Reality is what happens. Perceived reality is what goes on between your ears - Grasshopper
We spend the majority of our lives steeped in illusion. Illusion is the offspring of an encounter between Reality and perceived reality.
Reality is very simple. It's what happens. A rainy day is a reality. A sunny day is a reality. Perceived reality is always a judgmental interpretation of reality. It's a miserable, rainy day. It's a beautiful, sunny day. These are dressed up translations of what's really going on – a rainy or sunny day.
Anytime you add meaning to reality that is your first clue that you are once removed from reality itself.
The result of this relationship between Reality and perceived reality is "Illusion." Let's take a look at how illusion is conceived.
Illusion is born when perceived reality doesn't match up with what's really happening. For example, a friend calls and leaves a message on your answering machine saying that they can't meet you for dinner as planned because something has come up. "I'll catch up with you next week and explain" is the closing line of the message.
After your initial disappointment, you may start to rationalize reality. "She really didn't want to go to dinner with me and waited until I was out to leave me that message because she didn't have the guts to tell me person to person. She's really has no backbone. Does she think I was born yesterday and am stupid enough to buy into her act?" This type of hallucinating could go on for hours as you continually add more "facts" to the story.
Here's the real fact. Your friend called and said what she said - period. That's reality. Perceived reality is your interpretation of her message. Illusion is getting caught up in the notion that your interpretation is real. Your interpretation is just one of infinite possibilities.
One major tenant of the communications model called NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is "The map is not the territory." We live the major portion of our life pretending that we live on the map vs. living on the real turf. The map is a representation of the territory – an illusion. But the stone you find in your shoe didn't come from living on the map, nor did the shiny quarter you found. They came from living in Reality.
We think we have figured it out if we come up with the "real reason" something happened. Funny we never come to the conclusion that is the most obvious – what happened is what happened. When we stop rationalizing Reality, we stop creating the illusion we call our life. When we recognize Reality for what it is, without the spin, we start responding to what is right in front of us, rather than trying to eat the menu and pretend it's the food.
Raging against Reality is the global pastime and few have recognized the strategy isn't working. Recognizing Reality and responding to what it has to offer will bring you more peaceful moments and keep another illusion from being born.
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