Is this the real thing or is this just fantasy?
If so, is it only real if it’s called “reality TV”?
And if it is reality TV whose reality is it anyhoo?
Maybe, like The Truman Show, the universe is nothing more than one big unreal reality TV show.
And if TV is unreal , then what of You Choob ?
Is there only one reality? a single, unitary, capitalised The One “Reality” that is defined by some top knob, or a whole committee of Top Knobs, as definitively real: inviolably, invariably, inv-something-else-ingly the same for each of us?
Or do we each construct our own reality? Does our own brain create maps of what’s “out there” so we can navigate “out there” from “in here”?
And that boundary between “out there” [not me] and in here [me] – where is that drawn? and who says there’s only one place it can be drawn? or that it never changes?
Even a hundred years ago William James wrote of how we each draw that boundary in a different place… and that was way before TV and twitter and Facebook came along to really mess us up.
So much of our idea of real/unreal; me/not me is shaped by our culture, invisibly embedded, beyond our awareness deep within our language, beliefs and habits: so deep it can even be difficult recognising that it is.
Traditions like Hinduism and Buddhism, for instance, hold very different ideas -as do many indigenous cultures round the world – about the relationship between I-and-We-and-everything. Quantum physics meanwhile shakes eth very foundations of our belief that eth world fits into a nice row of nice neat boxes that we can kid ourselves are the laws of nature when they are just the laws of some bloke [ it is mostly blokes and mostly white blokes too] who made them up.
Taking a break from [your] reality
So, if I’m experiencing a “break from reality”, then which – or whose – reality am I breaking from? …and, if my taking a break from [your] reality challenges your sense of, er, reality then how come I’m the one who gets a knee in the back, restraints and injected with drugs?
Maybe I simply need a break from your reality because it’s broken and stultifyingly sucky.
Maybe I need a break from your reality because I expeience it as violence, it damages me, and there’s only so much of that I can take. Maybe, just as you may take a break from your reality and go to “The Cottage”, I too go somewhere else to get away from your “it all”.
Maybe I am simply taking a break – stepping into a different reality: one that you just don’t get, because your reality is so tightly drawn that it only allows for your version to be real, and doesn’t allow for mine, or me to exist – doesn’t even allow for me to have a reality different from yours.
So, if you don’t get the reality that I might dip into and back, so what?: is that my disability – or yours?
Maybe it’s the delusion of thinking that our own personal reality is “The One True Reality” that is a disorder.
Maybe it’s craving the false certainty that comes from regarding ourselves and the universe as machines under our control that is “mental illness”.
Maybe it is the addiction to imposing our will over others , pushing our ideas and interpretation of the world on them that is the sickness that is eating away at the soul of human kind.
Is my reality your unreality? Really? It is the same world.
If I hear a voice that you don’t hear, does that make the voice not real? …or does it simply mean that you don’t hear ?
As Domina Swan proposes: maybe some people don’t hear because they are not listening.
Your inability to hear, is not my dis-ability.
Your inability to imagine what I experience is not my dis-ability.
Your inability to get my reality is not my dis-ability.
…so please, don’t dis me for it.
As the song says, spare me my life from those pork sausages…
welcome to my world.