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Harald Jezek

Owner, Nuada beauty+wellness

TEDCRED 50+

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What is reality ?

Did you ever think about what it is that makes reality real ?
How is our reality created ? Isn't it the perceptions our brain creates based on our sensory inputs ?
But what if we lack a sense ? How does reality change for somebody who cannot hear or see ?
Or take it even a step further, assume you are deprived of all your senses, What would reality mean in such a case ?
And last but not least, let's assume you are born without any senses. What would that mean to your reality ?
So what is reality and what are we as part of this reality ?

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Closing Statement from Harald Jezek

Thanks everybody for participating in this conversation.
After 900+ comments did we solve the question of what reality actually is ? Probably not, however it was a good exercise in contemplating what it actually means when we say this or this is "real".
What most of us agreed upon is that there are different aspects to reality.

One is the reality we deal with on a daily basis and which we share to a large degree. For example we agree upon common things, such as when we see a car we all agree it's a car, a tree is a tree and a house if a house.
Although we know that this reality is created by our mind based on sensory inputs which is not only incomplete but often also faulty, it still is "real" because we share the same benchmarking (same sensory inputs, generally same mechanism how our brain interprets those sensory inputs.

Beside this shared reality we all have our own reality. This can be something simple like the perception of a taste, odor or a color.
Although we might agree that a given color is read or an odor is that of a pine, we never can know how another person actually perceives this sensory input.
Individual reality also becomes visible in our beliefs. For a religious person the existence of a God is a fact and hence part of reality while for an atheist reality is free of such a God.
Differences in this aspect of reality can also be observed in how different people get different perceptions of the same situation.

Last but not least there must be an underlying objective reality which includes the laws of nature (whether those are the ones we believe are valid today or perhaps something even deeper which we don't have discovered yet) and which exists regardless of us being here to contemplate it and regardless of our beliefs.

Next time we insist something is real, let's think whether it's real for me, for all(most) of us or real in an absolute sense.

To finish with Albert Einstein:
"“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

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    • Nov 26 2013: Note that ones view is also extended the closer one get to the valley... and with the proper instruments

      To some reality is subjective in accordance with their level of consciousness, when they learn to incorporate other subjective realities they get a step closer to perceive in depth the actual reality they live in.
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      Nov 26 2013: Chris, please define what you mean with "levels of consciousness"
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          Nov 27 2013: You are right. I'm interested in science but not in pseudo science or worse.
        • Nov 27 2013: Chris, Harald, et all

          Sometimes its a nice exercise :-)

          C stated: ( Protecting a paradigm by hiding behind the "show me the evidence" line...)

          Yea some 'paradigms' entrap beings into their domains filtering out and distroting anything that would threaten their continuity; even self-evident contradictions within the 'paradigm' be skillfully skewed and quickly obfuscated.

          You are the second individual that I know of that has told Harald how the evidence is never going to be to his satisfaction... and he continues to ignore the evident evidence using a label he likes...

          What I am saying here is that some (not all) pseudo science is actually on the spot... the same about science.... and religion... and some individual perceptions...
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          Nov 27 2013: Hey Chris, Esteban and I invented head to wall banging, we have a patent pending.
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        Nov 27 2013: Harald,
        As Multi-sensory, multi-dimensional, thinking, feeling, intelligent humans, we have several levels of consciousness/awareness...I think you know that:>)

        I agree with Esteban, in that whether one is climbing the mountain to a perceived higher level of consciousness, or in the valley, one can effectively incorporate information into his/her perceived reality, to expand his/her perception of reality.

        I suggest, Harald, that when one thinks/feels s/he is banging his/her head against a brick wall with explanations of his/her reality, or stating that you "ignore the evident evidence using a label" that you like, it might indicate that the person may be frustrated because you do not accept the ideas of his/her reality, and may be protecting his/her own paradigm by hiding behind a different "line", as suggested in a previous comment.

        For what it's worth Harald, I have observed a big change in you regarding your acceptance and consideration of information since we began commenting on TED years ago:>)
        • Nov 27 2013: Colleen,

          Sure it might indicate 'that'... as it might indicate ... an observation of something actually happening.

          Whether a person accepts/protects the ideas of their realities, of others realities and/or of reality itself its part of the reality we all share. Usually one projects out-there whats in-tthere. When what's in-there corresponds to what's out-threre one can actually perceive reality from what they think of reality.

          Ideally individuals would first validate that what they think to be, actually corresponds with what happens to be; that way what they state has a better correspondence with what happens to be. Some in theory say they do that, and in practice they do ... what they do (meaning some do in practice validate it and some do NOT in practice validate it). From the evidence of individual practices its clear (to those who embrace what be) what the individual does in practice.

          There are those who will consider possible cases and those who will only consider something that corresponds to what they think to be; 'demanding' that others prove to them the case based on what they think to be, before they will consider the case. (I do realize that 'they' may lead some to wonder: who does that refer to?) The point here is that some will consider alternate cases to expand what they understand and some will only consider the cases they already understand. Its a sort of conundrum that some face: they will not consider what they don't understand and will not understand what they don't consider.

          To understand something that one does not understand one needs to step into their unknown (because its impossible to understand what one doesn't understand from the position of their understanding... they have to step into the unknown to them - which may be well known to others) and one needs to think from the position of understanding. Do notice subtle differences in -'their unknown' -'the unknown'

          Some 'hide' behind their "lines" rather than dare to cross them.
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          Nov 27 2013: Colleen, Who has changed him or you?
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          Nov 27 2013: Hi Colleen, I don't think we have different levels of consciousness. I prefer to think that one's consciousness might be more or less developed. But then, we probably mean the same just express it differently.
          Not sure I changed, but you probably know the expression "as you shout into the forest so it comes back". ;-)
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        Nov 27 2013: Esteban,
        Yes....that is precisely why I used the word "might".....it could indicate other things as well, and we do not know exactly what is in the heart and mind of an individual unless s/he shares that information with us.

        I totally agree Estaban..."Usually one projects out-there whats in-tthere. When what's in-there corresponds to what's out-threre one can actually perceive reality from what they think of reality".

        So, we can certainly share our individual perceptions of reality with each other, but to get frustrated because another person does not accept it as his/her own reality, doesn't make much sense to me....that's just my reality:>)

        I have read most of your comments Esteben, and when you speak of "what happens to be", it appears that you are speaking of what YOUR reality happens to be for YOU, which is fine, if that is your choice of how to communicate.

        I wholeheartedly agree....some will consider different information, and some will not. Perhaps that is part of what makes us human.....we have choices regarding what information we accept and use in our life adventure. I agree....it is difficult to understand what one does not consider, and if it is not even considered, there is no way to understand. Again, as thinking, feeling, intelligent, multi-sensory, multi-dimensional human beings, we have choices. Sometimes, people may have explored thoughts, feelings ideas and beliefs that you are presenting. Sometimes, perhaps it gets tiring to hear some folks trying over and over again to convince others that s/he is "right".....do you understand? I agree.....to think and feel from the position of understanding, it may be beneficial to stop trying to convince others of the "rightness" of a particular belief.

        Yes...sometimes people hide behind their personal "lines" of belief, and sometimes, people may have already crossed over some lines and made choices regarding what information/beliefs s/he chooses to accept.
        • Nov 27 2013: Colleen,

          If it appears to YOU that way then evidently you missed MY intent
          I will assume that you came across the notion where I said something to the effect that it isn't about who's right... its about what is right!

          Now in a humorous sort of way: if what one thinks is right corresponds to what is right Then evidently focusing on what one thinks or what is right involves the same thing.

          Back to a more neutral sort of way: I hope you managed to read the above paragraph in a humorous tone and chuckled ... if so great else well it happens from time to time that a humorous point just doesn't seem be humorous to some.

          When I write the statement "what happens to be" it ought to be interpreted as that "what ever that happens to be the right case well that would be the right case" For example I sort of made this point when I responded to the notion about the 9/11 point... where some believe this and some believe that. Evidently some take one stand and claim this is the right stand and that is the wrong stand. Notice I basically intervened and sin essence stated : what happens to be the case IS what happens to be the case. Which in principle was the individuals claimed stand though the response to my intervention was akin to : NO, this is the right stand and that is the wrong stand, and you need to prove that the wrong stand is the right stand according to this criteria which remember is an argumentation from ignorance... In order for the right stand to be the right stand all that has to happen is for the stand to be right.

          If I sought to focus and address MY reality rather than the reality I would had stated my reality.

          I do hold to understand what you stated... In fact I have in essence stated that I could provide examples to seek and convince while choosing to do something else precisely because the futility of insisting on convincing those who have made up their mind a certain way and crossed over the line of no return... hope they head the right direction.
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        Nov 27 2013: Larry.....there is no reply option for your question....

        "larry bobenhausen
        45 minutes ago: Colleen, Who has changed him or you?"

        Perhaps both Larry. I personally believe that if one is mindfully aware, we are taking in information and changing by learning and growing in each and every moment.....that is simply my belief, which contributes to my reality:>)


        EDIT regarding comment below:
        Larry,
        I wholeheartedly agree...."If I am to be true to my core it must not be centered in what others think"
        Well said:>)
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          Nov 27 2013: Colleen, This site does not suffer from a lack of science book thumping or my game is better than your game, however subtle. If I am to be true to my core it must not be centered in what others think. I am as I have been created and so are you and everyone else. I have found understanding in the information below that benefits me in following the principle of Peace. It's what we're all searching for, some knowingly.

          Ego - The False Center http://deoxy.org/egofalse.htm
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        Nov 27 2013: Correct Esteban....it appears to me that way. I do not know for sure what your intent is Esteban, which is why I wrote...
        "Yes....that is precisely why I used the word "might".....it could indicate other things as well, and we do not know exactly what is in the heart and mind of an individual unless s/he shares that information with us."

        As I said Esteban, I've read most of your comments.

        When you say..."ought to be interpreted as", you are basically saying that everyone should interpret something in the same way you interpret it, and that is not reality. As you insightfully say..."some believe this and some believe that". "Ought to be interpreted as", and "some believe this and some believe that" seem contradictory.

        You write Esteban, that you "hope they head the right direction". I believe everyone heads in the direction of their choice at any given time, and I do not see a need to tell another person what is the "right direction". That is one factor which may make reality different for all of us as human beings. When someone tells others what they "ought" to do, it is simply an effort to control and dominate.
        • Nov 27 2013: Colleen,

          When I state "'that' ought to be interpreted as"... and 'that' corresponds to a statement I made I am providing you and others informations to interpret what I stated as I intended it... rather than as you or others perceive it... evidently to interpret something as the author interprets something one needs to ensure that how one interprets something correspond to how the author interprets something...

          Curiously I once read a book that the author never wrote and only realized half way through that the book was about a completely different subject matter... I continued on reading what the author had provided using the two alternate views ... I even recommended the book to others and told them how to read it and was disappointed that they didn't find it as enriching as I had... in fact telling me that the book didn't apply to their lives in any way... I knew that the book did apply to everyones lives when one holds a certain viewpoint...

          I noticed the slight shift you made from interpreting what I wrote as I intended it to interpreting something the way I interpret it... in a way I am saying everyone should interpret something as something rather than distorted ways some may think ... I am not sure why you see contradictory interpreting this to this and that to that its basically the same as something as something...

          Yes indeed I hope that they head in the right direction ... Yea each heads in the direction of their choice. So you may not see the need to tell each other what is the 'right direction' I may see the convenience of doing so... who knows someone heading in the wrong direction may decide to head in the right direction thanks in part to someone pointing which is the 'right direction' ... Of course there likely are those who head the wrong way and seek other to head in the wrong direction too... some may not even know that what they think is the right direction is the wrong direction. Notice I say to do what ought to be done.
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        Nov 27 2013: Harald,
        This is a reply to your comment...

        "Harald Jezek
        5 minutes ago: Hi Colleen, I don't think we have different levels of consciousness. I prefer to think that one's consciousness might be more or less developed. But then, we probably mean the same just express it differently".

        I believe that we have different levels of consciousness, all of which may be more or less developed, and all of which contribute to our reality. I respect your preference and belief for yourself:>)
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          Nov 27 2013: Then Colleen, I have to ask how you define these different levels of consciousness. If possible, examples would help.
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        Nov 27 2013: In my perception Harald, it is a matter of awareness, which I think the definition says as well.

        Example:
        A person can go through the motions of living life without being aware of a lot of things like the environment, nature, etc. This is true of every situation in our life.....we can be mindfully aware and notice many details around us in every moment of the life adventure......or not.

        We can go through the life experience with detailed awareness of everything and everyone we encounter, with open mind and heart, willing and able to receive information.

        We can go to deeper and deeper levels of awareness as the mind expands with new information, and the information we are willing to explore and accept forms our individual reality.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_consciousness_(Esotericism)

        http://www.sci-con.org/2004/12/levels-of-consciousness/
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          Nov 27 2013: I agree with the notion of different degrees of awareness.
          I guess my problem is with the concept of levels because that sounds too static for something like consciousness.
          It gives the impression of something like a language course where you go through level 1 - 10, each level with a pre defined set of teachings/learnings.
          Consciousness is more amorphous and I don't think it's structured in such a strict sense.
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        Nov 27 2013: Harald,
        Maybe consciousness IS a course.....a course in learning, growing and evolving as humans in the life adventure:>)

        Although it is presented on those links as sort of a "pre defined set of teachings/learnings", I do not personally perceive it in that way. My perception is that there are different paths to take within the basic idea, and I don't think/feel it is at all structured. However, it is difficult to define or explain a concept without structure of some kind......is it not?

        You asked me to "define these different levels of consciousness" in your previous comment. How can one adequately define something without using defining, structured ideas and words?
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          Nov 27 2013: "You asked me to "define these different levels of consciousness" in your previous comment. How can one adequately define something without using defining, structured ideas and words?"
          That's why I asked the question in the first place, because I disagreed with this pre defined structure.
          Seems we basically agree.
        • Nov 27 2013: Wanted to highlight this
          C:"How can one adequately define something without using defining, structured ideas and words?
          H: That's why I asked the question in the first place, because I disagreed with this pre defined structure.
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        Nov 27 2013: Seems like we share a little bit of the same reality Harald:>)
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        Nov 27 2013: Esteban,
        Regarding your statement...."Yes indeed I hope that they head in the right direction ... Yea each heads in the direction of their choice. So you may not see the need to tell each other what is the 'right direction' I may see the convenience of doing so... who knows someone heading in the wrong direction may decide to head in the right direction thanks in part to someone pointing which is the 'right direction' ... "

        You are correct about that Esteban....I have no need or desire to tell others what is the "right" or "wrong" direction. I certainly share information, and I serve as a guide/mentor when asked, however, I LOVE to see people make their/our own choices:>)
        • Nov 28 2013: Colleen

          Consider that telling them what is the right direction corresponds to sharing information with them and its up to them to determine what to do with the shared information... Of course that assumes one knows which is the right direction... and one may be wrong about what one thinks is the right direction... ultimately it is up to each to determine in which direction they head.

          Ideally we would share what each knows with each other and everyone come out enriched while having a wonderful time interchanging ideas/feelings/understandings/ ways...

          As Harald mentioned this isn't a competition with others I would add its a shared adventure with them...
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        Nov 28 2013: Esteban,
        I have considered how it feels to be told what is "right" and what is "wrong" in another person's perception many times. What is "right" for one person, may not be "right" for another person, and in my perception, the journey is as important as the end result. I LOVE the process of encouraging and supporting people in their own quest to discover what works well for them as individuals.

        Exactly! Ideally, we can share information and everyone comes out enriched while having a wonderful interchange. In my perception and experience, telling a person s/he is "right" or "wrong" tends to stop an interaction, rather than encourage continuing.
        • Nov 28 2013: Colleen,

          Some appreciate being told what be and some detest being told what be...
          I realize that individuals seek to project THEIR ways unto others... when THEIR ways correspond to the better ways it's wonderful... when THEIR ways correspond to the worst ways its terrible. As you said (What is "right" for one person, may not be "right" for another person) especially when one is wrong and the other seek what be 'right'; or the other case, when one is right and the other seek what be 'wrong'.

          Curiously when one states what be right: (note one just asserts the absolute reality)
          - those who seek what be right appreciate it (note right appreciate be positives)
          - those who seek what be wrong resent it (note wrong resent be negatives)

          Note that when one states what be one gives each what they want the good get positives and the bad get negatives! (everyone happily satisfied with the same thing!).

          FWIIW I sort of pushed aside how it feels to focus on whats appropriate and choosing to like that... so it feels good to do the right thing and feels wrong doing the wrong thing
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        Nov 29 2013: Yes Esteban, some people seek to project THEIR ways onto others. To decide what is the "better ways", as you say, and what is the "worst ways" is a judgment. Why do you need to judge? Why is judgment part of your reality?
        • Nov 29 2013: Indeed Colleen, some people seek to project THEIR ways onto others... the key difference residing on what those ways are. Yes to decide what is the "better ways" is a judgement and a choice. You ask "Why do you need to judge? Why is judgment part of your reality"? Well it just is part of everyones reality... we are bound to judge while free to choose how to judge... some people choose not to choose and may even believe that they didn't choose when in fact they did choose. Why do we need to 'choose'? why is 'choosing' part someones reality ...Well it just is part of everyones reality... we are bound to choose while free to choose how to choose.... the key difference residing on what choices each makes ... it should be self evident that deciding based on what actually be the better ways happens to be better way.

          If one wants to get the question right, one need to provide the right answer! One is free to choose which answer to provide while somewhat bound to the right answer if one wants to get it right.
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        Nov 29 2013: Yes Esteban, on that we agree...some people seek to project THEIR ways onto others. I do not agree that we are "bound to judge". And I believe that judging others to be right or wrong, is sometimes used as a way to try to project one's own preferences onto others.
        • Nov 29 2013: Indeed Colleen,

          'This'
          -"sometimes used as a way to try to project one's own preferences onto others".
          - sometimes used as a way to accurately share information
          - sometimes used to know if what one thinks to be corresponds to what happens to be
          - sometimes used to determine what we will do

          I am not sure why you do not agree that we are 'bound to judge"... seems evident to me that we constantly have to determine stuff and make choices... in other words we constantly have to judge and make choices... Sometimes we even have to choose without having all of the information ... As I said the key point here is how we choose to judge ... personally I like to hedge judgements to ensure that they are appropriate independent of something being true or false that way I get to maintain the judgement in both cases ... You may have noticed this approach in regards to 9/11 when I said whatever be the case that be the case. Harald insisted on a particular stand which may be true or false depending on a particular case being true or false. I insisted on a stand which is valid in multiple cases
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        Nov 29 2013: Esteban,
        We seem to agree on several things, and we disagree on some things, and that is ok with me.....I agree to disagree. I have no need or desire to continue going around in circles.

        Thank you for the conversation.

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