Do you wonder looking at the twinkling stars in the night with amusement and curiosity? I am sure, We all do.  Let me share not-so-positive news with you. Although it all looks wonderful, most of the stars we are gazing at, don’t even exist and are already dead!  This is for the simple scientific fact that it takes a million light-years for their light to reach us. We would be looking at a million-year-old, non-existent stellar object. Even the Sun we look at is 8 min old and not the “current reality” so to say. 

At other times, we all have enjoyed those fascinating optical illusions where parallel straight lines are perceived as curves, and the stationary picture is clearly seen as moving. We can’t hear the sound from our close vicinity if it is beyond the human audible frequency range (20Hz to 20kHz). Well,  Where am I going with all this? 

The point I making here is that what we see, hear and perceive is not often real.  Our senses don’t capture or provide us with the real total picture.  They have limited and finite capability to sense and perceive reality. If this is true then there should be something beyond which exists as the ultimate reality.

We need to take a leap of faith to believe in ultimate reality which is beyond what is obvious and perceived by human senses. It’s not a difficult endeavor. We anyway believe in many things without asking for details. We believe that the earth will exist tomorrow and day after. We believe in the air we breathe. We believe in the food we eat. We believe in the tablets prescribed by doctors. isn’t it?

A science graduate student accompanied his mother one day and happened to attend a spiritual discourse. With no choice but to listen to the speaker, he stood up after some time and said.
Swamiji, let me say this with due respect, whatever you said about reality sounds superficial. I can’t believe which I don’t see with my eyes and which I don’t hear with my ears.
Speaker paused for a moment and said in a gentle voice,  Let me ask you something, my friend
Tell me right now, can you see your own eyes?
No Swamiji, the student replied.
Alright. Can you hear the sound of that leaf gently falling down from a tree
No Swamiji.
Then you must be blind and deaf. Aren’t you? 
No, I am not. The student said with a smile.

Let’s look at some interesting science facts. We can’t have a true or accurate measurement of the position and speed of subatomic particles like electrons at the same time.  It is a Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle that laid the foundation and opened up a  new branch in the physics of quantum mechanics. Whatever we measure even with a sophisticated scientific instrument is not accurate or real. Once this fact is clear with proven evidence, it creates a never-ending search for scientists, philosophers, and theologists to discover the hidden reality. This essentially sets the foundation for ongoing scientific or metaphysical research.

To our great advantage, most of our problems are also not real.

A  student approached his class teacher in the school

Teacher, you must have seen today. How few of my classmates grinned at me when I shared my views.
This is insulting and disrespectful. You should not allow this to happen 

The teacher listened carefully and replied.
O dear, I would certainly like to stop everyone ridiculing and disrespecting you. 
But I can’t.
Why not? The student said in a furious tone. 
Because the disrespect happened in your mind and not in the class! 

Just pause and pick up any problem. It is just a perception, meaning, interpretation, or judgment of others or our own self. When we call ourselves or others winner or loser, achiever or miserable, success or failure, it’s just an interpretation by a conditioned mind and not a description of true reality. 

A woman handed over a paper note to her husband. Take this and go through. Hope you will understand it. 

The chit reads ” Time to manage yourself. No need to see me here onwards. Take Care”

The husband was shocked. He said in a pleading voice. How can you do this to me? What happened? I swear I am not that bad. The wife giggled and said,  My dear hubby, You are misinterpreting the whole thing. Please turn over the note. It’s a doctor’s prescription!

The more we go away from reality, the more we suffer. At the extreme, the cases of young teenagers risking and losing their own lives while being immersed in virtual games are not new.  Interestingly, We can enjoy virtual reality only when we know that it’s not real. As a corollary, it will cause more problems and troubles when we treat it as the real and so is the case with life’s realities. Perceiving and treating others completely different than who they truly are, is a shortcut to damage the trust & relationship. The crimes from the smallest theft to big national attacks are all done by perpetrators who carry in their minds completely wrong, distorted, inaccurate versions of reality which is far away from the common normal version. 

Is the world real?  Probably not, at least for that part we interact and interpret using human instruments. Should we discover what is real ? 

Yes, because we have an innate need to know the truth, the “Real”. We invariably demand and appreciate the truth and its details in almost every aspect of life. Be it choosing a life partner, delivering justice in the court of law, or decoding the breaking news, we would like to know the real true picture. Just notice, the agony and pain when someone lies cheats, hide the facts, and provides a distorted story. We are always on the quest to know the real.  

Sacred Vedas, religious books, and schools of philosophies greatly attempt to describe the nature of reality using different perspectives, symbols, and methods.  Alternatively, people search and seek guidance from the enlightened ones or gurus to know their first-hand experience of the transcendental reality. They consistently say “Everything is One”. And then, they also ask each one to discover the truth for oneself.

We may come across and discover our own version of reality.  The reality could be immensely magnificent or deeply mysterious. It could be equally inspiring, enriching, and divine, just like a hidden treasure.  Maybe finding that will answer all our questions, solve all our problems, bring permanent joy, and reach a state of fulfillment. Let’s get ready for a “Reality” check.

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Tushar Kanikdale

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