Reality is defined as “the state of things as they actually exist”. When the term reality is used, it includes everything that is and is not, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible by the human race. Reality in this sense may include both being and nothingness, everything and nothing, all that is and all that is not.

How Reality is Created

There are several schools of thought that approach the enigmatic question of what exactly is reality and how is it created. Many sages, mystics, philosophers, muses, and others have contemplated and meditated on this question and below are some of their conclusions.

  • Self created mirrored aspects of awareness, instant replications drawn into cohesive reality, make reality. Reality is a position of awareness. The inner state of our being, our inner awareness that is projected in our actions, aligns to the infinite, and positions us accordingly to our state of intent.
  • Consciousness creates reality. We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world.
  • All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream. Reality is not what it seems; what we see is not what is.

An Explanation of Reality Through Quantum Physics

Quantum physics has been the latest and most scientific approach to answering the ancient question of what is reality. Quantum reality has several possibilities, not just one established belief as to the nature of reality. To give a brief summary, below are the general perceptions of reality, as understood by quantum physics.

There is no deep reality.

This is the Copenhagen interpretation of reality. There is no deep reality. What the senses experience is not denied. The world we see around us is real enough but it floats on a world that is not as real. Everyday phenomena are themselves built not out of phenomena but out of an utterly different kind of being.

Reality is created by observation.

This is the second part of the Copenhagen interpretation. What we see is undoubtedly real, but these phenomena are not really there in the absence of an observation.

The Copenhagen interpretation consists of two parts:

There is no reality in the absence of observation
Observation creates reality (You create your own reality)

Reality is an undivided wholeness.

This is the view that Walter Heitler came up with. In spite of its obvious partitions and boundaries, the world in actuality is a seamless and inseparable whole. This is also a conclusion that is made in The Tao of Physics.

Reality consists of a steadily increasing number of parallel universes.

This is the many worlds interpretation created by Hugh Everett. For any situation in which several different outcomes are possible, all outcomes actually occur. In order to accommodate different outcomes without contradiction, entire new universes are created, identical in every way except for the single outcome that gave them birth.

The world obeys a non-human kind of reasoning.

Non-human reasoning is called quantum logic. The quantum revolution goes so deep that replacing new concepts with old will not suffice. To cope with the quantum facts we must scrap our very mode of reasoning, in favor of a new quantum logic.

The world is made of ordinary objects.

This is the neorealism view. An ordinary object is an entity which possesses attributes of its own whether observed or not. With certain exceptions such as mirages, illusions, and hallucinations, the world outside seems populated with objectlike entities.

Consciousness creates reality.

This view is at the center of many religions. An apparatus endowed with consciousness, such as a sentient human being, is able to create reality. The one observer that counts is the conscious observer.

The world is twofold, consisting of potentials and actualities.

This is the duplex world of Werner Heisenberg. What the two parts of the Copenhagen interpretation have in common is the assertion that only phenomena are real; the world beneath phenomena is not.

Reality as the ‘Here and Now’

Reality is as we find it in the here and now. In the here and now of psychotherapy, patients often buffer this reality and fail to suffer their lives. With regard to the Zen thought of the 13th century Japanese monk Dogen, Steven Heine observes “two interrelated factors: the objective factor, or his view that ultimate reality is realized through everyday, concrete phenomena; and the subjective factor, or his emphasis on an emotional attunement to impermanence”.

Heine continues by noting that, “genuine spiritual realization must be found by embracing-rather than eliminating-one’s emotional response to variability and inevitable loss”. In addition, he comments that, “Enlightenment is attained as empathetic grief is transformed into a realization of the non-substantive basis of existence”.

What to Make of Reality

Reality with a capital “R” has no shape or form whatsoever, and is beyond all intellectual concepts. The real truth is eternal and changeless. It has always been relevant, and it always will be. Real spirituality involves bettering one’s self by ways of selflessness/love and higher levels of awareness/truth that help us let go of concepts and thoughts because it’s concepts and thoughts that obstruct peace (of mind). Spirituality is not the introduction of even more concepts, unless those concepts help us let go of concepts.

Peace of mind is silence of mind. Which means that thoughts, thinking, perceptions, views, attitudes, emotions, concepts, opinions, beliefs, and attachments are the source of suffering. Many people say “I wouldn’t want to live life without my emotions or thinking”, but they don’t realize that is the ego/mind talking, and if one were even for a brief moment to personally experience exquisite, ineffable, and profound peace/silence, one would certainly no longer hold that point of view.


Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics by Nick Herbert