I'm often amazed these days at what the word "reality" means. At one time I understood the word to mean being real or the state of being real. Yet, today the word has been stretched to mean perceived to be real or perceived to in a state of being real. Notice the slight play on words there of the word perceived. The lines have now been blurred and so what is real today may not actually be real. Is that a bad thing? It all depends upon how you look at it and let me explain.
My mind is a very creative one in which I can create scenarios and story lines and images that are more colorful than any movie I have ever watched. I can do these in a quick moment without much though or hesitation. In fact, I live in a world of creativity and my mind is constantly engaged in creating all that is available to my mind. So am I living in reality when I do this? One could argue I am not but then on the other hand, I know that I am able to come back to reality or that which grounds me in current life. My creativity isjust one part of my life but to come back to a place of being grounded is where my life rests.
Throughout a day, I notice that there is a perceived reality around us. Whether it be through TV reality shows or "live news coverage" or the advertisements we watch in any given TV experience. All of these events are not reality no matter how many times the word "reality" or "real" is put out during these events. They are not reality no matter how many times the images suggest that what you are watching is just as real as if you were there yourself.
Take for example reality TV shows that we've all watched and most likely have heard from the participants after taping was over that what the viewer got to see was hardly reality. Or take the advertisements where the paid actors appear to be real life individuals proclaiming how much money they made or how much more beautiful and skinny they have become. Take the online internet forums where you interact and get to know other "screen names" thinking that you really know the person on the other side of the screen, when all you know is the screen name and what they type. While it is possible, these things could be real, often the images, words and scenarios you see are perceptions of reality but not really reality.
The examples could go on forever and if you take a moment in your day and observe these, you will see many more than I have even mentioned. Of course, one could ask is it wrong to engage in perceived reality around us in our every waking moment of the day. It all depends. Are you able to step back out of these perceptions and see them for what they are. No, I'm not saying that you can verbally say this but you can be very honest with yourself and see through the perceptions as they are being played out in front of you. At some point, our minds get so bombarded with these things that while we may be able to do this initially, we soon lose track of reality and begin replacing it with the perception of reality.
Maybe the moral of the story is we need to take the perception of reality in small doses and make sure we mix in with it true reality. True reality could include things like touching the earth, the plants, feeling the sun and the wind, hearing the birds and the nature sounds around us or just holding someone dear to us in our arms. For these things are the true essence of life and the perception of reality is but a momentary trek in to a world of creativity. If we keep both things in perspective and in balance, than our lives will be much more full and richer as a result.