Oh, those silly humans…
(Oh, those silly humans! So desperate for their absolutes!) Sometimes it seems like the only job of the world is to gently (or not so gently) separate us from our deepest assurances…Maybe you, too, were once absolutely sure that you’d found your great love, the perfect financial advisor, or the perfect mentor, meditation, or medication that would—once and for all—never fail you. And then? Slowly, things became not so sure, after all. Such is our slippery toehold on “what’s real….” *
We construct realities and then forget we were the ones who constructed them. When our relationship with reality has a kind of “is-ness” or “fixed-ness” to it,—it limits what’s possible and allows only for options like explaining, trying to fix, resisting, or accepting. The answer to the question, what does it mean to be human, gets looked at only through that lens. The movie The Matrix says it well: “Welcome to the desert of the real.”
The good news is that “reality” is a phenomenon that arises in language—it’s interpretation all the way down. The world does not speak. Only we do. Knowing that allows us to shake up realities we’d taken for granted. It doesn’t get rid of the lens or filters or mindsets per se, but they stop defining who we are. With the unsettling of old realities, we become interested in what might be, what we can imagine. New worlds, new possibilities open up.
*Adapted from Elizabeth Gilbert, “Certainty,” O Magazine.
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