Reality: Virtual, Actual or Both?

Published on August 2, 2015, by in Uncategorized.

As we look, not merely at the ideas we hold about things (“that’s a tree, a computer, a joy, a sadness…”) but their sheer actuality, the raw, felt sense or presence of whatever is being perceived, it begins to dawn just how impossible it is to adequately capture or convey anything linguistically. What appears in the field of experience is quite literally, beyond any and all final descriptions or conceptualizations, even if aspects of language are able to hint at the myriad qualitative and textural dimensions of experience.

This may sound like a terribly abstract or overly philosophical way to characterize reality but actually, it’s quite the opposite. For what I’m suggesting is that the way the world is conventionally seen and understood is itself an abstraction— we have in effect, been living in and relating to a kind of virtual world, a conceptualization of experience rather than its actuality. This conventional, consensus (i.e., “virtual”) reality says, “the wind is blowing on my face.” But in actuality, each of the dimensions of this familiar experience—wind, blowing, and face—all contain inconceivable perceptual and sensorial universes within them. Put another way, what is a face, the wind or the activity of blowing, beyond the mere concepts used to characterize or label such experiences?

What if we were to encounter the infinitely rich, dynamic complexity of moment-to-moment experiencing, and not merely reduce its vast complexity to simple verbal or conceptual placeholders, which tends to be our default perceptual mode? What if we were to orient ourselves to reality in another way, feeling or being touched by experiences themselves rather than merely relating to the ideas or abstracted notions we hold about them? We need not negate this all-too-familiar mode of perceiving and describing the different ways reality patterns itself (e.g., as wind, blowing, and face). But we can discover another way to see, one that doesn’t merely collapse the apparent patterns of life into fixed categories or explanatory frameworks but instead, recognizes that the vast, unbounded, infinite nature of every perception cannot, in the end be convincingly reduced or collapsed.

Here are some wonderful words that attempt to capture the more infinite, indescribable nature of ALL experience I’m endeavoring to convey here.

un·fath·om·a·ble - incapable of being fully explored or understood; impossible to measure the extent of

in·com·pre·hen·si·ble - beyond one’s comprehension, beyond one’s grasp

in·scru·ta·ble - impossible to understand or interpret

in·de·fin·a·ble - not able to be defined or described exactly

in·fi·nite - limitless or endless in space, extent, or size; impossible to measure or calculate

in·de·ter·mi·nate - not exactly known, established, or defined

in·con·ceiv·a·ble - not capable of being imagined or grasped mentally

breath·tak·ing - astonishing or awe-inspiring in quality

mys·te·ri·ous - difficult or impossible to understand, explain, or identify

un·im·ag·i·na·ble - difficult or impossible to imagine or comprehend; undreamed of, beyond one’s wildest dreams

ir·re·duc·i·ble - not able to be reduced or simplified

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