We all have a "set" of
beliefs ( thoughts believed to be TRUE) that we function under on a conscious
or subconscious level, a set of personal assumptions about the world. This
is what I call our personal-reality. Some of these assumptions are considered
to be "obvious" or more widely accepted as true. The concept of gravity
is an example. Most of us believe we and all the physical objects are held
to the Earth's surface by gravitational attraction. Most mundane things,
such as gravity, are universally agreed upon across social and ethnic boundaries.
Other beliefs about things theoretical or spiritual are more difficult
to "get a handle on". You and I can sit down to a cup of tea and agree
that the teapot is white with blue flowers, but to agree on the role God
plays in human existence would be a lot more difficult or impossible. Of
course, there are many profound beliefs that individuals hold about the
world and themselves that effect their lives far more than their belief
in gravity or other mundane concepts.
If I believe myself to be an insignificant, powerless person in a basically evil and exploitive world, then I will have a tendency to find ways to live my life in a defensive/victimized fashion; easily blaming society and my position in it for my lot in life. If I believe myself capable of great things and know through faith and courage I can effect the world in a positive way; I will tend to approach life's ups and downs with more understanding and purpose. These "types" of personal-realities take many forms and have many subtleties, and many of our beliefs are not grounded in conscious thought or rationality. In fact, many aberrations (abnormalities) of behavior stem from subconscious "truths" or beliefs. Phobias and neuroses usually have their roots in such "truths".
So you see personal-realities are a very "real" and important part of everyone's lives. All our relationships with other human beings are directly effected by our personal-realities. Our perceptions of the world at large are filtered through the lenses of our personal-realities. Our personalities are formed in the soup of our personal-realities. EVERY PERSON HAS A UNIQUE REALITY. It is extremely important that this is understood. If a person understands this concept it becomes much easier to respect and communicate with others. We don't have a lock on the truth; most of us haven't even tried to discern the truth. It has been my observation that each person's reality can only be completely understood by themselves, but we can all learn to respect the individual reality of others .
In my case, I became aware of my personal-reality by an Eastern technique known as the Witness. Basically, this requires a person to try to be aware of all of his/her thoughts and actions constantly, as an objective observer. This is very difficult to do, as you can imagine. It is also very enlightening. You start to realize how many thoughts and fears are residing within you all at the same time. You learn about the origins of many of the actions/reactions in your life. You see patterns and habitual behavior that are almost autonomic. You become aware of your personal-reality and its by-products. You may ask what is my point. My point is that though we may or may not be aware of our beliefs systems entirely we have a responsibility to try to become aware of our own realities and mastering our own domain so to speak. If you choose to not become aware and responsible you will simply be the slave to a reality not necessarily of your liking.
As humans we are capable of certain acts of will. We can consciously make choices to act/react on thoughts. We choose to give creedence to certain ideas. We predispose ourselves to certain attitudes through our beliefs. We subjugate ourselves to the conclusions of various assumptions by not consciously choosing the truths we wish to live by. YOUR WILL IS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MAKES YOU DIVINE. This may sound a bit "off the wall"; let me explain what I mean. In most religions, God is considered the creator, he is divine. The creator is the one that brings something into existence through an act of willful expression. When a person chooses to take part in creating their personal-reality they become a reflection of the divine part of themselves. Ask an artist or poet that has been truly inspired (interesting word), he will tell you that it can be all encompassing, a reverie, to create. It may well be that one of the reason you exist is to learn the proper exertion of your will.
The concept of a personal-reality brings with it other questions: What is real? What is truth? How many possible realities are there? How can science exist if reality is so subjective? How can people agree on anything? Is there a global-reality? Or a Universal reality? The answers of course are subjective and this concept is only one of my thoughts that seems to have importance to me as an integral part of my personal-reality
My First Thought The Thought That Followed