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Professions of an Ontophile

The beliefs of an unbeliever.



"Reality is flawless"


Try this thought experiment:

Step 1

Consider the title statement again but pretend to put your mind on speaker so you can listen to what it says. Maybe something like this: "Flawless? WRONG! There's so many flaws in reality it's pointless to list them. But for starters there's this nasty headache, and to top it all off in a few billion years the Sun is going to destroy the Earth!"

Your personal objections may be different, but it's all the classic autocentric mind hard at work trying to referee reality. And how does that feel? A flawed reality offers much to resent and worry about.

Step 2

Put your mind in hush-let's-look-at-the-big-picture mode and consider this reasoning: If we define reality as the context of existence, and if anything and everything that exists can only exist precisely as it does, which it does, then its context must be perfect. Simply, reality can't play out any other way than it actually does. So reality is indeed intrinsically flawless.

The reasoning is sound, but if your mind objects nonetheless, the point of this thought experiment is to temporarily accept the premise of a flawless reality and notice any difference in your quality of consciousness.

Step 3

In light of step 2, repeat step 1. Perhaps now the gist would be: "Well if reality is flawless, I can't blame it for this headache. So then why do I have it? Oh yah—it's a withdrawal headache. Maybe I should quit caffeine for good. And long before the Sun incinerates the Earth we'll have either gone extinct or moved elsewhere depending on how well we learn to manage our context. I suppose whatever happens will happen flawlessly..."

So mental chatter aside, does a more forgiving perspective on reality improve your overall attitude? In step 1 we're trying to fault reality for what it is—and how could this not lead to distress? In step 3 the part of consciousness we'd been using to dispute reality is now available for the recognition, acceptance, and appreciation of it (ontocentrism). We're in the same reality, but now it seems more hospitable. That headache still hurts, but it feels psychologically less threatening—more manageable—even if we can't pinpoint its cause. (And if we can, we're less likely to mindlessly invite the latent development of another headache.) In a flawless reality we've got an unassailable ally to help us face the challenges of existence.

Look closely at your deepest feelings as you accept reality as flawless, even temporarily. Trusting that we're part of a flawless reality necessarily leads to a feeling of serenity—the sense that there's nothing to fear about existence, no matter what its conditions may be. The more we embrace the context of our existence, the less troubled we are. Then, in reconciling with reality, we may recognize that any flaw we saw in it is actually just an imperfection in our mental relationship with reality. Be ready though—when we deeply and genuinely embrace our context, it may respond with not just serenity, but an overwhelming sense of affirmation and love.

Suggested step 4

Make step 2 a habit. Cease fault-finding with reality. We'll have a better chance of existing favorably within it, feeling good about it, and meeting our responsibility in nurturing the context of not just our existence, but the existence of everything our existence touches.

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