What is Reality?

One of the questions that has intrigued me a great deal quite recently, that I have also put to a few of the people I come in contact with, without receiving an adequate answer is “what is reality?” It is ludicrous for a second to think and to quite literally believe that our individual experience of life is ultimate reality. Think for a second of the billions and billions of people on this planet. Think of the infinite varying ranges of experiences each individual is going through at any particular moment in time. Some are experiencing the pains of torture at this very second. Some are experience the thrill of a breathtaking event, or enjoying the company of a loved one. Still yet, some might be in a coma experiencing nothing whatsoever. To extract out of all these billions and billions of individual experiences, our own experience, and to exalt our experience of reality as ultimate reality seems to me a disastrous fallacy. We have been making this mistake virtually since birth. The problem lies in our definition of the word “reality”. If by reality we mean what is accessible to our senses at the present moment, we have in my opinion only got the answer half right. We know man is a body, a soul, and a spirit. Of all these components of man, it is the soul and the spirit that essentially experience reality. It is the inner man in us and the interpretations, the beliefs, the prejudices and biases, that he or she brings to bear on every waking moment that attribute to every experience of “reality”  in the vague sense of the word, its substantive meaning. In other words it is the way the inner man experiences our world that gives our experience in this world any meaning. We cannot for a second believe that the “stream of immediate sense experience” in and of itself, void of the experience that goes on inside each one of us is all there is. Now what fascinates me is that the part of us, namely the soul and the spirit, which provide all meaning to our experience of life are themselves something we cannot see with our physical eyes. That fact alone ought to teach us something about “what is real”? What is real therefore isn’t simply all that is accessible to our five senses. For the scientists even tell us that certain sensory experiences escape us. There is a whole other world going on — an eternal, supernatural, spiritual world we cannot see with our physical eyes. Jesus’ rebuke to Peter in Matthew 16:23 “Get thee behind me Satan” shows an acknowledgement of a spiritual entity that Peter couldn’t see with his physical eyes, but which was every bit as real as the physical Jesus standing in front of Peter. The scripture in Ephesians 6:12 which reads, “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” is yet still more evidence of a spiritual or supernatural world. To live our lives solely on the basis of things we experience physically, or in the natural, is to devote our lives to what is only half-real, indeed even ephemeral. To ignore the inner man, to neglect its relationship with a supernatural, spiritual God, is to not live reality out to its fullest. Furthermore, it is a neglecting of that part of us which actually provides meaning to the natural world we do see. Each waking moment of our lives, we will do well to remind ourselves of the fact that we are not just physical beings inhabiting a natural world, but also spiritual beings inhabiting a supernatural world. For all that we do in caring for the “flesh” we must also devote attention to the hidden, inner, unseen yet very real person in us.

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One thought on “What is Reality?

  1. Pingback: WAKE UP!!! | New Heaven on Earth!

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