Choices of Reality
In his 2013 book, “Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe," theoretical physicist Lee Smolin says:
“It is so easy to make stuff up, and the bookshelves are full of metaphysical proposals. But we want real knowledge, which means there must be a way to confirm a proposed answer. This limits us to science. If there’s another route to reliable knowledge of the world besides science, I’m unlikely to take it, because my life is centered around a commitment to the ethics of science.”
Whew! At last we know! Science is the only realm from which we can get answers about reality and the universe. And even if we find out there's another avenue to higher knowledge, we should take Smolin's advice and just say no. Someone should have have let Buddha, Jesus, Krishna and the rest of them know about this. There's only one way. Science.
We have another choice of reality in Karlfried Graf Durckheim's 2007 “The Way of Transformation.” He says:
“The time has come for us to free ourselves from the idea that only those things which can be rationally grasped and objectively verified are real and binding. The state of mind and body that blocks any awareness of the presence of greater being inevitably produces a special kind of suffering. It is the experiencing of this anguish that forces us to take stock of our life attitudes. We must train our faculty of sensory perception to feel and appreciate qualities which are beyond the limits of our ordinary consciousness.”
Well, we can't have that because there's no science in it. Let's return to Smolin's premise:
“The problem of consciousness is an aspect of the question of what the world really is. We don’t know what a rock really is, or an atom, or an electron. We can only observe how they interact with other things and thereby describe their relational properties. Perhaps everything has external and internal aspects. The eternal properties are those that science can capture and describe---through interactions, in terms of relationships. The internal aspect is the intrinsic essence; it is the reality that is not expressible in the language of interactions and relations. Consciousness, whatever it is, is an aspect of the intrinsic essence of brains.”
Forget this consciousness business. It's all about brains.
Durckheim points our awareness to a different choice of reality than Smolin suggests:
“When we finally come to see the manner in which events and people coincide to manifest our greatest good we will discover that we have existed in two worlds, one within the other. And that the only difference between our illusion and our enlightenment is a slight difference in attitude. We will discover that nothing which happens in or around us is in vain or without its appointed place and just significance. We will see that we are on this earth for a specific purpose and out of that seeing we will attain a conscious surrender offering ourselves as an instrument of the new creative power manifesting in the world. The key to this realization is the willingness and ability to live spontaneously, no plans, no foresight but oneness with the great flow which makes you execute at each instant the necessary gesture. In doing this you will align yourself with the infinite intelligence which governs infallibly all of natures movements including the flights of birds, and the motion of planets, and for which nothing is separate, nothing different. It is a consciousness which knows itself each instant everywhere and thus knows each instant the right action, the right direction, the exact arrangement of everything and without thinking about it. It knows the real need of each thing and the correct movement at each moment.”
In terms of reality, you see the world you value...which by the way, is nothing more than a choice. You then respond to what you perceive and it is the perception you have of reality that will dictate your behavior...not the thing you see out there in the world that you think is making you behave, sense, feel, think a certain way.. And that behavior reinforces your version of reality, a reality you may be enjoying, enduring, condemning, denying or whatever you choose.
Your choice of reality is just that: a choice.