Reality is the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
At Business and Values, we consider REALITY to be an enquiry each of us should dive into and crash test, at three interdependant levels.
Let’s embark on this journey together!
1. at an individual level, we are very rarely related to reality, aren’t we? Or almost by coincidence!
No judgment. Simply look. Within yourself.
What are your measuring instruments to test for reality?
You may say “my senses” when you know how inaccurate they are. Take sight as an example. When someone goes far, we see him smaller than when he looked when he was nearby. We see blue and red sky when sky IS NOT blue or red but appears to our eyes as such due to the way sun lights travel the atmosphere depending on the moment of the day and the course of our planet around the sun. Earth look static and rather plane when it is absolutely not. Etc.
You may say “the facts” when you know how the facts are subject to all kinds of interpretations, how we tell ourselves the story derived from the facts. This is why for instance fact-based analysis and communication never lead to conflicts or crisis resolution, neither at home nor at work or worse at countries level. Call it post-rationalization!
You may say “my emotions” or “my feelings” when you know how significantly emotions and feelings, even the so-called deepest or strongest ones like love and hate, happiness and sadness, vary. I would even say – to be a bit provocative – they come and go like a fart. They can go from one extreme to the other extreme of the emotions spectrum in the blink of an eye, Please note that you do not even choose them, so how dare you let them rule / ruin your life?
You may say “my experience”, “my beliefs”, “my thoughts”, “my intuition” or “my personal logic” and, here again, see how many times you landed far away from reality when using these rather unreliable sorcerer technics.
So, here is the paradox. Your emotions, your feelings, your experience, your beliefs, your thoughts, your understanding are REAL, of course they are! And, at the same time, they are not solid tests at all for assessing what REALITY is.
Not saying your guts for instance are NEVER aligned with REALITY, not saying you have a logic failing system or that your emotions are not an interesting location to look at and consider, just considering that your personal crashtests for REALITY are NOT infallible and should therefore NOT be considered as a safeguard for REALITY – and any other – matters.
To cut the long story short, we are not “so much” related to reality for personal matters, that is to drive our own life.
Nothing wrong here like we said. It is just what it is. But it is essential… Think about it! Or just simply look at it (seriously!).
2. at group level, what is REALITY like?
Well, first question, if we’re not connected to reality at personal level, how could we be as a group?
In order to dig into it, let’s first investigate how reality takes form and where it comes from, within a group?
- It may look like an order, a decision to comply to and it then usually comes from authority, that is from the “leaders” of the group,
- It may look like a consensus and it then usually comes from an agreement between the members of our group,
- It may look like a portion of knowledge we all assume to be right and it then usually comes from an expert, a journalist, a scientist, that we trust,
- It may look like an expression of our culture/past, engraved in our minds and it then usually comes from our parents, our educators, our community,
We can see easily how subjective and diverse these expressions of REALITY are, at group level!
As well as we can see what the commonality of these expressions is:
They are all derivatives of decisions, agreements, contracts, deals – implicit or explicit – we make with each other and with us all, as a group, as a team.
If this looks rather simple, the implication of this finding is gigantic! This is what you soon realize or revisit:
1/ AT FIRST, THERE IS NO REALITY for the group “as such”, meaning there is NO PRE-EXISTENCE of a reality. There is nothing.
2/ WE CREATE THE REALITY of the group and for the group we live into.
3/ We create the reality of the group and for the group BY EXPRESSING IT.
4/ This expression takes the form of a LAW.
5/ It can be expressed by an EXPLICIT LAW [emerging in LANGUAGE] or by the ways of being and acting towards an IMPLICIT LAW [emerging in ACTIONS].
6/ Whether you comply with or you complain against the law, YOU REINFORCE THE LAW. You act within the law framework.
7/ The REALITY of the group is, by nature, IMPERMANENT.
8/ If you wish to profoundly change, alter, transform, the reality of the group, YOU CAN. See what other folks did and how profoundly the world get altered!
9/ If you wish to profoundly change, alter, transform the reality of the group, YOU HAVE TO CREATE A NEW REALITY.
By self-expression. By self-declaration. By self-constitution.
1o/ The United States of America have been created by declaration. The human rights have been created by declaration. Armistices and Wars are the fruits of declarations. Amazon has been declared before coming to existence and, by being declared, it was born. You have been created by declaration of your parents to each other, etc.
11/ In November 2020, at Business and Values, we declared the creation of a community called #LifeMatters to promote education and contribution initiatives to take care of life in all its forms, as an unreasonable expression of our universal values : HARMONY, COMPASSION, GENEROSITY and INGENUITY, at the service of our people and our planet.
3. beyond our selves, beyond our persons, our groups, what is REALITY?
What a journey!
We already discovered that reality is NOT achievable at personal level, meaning I am not, and you are not related to reality “so much”.
We also discovered that OUR WORLD, that is the world we have created and that we are living in, is the product of the deals, agreements, contracts we made with each other. Whether we accept them or not. And that this world has no reality “as such”. Our REALITY has to be created by the group, for the group.
What comes next?
Is there a reality beyond the self, and what is it made of?
Ask yourself. Take your time. Go deep.
Two very instinctive answers which usually come to mind are:
- The physical world: our planet, our solar system, our universe.
- The metaphysical world: our spirits, our gods and goddesses.
As we saw at the personal level stage of our inquiry, instinct is not always a reliable test for reality.
Which does not prevent you from continuing the inquiry from there!
How will you consider the intersections, interactions, and potential limitations or infinity between the physical world, the metaphysical world, … and reality?
Where does REALITY start and finish?
What this has to say about your present and upcoming life?
What would it take for you to create a life and a world you love?
Don’t try to jump too quick into “solution-making”. I know you’re good at that, we all are!
“No one can describe REALITY. You must experience it, see it, feel the whole atmosphere of it”. ― Jiddu Krishnamurti
There is no point in reading these lines without the firm intention to give it a try, no to say to give it all what you have.
For yourself, cause it is your life! And for the world you are about to revisit and recreate, cause “we are the world” as Jackson said!
SEE HOW UNITY IS AT PLAY!
I wish you a fantastic continuation of your journey, my dear friends!