What is real? How do you define ‘real’? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.
This is part of the conversation that Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus) had with Keanu Reeves (Neo) in the 1999 movie called “The Matrix”. The reason why I love this quote is that it made me re-think a lot of ways in which I perceive reality. I don’t mean that in a way that I believe we live in a digitally conceived reality that imprisoned our consciousness, but in a way that I believe we can influence our own mind in certain ways.
I have spent countless hours trying to find meaning of every day life and how I can improve my understanding of it. The availability of information nowadays is possibly endless and with that, it’s prone to misinterpretation. I didn’t always believe everything I read or watched, but I did my best to pick the common sense solutions to questions I had. Do you think common sense is always present and applicable? Of course not. Life would have been too easy if that was the case.
Complications of every day living can be as minor as losing your pen at work, and as major as losing your wallet and car keys. I’m glad I never had to experience those two scenarios (never say never), because I always took extra precautions to avoid them. Every now and then I catch myself feeling that I might suffer from OCD. While walking from point A to point B, I tend to tap on the pockets, unnoticeably, which contain sensitive items (car keys, money, cards etc.). Is that classified as OCD?
Being overly cautious sometimes makes me think that I take things way too seriously. Life may not be as cruel as that. Do I like to take chances on it? Absolutely not!
Since the late nineties, and my discovery of Murphy’s Law, I made myself look at things from a different perspective.
The reality became more fun and open for multiple interpretations, depending on the situation, and the occasional mishap. Have you ever dropped something on the floor and it managed to roll into a hard to reach spot? Did you get frustrated trying to hit the trashcan with a crumpled paper, but instead of hitting it right, it bounced off the edge and onto the side of it? “Uncle” Murphy was laughing from wherever he was at.
This didn’t mean that I took things for granted, but it loosened up the seriousness that I’ve been building up inside me for years. It helped me “define” reality in a more meaningful way. The way I perceived things and how did they influence me was greatly assisted by knowledge seeking I never stopped doing. I learned to control my feelings and emotions, my ego and anger that caused me to be overly anxious and to keep the balance of mind overall.
Nowadays, I still like to sit in silence and work on eliminating the negative thoughts, plucking them out like overgrown weed in the garden. It helps me maintain the composure of senses, which ultimately resulted in happier life. It’s a great way of caring for yourself without being selfish. Besides, who are you without your sense of self? How do you perceive reality?