Reality and how to know it

Ant and the boy

He swiftly joins the line of fellow beings marching towards their colony. He is carrying a good amount of food. As he reaches the colony he realizes that it has been destroyed. The boy is amazed to see the inside of the ant hill he had just walked on. He runs back home to watch his favourite show on TV.

An ant’s world is what it would has experienced it to be, or , is it what the boy saw when he took a peek into the mud structure.

What is reality? Who gets to say what it is?

We say that what we sense or experience is real. Our world is our reality. This could be proved wrong by keeping the above anecdote in mind.

  1. Reality for ant is not the reality of a human.

  2. Experiences are different and their worlds are different.

  3. But they co-exist in the same world.

Doesn’t this mean that the truth cannot be discovered or realized by any individual?

The absolute truth

Could a subjective outlook of different entities become a truth? Is it possible to step out of our own world and see a larger picture?

Reality is that which is present

A point of view which could bring us closer to the absolute truth is by stating that reality is what is present, thereby, including entities and phenomenon which we humans need not have experienced or understood.

Existence and reality

Whatever exists is real. This statement can be contradicted since, we who state this say that something exists, purely by our own senses, which opens up the possibility of non-existence being a reality. This again leads to dead end which is beyond the scope of a human understanding.

The quest for an absolute truth becomes redundant as we always arrive at conclusions that are beyond the understanding of a human. Therefore there are other perspectives from which we can understand what reality could be.

A concept developed by man

We know that reality exists for each entity, whether or not the entity is conscious of it. This point of view opens up a totally different framework in which we answer the question. To understand our own reality we can start at another question when do we experience? When do we live? When does reality unfold for us? At the present moment. Nothing has happened outside now. Is it possible to understand or experience a true sense of reality by living in the moment? Living in the moments is an idea that has become a cliché from time to time. But could this idea which is repeatedly being cited in various holy texts and from new age gurus be a key to experience the purest form of reality that a human is allowed to experience?

Or maybe reality itself can be understood as an absolute truth through an individual’s experience. The more we think about, possibilities keep appearing. Humans as conditioned beings and we accept reality through a fixed perspective, maybe the rest of the living or non-living world experience reality differently, if it all experience is the right word to use. Maybe what I am asked to believe is reality need not be the reality at all. There are questions which results in answers which generates more questions? What is reality? How will we humans know it?

Bharath Haridas


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