I know it has been some time since I have written an article of any length, but there is a time for all things, so for these words, their time has come. Beware of consensus reality! I have to credit Tom Montalk with bringing this and several other cautionary tales to my attention.
As human egos we are fond of the idea that we live within an accepted and acceptable norm, that we define and believe is our reality. It is the sum of experience based on the guidance of the world around us, taken in and processed through our senses. Pause just for a moment and consider sight – what you are seeing and accept as reality is the interpretation of the instrument of the eye, carried to your brain, and interpreted based on the sum total of all the experiences stored up in your neurons from a time somewhere before your first breath, when the brain and the eye started to cooperate and coordinate these things. Our senses then, create our reality, given definition by consensus with the brain, which keeps track and coordinates every experience we have ever had through our senses, creating thoughts, emotions, and feelings (a subject for another blog).
So the first consensus is the brain with the sense organs. Most readers would agree that our reality is made up of the summation of experiences of the five senses, interpreted by the brain and given shape as our world view. That’s an over simplification though as we leave out an important factor, captured in the word – interpreted. How do we know that what our senses perceive as reality is the true reality? Is there a larger spectrum of experience that we are totally (or just about totally) numb to? Here is where this entire concept of consensus reality starts to strike a cord, and because of such, I will loose some readers here, as now we border on the meta’s and the para’s of life
Modern science has its accepted and associated definitions – by consensus – of its field of operations: psychology, and physics for example. Described and integrated in textbooks and university courses and degrees, based on the sum total of sense experience of the learned ones, taught as fact. If we delve into the world of parapsychology, and metaphysics – we suddenly create cognitive dissonance with the consensus, and have to take a bold stand against the tide of consensus in order to break new ground or even allow our own thinking to progress in a different direction.
Take for example Electricity – It was discovered in the 19th century, by the great observers and thinkers of that time, and with that there was a consensus built around their discoveries that has remained relatively unchanged in nearly 200 years now. It is both a blessing and a curse that what they discovered was hugely practical, but also that the practicality of electricity has narrowed our thinking about it to the point that very little original thought, or review of these innovators original experiments has taken place since then. We have the conservation of energy law as a consensus.
Consensus has value, but it is not truth, and therein lies the paradox of living in this world. We need to be cautious about what we accept as truth, and we need never be content with the consensus, as it is just as the word implies, an accepted truth, not the ultimate (or real) truth. Some have even said reality is an illusion, but that is the subject for another day.
Image coutesy of Google Images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpaL5XGj9Cg
For further reading see – www.Montalk.net