the same can be said as an adult into old age. It gets even worse when we are dealing with other people. Surely you have been in a maddening discussion with someone who has no shred of agreement with your perception of reality or the topic at hand. We learn to simply move on.

We Choose a Path
Mostly we ignore the problems with this morning’s reality. We gloss over the issues and proceed with our day. Deep inside we assume we have the proper view of the reality. And the same process occurs as we move toward our future life.

And when I was engaged in providing psychotherapy, I had to be aware of the intangible nature of reality. Were we dealing with different views or insanity? I had to adopt a viewpoint or we were lost. And I had to understand the goals of my client and their view of reality. The issue was how to gain a perspective to deal with the problems they were having in their lives.

The bottom line seems to be that we reach some common agreements about reality or individually and collectively we are lost.

Have you seen a failure to address reality? What happened? Join the conversation by emailing me at

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