You are probably sitting in a chair or on the couch reading this. That thing you are sitting on feels solid. You can feel your body draped across it and know it is real. Your reality is exactly what you see, hear, think, and feel. Or is it?
What is Reality?
I think it comforts us to believe in something real, something solid. Reality is a word that is used quite often to differentiate between truth and fiction. However, reality isn’t quite that black and white; it’s very malleable, as evidenced by the double-slit experiment that showed how tricky reality can be and how quantum physics shows us how little we truly understand about our own reality.
We Are All Living Our Own Personal Reality
When I was fourteen, I had this strange thing happen. It was right after school, and I was searching the bus lot frantically to find my bus to go home. I stood in the middle of the chaos with kids yelling and running all around me, and suddenly had this profound thought. It was more like a voice, not my voice but the voice of the universe telling me something I needed to hear. The voice said, “Maybe each of us creates our own personal reality.” It was a shocking thought at the time, and I remember the experience like it was yesterday.
At that moment, my mind opened to a whole new possibility that maybe what each of us is experiencing is entirely of our own making and vastly different than what someone standing next to us is experiencing. That belief has stayed with me my whole life, and I have seen it play out in many ways. What is real for me may not be for you.
Words Changing Before Your Eyes
My boyfriend is a very logical thinker, and anything that happens to him, he explains away through logic and analytical thinking. However, recently he had two occurrences that showed him that perhaps his rock-solid reality is more personal than he thought.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog mentioning an old red convertible I used to own. When he read that blog, he saw the word Corvette and not convertible. He read it several times and then reminded me that I had not owned a Corvette. I thought I must have made a mistake and went back to read the article and fix it. When I read it, however, the word Corvette was nowhere in the piece. Later he admitted that he was absolutely 100% sure he saw that word, and I believe he did. But when I went to look for it, it had vanished. I didn’t believe it was there, so for me, it was not.
Slipping Between Parallel Universes or Colors Changing on a Dime?
His other experience was even spookier. He recently attended a meeting where the speaker was prattling on, and he got bored. A woman sitting in front of him about (2 feet away) had an oversized bag on the floor. He admired it, noting its quality and size, because he knows I like to carry a lot of stuff with me when we go places. My sweetheart noted the color (taupe) and the strap and pockets. He didn’t just glance at it; he studied it for a moment or two. Then went back to listening to the speaker.
About fifteen minutes later, he glanced back down at the purse; it was bright purple! What happened? Did the purse change color during those 15 minutes? Did my boyfriend mistake taupe for purple? Nothing in the room had changed; the light source had not shifted, so why did he see a taupe purse that suddenly turned purple?
Perhaps his reality changed. Or, more interestingly, maybe he silently slipped from one universe to another. Although he admitted that it made him think about how each of us may create our own realities, he chooses to believe that his mind played a trick on him, or even though he was sure it was taupe, maybe it wasn’t.
Dozens of Reality-Shifting Experiences
I have had dozens of experiences like this that show me that reality is very personal. I have searched my purse and drawers for things that absolutely were not there. Then suddenly, an hour later, they are back. Where did they go? How does that happen?
The other night I read something online and saw the word “engagement” later; when I looked the very same thing up again (roughly 30 minutes later), the word was “agreement.” Practically before my eyes, things shifted.
I think it’s a good idea for us to take reality with a grain of salt and not ever be so sure that something is “real” because it may just change before our eyes. It’s kind of fun and exciting to think we live in a world that is so malleable and can change on a dime just because we want it to. The possibilities of why and how this happens make the world a more interesting place to be.
If you have stories like this, I want to hear from you. Please email me or comment below.