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The overall subject of reality can be categorized in different ways. The most general categorization is to differentiate between the PHYSICAL REALITY (related to physical objects and phenomena) and the REALITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS (related to thoughts, perceptions, emotions, dreams, etc.), but there can be other more specific forms of categorization.
SPHERES OF REALITY
Another good way to categorize Reality would be to divide it up into different Spheres2 (areas, domains). These would parallel the description of various Dynamics in Scientology that are explained in more detail in this video:
Even though official definition of a “dynamic” in Scientology is that of an “urge to survive,” colloquially, among Scientologists, a “dynamic” has also been used to refer to the actual objects or entities that it embraces such as the 1st Dynamic referring to one’s self as an individual, 2D referring to one’s family or a love partner, 3D to some group that one may belong to, and so on. It is also common to hear Scientologists refer to personal possessions as one’s “MEST” which is a big misnomer since MEST stands for Matter, Energy, Space, and Time, not just matter or some things in one’s possession.
When re-categorized as Spheres of Existence these “dynamics” would be:
(1) Reality of self as an individual (2) Reality of intimate relationships and a family unit (3) Reality of groups (4) Reality of one’s species (this would be “humanity” for human beings, but can also be a larger category of species with shared characteristics – not necessarily defined by just a body form) (5) Reality of Life and life forms as such (6) Reality of the physical universe in all its manifestations (7) Reality of consciousness, intelligence and thought as such, apart from anything else (8) That which encompasses any and all forms of reality including that of consciousness (understood in Scientology as an Infinity or a Supreme Being dynamic).
It is worth noting in alignment with the previous pages that perception of any form of reality is a product of consciousness. Even such things as space, energy, matter, and time are concepts denoting some form of perceived reality. Again, it does not mean that these factors do not have some form of existence of their own, but our perceptions of them are constructed by consciousness – this is why when the state of consciousness changes such as through effective forms of spiritual practice or psychedelic substances, our experience of even the so called “physical realities” can change quite dramatically (to say nothing of our experience or perception of self or our sense of connection with other life forms and the Universe at large).
NOTE: There is actually a dynamic BELOW INDIVIDUAL that Ron Hubbard failed to name as a dynamic though colloquially it is termed “being MEST” in Scientology (since the physical universe is thought to operate as a mechanism in a deterministic fashion). This dynamic can be best described as a ROBOT DYNAMIC. When no longer an Individual, one can still operate as a ROBOT – this is to operate according to orders or some form of programming or conditioning.
Below Robotism, we start to get into a state of ENTROPY. This could be understood as a state of uncontrolled confusion or disorder when someone can no longer maintain one’s activity (including and especially mental activity) in a single direction. In Scientology and elsewhere this state is known as a nervous breakdown or in a more severe form – a psychotic break.
Our broadened concept of reality could be further classified into the following arbitrary and interconnected categories:
Objective Reality: what we understand to be the “physical universe” reality – as experienced through perception of the present time environment using awareness through the various senses as well as layers of intelligent interpretation (such as being able to recognize a car as a car or a building as a building, and so on). “Objective reality” could indeed be a relative term since whatever we experience objective reality to be – the experience itself – is a form of perception construct of which the concept of “objective” is a part.
Notice that perception of TIME is heavily dependent on workings of the mind. We know “time” because we have concepts about time (such as having calendars and clocks, tracking seasons and changes in sun’s position throughout the day, etc.) as well as memories that we can categorize and compare against each other and against our experience of the “present moment” which in itself is a form of constructed perception. The time can “stretch out” or “condense” depending on the quality of mind’s operations. If the memories of the “past” are vague and distant and access to them is slow, it could seem like something was “a long time ago” even it if was relatively recent by calendar standards. On the other hand, if memories are vivid and access is rapid, it could seem like something was “just yesterday” even though it may have been years ago by calendar standards. If for whatever reason someone operates slower than their desired level of output, they may feel like time is going by too fast for them to accomplish what they wish to accomplish. If someone operates relatively fast then they can feel like they have plenty of time to do what they need to since they can get things done faster in a given period – the volume of work and the speed of performance would both be contributing factors.
Relationship Reality: this is the reality that we build and experience as part of our ongoing life but the one that is not derived from the physical universe itself, such as roles and relationships and our thoughts, feelings, and emotions connected to them. Parents and children would be a “relationship reality” as well as marriage, one’s current profession, a construct of any existing organization and so on.
Recorded Reality (memories): retained and recreated perceptions of some past experiences. Note, that a memory recording is a sort of energy formation or a “unit of existence” – it may not be the same energy of the physical reality that was existing in the moment of memory recording, but it is a form of energy formation nevertheless which can in turn be perceived and conceptualized, and so it is listed as one of the possible categories of reality.
Imagined Reality (imaginations): created perception of realities not in existence – could be called a visualization, a projection or a mock-up.
Dream Reality: includes regular dreams, lucid dreams, and traditional OBE (out-of-body experience).
Note: OBE as it is commonly practiced is basically a conscious transition into a lucid dreaming experience that starts in your bedroom (or rather its duplicate in the dream world). This is NOT the same as Scientology’s “exteriorization” that takes place in the waking life, but there could be a crossover – this is subject to further study.
Examples of different reality “types”:
A location and a house would be physical reality; that being your “home” would be a relationship reality; recalling or re-experiencing being in a home where you lived before would be recorded reality; imagining a home you could live in would be imagined reality; and having a dream of living in some place would be a dream reality.
Seeing a friend with your eyes would be a physical reality; knowing that the person you are looking at is your friend would be a relationship reality since “being a friend” is a role and a relationship that cannot be seen or touched or smelled – it could be said to exist in consciousness; recalling or re-experiencing some moment you had with your friend would be recorded reality; imagining giving your friend a gift and picturing his or her reaction would be an imagined reality; meeting your friend in a dream would be a dream reality.
This differentiation could hopefully make you realize how little of our “reality” is resident in what we think of as “physical” reality. In fact, without a chain of recorded experiences with your friend you would not even know that a person you are looking at is your friend or that a specific house you may find yourself in is your “home” and not your friend’s home, or some house you are considering to buy. Also, without having been indoctrinated into a concept of a “person” at some point as you grew up in human culture, you may not even think that what you are seeing before you is a person similar to you. In fact, there have existed and exist all sorts of different ideas underlying perceptions by people of each other. Some people think that some other people are really aliens in human bodies or shape shifting lizards or humans of lower rank that don’t really have a soul. Some people can consider themselves to be a female in a male body or a male in a female body or an all powerful soul that is “trapped” in a body; yet some others conceive that there is barely any reality to them outside of being a body… There are cases where children who grew up say in a pack of wolves actually end up perceiving themselves and behaving like wolves (feral children)…The possibilities of various perceptions regarding humans alone are numerous to say the least.