Friday, February 19, 2010

Creating my own reality?

Lately one often hears people say that we create our own reality. This idea was probably seeded into general consciousness by movies such as “The Secret” and “What the Bleep do we know”, but perhaps it is simply a concept whose time has come. Perhaps our consciousness has sufficiently matured that we are finally able to entertain such an idea. Recently, as a result of certain experiences I have had (more about these later), I have been wondering what exactly it means to create my own reality.

Science tells us that our thoughts and emotions lead to the production of various chemicals in our brains and bodies, which do, indeed, impact on our physical experience of our reality. Just thinking about something, or imagining it, engages the same parts of the brain (as can be clearly observed by scientists), and leads to exactly the same physiological response, as actually experiencing that event in reality. So, if I think of someone I love, I will experience the same cascade of feel-good chemicals in the brain that I would experience if that person were actually physically with me. Positive thinking leads to the production of brain chemicals that cause us to feel happy and positive and vice versa. So, we really are able to influence our own subjective, physical experience of reality through our thoughts and intent. But what of the external reality that we experience with our five senses? I’m of the opinion that this too, is 100% a subjective experience.

We know that we are bombarded by thousands of bits of information every second, of which we are only consciously aware of a tiny percentage. What determines which bits of information we actively experience? Well, all information is filtered through the lens of our own view of the world and ourselves, which, in turn, is created by our previous experiences and our thoughts and attitudes about those experiences. So, if we hold a certain worldview, we will continue to have experiences that confirm and support that worldview, and our brains will disregard those bits of information that don’t actively support our worldview. Someone with a totally different worldview would experience exactly the same circumstances very differently. We know this is true when we interview several people who all witnessed an event but recall vastly different versions of that same event.

In truth we don’t experience the world the way IT is, but rather the way WE are.

Our experience of reality can never be truly objective at all, but is a totally subjective experience, which would seem to suggest that we could dramatically alter our experience of external reality if we were to alter ourselves. And how do we alter ourselves? Well, we alter our thinking, which leads to an alteration of our emotional state (we can eventually learn to “self-emote”, which means that we choose how we will feel about something rather than simply being a victim to our emotions). This, in turn, leads to an alteration of our physiological state, which alters our physical experience. Changing our thinking clearly changes the lens through which we filter the information we receive through our 5 senses, which, in turn, also alters our experiences and so on and so on, either in an upward spiral of self-perpetuating and self-reinforcing positivity or in a downward spiral of self-perpetuating negativity.

There is a school of thought that posits that our entire experience is subjective, which means that the whole of reality plays out in my own mind and that all reality is therefore a projection of my own consciousness. Therefore, I am 100% responsible for my own experience of all reality. We can combine the subjective worldview with the “many worlds" theory (or parallel universe theory) given to us by quantum physics, which suggests that, at every event, reality branches into all possible options, which all continue to co-exist. In this combined theory, I truly choose, in every moment, through my thoughts and intent and consciousness, exactly which version of reality I am going to experience. This would seem to indicate then that I choose which version of YOU I am going to experience, indeed, which version of all reality I am going to experience. This is indeed, the strongest version of the “I create my own reality” thesis. I’m not sure I’m prepared to accept this version as yet! However, I am pretty sure that, on some level or other, we do create our own experienced reality.

Of course, in order to benefit from the knowledge that we can create our own experiences of reality, we have to relinquish our attachment to our belief that we are victims and embrace our true creator-selves. And that’s the hardest part of all. It’s SO much easier to think of ourselves as helpless, weak, passive beings, victimized by fate or God or by society or our parents or whatever, than to take full responsibility for the creation of our own reality. Do I have the courage to stand up and take ownership of my life, my experiences, my emotional state, and my self-created reality? Well, I guess that, by applying the principles explored above, then I need to choose to have the courage, think and believe that I have the courage and then my reality will start to reflect that I DO have the courage. And so it is…

OK, this is all very interesting theory, but what have my own experiences in this regard been? Well, I have been working on investing my energy in the things I DO want rather than the things I don’t. What this means in practice is that I spend time every day in meditation and contemplation in which I vividly imagine what it is that I want to create in my life. I visualize this in great detail and I start to imagine the way I would feel if this was the way things were. Remembering that imagining the event causes EXACTLY the same physiological response as actually experiencing the event and that this physiological response then starts to alter my experience of reality. Then I express my willingness to be the version of self that experiences this new reality and get on with my life, staying open and receptive to pick up on “route markers” along the way. These could be an intuition that I should go somewhere, do something, talk to someone etc. Or often they come in the form of a strong emotion, which tells me that I am on the right path.

These are essentially the techniques described in greater detail in “The Secret”, but they are immensely powerful and also unbelievably effective. The world I am experiencing is starting to change. I keep meeting people and having experiences that confirm my opinions about the way I choose to see the world. I am happier and calmer and more in touch with what I really want than ever before. I am starting to experience incredible synchronicity, as I miraculously find myself in the right place at the right time to experience that which moves me ever closer to my stated intent. Below is an example of this.

I wrote last week Friday about the property we had found (link to last Friday's blog posting here) and certainly, at the time, it appeared to meet all the criteria we had intellectually set for our forest retreat. But then, on Saturday, we experienced something truly miraculous. We had agreed to meet with the estate agent to view one last property before we left for Cape Town. We were a bit reluctant to do so, as we thought that we had already found the perfect place for us. But she had gone to so much effort to set up the appointment that we felt bad about canceling and so we decided to quickly have a look and then leave.

Now, I need to backtrack a bit to something that happened 18 months ago. After the “peak experience” I had on the forested hilltop (described in my first blog post), I started to imagine what my new life could be like in the Tsitsikamma forest. I would lie awake at night imagining driving up a densely forested driveway in a white pick-up and pulling up in front of a wooden home, surrounded by indigenous forest. I imagined living a self-sufficient life, collecting rainwater, growing our own food and spending the rest of my time expressing my authentic Self in a way that brought me a sense of meaning and purpose. These imaginings brought me a great sense of joy, excitement and anticipation. However, as the months passed, my attention was diverted by the busy-ness of disentangling myself from my corporate job and city life and I forgot about my imagined perfect forest home.

Well, on Saturday, as we were following the estate agent in our car along an 8km dirt road winding its way through indigenous forest to the piece of land we were to view, suddenly there was a CLICK and I realized that I recognized this place! It was EXACTLY the way I had imagined it all those months before and, when we walked onto the piece of land, I knew that I had been there before in my vision. I had an overwhelming emotional connection to the place. Without knowing any of the practical considerations with respect to the property, I knew I was home!

This property is surrounded by protected indigenous forest with views of forest-covered mountains, as far as the eye can see. It has 2 dams, which had plenty of water despite the drought and is mostly cleared of invader species (although some work will still be required). We would need to build our own timber home to our own specifications (in my vision I saw the timber home we will build). There is plenty of space for a vegetable garden. Our neighbour, who is selling the property, owns a helicopter, which is put into use whenever there are fires in the Tsitsikamma forests. A useful connection to have! Even better, he has a guest cottage on his property where he has offered us accommodation while we are building our own home. He is also moving towards complete self-sufficiency and even shares our beliefs and philosophies, which we discovered during an hour spent chatting to him after viewing the property. Several of the other people in the small community appear to have similar ideas. We start to see the possibility of being part of the creation of an intentional community based on shared vision and values, which is something that we have often spoken and dreamt about. Every detail is simply perfect. This IS our new home.

So, did I create this reality through my intent or is it simply a huge coincidence? Was it prescience or did I predispose myself to finding this property because of the energy and emotion with which I imbued my imaginings? I guess I have a choice to see it any way I wish and therefore I choose to believe that I do indeed create my own reality and that my experience provides me with confirmation of these views. I choose to believe this simply because it makes me feel happy. My daily experiences are increasingly providing me with more and more reasons to believe as I do. And, really, at the end of the day, I choose to trust my own experiences rather than anyone else's theories or opinions.

What I have realized is that my emotions are the key the creating my reality. When I strongly imbue a thought or vision with emotion, I generally find that vision fulfilled in my reality and when I feel a really strong emotional response to something, then I know that I am on my true path. My heart is my infallible guide.

So, we have put in an option to buy the land and tomorrow we will be receiving an offer to purchase our home in Cape Town, and all is progressing perfectly in fulfilment of our dreams.

And so the journey continues…

Next: Why Do Anything?


Wolfke74 said...

Thanks for sharing this beautifull message of creating or own reality. I truly can resonate myself with it. These days I am trying to stay in the now and trying not to think of the past or the future, just NOW. Even though is still hard to do this but sometimes it really connects and really feel the blissfulness of staying in the now. It would be wonderfull to life a live without being runned by watches, time and so on.

Wish you and your husband a lots of love, light, laughter and JOY.....


Nico said...

Wow..Reading this gave me goosebumps all over. I don't know the words to describe the feeling I had when reading this.

Much, much joy!

Lisa said...

Hi Wolfke74 and Nico

Thank you for your kind words and comments.

Love, Lisa

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