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WHAT IS REALITY?
Reality and Truth
Truth is different from reality. Reality is dependent upon
the perceiver, while truth is what's actually so about a given reality.
Another way to say this is that reality can have many levels and
dimensions of experience, while truth involves all the levels and dimensions
simultaneously. Reality is perceived while truth is known.
Outer, or "objective" reality, is commonly believed to be
that which is perceived through the body's senses. My definition of
outer reality will be a bit broader than that because I am aware that
we have many more senses than the five basic ones. Also, we have scientific
instruments that are capable of measuring aspects of the universe that
our senses cannot perceive. We know about atoms, molecules, cells, etc.,
yet we cannot see them physically with the naked eye.
We also hear of the larger "spiritual" universe
that exists beyond the physical one. One definition of "spiritual"
is "That which exists in the invisible." Both science and
religion acknowledge the existence of this vast realm. For example,
if you’ve ever seen a chart of the light spectrum (Figure 1.1), you know
that the visible part is only a tiny line between infrared and ultraviolet.
All the beauty of this world, as well as the billions of stars in
the night sky, are represented by this tiny line on the light spectrum.
Although we can measure some of the frequencies beyond our physical
senses, these frequencies are invisible to us and hence, by definition,
are part of the infinitely larger spiritual universe.
Many religions teach that the physical world is an
illusion. This is partially true in the sense that what we see with the
body’s eyes is only an image of what is actually there. All we see is the
reflected light from an object as it hits the retina of the eye, is recorded
by the brain, and is then transmitted via nerve impulse back to the optical
faculties. Also, when we look at the physical world with our conventional
senses, we see only the past. We do not see what is occurring now.
Even this printed page is viewed in the past. It takes light reflected
from this page approximately one-billionth of a second to reach
the retina of the eye.
[Original image not available -- I apologize for the bad graphics
1.1 – The Light Spectrum
Visible | | light
--> | | <--
Physical || Universe
--> | |
--> | | <--
Red || Violet
The further away an object is, the further into the
past you are looking. Distant galaxies may be billions of light
years away, and as a result, it may take billions of years for the
light from these galaxies to reach the retina of the eye as it peers
through a telescope. If we assume that the measurements are accurate
by not taking into account curvatures and distortions in the space-time
continuum, it would seem that we are actually witnessing what took
place billions of years ago in a faraway galaxy. It is theorized by
some astronomers that if they could create a powerful enough telescope,
they might be able to look far enough back in time to see the beginning
of the physical universe.
In addition to the time lag involved in physical
perception, there is also the illusion of solidity in material
objects. The atoms that make up physical matter are like tiny solar
systems floating in a vast space. The speed at which the electrons
orbit the atomic nucleus gives the appearance of solidity. The sheer
number of atoms in an object also make the object seem solid. Actually,
there is far more space than atomic substance. Most objects are more
than 99% empty space. It is the energy fields within the atomic structure
that hold objects together enough to form solidity. If this energy
field were not present, we would walk through walls and be unable to
sit on a chair.
This rudimentary discussion of physics is
simply to point out the validity of the statement “the world is
an illusion.” However, it is not that the world does not exist, it
is just that we do not perceive it as it actually is. The world is very
real. It has an objective reality involving the interaction of billions
of atomic particles, and it has a contrived reality given it by the
collective consciousness of humanity (more on this later).
The fascinating outer universe is small potatoes compared
to the inner universe. What do we mean by “inner?” Certainly not
the inside of the body, although the body and brain are a whole, complex
universe unto themselves. Generally, the inner universe consists of
the emotional, mental and subtle levels of experience.
The key to understanding the outer world is to understand the
inner, because in many ways, the outer is a reflection of the inner.
The inner world is so vast and complex that it often does not appear
to create the outer. In fact, most people believe they are at the effect
of the outer world; mere pawns in a chess game created by some outer
deity. These beliefs arise from misunderstandings about the nature
of the self.
Beliefs create reality. For example, let’s suppose two people
each have $1,000. The first person believes he is in poverty and
feels his $1,000 is woefully inadequate to meet what he perceives
to be his needs. The second person feels wealthy and sees his $1,000
as a lot of money that can bring a lot of things to him.
The first person’s reality is one of poverty while the second
person’s reality is one of wealth. The truth is they both have the
same amount of money and are simply perceiving it differently based
on their belief systems about their needs.
A related idea is that reality is largely
dependent on the culture we live in. In many parts of the world,
people have very little in the way of material comforts, yet seem
relatively happy. In the United States, many with far greater material
wealth are not as happy. Obviously, the belief that material wealth
brings happiness is not entirely true. It is also obvious that there
is a wide variance of beliefs about what one needs in order to be
Beliefs create reality. It sounds so simple.
But the monkey wrench here is that beliefs and their resulting realities
occur on many levels and dimensions simultaneously, with one level
of belief often conflicting with another level or canceling it out.
In addition, most of us can only see the “tip of the iceberg” of
our belief systems. Most belief systems are deeply embedded in the subconscious
mind. Our conscious mind is like the part of the iceberg above water.
The real power of belief lies in the vast chunk under the surface.
If we have a conscious belief that we are
wealthy, for example, but a subconscious belief that we are poor,
the subconscious belief will probably have a greater influence on
our overall experience of reality. In later chapters we will explore
ways to uncover and reprogram the subconscious mind to bring our subconscious
beliefs in line with our conscious ones.
There are many layers to the subconscious.
For example, think of the unhappy millionaire who believes that
money brings happiness. If that were the only belief he had on the
subject, he would probably be happy. (Actually, in this case, it would
not be the money that brings the happiness, but the belief itself.)
But suppose underneath that belief is another one that says, “No matter
how much money I have, I’ll never be good enough.” This belief may have
power over the first one and create a feeling of dissatisfaction for the
Throughout history, there have been individuals
who succeeded, against seemingly insurmountable odds, to accomplish
their dreams. These are the individuals who broke out of the belief
in victimhood. There are many books on the power of belief and positive
thinking and I will not duplicate efforts here. My intent is to
go deeper than that, to look at the most sacred of all beliefs and then
go beyond these core beliefs to their origin.
In the following chapters, we will dive in and investigate
the various levels and dimensions of the inner world, taking a look at
some of our most commonly held belief systems. By understanding ourselves
and our inner workings, we can then move into the mysteries of the universe
Individual and Collective Realities
Basically, there are two levels of reality on Earth: individual
reality and collective reality. Your individual reality
is yours alone; no other human being has the exact same set of
beliefs and no other human being is perceiving the world from your
body. Collective realities consist of those belief systems that are
shared by two or more people. Collective realities often tend to have
more power than individual realities. Since belief creates reality,
the world of humanity is a reflection of the composite beliefs of each
individual combined with the collective beliefs of humankind. In order
for society to function efficiently, individuals enter into agreements
as to which realities will be accepted and which will not. When enough
people agree on a particular reality, it becomes known as a fact. Everyday
facts are real in the sense that the human race has collectively agreed
to perceive physical reality in a certain way. This is obviously necessary
in order for humans to live together on this small planet. Imagine the chaos
if everyone had a different interpretation of a red stoplight, for instance.
Without collective belief, red is simply red. But we have
all agreed that red means stop and so this becomes a fact.
Someone can still disagree, and for that person, red may not mean
stop, but it may be difficult for him or her to drive an automobile.
The realities with the most power are those
that are believed by the most people. Death and taxes seem inevitable
because the vast majority of people believe in them. It is possible
for an individual to disagree with death and taxes, but due to the
extreme pressure to conform to the mass consciousness, very few individuals
have broken out of this collective reality.
Because there are many levels and dimensions
of reality of which we are not always aware, it is often very difficult
to tell reality from truth. There are many people, for instance,
who would argue that death is an absolute truth. But unless it is true
on every level and dimension, it is not absolute truth.
Later, when we talk about dimensions, we will see
that the “higher” dimensions include the “lower” ones, but are not bound
by them. In other words, the physical universe can be thought of as a lower
dimension contained within the higher dimension of the spiritual universe.
If death is not true in this larger universe, it cannot be true in the smaller
one. And yet, it is certainly a reality for almost everyone on Earth.
I have seen very clearly that if you create
a new set of beliefs that do not conform to what the mass consciousness
believes, you are living a very different reality from the one we
call “normal.” Much of the information in Part II of this book would
not have come to me if I had not broken out of many of the mass beliefs
The Steps to Awareness
The primary purpose of life is to expand our awareness.
We do this by learning from the experiences we have. At first,
we do not consciously choose our experiences; they seem to just
happen to us, often against our will. As we gain awareness, we begin
to see how we caused the various events and circumstances in our lives.
There are five main steps to becoming aware. They are as follows:
1. Desiring to become aware.
This is the most fundamental desire of humankind: curiosity. We
want to find out about things. We search for life’s meaning. We want
to experience life more fully.
2. Becoming aware of being unaware.
This involves noticing our inattention and becoming aware
of programming and conditioning that is not beneficial to our growth.
We begin to notice our wandering thoughts without resisting, controlling
or suppressing them, but rather, seeing the distortions in our perceptions
and understanding the nature of illusions, discovering the causes
of conflict within ourselves, and being aware of being caught up, emotionally
and intellectually, in the past or future. We become aware of feeling
tension, pressure and fatigue—bodily sensations that are signs of
conflict or disharmony. We look at our responses to situations that
arise, without analyzing or criticizing excessively.
3. Letting go of the old.
This begins with dispelling ideas, concepts, past programming
and belief systems that are no longer appropriate for expansion
of awareness. Later, this includes letting go of techniques and methods
for consciousness expansion; after all, they are only tools—a means
and not an end.
This involves bringing all the parts of ourselves
into alignment, reclaiming the aspects we judged against, and experiencing
Integration brings unity within the self, and unity brings true
perception; the ability to perceive what’s actually so. This is
In order to reach Step 4 of
the awareness process we must go beyond ideas and concepts to the direct
experience. But until we have a direct experience, we must start
with ideas and concepts. If you have never experienced skydiving, you
must start with basic instructions, viewing films, talking to those
who have had the experience, etc. However, you can talk to thousands
of people who have been skydiving and gain all the knowledge possible
about it, but until you have the experience, you really know nothing
To reach Steps 4 and 5 of the awareness process, we
must first ask ourselves, “What is awareness?” Often this
word and “consciousness” are used interchangeably. They are
not the same. Consciousness is an intelligent
energy; a state of being involving the awareness of existence. We all
have consciousness to some extent, but not all of us are aware. Awareness
is an active state of being. We may have consciousness in several different
dimensions, but we may be aware of only two or three of those dimensions
at any given time.
Expansion of awareness means the ability to
become simultaneously aware of more and more of our consciousness.
If we are normally aware of the first three dimensions of reality,
our goal may be to become aware of the other dimensions as well.
There are two types of awareness: selective
awareness and choiceless awareness. Selective awareness
involves zeroing in on a specific level or dimension and discovering
the truth about that reality. This is often done through concentration,
exploration and mind control techniques. Choiceless awareness, or
simultaneous awareness, is usually achieved through meditation
and involves expanding the conscious mind to include the subconscious
and superconscious levels.
Many people confuse choiceless awareness with
selective awareness. Selective awareness always involves denying
one level of reality in favor of another. This is necessary in order
to perform certain tasks or communicate ideas about a certain reality.
If I’m instructing someone in how to drive a car, I do not want to
be exploring the more abstract realms; I want to concentrate on the
mechanics of driving. However, if I’ve had a hard day dealing with
practical issues and want to give myself a rest, I need to allow my
mind to move into expansiveness and take in the whole picture of life.
When I do this, my little third dimensional reality becomes nothing
more than one frame in a cosmic movie, one tiny aspect of a glorious
whole. All the issues and people in my earthly life become merely “actors
on a stage,” to quote a famous playwright. From this expanded state I can
view all the different angles of a given problem and come up with creative
Models and Reality Constructs
In my experience with hundreds
of personal growth students and teachers, I have discovered what
I call “level confusion.” Level confusion is a situation where one
or both of the following takes place:
(1) An idea is conveyed from one person
to another, but the language barrier causes misinterpretation.
This is because not everyone has the same definition
for the popular buzzwords in the human potential movement. For example,
“God” and “Infinite Intelligence” may have the same meaning intrinsically,
but a Christian might be better able to grasp “God”, while a scientist
might relate to “Infinite Intelligence.”
(2) An idea is communicated with the sender’s
intention that it be understood on one level, but the receiver interprets
it on another level. This confusion
is deeper and more subtle than the language barrier. The most common
manifestation of this kind of level confusion occurs when a seeker
of truth has discovered a law or principle of life that he or she believes
will apply to all of life, but in actuality applies only to a specific
level of understanding.
An example of type (2) level confusion involves
the law of karma. There is a realm (or level) of Creation where
karma is real and valid. However, there are also levels of reality
where the concept of karma is meaningless. If the student believes
karma is an absolute, immutable law, he or she is in for confusion
every time a level of reality is experienced that does not fall into
the domain of karma.
In metaphysics I am constantly hearing about
how we create our own reality. I have seen well-meaning people take
this principle to its extreme and try to explain everything in Creation
in terms of what thoughts are present in the thinker. The law of
mind is indeed a powerful principle that affects many levels of Creation.
However, in my experience, love and compassion are higher (more all-encompassing)
principles than creative thought. No place is the dichotomy between
creative thought and love/compassion more evident than in the scenario
where metaphysicians detach from the woes of the world and close their
hearts to those suffering by claiming “They created it. It’s their
karma. I’m not responsible.”
To help alleviate level confusion, I’ve created,
throughout this book, various figures and diagrams to illustrate
the different realities. Keep in mind that models are a symbolic
representation of reality; they are not the reality itself.
The word is not the actuality. Models are only a means of communication.
In truth, there are seldom discrete borders and lines between levels
of reality; one aspect tends to blend into another without neat, convenient
From a truly wholistic perspective, levels,
densities and dimensions are meaningless. There is simply life, with
its many facets and experiences. So I urge you to use the models to
go beyond them. They may be helpful up to a point, like a teacher,
but do not become stuck in them. While you are arguing about whether Jesus
came from the seventh dimension or the eighth, you are missing the fragrance
of life and the beauty of stillness.
Because there are so many teachings, each with its
own specific set of models and constructs, I’ve borrowed from the ones
that seem the most helpful for me, and then added many of my own ideas.
One teaching I will mention briefly is “A Course In Miracles.” The issue
of level confusion is quite evident here. The course is a set of channeled
books, purportedly from Jesus, and teaches how to awaken to your true Self.
So-called “experts” of the course claim it is written on seven different
levels, and after having studied it extensively, I am inclined to agree.
To the uneducated, the course appears to contradict itself frequently, but
to the trained observer, it simply vacillates between levels.
For example, in one section the course advocates
the use of medication for the body when it is sick. In another
section it says the body cannot get sick and that the cause of
all illness is in the mind. Later, it says the body is an illusion;
a meaningless idea. Then it goes on to say the body was created
purposely to hide the truth. Further along, it says the body is
real, but is only a “tiny fence around a glorious and complete idea.”
And finally, there is reference to the “incorruptibility” and immortality
of the body. All these perceptions appear to be valid depending on
what level of awareness you are operating in, but obviously, you can
see the potential for confusion.
In the following chapters, we will explore
the various aspects of ourselves and how we perceive reality. You
will discover how to broaden your consciousness through alpha and theta
brain wave functioning and how to increase your awareness greatly in
a very short period of time. The exercises in the Appendix will also help
you awaken the psychic and intuitive centers of your mind. Later, we
will explore several models of reality, including aspects of Self, densities,
Now, I would like to define
and describe some models and reality constructs pertaining to various
levels of awareness.
Model #1: Levels of Awareness/Aspects of Self
“Levels of Awareness” and “Aspects of Self”
refer to the way in which we perceive reality and the human faculties
used to perceive that reality. In general, we are referring to inner
states of being; i.e., aspects of the Self. Most of the levels of
awareness described here will be familiar, some may not be, but all
are within, or perceived by, the Self. A level of awareness is similar
to a dimension, except that its boundaries are not so much defined
by universal laws and principles, as by states of awareness. For example,
the physical body and emotions are two different levels of awareness,
but both exist in the third-dimensional world.
Levels of Awareness
Higher levels of awareness are
not necessarily better than lower levels. Each level has its specific
function. Sometimes it is better to focus on the mundane than the
expanded states. Ideally, one should be able to shift focus easily from
one level to the next or be simultaneously aware of many levels at
Levels of awareness can be inclusive or exclusive; that is, they
can take in the totality of a given reality or they can select specific
attributes of that reality and concentrate on those. For example, cosmic
consciousness is inclusive and generally refers to a level of universal
awareness, while true meditation is more exclusive and means an inner
stillness beyond conscious awareness.
To read this book requires the intellectual level
of awareness. But to truly understand it requires a higher level
of awareness. Because reality depends on perception, two people can
view the same reality from two different levels of awareness and have
two completely different experiences. The intellectual person may
get the impression that this book is extremely wordy and fails to address
deeper issues, while the more spiritually-focused person may gain tremendous
insight and energy from reading it.
To properly write, edit, proof, and publish
this book required an intellectual awareness and knowledge of
mundane details. However, from a higher perspective, the words are
simply tools to help the reader go beyond the intellect. In nature,
the gardener and botanist must look at a flower from a scientific,
intellectual point of view; noting germination times, proper amount
of water, right amount of sunlight, etc. If you look at the same flower
from a meditative mind, you may see the handiwork of God in all its
Aspects of Self
Closely related to levels of awareness are aspects of self.
These are the qualities of being which are used to perceive the various
densities and dimensions of the universe. For example, the body aspect
sees the universe from a physical level of awareness while the soul
views life from the soul level.
At the end of Part I, I’ve included several
tables and charts that tie together all the models of reality used
in this book: Levels of awareness, aspects of self, densities and dimensions.
I’ve included a seven-dimensional model and a 12-dimensional one.
In the following chapters, we will look at
some models of reality based on the following levels of awareness
and aspects of self:
Table 1.1 – Levels of
Awareness and Aspects of Self
|Aspect of Self
|Emotional; instincutal; sexual
|Intellectual; rational; logical
|Psychic; intuitive; imaginative
|Love; unity; oneness
|Pure essence; higher Self
|Intelligence; wisdom; knowing
|Nirvana; supreme enlightenment
|Eternal newness; silence; timelessness
|The unknown/the unknowable
|The Great Mystery
Model #2: Densities
Densities are similar to levels
of awareness and aspects of self, but refer to discrete vibratory
states of life forms in the universe. I’ve devoted Chapter 9 to the
study of densities. Densities are as follows:
1.2 – Densities
|The mineral kingdom
|The plant kingdom
|The animal kingdom
|The etheric light body
|The soul body
Model #3: Dimensions
Dimensions are like worlds within
worlds. I’ve differentiated between densities and dimensions because
attaining higher states of consciousness involves making a density
shift; i.e., evolving from a lower order life form to a higher one.
However, my view is that we all exist simultaneously in at least 12
different dimensions and that our form is the result of where we put
our attention. While densities represent specific frequencies, dimensions
include entire space-time continuums within the Universe at large.
The dimensions in our model are as follows:
Table 1.3 – Dimensions
|Depth; magnitude; physical plane
|Time; thought; astral plane
|Love; oneness; etheric plane
|Soul plane; essence
|Oversoul worlds; lower celestial heavens
|The void; the unknown
Let’s begin our exploration of the models.
[END OF CHAPTER 1]
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