Image for Reality versus reality , a meditation on the modern world

In the modern world where the hands of global politics and economy finger every corner of the human world, what can one trust to be truth or reality? The natural world - this is our refuge or sanctuary, for not only truth and reality, but for authentic humanity.

Many of us spend as much time absorbed in virtual reality, as in human reality and due to urbanization and the digital world, often little to no time in reality itself. This is a recent phenomenon in human history and the effects of this are largely unknown. Imagine a world - while you still can – where the only beauty is manufactured.

Virtual reality is a monumental exploration into a foreign world, redefining communities, communication and identity. The virtual world is homogenised - lacking individuality and randomness – training us to be conformist, predictable and dull. It stifles imagination. Things that were once imagined are now loaded, played or paid for. Not only is this unhealthy for individuals, and societies, but it creates delusion and welcomes us into a false world. The rise in volume and accessibility of porn is a good example of this world, where pleasure is prescribed and fantasies are scripted. We can only guess the long-term effects of losing our imaginations.

The frame has become so great the picture is disappearing.

Sometimes I think the mind is one of the last great, untapped resources. Perhaps it is. But like the forests and the oceans it is being manipulated and exploited, perhaps irreversibly damaged, before we are close to having understood it. We mine the mind.

Nature is the reality we are of, the reality we can trust. All others have been altered, re-arranged and re-created. Humanity has come so far from its origins that there seems to be two worlds now, the natural and the human. Strange that though we are of the natural world, we strive to distance ourselves from it – constructing instead, a world that is at best detached from the natural world, and at worst, in direct conflict with it. Nature is what we were part of before we invented religion and belief systems that regard us as above nature, before private property, capitalism and consumerism, and likely will remain when these ‘human realities’ disappear beneath the concrete.

Nature allows us to escape rationalism, which paradoxically excuses the most irrational of behaviour and displays contempt for the natural behaviours of emotion, feeling and spirituality. Eviction from nature is eviction from reality and from truth.

Untruth is a human invention.

As a global society we have many of the characteristics of a psychopath, with little regard for the consequences of our actions upon our environment and ultimately ourselves. We remain inextricably linked to the natural world, our original humanity, though we subdue it. Authentic humanity is a product of the natural world and is still deep within our psyche struggling for survival. This is why we need the park in the city, to allow us to calm, in our ‘real’ world, to walk for a moment with authentic humanity. This green within the grey provides a place to converse for a moment with some tangible truths.

There is much evidence to suggest this dislocation from our origins, the natural world, is one of the main reasons for increasing depression, obesity, anorexia, anxiety, apathy, paranoia, aggression, fear. Responses to pressures and uncertainty inherent in the unreal world. The sanity and survival of humanity depends on maintaining this connection with the natural world, the real reality.

Ecuador’s recent approval of a constitutional amendment to protect the rights of Pachamama (Mother Earth) arguably makes it the first nation to protect rights other than those of human beings within a constitution. Respecting Pachamama and empowering citizens to demand this of the state is in a way conserving truth and reality not only for the demos, but also for its own sake. Something other than ourselves is considered worthy of respect.

Within nature we can find a reality free from contamination, manipulation, delusion and corruption. There, sometimes, we find a collective truth.


James Dryburgh is Deputy Editor of Tasmanian Times

 

 

In the modern world where the hands of global politics and economy finger every corner of the human world, what can one trust to be truth or reality? The natural world - this is our refuge or sanctuary, for not only truth and reality, but for authentic humanity.