At a young age I decided there are a few concepts and philosophies that I would deliberately choose to ignore for three reasons; a) it would hurt my head to think about them, b) once I started exploring I would never want to stop and c) I also knew there was also a high chance I’d never find the answer.
And I kept my childhood promise to myself. I’ve dismissed political puppetry, I’ve rejected religion and I’ve never once dared to think about how the universe began and if it ever ends.
But following a few recent comments and questions around my solo travel “escapism”, my thoughts began to circle one of the greatest phenomena of all time.
What actually is reality?
What Is Reality?
We tend to think of reality as our situation and our surroundings; tangible things we see, hear, smell and feel.
We feel like it’s something that’s out of our control, something forced upon us by some sort of divine nature. We convince ourselves that it’s out of our control and we can only accept or deny what is given to us. Our reality spans all of time; from our past to our present and out to our future.
But maybe, just like my three onions of consciousness, there are many different layers to reality. And maybe we only ever really look at the surface of it all.
Spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle, says that “words reduce reality to something that human mind can grasp, which isn’t very much”. He says “we are all trapped in mental constructs, and so we separate ourselves from reality; the whole world loses its aliveness, or, rather, we lose our ability to sense that aliveness, the sacredness of nature”.
And I think he could be right.
It’s our minds that create the ego and the ego that isolates us from the world around us. It creates a perception of distance that doesn’t actually exist.
And so it makes sense that the only way to truly experience reality, is by dismissing the mind completely and peeling back the layers of reality from within.
The Power Of Now
So after four years of deep introspection through yoga and meditation, that’s exactly what I did.
It wasn’t through reading books, watching Ted Talks or listening to podcasts. I found my answers unexpectedly one day, lying poolside in Chiang Mai with the sun beaming down on my body and tiny beads of sweat rolling down from my stomach and shoulders down onto the towel beneath me.
There were birds in the trees nearby and I could hear the water, slowly tickling the white grids at the edge of the pool. The world around me was still and calm, but the more I meditated, the longer I stayed there, listening, observing, feeling, the more I could feel the subtle but vibrant chaos of life.
My form melted away. I was just a collection of a trillion particles, vibrating in unison and colliding with one another. I could feel I was part of something much much bigger than anything I’d ever known. I could feel reality from within – and without.
Reality was all around.
In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form. You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature. You look beyond the veil of form and separation. This is the realization of oneness. This is love.