Friday, September 17, 2010

What is reality?

What is reality? Mainstream science describes reality as "the state of things as they actually exist". So reality is simply: everything we observe.
This is a very broad definition. I consciously observe the lucid dream world, but does that make it a genuine reality? How many realities are there? Or, as Einstein suggested, is every form of reality merely an illusion? Is nothing real?
The human brain is split into two distinct halves: the right brain and the left brain. They have completely separate roles and agendas. Some would even say they have separate personalities. However, in order to function, the two halves of the human brain must communicate as one via the corpus callosum. 
The right brain is all about the present moment; right here, right now. It thinks entirely in pictures and learns through the kinesthetic movement of your body. It absorbs energy from the world around you and translates that into information for your sensory systems. It does not know the difference between your individual consciousness and the world around you. The right brain only sees one universal energy field of awareness.
The left brain is a very different place. It thinks linearly and methodically. It picks out countless details from the events in the past and makes calculated predictions about the future. The left hemisphere thinks in language, which creates your internal voice. Crucially, it makes you aware of your existence, as a separate being from the mass energy field perceived by the right brain.
Imagine if the human brain had evolved with only the functions of the right hemisphere. Your perception of reality would be completely different. You would be drifting around in a universe filled with energy in the here and now, with no perception of the past and future. You would not know where your body ended and the ground began, or the difference between you and me.
This is a very different perception of the world. But would it be a more accurate representation of reality? Knowing this about the human brain, the question "what is reality?" changes form. It now hinges on your individual perception. This has led to multiple theories of reality by various philosophers and scientists.(

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one"
Albert Einstein

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Taking yourself from good to great

I used to think I was pretty average; mediocre at best. In high school, I realized that okay, maybe I was pretty good. I found that I was actually kind of smart -- I didn't have to study or "try" as hard as the other students to get good grades or give thoughtful answers when called on in class. I always knew I was a pretty good athlete, I qualified for state each year I tried and I usually always placed in the top 10 of the state (for swimming). But, I wasn't really concerned about my athletic ability; that wasn't what was going to make me go far. So, what can take a good person to greatness? The quest for greatness is a lifelong journey and may not ever be truly fulfilled, but trying to be great sure makes for a more interesting life. The first thing I think people need to ask themselves is WHY? Find your one why, your one passion, your one drive, and let that question fuel your life. Why do you do what you do? If you don't love it, why are you doing it? What's your dream? What's your passion? Now WHY is that your passion? Now go after it.... now launch yourself. The power of having a purpose is one of the most important aspects of life. It's why you get up in the morning. Next -- channel yourself into a force of one. Think thoughts that make you a better person, feel feelings that empower you and do what needs to be done. Next, find a model. The best of the best usually haven't done it all by themselves (and neither should you). Find a role model, a mantra, a vision that makes you want to be a better person and don't you dare lose sight of it. Next, focus on the things that make you stronger and spend less time doing the things that make you weaker. If you get a lot out of volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, make it a goal to work on one house a month. If you find that when you go out you make bad decisions after too many drinks, cut back on going out or drinking so much. Next up, find your best area. While you might make an okay sales clerk, you might make an incredibly attentive laboratory worker -- go with what you're naturally good at, don't fight it. Stick with it. We are human, we are flawed, we are going to make mistakes, but keep on persevering. Maybe you fail five or six times, but did that stop the Little Engine? No, he kept trying... that's how he became the Little Engine that Could.  Next, learn and respond. How come you fell down five or six times? Find out what threw you down, take note of it, find a solution to it and overcome it. Let it go. While many of us brood over failures and kick ourselves for failing, there's only so much you can do after it's finished. Once you take note of what you did wrong and make a plan to overcome it, let go of your failure. The past is over and the future is in your hands. Next... charge towards greatness with all of your heart. Admit that you are a good person, you do have many talents, and go full speed towards your goals of greatness. You can do it. I know you can.