reality tunnels – Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton Williams on the idea of reality tunnels- how ideas and especially language shape our experience, our own personal reality.

Each second that passes  our brain is bombarded with billions of data from which we select to  make our own unique map the world –

“our brain selects a small portion and makes a picture then projects that outside – that’s our reality, our reality tunnel.”

Then we kid ourselves that this map is Reality and the same world we all inhabit – because its the only world there is, because its our world. 

The map becomes a tunnel – our tunnel vision allows us to see only the  reality our tunnel allows us to see. Our reality tunnel leads us and restricts us to live the life our reality tunnel creates and sets out for us.


reality is reinforced by vocabularyThe language  we use to understand and describe our world plays a key role – creating and reinforcing notions that our interpretation is not interpretation of reality but concrete reality itself, the only reality, and there to serve us [the subject] – there for us to name.

“every reality tunnel is s reinforced by particular vocabulary ”

the real bipolar disorder

Thus, our own unique individualised reality tunnel leads us down the only path it has for us : cutting us off from other paths and onvincing us that ours path  is the only path. Our black/white, either/or, right/wrong, win/lose, subject/object false-dichotomy generating and bipolar language structure shapes our experience: anything we encounter that does not fit can only be wrong, or crazy, or both.

We kid ourselves that others experience the world the same way yet we do – because it is the only way they possibly could. Yet, each of us travels our own, unique reality tunnel thinking that there is only one reality- the one we create. And what ills arise when the powerful seek to impose their own reality tunnel upon others.

How many countless thousands have died, how many hundreds of years of war have been fought over who has the correct reality tunnel.

We believe what we see and then we believe our interpretation of it, we don’t even know we are making an interpretation most of the time. We think this is reality.                                                                                       -Robert Anton Wilson

There are no data, all is interpretation.
Albert Einstein.

As Robert Anton Williams says, when we find ourselves living in a reality tunnel of another’s construction, that can be a life of living hell. Being told we are sirredeemably ick, broken, biologically faulty and less-than, or “other” slowly diminishes us and diminishes our ability to see other possibilities. That is no reality tunnel for a person to live in.

If the reality tunnel you’ve been tricked into believing is your only reality and leads you to a life that sucks then , maybe, its time to find a shovel and go dig yourself a new one.

Reality Tunnels

Voice recordings of Robert Anton Williams, cinelesson  treatment by master bob.

“Who is the master who makes the grass green?

Well, the brain receives billions of signals every minute and then out of them we select a small portion and make a picture that we project outside and consider “reality”. That’s our reality tunnel. A mosquito comes in eth window, the mosquito will perceive a very different reality tunnel than a dog. A dog will perceive a different reality tunnel than a human being. Everybody does it differently that’s why no two people perceive the same interlude of time Set a watch and then stop it and ask them how long it was and they’ll guess anything from fifteen seconds to four long minutes. If you ask them what colour something is some will say “green” and some will say “blue”. And this is why the first problem in Zen Buddhism is generally to identify the great master who makes the grass green. I happen to be the CEO for The Committee For Surrealist Investigation and Claims of The Normal and we are actually offering $10,000 to anyone who can produce anything that is totally normal in all respects – or even average.

The Normalists all claim that they’ve got something that they can demonstrate- that they call “The Normal”

They never can produce it. It’s a mathematical abstraction.
Try to find a “normal” dog, a “normal” human being,

a “normal” Irishman, a

“normal” Portuguese,

a “normal” American.

You can’t find them – there is no such thing.

But everything turns out to be uniquely itself

and uniquely individuated from the norm.

Well, it has to do with language.

As Nietzsche pointed out, it gets tiresome to say “ this leaf”, “that leaf”, ” “leaf n#4”, “leaf n#5”, so we say “leaves”.

The next thing we know some asshole like Plato comes along and says that leaves really exist and they don’t realize we created them.

So reality isn’t haunted by the abnormal, or the paranormal: the normal has been invented by a process of self-hypnosis, or creative imagination.
That’s our reality tunnel. Our reality tunnel is reinforced by a particular vocabulary

[note: this example is from some time ago, may not still be so true]

In Northern Ireland there’s a town called “Derry” by Catholics and “Londonderry” by the Protestants. You say “Derry” in one part of town and Protestants will shoot you. Say “Londonderry” in another part and Catholics will shoot you. That’s only one illustration. You go around the world you’ll find a million illustrations.
People are entirely hypnotised by the words they use

…and they want everybody else to use the same words too.
The world is full of people killing one another over who has the right reality tunnel. As the Noble Drew Ali said

“If you let other people define your own reality tunnel for you, then you are living in a world that is called ‘Hell’.

…but when you start creating your own reality then you can create a heaven.”

The sad man lives in a sad world.

The happy man lives in a happy world

The angry person lives in an angry world

At the end of the valley of decision there is always choice.
Reality is what you can get away with If you can’t get away with it, it ain’t real.



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