Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Reality

Mind/Reality & Writers


Yesterday I posed a number of questions about mind and reality and got some fascinating comments from a group of writers.

I promised a follow-up post and feel very good that I didn’t have to weave it out of thin air :-)

The thin air my mind is in now is a rarified state of reality I like to call metaphysical funk.

The comments from yesterday began to fill that mental reality with urges and pokes that are helping me turn the funk into a faith that I can make the walking woundedness of pervasive grief over the death of a friend an experience rich with fertile futurity.

If that last sentence made some sense to you, we could probably enjoy a chat in some groovy coffee house :-)

I decided the best I could do, right now, to indicate how helpful all the comments were is to put the urges and pokes here, hoping they prod my readers to check back with yesterday’s post and read all the comments

Shalon said:

“My take on this, Alexander, is that we can’t know what’s real or what’s not real, and that the blind commitment to one form of reality is a type of zombie-hood that sucks your brain out of your mind and eats it….

“I also feel that since reality is unknowable, the smartest thing to do is give it the benefit of the doubt….

“…I’m not saying that there isn’t a real ‘reality’ out there, but that despite the possibility of a ‘true’ and ‘real’ reality, there still exists a choice. I believe that this requirement to choose one reality over another means, to me, that reality is unknowable.”

Karla> said:

“The brain is an elegant and amazing organ, constantly gathering input from our environment and processing it according to ever evolving life lessons. I don’t see why we feel the need to attribute reality to anything more than that.”

Simone said:

“Well, a couple of children’s stories come to mind. One is The Emperor’s New Clothes. The other is about the blind men and the elephant.”

John said:

“The questions on the floor, of course, are so elephantine (speaking of “the blind men and the elephant”) that I doubt I could make much more than a stab in the direction of actually unraveling the questions of “mind” and “reality” enough to even approach an answer or two concerning either….

“Personally, reality appears to be what it is to me; the minute I must related this reality to someone else, voilà! There are difficulties which simply do not exist in the singular; when it comes to the plural of humanity, then, of course, we run into a problem of justice and equity, which is an entirely different kettle of fish, and whole new elephant to examine.”

Cassy said:

“There is an inseparable symbiotic relationship between our senses and the reality that is created within our mind….

“Metacognition helps us to evaluate our minds reality as shaped by our sensual experiences….

“So, in short, I would say that the weave of reality and mind is so tight, it would be difficult to identify which is the chicken and which is the egg (though I am writing this before 8am and have only had one cup of coffee – no telling what my reality will be an hour from now :)”

Your Thoughts/Feelings??
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Mind or Reality ~ Which Came First?


There have been various explorations on this blog about the writer’s mind and the reader’s mind. And, we’ve also explored various realities.

Try putting both words , “reality” and “mind” together, in the search box at the upper right, the one with the little magnifying glass, and you can see what we’ve already discussed.

Today, I want to broaden the discussion out to anyone’s mind and how it either creates reality or is created by reality.

I’m not going to state a definite opinion (though, you might infer it from the “voice” of this post).

So:

A child is born with a mind. Does it have patterns already associated with it? Or, is it “blank”?

If it already has pre-existent patterns of operation, does that mean that it reaches out and molds whatever is outside the body into a “personal” reality?

If it’s blank, does it just accept whatever exists outside it as fact and build on that?

What about thoughts and feelings? Are they both part of the mind?

Why should it matter what we think or feel about the mind and reality?

If you could read and understand that last sentence you may have a clue about why it could matter

There are enough studies and articles about mind and reality to build a staircase to the Moon and there seems to be no strong consensus on which came first.

Oh! There’s also the debate about whether the brain and the mind are the same thing or if the mind somehow includes the brain but operates “above” it.

And, we probably shouldn’t ignore the various views on what the word “reality” actually means and the various “kinds” of realities people postulate: social reality, personal reality, physical reality, imaginary reality, consensus reality, etc.

My reality recently got a kick in its mental/emotional ass. My view of the world and the importance of various supposed priorities is evolving and mutating. I’ve always wondered about what’s real and how I could know it and the last week has taken my wonderment to a new playing field.

The Game continues but the Rules are changing

If enough of you comment on the questions of this post, I’ll weave a part two tomorrow. If the comments are sparse, I may weave tomorrow’s post out of thin air.
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The Different Flavors of Reality ~ Where Do Creative Ideas Come From?


I may lose a few folks with these opening comments but to really “get” this post you should first read this one and then read this one. They’ll open in new windows so you can pop right back here… I totally recommend you read the comments on those posts, too. Seems our regulars are getting into the spirit of things :-)

For those who haven’t read those other posts, I’ll face the challenge of writing a synopsis:

Writers seem like strange creatures, always coming up with make-believes that seem real, talking to characters in their heads, spending lots of time absolutely alone…

Seems we writers are actually like other people but more so…

Writers use something everyone has but they use it more.

I’m going to insert an image, but first want to credit the man from whom it was adapted, William S. Hatcher. I found the diagram in his book, Logic & Logos. I should mention, mostly because the image implies it, that the theories of Carl Jung support Hatcher’s ideas.

MAP of REALITY

First, notice that Unconscious Reality and Conscious Reality are both Subjective: they are what each individual has “within” them…

Then, Visible Reality and Invisible Reality are both Objective: “outside” the individual…

Now, a little explanation of each flavor of Reality:

Conscious Reality: This is what far too many people think is the only reality. It’s the Ego-consciousness, the part of the mind that sees objects, the place where we do our thinking and shout in silence…

Visible Reality: This is the world-out-there. Again, far too many people think this is the only reality that’s outside their mind–if ya can’t see it, it ain’t real…

Invisible Reality: This flavor of Reality might sound totally strange but contemplate gravity–can’t see it but you definitely know it’s there. Magnetism is another part of Invisible Reality. And, if you really want to grasp this aspect of Reality, realize that most of what we call Social Reality–institutions, corporations, various civic offices–are also part of Invisible Reality. Sure there are Visible buildings and corporate headquarters and mayors but the concepts of institution, corporation, and office are truly invisible. There may be a President in the White House but you can’t actually see The Presidency…

Unconscious Reality: Now we’re into the area of Reality that writers (and any creative person) use so much. This is internal to a person. Most people don’t pay conscious attention to this part of their mind. It makes itself known, whether a person wishes it or not, in dreams, day-dreams, sudden speech we often wish hadn’t left our mouths, and other interesting manifestations.

The Unconscious Mind of each individual is also, apparently, connected at its deepest levels with what might be called the Memory of Humanity–the Collective Unconscious–but this memory isn’t passive; it has energy and purpose and has powered many a fine conscious idea…

So, to summarize:

There are, at least, four realms of Reality and two of them are inside us. Most people cling to their Conscious Reality and shun the Unconscious. They leave themselves open to bad dreams, embarrassing social gaffs, troublesome relationships, and even increased illness…

Writers (and other creative types) take advantage of their Unconscious Reality. It either flows up to the conscious mind without bidding and is accepted as a resource for creativity or they work to make it manifest its images and energies.

I hope you read those two earlier posts I recommended and it would be just fantastic if you’ve checked out the other links. Now, I will eagerly anticipate the continuation of the conversation from the earlier posts’ Comments………
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