Reality is experiential. There’s no such thing as reality. In fact I know of at least five types of reality. My favorite to talk about is Attention. That what we call reality, more specifically our perception of reality, is in fact the result of how we direct our attention.
For instance, surely you’ve heard somebody say something like, “now that I picked up my new car I’ve noticed them all over the road.” Of course it may be true that their car has become popular but it’s more likely that their perception of reality has shifted based on attention. They are now directing more attention to other cars that match the make, model, color, etc. of their new car.
A neat way to toy with the reality of Attention is music. Consider a simple question: when you listen to a song where do you direct your attention? What do you listen to? For instance, some people listen to the words and sing the lyrics, some tap their foot to the beat, some strum the air guitar, and some dorks air strum the upright bass. Think about that for a moment. What’s your reality when listening to music? What do you pay attention to?
As a singer I naturally direct my attention to the lyrics and more often than not sing along whether I know the lyrics or not. My buddy Josh, who’s a drummer, listens to the back beat and plays air drums. My mate Greig, who plays electric guitar directs his attention to the lead guitar and air strums the solo. Another one of my friends, Jerry, who’s a composer, directs his attention to the structure and composition of the song.
So although the Physical reality is that the same song is being played from the same source, for each of us our reality of the song is based on which instrument and aspect of the song we direct our attention to. Think about that for a moment. Consider how many realities of the same song you can listen to by directing your attention between the different instruments, listening to each of them individually, as well as listening to the song as a collection of the individual instruments.
As with each song, so too the way we perceive the reality of our lives is a function of the reality of Attention. Imagine what that means. It means that in all “instruments” of the song of our lives – work, relationships, hobbies, etc. – we can create an infinite number of realities simply by changing how we direct our attention. Further, the reality of our lives is the collection of these instruments. By directing our attention to each of them, and to the overall song, we can create an infinite number of realities in our lives. Attention is a type of reality. Are you paying Attention?