Defining Reality – Objective, Subjective, and the Nature of Illusion
Posted On August 30, 2019
/ Written by Dr. Linda Gadbois
There tends to be a constant form of confusion around the idea of what we call â€œrealityâ€ because it’s produced as a mental construct that’s of both an objective and subjective nature. In the objective sense reality exists as what we call the “natural world” which is comprised of the same basic elements that everyone sees in a similar way. We then use the objective reality as a starting point for reshaping it into a personalized version in order to “experience it”. Our individual mind is always creating “itself” by taking a universal theme and rearranging the primary elements to form a personalized version of it. The natural world exists in a neutral state that doesn’t have any “meaning” in and of itself, and is re-shaped into a corresponding mental construct by the individual mind based on the meaning we give it. As we give meaning to life we reshape it to be a mirror image of ourselves. Whenever the term â€œillusionâ€ or â€œdelusionâ€ is used, itâ€™s referring to the subjective reality that we all create out of or in place of the objective, neutral and meaningless reality we all share in common. So letâ€™s break these interrelated ideas down by describing and explaining them separately . . . .
refer to as objective reality is the
one that we all share in common and exists in a neutral state thatâ€™s void of
meaning. This is what we can think of as the â€œunified field of informationâ€
that contains all attributes,
qualities, archetypes, images, life-forms, and so on, that lays the foundation
necessary for creating individual realities that are cohesive and correlated to
the overall shared reality. This is
the field of possibility that exists
before anything is filtered out, abstracted and reformulated by the individual
mind. In an outdoor setting we all see and hear the same trees, sky, bushes,
flowers, sidewalk, cars, buildings, etc. In an indoor setting we all see the
same furnishings, artwork, plants, people, and so on, as the basic elements
that make up that environment.
When we share an environment or event, weâ€™re all submerged in and a part of the same group information thatâ€™s available to everyone involved as a means of forming our perception and experience of the situation. This can be thought of as the universal, archetypal reality of the collective unconscious or mass consciousness of humanity (and Nature) as the group mind of the earth plane. This is a global reality thatâ€™s comprised of common elements.
refer to as subjective reality is the
one thatâ€™s naturally created by the individual
mind as their perception and how
they form their own individual â€œexperienceâ€ of the objective reality through an
internal process. Our experience of the
external world is formed by our mental paradigm
as the informational structure of our mind formed out of accumulated memory.
Our mental paradigm basically consists of our habitual mood, values, beliefs,
preferences, and memories. As we form a â€œvalueâ€ of some kind, a mental filter is created and set in
place that acts to filter all the information thatâ€™s available in any given
situation, abstracting and causing to stand
out whatever pertains to our value in some way â€“ whether for or against it.
we form a belief about something it sets up a series of mental filters that
bring forward in our outer reality only what matches and can be used in a
cohesive manner to create the reality
of our belief. All other information
that doesnâ€™t pertain to our belief recedes and fades into the background where
it goes largely unnoticed. We donâ€™t use it in order to create our experience.
By way of this natural process of filtering and only using certain parts of the
information available in the whole, we act to naturally perceive our beliefs as
an actual reality, making them seem real and because of this we donâ€™t realize
their beliefs. Preferences as likes and dislikes do the same thing. Filters are
created based on preferences that produce a feeling of harmony or discord and
become attributes that aid in shaping our experiences.
serve as a kind of metaphorical filter
that we look through that brings to
the foreground in an enhanced manner whatever can be used in a situation to
create the same type of experience as
the memory. Our memories set the basis for all of our intentions and
expectations in a situation. Whatever expectation we hold as a preconceived
notion forms a predisposition and acts to only select and utilize the
information thatâ€™s necessary to create what we expected.
Our mind acts as an information processing mechanism thatâ€™s always sorting out information and reorganizing it into unique configurations as a means of creating our experiences of any given set of circumstances. Our mental model exists as a kind of â€œthemeâ€ (frequency) that consistently produces the same type of reality thatâ€™s unique to us as our own creation. Every personal experience is the expression of one possibility out of an infinite number of possibilities. And every person will form a unique version of reality out of the same overall reality as their perception of it.
Perception, Meaning, and the Nature
perception in any situation is formed by the perceptual filters set into place
as the means of sorting through billions of bits of information to abstract only
a handful and reconfigure it into a new idea as an â€œinterpretationâ€ of the data
selected. The data obtained in any situation is abstract and void of meaning
until itâ€™s interpreted. Out of a small amount of selected information we form
our interpretation as a means of creating our experience by the â€œmeaningâ€ we
give it by how we reform it internally as a congruent part of an ongoing story.
we give things forms our internal dialogue as a kind of story weâ€™re always in
the process of telling ourselves about things. We take the information naturally
selected as a match to our values, preferences, and beliefs and further modify
them by how we adapt them to the ongoing story weâ€™re always in the process of
telling as a means of explaining and describing things. This ongoing story that
weâ€™re always in the process of telling is what gives things the meaning they
have for us and ultimately becomes a kind of â€œlife themeâ€ that produces a
consistent version of reality. Through a simple process of self-observation youâ€™ll
notice that thereâ€™s always one part of you talking to another part of you.
The very act of observing and perceiving something reorganizes the different aspects of it, enhancing and strengthening some, while downplaying and ignoring others, reshaping it into a new variable as a means of experiencing it. Any belief that we form becomes a filter that not only determines what we see or donâ€™t see in a situation, but also determines how we interpret it to give it the meaning that it has. Things only mean what we say they mean. This forms another fundamental misconception. All meaning is subjective in nature and varies with every single person. We create our experience of any situation or event based on the meaning we give it and what we â€œtell ourselvesâ€ about it as a result.
something means to us is based on our values and whatâ€™s important or not
important to us, what we believe to be true and thereby use as a means of
evaluating it for accuracy, and the memories we associate with it as a means of
interpreting it. Our memories not only act to shape our values and what we come
to believe or disbelieve, but are in return shaped out of our values and
beliefs, which all act together in a cohesive manner to spawn each other while
also serving to support, validate, and justify each other in forming a coherent
version of reality thatâ€™s consistent and always makes sense to us.
beliefs, preferences, and memories work together to produce a coherent model as
a dynamic series of mental filters that function to only perceive the
information in the whole that can be used to construct the reality of our
mental paradigm. Each person acts to develop their own mental model which is
used to produce a subjective variation of an objective neutral reality as the means
of creating. Our experience of reality is something weâ€™re (our mind) always
creating. While others may act to give us the subliminal suggestions that
become our subconscious programming, we are always the one accepting and
integrating it into our mental paradigm and then utilizing it as a means of
For example, a person who forms a belief that theyâ€™re â€œnot wantedâ€ will interpret any situation or actions of another to mean that. Theyâ€™ll only see in any situation what they can use as the means of creating an experience of not being wanted, and are constantly acting to validate their own beliefs. Even when someone does want them and demonstrates that through their actions and how they treat them, theyâ€™ll still interpret it in whatever way they need to as a means of creating the experience of not being wanted. This tendency and natural ability to skew reality to make it mean whatever we decide to, is whatâ€™s commonly referred to as an â€œillusionâ€.
Illusions that become Delusions
When we form
convincing realities out of our beliefs (which is a natural function of the
mind), it forms an illusion that we use as the means of deceiving and deluding
ourselves. This means itâ€™s only real to us and nobody else sees it or
experiences it in the same way that we do. The same situation will cause one
person to feel not wanted, while another may feel theyâ€™re being coerced or
manipulated, while still another may find it friendly and inviting. Each person
will interpret the same behaviors and activities to mean different things and
create entirely different types of experiences based on their subconscious
programming. Every person thatâ€™s a part of the same situation is experiencing
it in a different way based on how itâ€™s filtered through their mental paradigm.
We donâ€™t ever change the objective outer
reality directly in terms of what everyone else is also seeing, but rather how
it â€œappearsâ€ to us. All things take on the appearance they do as a reflection
of the mind viewing them and acting to shape them as a mental projection. The
same objective reality appears different to each individual observing and producing
an experience of it. As we turn an objective reality into a personal version as
our experience, we become subject to our own creation. As we create our own
experience of reality, we sense ourselves
â€œasâ€ and â€œthroughâ€ our experience, and we shape our perception of our â€œselfâ€ to
be the same.
We â€œbecomeâ€ whatever we believe about ourselves as an experience, and by what we tell ourselves about things that make them mean what they do. As we assign meaning to things we form our story about our self out of them by experiencing our self â€œthrough themâ€. As we form realities out of our beliefs, they become delusions that we willfully maintain even when situations serve to contradict or disprove them. Most people will argue to defend their beliefs about things rather than change them. They fall in love with their own opinions while mistaking them for being true. As we tell our story about things we build our identity around them and use them as a means of explaining what happened to us that made us the way we are, and rather than changing our inner world we expect the outer world to somehow magically change instead. This is because we donâ€™t realize that the outer world is being created by our inner world as a correspondence.
Delusion and how we Deceive Ourselves
beliefs are formed by us as children based on how we interpreted intense
emotional events before we developed our ability to reason and logically analyze
them in an objective manner. As children, weâ€™re in a purely unconscious and
subjective state where everything is about us. The primary beliefs we formed
out of emotional states became the premise and mental filters out of which we
formed all of our other beliefs. The story we began telling ourselves as a
child in order to try and make sense of emotionally charged experiences, formed
the basis for our mental model out of which we processed all information as a
means of creating our perception of reality. It became our subconscious
programming that formed the basis for all of our experiences. Whatever we
program our subconscious with as an â€œimaginary emotionally intense ideaâ€ becomes
the basis for reality as an experience. Because we can experience the reality
of our beliefs we donâ€™t realize that theyâ€™re only true due to our ability to create
them through our perception of them.
form individual beliefs about things, but rather form a system of beliefs that
are compatible and serve to support, justify, validate, and prove each other.
This is why experiences that contradict a single belief or perspective is usually
ignored, argued against, or discredited using other beliefs, and the belief
maintained instead, and sometimes even strengthened as a result. To change a
belief requires changing the core belief spawning it, which comes only through
a shift in awareness that alters and modifies our paradigm.
are formed out of our mental model and can only be changed by incorporating new
information that modifies the whole structure. This only comes through direct
experience thatâ€™s contemplated as a consideration thatâ€™s allowed to take hold
in the imagination where itâ€™s formed into a possible, and therefore â€œbelievableâ€
reality as an internal experience. We can only comprehend what we can form as
an internal representation, and we can only do what we can first imagine
This natural process of the individual mind in creating reality by imagining it is whatâ€™s referred to as replacing objective reality with illusions that become a form of delusion. When we donâ€™t realize how our own mind works to create our reality, and weâ€™re always operating out of an unconscious state, our tendency towards self-deception is enormous and often very compelling. This results from the fact that we donâ€™t understand how our own mind works and havenâ€™t developed the skill in knowing how to operate it consciously. Because the most powerful aspect of our mind operates without our direct awareness we donâ€™t realize its power to create. Through a lack of true self-awareness we become subject to our own creations instead of mastering our ability to create. Anytime we live out of the story of our formative conditioning as the basis for our perceptions and means of interpreting the events of our life, we live a life of delusion and unknowingly act on ourselves to deceive ourselves.
come to call â€œrealityâ€ is a very elusive idea thatâ€™s constantly being reshaped
to take on a new and unique appearance based on the mind interacting with it.
Each individual cultivates their own mental model which acts as a filtering
system for abstracting certain information in any situation and reorganizing it
by how they interpret it to give it meaning. The meaning we give things shapes
how we form our experience of it. Our experience comes as our feelings and
internal dialogue as what we tell ourselves about it while reforming it in our
mind as a internal representation. Meaning, like the mind creating it, is
threefold in nature. Whatever we make something mean through our story about it
means the same thing about us, other people, and the world in general. Whatever
beliefs we form about ourselves, we also use as the means of shaping others and
the events of the world to be of the same nature and idea. Every aspect of our
reality supports every other aspect, and serves to prove and justify it as
being real and therefore true.
We create a
subjective experience of reality from a completely unconscious state, and as a
result, donâ€™t realize what weâ€™re doing. We donâ€™t realize our mindâ€™s own power
to create, and so we imagine we have no control over it. We can live our whole
life feeling as though everything is happening â€œto usâ€ and beyond our ability
to change it. Because weâ€™re programmed subconsciously at an early age, we
consistently grow up in the reality being produce by our programming, and donâ€™t
realize weâ€™re the one actually creating it. Once we begin realizing how our own
mind works to form beliefs around whatever weâ€™ve been taught, we can become
self-aware and recognize how it is weâ€™re doing it. Once we begin realizing and
forming a practical understanding of how our mind works to create our
experiences of reality, we can begin operating it in an intentional and
deliberate manner by learning how to program ourselves to produce the type of
experiences we want.
Linda is a scholar in Esoteric Sciences and holds a doctorate in Spiritual Sciences, and a BS in Clinical Hypnotherapy, along with numerous specialty certifications in various healing modalities. She's a certified Health and Success Coach, NLP Master Practitioner, and Board Certified in Regression Therapy. She's professional writer, artist, educator and Mentor, and offers a wide variety of Mentoring and Consulting Services, along with professional training programs. Her specialties include Personal Transformation, Self-Mastery, Spiritual Sciences, Transpersonal Psychology, and Integrative Mind-Body Medicine. For more info visit our Personal and Professional Services pages in the top menu bar of this site, or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org