When I was a young child, I learned–as did most people–that reality was hard, fast, and unyielding. It was just the way it was. The facts were the facts, and there was little one could do about changing them. My perspective about the world was largely based upon beliefs that I acquired from family, friends, and teachers. Such holds true for everyone. Now, however, I realize that reality is far more flexible than I had ever imagined; and that we may truly change our experience by changing the way we view the world. Doubt this can be true?
The quest to discover the tiniest units of matter (solidity) has lead to a field of study called Quantum Physics; of which I won’t pretend to possess more than the most basic understanding. I have learned, however, that even an atom–which was once believed to be the tiniest unit–consists of even smaller units called protons, electrons, and neutrons; and, further, that atoms are actually 99.999% empty space! When we consider the Double Slit Experiment, which was first performed in 1801 by Thomas Young to determine if light was a particle or a wave, our quest to define reality became even more confusing! The unexpected results did not reveal that photons of light were actually particles or light, but actually both! Today science describes this phenomena as Waves of Probability. My point? That even great scientists cannot prove absolutely whether reality is actually as solid as once believed. Let’s take another view of reality, through the analogy of a roller coaster ride:
Sam and Samantha, who are both twelve years of age, decide to go on their first roller coaster ride. They are secured safely side by side, and the ride begins. Up, up, up the roller coaster car ascends, with Sam and Samantha holding tightly to the bar in front of them. At the peak of the first climb, their car rolls along level for a few feet, then plunges down a steep decline before banking left and then right. Two minutes later, the ride comes to a halt; and we see Sam and Samantha as they are helped from the car.
Sam, who had thought that he might love the ride, is actually weak in the knees, pale-faced, and close to vomiting. Samantha, on the other hand, who had been frightened before the ride began, is beaming with excitement. Sam can hardly wait to leave the theme park, but Samantha immediately wants to line up for another ride! Although this tale is clearly fictional, we can easily understand that the ride itself is not responsible for such disparate realities. The ride will obviously have the same height, the same curves, the same length, speed, and duration for everyone; but everyone’s experience of it (or reality) will be unique. In short, you make the difference!
If we wish to bend reality a little further, we may look at what should not be possible, especially if we think as the masses do. For instance: Who would think that reality could include a paraplegic man propelling himself around the world in a wheelchair? Clearly such is impossible…unless you’re Rick Hansen (otherwise known as the Man in Motion), who, beginning in 1985, defied reality by logging 40,000 kilometers over the course of twenty-six months! Who, too, would think that reality could include a man born without arms and legs becoming a motivational speaker? Such is clearly impossible…unless you’re Nick Vujicic, who is doing just that, and serving as an inspiration to children, students, and adults. And who would think that reality could include a man making eight passes between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, on a tightrope strung 1350 feet above the ground? Such is clearly impossible…unless you’re Phillipe Petit, who performed that daring feat against reality in 1974.
Beyond these accounts, what else is really possible? Yes, there are cases of terminal patients experiencing spontaneous remissions; of people who–in moments of absolute faith–lifting a car off of a loved one who would otherwise be crushed to death. My main intention in sharing this article, however, is not to draw attention to what others have done; but to encourage people to contemplate unexplored avenues of belief that have the potential to improve their quality of life. Think: Could it be possible to propel yourself through challenges? Motivate yourself to break free of self-imposed limits? Successfully walk the tightrope of your fears?
So, how may we bend our reality? By beginning to contemplate (think about)–as did Rick Hansen, Nick Vujicic, and Phillipe Petit–what is truly possible! By questioning whether we must accept reality as we’ve come to know it, or alter it through a change in our beliefs. This life is our ride. It’s also our chance to make the most of ourselves. Perhaps it’s time to open our mind to new possibilities and, thereby, begin the process of redefining reality.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell
P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey. 🙏🙏