No doubt you have heard the phrase, “You create your own reality.” Most often, this little platitude is used to blame us for the negative experiences in our life. It should be noted that positive experiences are often attributed to luck.
While it is true that you do choose what you experience, we all make our selection completely ignorant of the consequences. It is like blindly picking a present at a gift exchange only to be told not to complain because “you chose that.”
Even if you make no conscious choice, you still determine what you experience.
To understand how all this works, first, you must understand the nature of reality.
What you experience is unique to you. It is not shared, although it seems that way. If someone’s view of the universe is the same as your own, it doesn’t mean it is the same for everyone else. It simply means you have reached a consensus.
Reality is subjective, and it is not static, or fixed.
How Reality Changes
For example, even if you are considered tall now, there was a time when you were a small child. Your perspective of the world around you has changed dramatically throughout your life. Along with this evolving view of the world, your reality changed as well.
You may be wealthy now, but in the past, you struggled to make ends meet. Your reality of the ease or difficulty in achieving your financial goals has also changed as a result. This strongly influences how you view the world around you, and your place in it. You might think of yourself as a better person because your wealth affords you privilege in society and people treat you with higher regard. Your experiences skew your view of reality.
You may suddenly find negotiating crowds more difficult as people seem to be in your way, or obstructing your progress. There may have been a time when shopping went smoother, when people seemed kinder. This is nothing more than your attitude coloring your reality.
Reality is fluid.
The one thing we can know for sure is that our experience of our universe has changed in the past and it will change again in the future.
What if you could influence what you experience?
Our Brains Are Making it Up as We Go
In his 1991 book, “The Holographic Universe”, the late Michael Talbot proposed the universe may be a giant 3D holographic projection. It is nothing more than a virtual reality that seems to be a physical world.
Our brains mimic this same pattern, creating a reality in our heads as our bodies transport us through the construct where we perceive the external world. While everyone creates their individual reality and these may overlap, only the loading program is shared. Think of it as everyone on the same holodeck living out their own stories.
Our sense organs receive millions of pieces of information and constantly transmit this data to the meat computer in our heads. We reassemble this data to create a virtual reality we carry around with us.
This is a like a three-dimensional map of the world we use to navigate through life. In this way, we create our own unique view of the universe around us and we take that with us wherever we go. Because other people’s maps are similar, we believe this view of the universe is objective. But it’s not.
Much of reality is dictated by our different biology, our past experiences, our biases and even our preferences. No two people experience the world in the same way. Researchers have proven that our past experiences influence our visual perception.
Joseph Carroll of the Medical College of Wisconsin, a color vision scientist, says definitively that our perception of color is not the same. Most of the data humans receive comes through our eyes and our brains are wired for visual data processing. Yet we persist in our shared delusion that we agree on how the world appears to our eyes despite intellectually understanding this view of reality cannot be possible given variations in individual biology.
Everything we experience is recreated in our brains in such a way to fool us into thinking that this is taking place outside of ourselves and therefore, we all agree on what is taking place. According to Talbot, the world does not exist “out there” but “in here.”
“. . .when we look at a person, the image of the person is really on the surface of our retinas. Yet we do not perceive the person as being on our retinas. We perceive them as being in the ‘world-out-there.’ Similarly, when we stub our toe, we experience the pain in our toe. But the pain is not really in our toe. It is actually a neurophysiological process taking place somewhere in our brain.” — “The Holographic Universe”, Michael Talbot
We perceive only a tiny sliver of the physical world and often our perception is geared toward ease in meeting our goals rather than accuracy. Efficiency is the rule which means our brains will often ignore unnecessary data. We look for patterns and draw from past experiences. Our brains are not faithful to the truth.
What is a Reality Tunnel and What Happens When You Move It?
It is suggested that if our existence is predetermined, we go through life in a “reality tunnel.” This means we travel…
For instance, we intellectually understand that if we could view the material world at a microscopic level, it would appear as a largely empty space. It is simply more convenient to go about our day pretending matter is solid because it is useful and that is a model that serves our purpose.
This occurs countless times throughout our day to facilitate moving through our universe.
What Happens When You Live in a Simulated Reality?
If reality is a computer simulation, how does that work?
Understanding Quantum Immortality
Quantum Immortality is based on how human consciousness might experience a timeline. It expands on the idea that what we experience is separate and distinct from other’s view of the world.
Quantum immortality started as a thought experiment in the late 1980s. It was more fully developed by physicist and cosmologist Max Tegmark. It suggests we may die many times throughout our lives. With each passing, our consciousness moves, slides, jumps or shifts to the closest timeline, very similar to the one where we died. Most of the time, we wouldn’t notice the change.
Have You Died? Take the Quantum Immortality Test
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While science and skeptics may not agree, others are not so quick to dismiss the idea. There are reports of some near-death experiences which support the idea of quantum immortality.
Proponents cling to the “many-worlds interpretation” of other realities where versions of “you” reside. Every potential outcome of different choices exists in these realms as a possibility, but not actual timelines where physical copies of you live.
Like branches on a tree, your consciousness moves along the limbs experiencing each choice as your reality.
At the beginning of your life, countless possible futures exist before you. These timelines are like roads that take you through your life. You choose a direction from these potential paths which means you ultimately decide what you will experience.
The possible choices are wave-like until you decide on a course of action. Countless universes of possible futures spin off each time you are presented with a choice. When you select a course of action, it becomes particle-like and “real.” Your consciousness then experiences that reality. The greater the experiences in your life, the greater the options available to you.
For example, say you have bread and peanut butter. You have three meal options. You can eat the bread, you can eat the peanut butter, or you can make a sandwich. Your choices are pretty limited. But if you buy jelly, you have expanded your options to seven -- the original three plus jelly, a jelly sandwich, PBJ, or peanut butter and jelly alone.
Every time you add another possibility, you open significantly more options in the future. You have many more timelines to choose to experience.
However, your available selections are still limited to those possibilities that are open to you. In other words, you can’t choose a steak dinner from the makings of a PBJ.
This means you may only choose from potential futures that are presented and available to you from the point where you are presented with a decision. You can’t choose to go to Saturn tomorrow or become a child actor because those timelines aren’t available to you.
So how do you go about creating greater options? That will be my next article.
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