What is Reality?
Qs answered by Peter Shepherd
I've been puzzling this over today. If we only see our "reality" as our ego, which we are told is an illusion. And, we are also told that the map is not the territory but only a small snapshot portion of the "real" universe created by our ego as the universe is too complex and vast for us to be able to handle all in one go. So our consciousness slowly expands as we have small but significant paradigm shifts.
If as we are then told in quantum physics that this illusion only exists in our own eyes, e.g "if you close your eyes, does what you are viewing still exist?" or the old Chinese zen adage that "if a tree falls in the jungle and there's no-one there to see it, does it make a sound?"
If our universe were viewed from outside by a passing alien, then I can only assume there would be nothing to see and they would pass right by. No-one or no-thing can see your ego "illusion" but you. Could this possibly be why we don't find life on other planets, because another life form could have a completely different consciousness to us and therefore invisible?
Is there only one consciousness and do all entities need an ego?
I think there's a confusion here between the spiritual being that creates its reality, and that part of the being's mind that you can label the 'ego.'
From the spiritual plane, a being could simply not consider that the universe exists and it would have no reality for that being. But just by nature of having a viewpoint located here in the physical universe, identified with a body, the being has accepted the existence of the universe, as it is, including the parts of the universe unperceived from that located viewpoint.
The being's mind has created the ego, which is a personality, a face to the world, containing a system of beliefs and solutions to the problems of survival as a human being. That belief system has a map of the world that may only approximate to the reality, and be full of delusions. It is the colored glasses the person views the world through.
The reality is only an illusion (not a delusion) with respect to the Higher Self, the spiritual part of the person that remains in the spiritual plane while its viewpoint located in the physical universe is identified with a body, to experience the physical dimension and learn the lessons that offers.
I believe that the sound in the forest happens whether or not anyone perceives it. Is the clock ticking in the next room? I believe so, since when I go there the clock tells the predicted correct time. I think this is a common error philosophers make in failing to differentiate the spiritual and physical dimensions or planes of existence.
Similarly the aliens (and life forms on other planets) are living in this same physical plane so they would perceive the same universe as us - though it may look quite different through their eyes and other senses, it would be the same objectively. We haven't found alien life forms yet because we don't have the technology to look very far. But they are perceivable from the spiritual dimension and life pervades the universe. (Some would say there is physical evidence but it's suppressed for political reasons.)
In practice, the physical and spiritual are intertwined and so all the confusions occur. Our spirituality does have a profound influence on our physical experience, due to the spiritual aspect of our make-up that is retained as human beings. It provides an inner knowing of truth, if we are open to it, through intuitive connection with our Higher Self. There is interconnection between all human beings as well, due to our common spirituality. We can also have a direct influence on the physical plane by creative intention on the part of the Higher Self, itself connected and part of the energetic force (that one can consider essentially an expression of Love) that creates the physical universe and other planes.
Some feel the purity of spiritual realization requires us not to be "interested in the things of the world" - that manifesting our desires is a low state of being. I feel this is mixed up, almost like a death wish, and it assumes all desires come from ego attachment. We ARE spiritual beings, we're here for the physical experience, to enjoy and learn from the game of life in a world of dualities.
One really good account of the incarnation process is at Carol Herzer and Dirk Gillabel's 'Soul Guidance' site at this page: House of the Sun. Read the article: 'Tales of an Incarnating Soul.' Lots more good reading at this site too and their wonderful paintings - one by Carol is featured above.
This is something from Bill Harris about beliefs, which I feel is relevant...
Is there an ultimate reality? Yes. Does that matter to the person who believes something that is contrary to that "ultimate" reality? No. Whatever a person believes, for them, is true. I'm not talking about frivolous beliefs, such as "I believe I'm going to win the lottery," or "I can change myself into a chestnut tree," but rather deeply held beliefs about who you are, what your place is in the world, what is possible for you, and so on.
I do not think that if you "believe" a stone is not hard it will cease to be hard - though if someone believed this deeply enough they could create a hallucination of some sort in which stones were not hard, which goes along with my point that for the believer, what is believed IS true, regardless of whether or not it disagrees with any ultimate truth. Which, other than on a philosophical/intellectual level, makes "ultimate truth" somewhat irrelevant.
People believe many things about themselves, about the world, about other people, about what is possible (and so on). In many (if not most) cases, people are not even aware they believe these things, because they so much take them for granted that they never consider whether they are reasonable or resourceful beliefs (which I think is a much better way to evaluate what you believe than whether or not it is "true').
These beliefs cause a person to either 1) attract, and be attracted to, people and situations that allow them to confirm the "trueness" of what they already believe (as when a woman who believes men are pigs keeps getting attracted to pigs); 2) cause them to filter the evidence coming to them so as to interpret what is happening as confirmation that what they believe really is true, even if it isn't (as when a person interprets "I can't go out with you tonight" as "I don't really love you," even if that isn't really what is happening); or 3) they behave in such a way that they ultimately make what they believe to be true actually come true (as when a person who thinks they can never make money makes poor financial decisions and loses their money, gets into debt, and so on).
Certain beliefs (such as "I can do anything" or "People like me") are worth having because they are resourceful, because they create the results you want in life. The fact that in a ultimate sense they may not be true (or might only be true part of the time) is, in that respect, irrelevant. If you are after results, believing these things does create direct and real results.
This is something Peter put together that is close to his heart. It's a free daily meditation program to help you make the state of unconditional love an integrated part of your life, which is key to lasting joy and fulfillment.
Plus check out Your Inner Truth, a phenomenal range of journaling tools to help you find the truth of your situation. You may feel stressed, or confused, there may be a lot going on and choices to make that seem a bit overwhelming. Or you may simply need time with yourself, to decide what is it you really want... and just who are you, really?