Lokesh offers some sceptical thoughts on a belief that’s commonly held and taught in psycho-spiritual circles.
“Don’t become a prisoner of your own reality, set yourself free by creating a life worth living.”
― Steven Redhead, Keys to Creating Your Reality
“Whatever a person’s mind dwells on
intensely and with firm resolve,
that is exactly what he becomes.”
~ Shankaracharya ~
I had the ‘you create your own reality’ theory dropped on me the other day, and I began to think about it. There are many different aspects to the ‘create your own reality’ philosophy. I will outline a few and the commentators can take it from there.
One observation I have made over the years is that the people who promote the ‘create your own reality’ viewpoint are almost always successful. I have never had someone dying from cancer or living on the street come up to me and say they created the tragedy that has become their life. As I see it, shit happens. A drunk driver crashes into your car. Did you create this reality? The other side to telling someone that they are creating their own reality, when they are not doing so well, is that it will make them feel worse than they already do, because they think the shit that is happening is their own fault, instead of perhaps being circumstantial.
Shit happens in life and nobody can deny it. Where we can get creative is how we choose to deal with the shit. I do not believe that visualizing no shit happening in the course of one’s life is going to lead to a shit-free life, but of course the ‘create your own reality’ believers do. This brings us into the faith dimension. It cannot be proven or disproven, you just have to have reinforced belief, faith, a very Christian mindset, one might say, to make good things happen.
I want to win Euromillions and therefore I have to see myself winning the lottery first before actually winning it. Successful people have often told me that is how reality works. I do not believe it, which is maybe why I have never won a Euromillions jackpot. Can somebody help me out on this one?
What do the gurus say? From what I can gather there is a lot about how you are responsible for the kind of life you are living. We create our very own versions of heaven and hell. I agree. We are born into this world and begin to create our very own world with an individual ‘I’ as its fulcrum. I agree. What I do not agree with is that we can control external forces simply by believing we can. Where does the inside extend to and where does the outside begin? It’s complicated.
We only have two real choices in life and that is whether or not to accept that everything in life is preordained. Ramana said that and it is an absolutely perfect example of a Zen koan. I do not see myself as a leaf being washed downstream by a raging torrent. I have built a rudder onto my leaf boat and I actually manage to steer the thing from time to time; or is it all an illusion? I suspect it is.
So, dear SN commentators and readers, do we create our own reality? Can we make things manifest in a positive way by visualizing it will be so? I look forward to reading your responses and hopefully create a topic from which some intelligent debate might arise.