What Is "Real"?



Nov. 4, 2015, Toronto, ON - What do you actually know about reality? How much of your own perception is based on things that you think you know, but are actually built up of false, or pseudo-memories pushed on by your own self? How much are you truly aware of in the present moment? How much of your future actions have already been decided upon by what you believe to have happened to you in the past?

Pseudo-memories, or false memories, are the materialized memories coming from your subconscious after being altered by your own influenced perception, projecting that false belief into the present moment by what you think happened to you in the past. These false memories play a deep role in guiding our present and future actions; directing us not by what is factual, but by which narrative we imprint on ourselves. How much, then, can you really trust about what happened to you on your first day of school?

Thus, we cannot rely on our own past memories without clarity.

Presence, or the attentive awareness for what is occurring right now, is constantly being filtered out by our attention - the guiding force that gets us to follow whatever it is that it is attracted to during each and every moment. So, how present can you really be? Can you hear the sound of the air conditioning in the room? Can you hear the sound of your own heartbeat? Can you hear the buzz of the electricity coming from whatever device it is that you are choosing to read this on? Guided attention is a selection process, able to be controlled, but typically run on auto-pilot for the betterment of our daily functioning. 

Therefore, what we place our attention on becomes our reality.

How much of your future is certain? Do you know what it is that you are going to do next? Why is it that you are going to do it? A lot of what we do next is based on a past belief system of understanding, propelled forward by the present, housing its foundation in an influenced past. But, as we have already found out, we can’t really trust what we think, nor what we can see. So, how much of our future, then, is governed by our own free will?

Enter, the breath.

By taking a quick breath, inciting a pause, a moment all to yourself, you can discern what is real from what is being played upon you. Are those emotions that you feel warranted, or are they built up from your own reactivity to the given moment?

Once we understand our own ability to become aware, of both the mind and the situation at hand, through the breath, we are better afforded the ability to judge correctly. To discern what exactly is right from what is wrong - to us. Awareness, by taking the breath as object, becomes our own ability to think objectively, to think with clarity and to exercise what it is that we would call "free will."

Want to test your own attentive awareness? Watch this TED Talk, below.

*Thanks Tara, Sid, Vish, Alx & Susan for the clarity.