How to make reality laugh:
Tell it what you think it is...
Then as much as you persist, foolish mind, reality will dope slap you.
It would be funny if it weren't so tragic. The suffering you endure from your insanity, individually and collectively, is heartbreaking. And all the more so because, but for a delusional posture, you would be of sound mind.
You were born sane. You enjoyed sanity in your childhood and lost it slowly as you developed the conceptual identity and world view that helps you cope within an insane Human world; or lost it quickly if insane adults traumatized your developing relationship with reality – forcing you to inhabit an ideated world that feels safer than the one you were born into. And even as an adult mind you still have moments of sanity – those circumstances when reality is so powerful you become lucid: when reality won't let you delude yourself; when you can't, for the moment, pretend you exist separate from it; when you are genuinely listening with a mind to seek understanding rather than to already possess it.
These lucid moments when you are directly engaged with reality needn't be so rare. All that is required to begin a return to sanity and truthfulness is a shift in your attitude toward reality:
a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person's behavior.
Not so much your person's, but your behavior, Human mind, is the issue here. Are you paying any attention to it? It is through your attitude, your settled way of thinking, that you so firmly maintain your delusion that you are the authority on reality – that the picture of reality you invent and self-promote is better than actual reality. Are you even aware that you affect this posture? Aware or not, it's an unreasonable attitude – and most surely arrogant and hypocritical – other words you may find offensive when applied to yourself. But what of using the gift of consciousness to pretend to authority on consciousness isn't arrogance? And what of judging reality to be inadequate from within it isn't hypocrisy? Just like insane or delusional, your reluctance to correctly perceive the truth of your condition is what makes these words so applicable – and so surely perpetuates your dysfunctional condition.
The only means to dispel a delusion is to recognize it as such; and an attitude shift can facilitate this. Abandon the hubris of “I'm the decider of reality” for one of respect and appreciation: “I wouldn't exist but for reality. How could I better understand it so I could help my person better function within it?” After all, in what other than actual reality do you and your person exist and function? What better teacher of truth could you hope to find?
A more open and flexible attitude gives you a chance to correct the fundamental delusion that initiates your insanity – “Reality is as I conceive it” – to something closer to the truth: “I am as reality conceives me. What wonder could that be?”
This is a realistic attitude:
1 having or showing a sensible and practical idea of what can be achieved or expected.
2 representing familiar things in a way that is accurate or true to life.
Presumptuous mind, can you apply sense 1 of this meaning to your role in consciousness, rather than pretend you are such an expert in sense 2? You would be much wiser to adopt a realistic attitude than unmindfully reduce reality to the merely realistic.
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Still dubious? If the issue of your proper functioning seems too complicated or beyond your capacity, the whole thing can be reduced to a simple question:
Can you perceive a distinction between your concepts of reality, your mental model of it, and reality as it actually happens?
It is a failure to recognize this distinction that puts you in conflict with actual reality. It initiates all your mental suffering, motivates your person's ideological conflict with other Humans over everything under the sun, and allows you to rationalize or disregard all your person's self-interested, short-sighted, or destructive behavior. Phrased constructively: the more open you are to differentiating actual reality from your expedient abstractions of it, the better your chances of recognizing and understanding the truth of actual reality; and following this mental behavior, the saner, the less conflictive, your person's behavior will be. Simply, if you want to function well in reality, try to keep this distinction in mind – continuously (or as much as you are capable).
And don't worry about actually making the distinction based on the concept that you're supposed to, hopeful mind, or that you even could, all by yourself. An essential point of this letter is that you can't. Reality will make the distinction for you – if you're willing to listen. It's simply the effort to recognize that a distinction could be made not by you, but on your behalf that is an exercise in sanity.
Human mind, reality is the context of your existence. It creates you – continuously. And you exist so that your person may consciously experience and understand reality. Yes? If you want to know sanity, precious mind, listen to reality – your creator. Listen openly and flexibly – with humility. Let reality teach you what is real and true – that your person may consciously know it, and live sanely.
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Apologies, laboring mind, for the convoluted concepts presented here. Were it helpful to cram it into a nut shell: As you believe your self-conceived definitions of reality, so you suffer its misperception. But as you patiently and flexibly inquire of reality's sense, so you gather its wisdom, harmony, and well-being.
Ch. 2 image © Les Wallach FAIA