"The point here is that if we see reality, then we see what is not true. And, except for actual physical threats, virtually all of our fears and consequent bad feelings are based on beliefs that are simply not true, not a representation of reality - at all! And if we live "in reality", there is no reason to be unhappy. Review why this is true, understand why it is true, for the very quality of your life depends on it."
"It is a profound truth that no truth can contradict another truth. That would be impossible. And, from this, we can know that there is only one truth. And, knowing that, we can look for what is the truth and what is not the truth. Finding what is true and what is reality is, I think, the greatest liberator and provides the path to eliminate huge amounts of what we call fear or negative feeling (which are based on false precepts believed to be true) - and that path leads directly to the path of happiness."
"The truth? You can't handle the truth!"
A Few Good Men (movie)
"Your perception is your reality, but it is not the reality. Do not make the huge mistake in life of not seeing that your perception is not reality."
"Perhaps the most important skill in life is to be able to see that our thoughts are mere primitive recordings and not real things. When we see this clearly, we no longer fear them and we do not cower to illusions."
Still as if a child
Take this very seriously, as if it is life or death
We add the meaning, but there is none, actually
The sequence - of reality and unreality
Knowing what is true and not true
The only reality
Reality = No fear (mostly)
Really, is there an effect?
Perception is not reality
See the reality stops a huge amount of wasted energy
Accept the reality save a huge amount of "pain"
But, how do I learn this, and own it as my truth?
STILL AS IF A CHILD
When grown up, we can still hold ourselves as if we are children.
That would be ok, except that it does not serve us. Yes, it is good to have a sense of wonder and a sense of play, but one need not have all the other child characteristics to have those.
The problem is that we hold onto illusions that we believe are real. We still believe "nightmares", though most of our nightmares are made up while we are wide awake. We still make up "movies" in our minds, but then we believe they are real, rather than just entertaining or just nonsense.
TAKE THIS VERY SERIOUSLY, AS IF IT IS LIFE OR DEATH
Despite reading this here and seeing it elsewhere in writing and in conversations, most people will remain unconvinced, or at least unmoved (not activated), about it. But there are a few of you, if you continue down the road, will find that it is the most liberating and life enhancing realization in their whole life, the most impactful, by far.
The major tenets of all philosophical and religious disciplines caution against letting this be. Indeed, they all have something to say about delusions and illusions and some get extensively into how to see delusions and illusions for what they are - with no reality.
Of course, there is a real consequence to the illusions. We feel an emotion and our body gets ready to do what it must to handle the illusory item. That part is real.
Other than that part, nothing actually occurs other than the firing off of brain cells that are part of the illusionary process. We simply create a little box in which we fire off imaginary things and it reverberates through the box but doesn't go anywhere - and it restricts us to the box instead of doing progressive contributory actions.
WE ADD THE MEANING, BUT THERE IS NONE, ACTUALLY
We are reacting as if it means something to experience a biomechanical, electrical sensation (physical feeling, at some level). We are reacting as if a memory pattern of something that happened, with an emotion remembered as well as an action attached, is an actual experience out in the real world.
But we believe that what we perceive and believe is actually the truth, even when others experience or see it differently. This provides us with one of the basic tests. Surely there aren't two truths that are contradictory to each other. But some people will still not even believe this last sentence is true - but it must be and the belief that it is not cannot possibly be true. (Will you accept that sentence, which is, in itself, a truth?)
THE SEQUENCE - OF REALITY AND UNREALITY
The sequence (somewhat simplified here) goes like this:
1. Something happens --> 2. Brain matches patterns --> 3. Various emotions and preparatory reactions in the primitive brain occur in the first 10 to 30 milliseconds --> 4. The signaling/physical reacting process occurs --> 5. We process the information in higher brains --> 6. We decide what to allow or do --> 7. We act and have sensations (good feelings, bad feelings) occur, with our body doing what fits --> 8. We add meaning to it --> 9. Our body/mind reacts - and so on.
Let's differentiate which parts are real and which are not real.
The reality part
The reality part is that something happens.
It is real that something is sensed (seen, etc.). It is real that the body does some patterned behavior that has evolved over millions of years and which works for survival. Neurons in a pattern (a "picture" or "template") are fired off - with many patterns fired off at the same time, with some being matched to each other and some being used to estimate between to create a "filled-in" gap in the information - the filled in gap seems real but it is not - it is only real that our brains fill in gaps in missing information. An "anticipatory" process goes off in the mind to check out possible happenings and consequences. We do something: physical movement and/or generate emotions and their consequences.
Physical happenings are real. The neuronal patterns are actually in real existence, but the "concepts" in the patterns are not necessarily a reflection of what is real. Our actions and the physical occurrences are all real, part of the physical happenings.
The "not real" part
What is not real is everything but the physical occurrences. The past is only an image on a memory film (neuronal patterns in the brain). The future is only an anticipation, which might match what happens in the future and which might not match the actual happening in the future! Pay attention to the latter one, for most people will fall into believing those projections - and then they'll experience the exact feelings they don't want to experience if the thing were to actually happen. That is a "bigger bang for your buck", experiencing the suffering multiple times instead of just once - what a deal!
Our brain rearranges itself to some degree after every happening. This rearrangement is real. The data itself, however, is not necessarily actually real (= true) - but somehow we believe it must be. Believing our data is true and real is one of the fundamental thinking errors in humans - one that is hugely, hugely detrimental to our progress and to our happiness.
KNOWING WHAT IS TRUE AND NOT TRUE
Note that the great wise men will make statements that seem silly or illogical, when they say, "as I learn more, I realize I know so little." This is a reflection of their learning as they go through their beliefs and test them that most are not true, not set in reality. But the strength in them is that they operate more and more on what is true, as they discover each truth, and stop acting on what is not true, as they discover or surmise what is not true and real.
You, as someone who has not studied this and has not "bought into it" yet, might start with just knowing that there is a possibility that what you believe to be true might not actually be true. You might also accept that there is a greater chance for error the more we conjure things up in our mind without testing it for truth - i.e. when we are "imagining" (making up images) what will occur. And if you accept those two, then it is logical that you will accept that one must not blindly buy into what our mind makes up nor believe it without testing it.
THE ONLY REALITY
The only reality is in "what happened" in the physical world ("out there" and inside the body/mind physically). All the rest is made up and is our concept "about" the world. (You might want to read "The Power Of Context", which is how we "hold the world to be", as a kind of a shortcut to deciding what fits and what doesn't. Prejudice is a "context". Believing the world is a good one is a "context. Both are made up, but a context is the filter through which we make up other beliefs - and those beliefs can be highly harmful if they are based on an incorrect view/context.)
The bottom line is that "humility" is wise to have in the areas of beliefs ("made ups" or "stories") and that one should only, humbly, practice the testing of beliefs for the truth, asking Byron Katie's simple question "Is it the truth?" and then stopping operating from the mistruth and proceeding to find out what is the truth.
If one is "operating in reality", one operates strictly from "what works" to produce "desired results". One does not operate from "made ups". One does not operate from the made up concept of "right/wrong" (strictly in the mind!) but from "what works or doesn't work". Right/wrong is made up, strictly BS.
REALITY = NO FEAR (MOSTLY)
Getting back to fear, when we look at what is true, most of "fear" falls away, a fallen ghost of no believability. It is "workable" to fear being extinguished or being harmed. What is not part of the real world is the reasoning and/or truths that we attach to those.
REALLY, IS THERE AN EFFECT?
As a child, it is real that if the big people don't feed us we will starve to death. And it is true that we must have them "care" (love?) for us - and that is not a good idea to alienate them from us to the extent they stop.
As an adult, however, it is not reasonable to believe that we need approval from others - and it is real to see that approval is no longer needed for survival - it has no effect on our ability to survive, as we are now independent. Yet we create an importance toapproval that is far beyond the actual impact on us. It is "nice" that someone approves and it makes life a bit easier, but it is of little consequence if they don't - except to a person who holds onto the child point of view. The proof of this existing results from backwards reasoning in the law of cause and effect: If there is a big impact emotionally, the person must believe, by inference that some big impact will occur, for it makes no sense to react strongly to something that is of little consequence.
If one looks at most fears from a "what has actual impact" point of view, one can discard the great majority of fears and keep only the useful ones. (And, once one decides which ones are probably useful, one should, humbly, examine which ones of those are actually not based on truth and reality.
Also, it is actually true, though few seem to believe it that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Although this is in childhood tales, most of us seem to have not learned its truth.
Ask yourself a simple question when you are not feeling good after something happens: "Did something actually happen, other than the effects that I created by the way I think? Did something ACTUALLY HAPPEN?
If I didn't get approved of, is there any real effect if I don't believe that it is significant or meaningful that I wasn't approved of? No is the almost always answer. That means that only my added meaning caused me to feel bad - and that there is no need to feel bad, as nothing actually happened!!!!!
Letting go of the false fear beliefs is probably the most impactful, most beneficial thing you can do. Learn about it thoroughly, practice it fully - it'll change your life dramatically. Learn about a false belief and the impact of that false belief goes away - for when it is put into the light of day the falsity is readily apparent.
PERCEPTION IS NOT REALITY
The brain doesn't necessarily see everything accurately, at least not in its "final report". When it sees only part of a picture, it will "make up" (or attempt to correctly estimate) what is missing, just as it does with your eyesight where the connection to the retinal nerve does not actually see anything. See Fact, "Truth", Reality and Perception Versus Reality (though these are written for relationships and communication, it is useful here) .
SEEING THE REALITY STOPS A HUGE AMOUNT OF WASTE
When you see that a non-truth is not true, the effort spent in resisting and staving off the imagined consequence is no longer going to be wasted. As a consequence of one less danger signal going off in your brain, you'll feel more energy as your body will not have to prepare itself for the (false, non-existent) danger.
ACCEPTING THE REALITY SAVES A HUGE AMOUNT OF "PAIN"
In The Realities Of Life, the realities of life are listed and you are asked to make a decision as to whether or not you will accept them, or operate based on irreality, or resist reality. Read it and make a decision.
BUT, HOW DO I LEARN THIS, AND OWN IT AS MY TRUTH?
It is most often useful to go through trainings related to particular things you want to learn, to reinforce and strengthen your knowledge. But note that the trainings are not sufficient and that other means of learning and backing up what is learned. The deeper you go, the better (until you've reached high sanity).
The best "lay person" training I've seen in this area is The Landmark Forum (See About Landmark Education.). For almost everyone it begins to break up one's belief in stories and made ups. It also has some 10 week once a week seminars on various topics which allow for ongoing application of the idea of not believing "stories". Some people experience only a partial questioning of stories, and some "get it" totally and stop letting superstition and story rule their lives - a powerful gift.
Attending and practicing at a Buddhist temple provides an ongoing education and reinforcement. That is true of some yoga organizations also.