Taking back our personal reality in a symbolic world

Taking back our personal reality: As humans we have much less of a hold on reality than other species. Other species seem to be integrated in creation whilst humanity is for ever struggling to fit in. We are as if an outsider in a foreign land. We do not appear to be so well suited to survive on this planet either, without exploiting it, without causing harm. And yet we are made of the same biological stuff as everything else, so it is clear that there is a way in which we belong here.

Reclaiming Personal Reality

We have buried our humanity under layers of intellectual compost. Everything that we learn and use such as signs, names, words, concepts, images, numbers, money, are symbols that we have given a common agreed meaning to, and this is how we can communicate, think and collaborate. Different cultures have adopted different symbols, interpretations and meanings. Some symbols and meanings are shared across cultures and others are not.

The strategy thus far has been for each one of us to create a personal reality through which medium we can interact with the world and other people. This personal reality is our set of meanings and interpretations of our own and shared symbols. Needless to say, our personal reality is vital to us as it is the vehicle that carries us through life.

We are creating and refining our personal realty throughout our lives. As we are social beings we are constantly performing a balancing act between our personal reality and the common reality we share with other people. As important as this balancing act is, it is critical that we express our personal reality as our sanity and health depends on it.

What often happens as we run with the herd is that our personal reality is gradually eroded to the point where we no longer have any sense of it, we then feel lost and helpless. When we hit this all-time low it is good to realise that there is a way to get your personal reality back.

Reclaiming Personal Reality

We already have the talents we require to make the right choices and to have fulfilling and rewarding lives, standing on our own ground. Our day to day life and our spiritual journey are one and the same thing. This is so as we hold life to be sacred. In life, as in spirituality, actions have consequences and it is for this reason that we need to make the proper choices.

We should process information that comes our way and filter out what is not useful to us. We should not elevate information, presented to us by others, in person or from screens, to the status of truth. Our choices and our personal reality should be based on the experiences that we have through our senses, our perceptions, of that which is immediate to us in the moment as we stand in a natural environment. This we should consider to be our ground zero. This ground is who you are and what really matters.

Whatever you may call transcendental reality, consider this to be the goodness of creation. Always aim high and go higher, never lower. Identify this, your highest principality, as a form with whom you can have a relationship, one that you can ask for guidance and show gratitude towards. Give this principality your attention, face in its direction. Having established your highest truth, constantly try and align your personal reality to it as your ideal. Be flexible and adjust your position if your experience leads you to an improved understanding, but otherwise, resist bullying and stand your ground.

Find common ground with your adversaries and make friends of like-minded people. Conflict is wasteful. Hate and anger are self-destructive emotions. Prioritise physical connections with things, situations and people. Cultivate self-sufficiency. Learn to let go of that which harms you mentally, religiously or physically. Life is not about convenience. Life is about the process and physical interactions. Convenience may well reduce your personal reality. Finally, improve and maintain physical health through diet and exercise.

Reclaiming Personal Reality

We should also be aware that we may need to defend our personal reality as it is vulnerable to attack from persons who need to validate their own, and do so persistently.  To start with we need to know ourselves. Although the latter is a life-long endeavour, it starts with being mindful of our thoughts, emotions and behaviour. We should approach mindfulness with humility and compassion towards ourselves and others. This is not an intellectual exercise, but one of critical observation. It does require an understanding of causation, meaning that most, if not all, things are a consequence of something that preceded them.

If you have opinions, these need to be challenged and not held without justification. One needs to be pragmatic as events happen in a context. History is important when interpreting world events. One needs to master logic, in other words arguments need to make sense. Be as critical of yourself as you are of others. We also need to learn how to deal with the grief that arises from letting go of a long held point of view or an entrenched state of being.

We will reclaim our personal reality one step at a time, no step is too small. We should not be afraid to stand up to the monster that enslaves us. What we should fear is the loss of our freedom.

If you believe in a just and sustainable society, these other articles may interest you.

Main sources if inspiration: The Symbolic World and the Jordan B Peterson and the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship