Today and next week, I want to explore the idea that due to our upbringing, most if not all of us have a severed relationship with reality. We are operating under the misunderstanding that human consensus/opinion is either totally what makes up reality - the results we get in life (action = reaction, remembering that ALL THINGS are an action, including inaction, as all things produce an 'effect' in reality in some way) - or at least has a large effect on reality.
Rather than seeing that reality is what it is. Cause and effect are what they are going to be. We as humans have done a lot of things to try to alter the cause and effect nature of reality, and we were all raised in our childhoods in situations where our caregivers did act as intermediaries between ourselves and reality.
This early childhood experience has since painted what how most of us now live our lives. How most of us live our lives for the REST of our lives - under the assumption that HUMANS are in effect CREATING reality, and based on what we agree on/what most people 'think' is true, what most people believe will get this or that result IS what will happen.
Thus we live our lives working to convince others of our points of view. We all have ideas of what we want, and what we think is the 'right way' to get what we want. We all have ideas of what 'should' happen when we do this or that thing, and we are constantly looking to have others validate that what we are 'doing it right' thinking THIS validation, this consensus, this human opinion will then GIVE US the results we want. We have all also deeply associated BEING ACCEPTED with getting our needs met - with pain going away, pleasure being had, expression being allowed - as again our caregivers acted as intermediaries between ourselves and reality as children. Their approval WAS our survival, as they were our source. Now as adults most of us are STILL living like we are children - as though the approval of those around us is what leads to us getting our needs met. We are codependent - 'you do this for me and I'll do this for you because neither of us know how to meet our own needs on our own.' We are behaving for one another under the pretense that doing so will garner the other meeting our conscious and unconscious needs.
Let's take a look at this dynamic most of us have with other humans and life itself, to see if we can't untangle ourselves a bit, so as to come closer to seeing reality for how it is, shall we?
Convincing OTHERS Or Convincing YOURSELF?
Each of us is working really hard to convince OURSELVES that our version of reality is true.
This is a big part of what we do as human beings when we 'filter' events and perspectives in order that reality fits our narrative. We do this because we find security in believing we have a basic understanding of how things work, and thus how to get our needs met, how to avoid getting hurt and so on. Learning how to question and eventually be in a state of constant 'upgrading' to our view of what reality is based on the new information that is constantly coming into our field of awareness is the 'enlightenment' work that so many talk about in the spiritual world. Enlightenment is not a complete understanding of everything - as this is impossible from a singular human perspective. Rather it is being in a state of constant EXPANSION of what we know to be true. It is the opposite of trying to hold onto our view of reality, looking to make it more and more solid - emphasizing things that align with what we believe and consciously or unconsciously filtering out/delegitimizing in some way anything that doesn't.
When we see people looking to fully invalidate the experience of others because it is not their experience - this is what they are doing. When we see people shouting their perspective from the roof tops, again claiming that anyone who disagrees with them is wrong, ignorant or in some way lacking intelligence - again this is what we are looking at. Someone who is being confronted with evidence that their view of things is too narrow - phenomenon is happening that doesn't fit into their model - and rather than expanding their model to fit reality, they are looking to get rid of/fight with reality in some way to keep their model as is.
Looking to convince others is really just a back door way in which we are looking for confirmation that what we know to be true is true.
Others agreeing with us is what gives us permission to believe ourselves - as we were raised in a codependent society that is disconnected from REAL reality.
It All Goes Back To Childhood:
Our caregivers were our intermediaries as children.
We felt pain due to hunger - and we didn’t then go find food. We fussed, and that fussing caused our caregivers to react to us - either in meeting our needs or not. Causing our pain to go away, or amplifying it. We didn’t have the capacity to interact with reality itself as we weren’t developmentally prepared. Rather, we learned that certain behaviors encouraged our caregivers to care for us, and others caused them to withdraw/shame/punish us - and being that THEY WERE OUR SOURCE of all things - THIS became our ‘reality.’
This is the definition of codependency. 'I must behave in this or that way in order for you to understand and then meet my needs for me. I don't understand my own needs or how to get them met in reality (a baby doesn't understand that the discomfort that they feel in their body is hunger, that that hunger means they need food, how to acquire, prepare and then consume food. All they know is pain. It is the caregivers job to interpret their cry's and squirms as hunger cries and squirms, and to feed them so as to keep them alive. When they don't this conflicts with the babies capacity to survive and that triggers their nervous system that they are about to die and can't do anything to rectify the situation. They are fully at the whim of their caregivers.) because I learned that getting my needs met comes THROUGH behaving in a way that gets my caregivers to understand and approve of me, and then THEY meet my needs.' This is a NORMAL developmental phase we all go through, when we are not physically or cognitively CAPABLE of understanding ourselves or our world enough to survive and thrive within it. However the more our caregivers can't meet our needs, the more we get REJECTED by our caregivers for certain behaviors/needs/pain and pleasure reactions, the more we learn that survival comes from others providing for us through thier approval and understanding of us - the deeper we plunge into this codependent view of the world rather than growing OUT of it. Most of us never learned how to identify our own needs, nor how to get them met for ourselves. This is how we evolve out of this natural codependency. Rather, we start to simply expand our circle of people who meet our conscious and unconscious needs - looking for those perfect parents in romantic partners, friends, coworkers, bosses and so on. We look to find teachers and gurus that 'have all the answers' or that will set us free from all of our pain - because we don't understand our own pain. We don't know how to understand ourselves, our needs and wants, and how to figure out getting those needs and wants met in reality. We don't know how to alleviate our own pain. So we stay stuck in a cycle of looking outside of ourselves for approval, which we are conditioned to believe will lead to us getting our needs met/others understanding us and then taking our pain away - and in this we get sucked deeper and deeper into 'consensus reality' - believing that we if all agree and fit in and go along reality will bend itself to give us what we are wanting from the actions we are taking.
The more dependent we feel on the approval and acceptance of others, the more we are showing ourselves where we are still stuck in this childhood sourced codependency.
In childhood reality wasn’t ‘when I do this I get that result (pain or pleasure) and therefore I'm going to choose things that bring pleasure and avoid/learn from that which causes me pain,’
Instead we started to make up rules and regulations about how we must behave in order to elicit our needs getting met from others. Their judgements, their acceptance or rejection, their ‘rules’ for right and wrong behaviour became our rule book for life.
We were then one or two steps removed from REAL reality (the real cause and effect results of our actions) because our caregivers could reward us with care for doing things that COUNTERED our TRUTH and could punish us with neglecting to meet our needs/not knowing how to meet our needs thus leaving us victim to pain, for doing and being things that were actually IN ALIGNMENT with real reality. Thus, we downloaded our version of reality - ‘this is what I must do/be to get my needs met and what I mustn’t ever do be because it causes me to get stuck in pain.
My happiness/capacity to learn/get my needs met comes from OTHERS approval, and in that approval their understanding of me, their love for me, and then their capacity and willingness to help me out of whatever pain I’m in.
We never learned how to FEEL for ourselves what was causing us pain, and to investigate this so as to adjust OURSELVES to better align with real reality and thus have more pleasure.
We never learned that no matter how much society ‘agrees’ that this or that is ‘right and good’ - if it counters reality it isn’t 'good.' For instance, there was a long time where humans thought you could consume alcohol while pregnant with no worries of ill effects. We know better now. Did reality change because we all decided to change our minds about this? No, our minds changed because REALITY was showing us CONSEQUENCES of fetal alcohol syndrome (what we call the consequence of alcohol + developing fetus) and in that, we shifted OUR BEHAVIOUR to get better results.
We never learned how to discover our own needs, and how we can get them met with or without others.
I will be back next week with part two of this post!