Mind vs Reality

Drawing by Adrian Serghie

Don’t worry, that “vs” is just for show. It’s not a battle, but there are differences, especially if we think about what “reality” really means.

Have you ever searched for what Wikipedia says about reality? Here it is:

“Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent, as opposed to that which is only imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence.[1] In physical terms, reality is the totality of the universe, known and unknown.[2] Philosophical questions about the nature of reality or existence or being are considered under the rubric of ontology, which is a major branch of metaphysics in the Western philosophical tradition. Ontological questions also feature in diverse branches of philosophy, including the philosophy of sciencephilosophy of religionphilosophy of mathematics, and philosophical logic. These include questions about whether only physical objects are real (i.e., Physicalism), whether reality is fundamentally immaterial (e.g., Idealism), whether hypothetical unobservable entities posited by scientific theories exist, whether God exists, whether numbers and other abstract objects exist, and whether possible worlds exist.”

Apparently, the reality is “defined” through an opposition with what is imaginary. But if the imaginary things have the power to make us behave based on them, are they still imaginary? My behavior is real even though the cause of it is not, but if I behave based on it, isn’t it real for me?

Lately, I’m wondering about the distinction between what’s in my mind and what’s outside of it. Of course, this can trigger the discussion if the things that are outside my mind are real for me (ABORT! This gets too philosophical!)

Contrary to what Wikipedia says, I’ll say that what’s in my mind is real, for me, at least. And that’s enough to have power over me. If we think about it, depression is the best at transforming imaginary things into reality. It gets our deepest darkest thoughts and it matches them with parts of our surroundings, ignoring the context. The worst part is that if those parts don’t exist, depression is careful enough to put some signs where there are none (little bastard!)

What I’m trying to say here is that what I find to be real, might not be real for others. This is a reason why some people have such a hard time understanding each other. Their minds created realities and those realities are too different.

How often do you wonder if what you think is real, it’s actually a product of your mind?

21 thoughts on “Mind vs Reality

  1. I think this is a very good discussion point. A depressive friend of mine will frequently tell me that she is ‘unlucky’ or ‘accident prone’ whereas in fact it is just a manifestation of how she reacts to the ordinary ups and downs that we all face. Which one is real – well both of them, I think?

  2. I suffer from Depression and I often question my reality. I sometime’s believe my mind creates beliefs to somehow compensate for things in life that I most desire, but they are not necessarily “real” but my mind want’s them to be. If that make’s sense…

  3. I heard once that people with depression see things more clearly than others …. still doesn’t make depression easy for the people who have it 🤷🏽‍♀️

    I once got called “drama queen” (okay, not once … but it was that time that caused me to pause and dive into my shadows) because I apparently reacted “300 times more than what was warranted”
    But I genuinely wasn’t
    I was reacting in direct proportion to the hurt I felt
    The reality was, the Action was a careless comment
    MY reality was, it targeted a hidden and festering wound, from almost my childhood
    MY then reaction was as equal to the pain it caused me to be prodded in the very centre of a wound I didn’t acknowledge I had

    I was now faced with a choice
    Hurl abuse and attack with all my might till the “threat” (of exposure ?) disappears and I can claim victory, or, forgive and be a martyr and enjoy my view from the cross

    I asked for time-out and disappeared and delved deep inside me with many days of meditation and inner-child work
    I can’t remember the time frame, but eventually I did heal (hmmmm …. is healing of my psyche real if I can’t take an MRI of it? 🤔), and now I barely notice things said around me ….. WEIRDLY enough, when I healed that particular wound, that particular subject never ever came up again – it’s like magic 😃

    3D reality is a 360° mirror of the parts of us that we don’t know/don’t want to see
    If used as a tool, we can even heal generational trauma
    If not used, we’ll forever kind of live in a world of determinism

    1. Very interesting! I believe that using it as a tool is linked with the fact that we need to realize where our pain/suffering comes from. If we make that inner connection, we can do something in regards of healing, otherwise it’s a useless “battle”…

  4. Thanks for sharing!.. 🙂

    “There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” – Douglas H. Everett

      1. I am fine, preparing for the holidays and life’s challenges and adventures… chasing a dream and doing it my way… 🙂
        How are you?.. Hope all is well with you and you are following your dream!.. 🙂

        Until we meet again,
        May the sun shine all day long
        Everything go right, nothing go wrong
        May those you love bring love back to you
        May all the wishes you wish come true
        May peace be within you
        May your heart be strong
        May you find whatever you’re seeking
        Wherever you may roam
                          (Irish Saying)

  5. Lewis Mumford’s principal criticism of Rene Descartes was that Descartes reduced reality to whatever could be “thought”-in a logical and mechanical sense of the word thinking. Descartes famous “cogito ergo sum” makes man a machine, in essence. I don’t know if that’s helpful to you, but it seems relevant.

  6. Without thoughts and perceptions we would have no reality. Pure consciousness is what created reality and our consciousness, perceptions, thoughts, continue this created reality as a personal reality for each one of us. Without thought, or consciousness, there is no personal reality. Ask a brain dead patient. Even in a dream state there is a form of reality as it pertains to the individual. Fascinating stuff. Refer to Deepak Chopras Meta Human to learn more. Not trying to plug the book. Just citing where I am pulling all this stuff from. Since you brought it up. Haha

  7. Interesting! I would say that for me that what’s in my mind is only temporarily real i.e., until another reality presents itself. I’m always looking behind the curtain or shifting perspective and have found that adhering to any one reality is never in my long term best interest. I’m a firm believer that I shouldn’t believe everything I think and have frequently been surprised that some fantasy had greater reality than my so-called logical assessment.

    1. Love this! I’m also a firm believer that we shouldn’t believe everything we think. I find it very interesting that some fantasy can have a greater reality than the logical assessment… I’m wondering if that isn’t because of the fear which interferes with the “logical assessment”…

  8. Excellent points & a great post! I’ve always said “our perception is our reality.” It diffuses a lot of arguments and separates people from their behavior. This simple sentence when stated in the heat of the moment affords someone the ability to reset—assess the root cause of how they came to a conclusion or even make them realize their thoughts and actions can be changed.

    1. Thank you very much for reading and for sharing your thoughts! This is so much related with the idea that the (true) reasoning behind a behavior is more important than the behavior itself.

  9. Good Stuff! I’m enjoying the topic and follow-up conversation. My take is that Reality is in the eyes of the beholder. We all live inside our own heads, in our minds eye both unique and individualized. Our perception of the outside world merely a result of our brain’s biased interpretations, using personal memories, experiences and long-held beliefs as guides.

    That our Brain is central command. The mind merely a subservient. In essence, reality is what your brain tells you— is reality! Perhaps the role of the mind is to play devils-advocate? Adding doubt and emotions to the equation for further speculation?

Leave a Reply