Monday, April 20, 2009


Reality is an agreed upon concept. A child is taught this from an early age. There are life enhancing and life denying aspects of reality. Gravity is a fact of life. The physical reality of existence is fairly commonly agreed on. People using drugs not uncommonly challenge these by jumping off high buildings and appearing to the witnesses to not be able to fly or at very least have a flight of short duration.
Reality in terms of what is history is a more contentious area. The courts daily deal with many 'interpretations' of reality. The psychiatrist commonly encounters the same. At a much less public level the conversation between two people is commonly confused. This can occur in the simplest experiment of passing around the room a phrase which invariably changes with repetition. The key feature associated with 'emotional reasoning' is that one becomes deaf to the opposing opinion. People who disagree are by nature closed minded. Reality is a political construct in this regards.
Value judgements and issues of taste and sensitivity are increasingly in the realm of subjectivity whereas reality usually addresses the more objective world. What I dream is my own business but what we communicate is our business. One can be reality whereas the other increasingly is. Even the use of legal documents and affadavits excludes the concept of understanding and interpretation which themselves can affect reality.
Psychiatrists have identified projection, dissociation, delusions and illusions as ways the mind alters reality to suit it's internal needs. Routinely people consciously lie and are untruthful about reality for various gains. Reality in this case is a moving target subservient to 'what's in it for me'.
It has been said the winner defines reality. For example, the men with guns or swords are good and the ones without aren't very good indeed. There is no afterlife is a reality that might serve those with a greater investment in the reality of the conquerer whereas there is an afterlife may be a reality which serves the conquered. Neither can prove or disprove the reality of these claims and indeed the argument may be the only true reality.

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