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Reality can be defined as a:
PERCEIVABLE FORM OF EXISTENCE
or SOMETHING IN EXISTENCE THAT CAN BE PERCEIVED
While the term “consciousness” relates to that which perceives (constructs or forms perception), the term “reality” relates to that which is being perceived and as it is being perceived.
PERCEPTION OF SOMETHING IN EXISTENCE can also be used to refer to reality. It just doesn’t account very well for potentially relevant factors in existence that are not yet being perceived, at least not directly. Something can have a place in existence and may be effecting someone without them perceiving it despite being able to perceive the symptoms of that influence and potentially attributing the cause(s) to something else. So the true causative factor would be something in existence that CAN be perceived but may not necessarily be perceived at some given moment in time. Unidentified causative factors behind someone’s health issues, equipment / technology failures (such as car problems) or troubles in a relationship would all be good examples.
The term “existence” is meant in a more encompassing sense to mean anything that we can perceive to exist including perception, concepts, and consciousness or awareness themselves. Consciousness itself is a form of reality because it is a form of existence with its own unique nature and qualities.
Here the term Reality would encompass any manifestation that can be perceived and conceptualized including perception and concepts (thinking) themselves as realities of the mind. Someone’s thought constructs may not be a part of what we conceive to be the “physical reality,” but they are definitely a part of a reality of the mind itself. One human being can communicate with another human being and form perception of what the other person’s thoughts are on various subjects. Thoughts, considerations, feelings and emotions as well as memory recordings and plans for the future can be perceived and conceptualized (such as emotion of cheer or grief where “cheer” or “grief” would be concepts of perceptible emotions for example).
While perception can be considered to be a complete product of consciousness, that which is being perceived may not be – a differentiation must be made between a FORM OF EXISTENCE and a FORM OF PERCEPTION (a vision) of that existence.
It is assumed here that Reality has a factor of independent existence to it and that our formed perceptions may or may not reflect the actual “existences” to which they are applied. Even with respect to our perception of someone else’s beliefs or motives, it may or may not align with the actual beliefs and motives of the person in question. CONTACT WITH and AWARENESS OF the underlying “existences” are necessary to establish and maintain a correct degree of “alignment” of our formed and stored concepts and perceptions with the “existences” to which they are applied. This is almost the very reason why early Scientology methods produced good results by getting people to:
- Get into direct contact and interaction with each other and the surrounding environment [communication and control drills, otherwise known as TR’s and Objectives] and
- To review and re-evaluate recorded perceptions (past experiences) and considerations (conclusions, postulates) in light of present time realities [through various forms of procedures working with one’s own mind such as in Dianetic auditing].
Unfortunately Hubbard’s underlying concept of reality was flawed from the very beginning (see Reality, Problem, and ARC) which lead to more problems as he continued to develop the practice.
Also, the assumption that Reality contains an independent factor of existence does not negate the fact that it can be influenced even with consciousness alone, but this is to say that Reality is not a complete product of consciousness. And in fact, recognizing that observable phenomena contain a form existence in them leads to the proper development of power over that existence, for how can someone work to influence that which they believe does not ultimately exist?
CLASSIFICATION OF REALITY
Our broadened concept of reality could be further classified into the following arbitrary and interconnected categories:
Objective Reality: conceptualized perception of what we understand to be the “physical universe” – formulated perception about present time environment using awareness through the 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” is somewhat a misnomer since whatever we experience objective reality to be – the experience itself – is a perception construct of consciousness – human consciousness in case of humans.
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 conceptualized 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 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: recreated perceptions of some past experience. 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: created perception which 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.
VISION – a key term linking Consciousness and Reality
A “vision” is a universal term containing multiple meanings that in most cases would be much more appropriate to refer to perceptions and imaginations alike as it is through creating visions of something that both perception and imagination are accomplished. Perception could simply be understood as a (created) vision of something which is thought (or known or believed) to exist (in the physical reality); imagination could be understood as a (created) vision of something which is thought to be non-existent (or which is thought to exist within one’s realm of consciousness only).
PERCEPTION: A VISION OF SOMETHING WHICH IS THOUGHT TO EXIST.
IMAGINATION: A VISION OF SOMETHING WHICH IS THOUGHT TO BE NON-EXISTENT.
In this sense, a VISION could refer to the way something is seen or perceived, as well as to imagining something like a desired reality of the future.
A MENTAL IMAGE is another term that could be a near synonym of VISION and is used in Oxford Dictionary within the definition of the word vision.
Individual’s POWER OVER REALITY can be enhanced quite rapidly and dramatically by simply motivating that individual to become aware of and be able to change:
- One’s own constructed perceptions of something believed to be the existing realities – to include one’s perceptions of the perceptions (or visions) of others (such as what perceptions / visions you can see other people having of you).
- One’s visions (imaginings) of desired realities.
- Mental images of anticipated consequences (such as anticipated reaction by someone else toward something).
Sample Practice Questions:
1) Visions of existing realities
What is your vision of … [target of perception]?
– yourself, mother, father, spouse, son, daughter, men, women, other people, your job, your life, society, the world, etc. – any target of address.
What is/was your [target individual’s] vision of you [or any other target of perception]?
– father’s, mother’s, your present employer, etc. – this could be used to help an individual identify potential sources of one’s vision (view or perception) of oneself or someone else or any other target of perception. On an extended level other forms and sources of consciousness can be addressed as opposed to just individuals. For example:
What is your dog’s vision of you?
What is God’s vision of you?
These questions can also be worded differently such as: Could you see your dog’s vision of you?
2) Visions of desired realities
What is your desired vision of yourself?
Whose vision of you conflicts with your desired vision of yourself?
What is your desired vision of the future for yourself [or your children, humanity, your organization … – any target of address]?
3) Visions of anticipated consequences / predictive visions or projections
What do you think will be the reaction of your parents [or any other target] if you … [action]?
What do you think would happen if you … [action]?
What have you been trying to prevent? (or Is there anything you have been trying to prevent? or What would you like to prevent?)
What do you fear (might happen)?
A problem can be defined as:
A PERCEIVED BARRIER TOWARD CREATING OR MAINTAINING A DESIRED REALITY
[reaching a desired outcome or maintaining a desired condition]
Traffic could be a problem when someone needs to get somewhere in a short amount of time, but it could actually be a “blessing” if someone wanted to have a good excuse of not making it somewhere. Dirty dishes (barrier) could be a problem IF someone wanted to have a clean kitchen (desired outcome). Nightmares or some form of mental affliction could definitely be a problem if someone wanted to have a peace of mind and more control over their mental operation.
Someone’s “counter-intention” could definitely be a problem IF someone needed or desired some form of cooperation from that other person (desired reality) or if the one with counter-intention continued to take actions which lead to some unwanted conditions or situations. However, a “counter-intention” is only one among many different forms of a problem that can be identified.
Problems can be identified with a simple question:
What is your perceived barrier to … [desired activity or accomplishment]?
The question could be simplified to:
What do you see as a barrier to …?
An individual needs to determine what it is that (s)he wants to do or accomplish and then identify what it is that (s)he perceives to be in the way. It is important to have “perceived” (or “see”) in the question in order to prompt the person to become aware of and self-reflect on one’s own perception of that which (s)he has conceived to be a barrier.
What is your perceived barrier? [as a general question could be asked repeatedly]
Alternatively, a problem could also be defined as:
SOMETHING YOU PERCEIVE THAT YOU WANT TO CHANGE
Basically, whatever reality that you perceive that you want to be different – is a problem. It could be someone’s attitude, it could be some kind of a situation, it could be something about your body – anything that you perceive that you want to be different is a form of a problem. Many “problems” can seem to resolve by simply addressing and taking responsibility for one’s own formulated perceptions. This could include discovering and addressing potential reasons behind formulating perception of something in a certain way.
What should change?
– is another good question to identify problems
Yet another simplified definition of a problem could be:
PERCEPTION OF SOMETHING WRONG
What do you perceive as being wrong?
Could be a simple question to identify perceived problems.
The above two definitions can be combined into: PERCEPTION OF SOMETHING WRONG THAT SHOULD BE CHANGED.
Often times what we think to be problems with ourselves or something else are visions or ideas that we have adopted from other people from various channels such as verbal communication, books, tele-vision or other media, and even telepathy. For example, someone can learn of an idea that “ego” is a problem or that “negative thoughts” is a problem or “desires” and then believe that these things are a problem and expand efforts to try to resolve them, when in fact the source of the problem may simply be an adopted idea (vision) that something is a problem, when it actually doesn’t have to be.
Effective questions could be formulated to identify (perceived) problems that were adopted from the visions of other people:
Is there anyone that had a problem with you? (such as something you did or said or thought or anything else about you) or simply:
Who had a problem with you? or
Is there anyone that created problems for you?
This can be followed by:
Did that person have similar problems with someone else? (to see if it was something that the person dramatized with respect to people in general).
On another end, a person can also be asked:
Is there anyone that you had a problem with? or Who did you have a problem with?
PROBLEMS DUE TO BLOCKED PERCEPTION
An individual can perceive to have a problem with something for which his or her perception was somehow blocked or invalidated.
For example, person A observes something about person B. Person A communicates one’s emerging perception about B to person C who in response invalidates that perception and criticizes person A for having it or may even make efforts to block person A from even trying to make observations and develop one’s own thought on the subject. Thereafter person A may experience a sense of psychological affliction or some form of problem (barrier) whenever directing attention at or even trying to think about person B or a similar subject and mistakenly attribute the sense of discomfort to the subject of observation itself, whereas the actual cause would be a blocked ability to freely observe and form perception of B that was caused by person C.
This could apply to virtually any area of observation where someone’s emerging thought or perception was somehow blocked or invalidated, especially by a source of perceived authority. This subject is discussed at greater depth on page SANITY AND INSANITY.
Perception Break could be defined as:
A STATE OF SHOCK OR BEWILDERMENT WHEN NEW PERCEPTIONS ABOUT SOMETHING COME INTO CONFLICT WITH EXISTING PERCEPTION ABOUT IT
Say, some group of people believe someone to be an honest business man and then find out that that person has been defrauding them for years. The moment they come into contact with new perceptions (observations, experiences or some form of communicated information) of conflicting realities, they are likely to experience a “perception break” – the break in their existing perception (view of reality) about that person. Likewise, someone may have trust in the loyalty of their spouse only to find out the person was cheating.
It should be noted that someone could be stuck in a perpetual “perception break” when they refuse to adjust their formed perception of something in line with new observations. A person could be stuck in “How could that be?” for as long as they do not adjust their view of reality but continue to somehow protest against conflicting observation in light of the old perception construct. This is a common “defense reaction” to prevent a crush of an existing perception model (mental image).
When you are confronted with observations or (recorded) experiences that you seem to be unable to “integrate” – you need to reflect upon and change your formulated perception about the target reality in order to incorporate conflicting experiences or observations.
What is / was your perception about something, and what are / were the conflicting perceptions (observations, experiences, some form of information)?
For example, if you maintain good impression of somebody, it may come into conflict with observations of “bad realities” about that person – something that doesn’t fit into your perception about that person. Likewise, if you fixate on a negative view of another, it may come into conflict with positive observations or experiences. Therefore, it is best to keep your awareness open to observe what is and not fixate in either good or bad perception constructs about something.
The two sections above on Problem and Perception Break were developed as direct replacements of similar concepts in Scientology which promised to be useful but ultimately suffered from incomplete or misleading definitions. [Note, instead of “perception break,” in Scientology there was a concept of “reality break,” but since “reality” is a term that should apply to the target of observation, and not just observation itself, the term “perception” is used instead.] In the same wise, HPC triangle replaces the Scientology’s ARC triangle which was also found to be flawed (see page: Reality, Problem, and ARC).
HPC stands for Havingness, Perception and Contact:
– HAVINGNESS: Expanse of consciousness (over some form of reality)
– PERCEPTION: Vision, experience or understanding (of some reality)
– CONTACT: Some form of interaction (with a given reality)
So the more interaction you have with something (communication is a form of contact and interaction), the better your vision will be of that something and the more of that reality you will contain (have) in your consciousness.