A to Z Blog Challenge

R is for Reality



There is a saying that “perception is reality.” For the more practical and pragmatic such an argument is one of delusion. Perception is just an interpretation of reality and it has no impact on the things that are real. While I agree that a tree is a tree and “positive” thoughts on your ability to fly will have no impact on gravity’s strong belief in itself, a writer never dismisses the power of perception.

How we perceive a thing, impacts how we respond to a thing, and ultimately can change that thing. There may be an ultimate truth to all things, but reality is not necessarily truth and history demonstrates that reality is a fluid state. It is far more valid to say that reality is a construct of agreement by the masses than some final and known truth.

I believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Knowing things, having provable facts and a set of scientific laws does not represent the sum of reality. Facts are to grammar what story-telling is to perception. A perfectly written and boring sentence is no more powerful than a poetic mess. Together they create something important and grand.

A story after all is just a well told lie, but such fiction is no less powerful than an understanding of how a body converts food to energy. In fact, a story can offer a better understanding of reality because it has the ability to examine the sum of our perceptions. It may be true that a thing is not so, just because I wish it to be—but what if we all wish it to be? Time and again, humans have decided that a thing should be so…and that thing has become reality.

More pragmatic souls wish to measure and to test. Without a physical weight or length a thing cannot be real. Love cannot be weighed or measured and neither can faith, but these things create reactions and thus they impact our definition of reality. The process and constitution of snow remains the same, yet there is more joy in the first flurries of winter than in the last. The reality of snow is more than just the process of frozen water particles.

I am neither a child nor am I insane. I understand there is a vast cavern between imagination and perception. But as a writer I also understand that perceptions can create very real things. That the correct sequence of words can create worlds that, for a moment, the reader forgets are fictional. A part of those worlds and the ideas they convey, follow the reader back into this world. Sometimes the words continue to whisper us to action long after the last page and through that action we mold a reality, different that the one we had before we opened that book.


5 replies »

  1. Reality-can have many sides-how one person has viewed it, how another has viewed it and so on and then how it is. Even history books and every other book has a slant on things. It is rare to find one that measure things “equally”

    • One of my favorite thoughts in defining the difference between a psychopath and sociopath also does a nice job of explaining the problems with reality…A psychopath believes 2 +2 = 5…A sociopath knows it doesn’t and it really pisses them off.

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