archives, wisdom

What’s Real, Really?

{Image: Andréa Balt}


Do not be fooled.

Your eyes will inform you that the earth is flat and that the ocean is blue. Your sense of perception will convince you that as you stand at the roadside you are stationary. Your nose might tell you that this piece of chocolate melting in your palm tastes chocolatey as you rest it on your tongue yet your tongue feels like wax. What then guides your perception of reality?

Thought. Pure, unbridled thought.

Take a thought. Any thought. Examine it. Question its reality. Question its very existence. From whence did it come? Who created it, you? Do you recall choosing that thought, or did it enter unbidden into the perfume of your mind? And perfume-like it is, the mind. Invisible yet all-encompassing.

We are intoxicated by the realms and unrealities of our own minds. We are fascinated by them and believe the imaginary worlds they create.

Take a thought. Any thought — he doesn’t like me, I look fat, I am a good person, I am a terrible person, the world is unfair, I need more money, she is mean to me, etc. and so on it goes, spinning tales all day long. Sure, it can be fun, entertaining, as is any fairy tale. But the sunset and happy ending doesn’t exist. Not in that world.

Take a thought. Any thought. Even the altruistic ones, full of promise and optimism — I am fortunate, the world is full of goodness, I am meeting my fitness targets, I am building a successful career, my friends are wonderful. Even those thoughts are merely thoughts.

From where do they emanate? Think of who you are, or what life is without those thoughts. Without a single thought; not the time of day, nor who you are or think you might be. What then is left? See if you can get curious, really curious about that space; that one where thought does not color your view of reality. What do you see or sense?

If you look for the truth with the same resilience as you might look for a lost wallet, you will find something profound.

You will find nothing at all.

For without your borrowed description of what is, there is nothing. Our world is created and brought into existence by language, by ideas, by learned distinction. When we see beyond the web of that world, we glimpse into a vast emptiness in which reality can occur in its vivacity and in its void. In this silence there is a deep-seated truth.

For if the vast canvas of blank space did not exist, we would experience nothing at all. It is the very fabric upon which we weave our unique experiences and live our lives. Look for it. Look for yourself. Move. Move to the spaces between the sights, the smells and the sounds. Challenge the beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, judgments and assumptions.

It can be scary. Beyond fear, however, lies freedom. And from there you might just unveil the truth of yourself.


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Asha Patel
Asha Patel has traveled the world in search of her own heart, only to discover that it was right here all along, and that it demands chocolate for breakfast -- regularly. Asha’s corporate background in law and finance has always co-existed alongside her creative pursuits. As well as being engaged as a painter, photographer, food enthusiast and martial artist, she is passionate about people and the path of self-inquiry. As a writer, Asha is rarely to be found without a pen in her hand and has co-authored a novel called ‘Looking for the Obvious’, a unique publication of spiritual fiction that invites readers to embark on the inner journey to unveil the true creative force within.
Asha Patel
Asha Patel
Asha Patel