4042474604_9d495d4654_zLately, I have found myself  frequently expressing to people that, while I respect their opinions and beliefs and am glad they have found what works for them in their lives, I believe differently and their views do not work for me.  What is “right” is what is right for them.  What is “right” is also what is right for me.

Maybe I am showing my naivete and evidence of living in my own world (which I will not dispute – read on), but I am truly shocked at the overwhelming number of people who want to impose their “right” beliefs on me.  I am also surprised at the many who take their subjective beliefs to be the irrefutable, unbiased, singular truth.  Dictionary.com defines a belief as “something believed;  an opinion or conviction.”  It is not a fact of dubious authenticity.

There are very few things which are hard and true, indisputable facts in this world like the Earth is round, for instance.  This is a verifiable fact, right?  But, wait a minute!  It used to be believed that the Earth was flat and that ships could sail right off the end of it.  It also used to be believed that, after a few periods in early childhood, the brain was hard-wired.  It was printed in all the medical textbooks not too long ago.  We now know that this is not the case at all and that the brain is capable of change until the day a person dies.

So, even facts change.  They are only “right” until they are not “right” anymore.   What is “right” depends on the information available.

The information we have available to us, at the most basic level, is merely our brains interpretation of some electrical signals.

4777129318_934309e7af_qColor is nothing more than cone cells in the retina being stimulated by light waves within a certain range of the spectrum. Because each of our brains are different, our perceptions of color are different.  The sky is blue, right?  No question.  However, your blue is different from my blue.   Maybe even very different.  Neither is right or wrong.  Both are blue.  Both are “right.” Your blue is just as blue to you as my blue is to me.  Both are simply our individual brains’ interpretation of the same signals.

Similarly, making sense of the world and the happenings within it is nothing more than our brains’ individual interpretations of the signals received as we go through our days interacting with our environments.  When giving meaning to these signals, our brains add memories, beliefs and attitudes about ourselves, others, and the world influenced by family, religion, school, culture and life experiences. Every spoken word we hear,  every written word we read, every experience we  have, absolutely everything, is always, always the product of our brain’s subjective interpretation of stimuli.

Reality Is Subjective And Objective

Hence, we all live in our own world which is our individual brain’s unique interpretation of the input it receives.  There is no single, uniform reality that is consistent among all of us.  Reality depends on what actually happens (objective) AND how our brains make sense of what happens (subjective).  Both are necessary components of reality, and reality is a subjective concept unique to each of us. While there are many commonalities across all of our realities, it cannot be assumed that everything is the same for all of us or even remotely close to it.

Brain research is proving this without a doubt.  Each of us experience the world uniquely influenced by our physical brain function, our past memories and experiences as well as present conditions.  People see what they expect to see and remember what they expect to remember because of their brain’s perceptual bias.  (For more information on this, see blog post Shades of Gray.)

Even seeing something with your own eyes is not necessarily “the truth.” If three different people witness a single event, there are going to be three accounts of it which can sometimes vary greatly. Research is proving that our memories are not reliable recordings of what actually happened.  Our memories are imperfect copies of the past colored by our brain’s perception.  A memory is only as accurate as the last time it was remembered.  (For more information on this, see blog post The Lies of the Past.)

6930390815_2eedc7a933_qQuantum physics is further confirming the idea of there not being one, consistent reality. Experiments have determined that subatomic particles, which comprise all matter,  are not even solid, stable objects.  They are vibrating, indeterminate packets of energy that cannot be understood or defined in isolation.  They are schizophrenic, sometimes behaving like a wave and sometimes like a particle and sometimes even behaving like both AT THE SAME TIME.  They only ‘collapse’ into a set state upon the instance of being observed.  (For more information on this, see blog post In Two Places at Once.)

What Is Right Depends On Your Reality

Given the above information, I have a very hard time understanding how anyone can tell me what I should believe or what is right.  We don’t even have the same realities. “Right” is whatever is right for an individual based on their unique brain. Of course, to live in a civilized society, we have laws which are really just beliefs upon which the majority agree.  For this reason, laws vary in different cultures.

The need to be right denotes inflexible and limited thinking.  Taking a position of being right assumes superiority and judges the other person.  For you to be right, someone has to be wrong.  Needing to be right is always an invitation for conflict and a misuse of efforts, I believe.  The energy one uses to prove their “right-ness” and to influence others could be put to better, more positive use.  I once read an analogy of this where two deer were standing on railroad tracks arguing about the right direction in which to go.  While they were arguing, a train ran over them.

Giving up the need to be right and being more open-minded can lead to a happier, more peaceful life and allow many opportunities for growth and learning. Not needing to be right can make a person more humble and a better listener.  A person who does not have any identity or value invested in being right can live life not being afraid to make mistakes and can laugh more easily at themselves.  When a person is secure with a strong sense of self, they feel no need to be right because a differing view is not a threat.

At any time, I can only speak and decide for myself about what is right FOR ME within my brain’s reality.  I was told recently by someone that I do not live in the “real” world.  My world is just as real to me as theirs is to them and neither is right or wrong – only different.

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. ― Thoreau

 image source (reality):  https://www.flickr.com/photos/vermininc/
image source (cloud): https://www.flickr.com/photos/horiavarlan/
image source (particles): https://www.flickr.com/photos/avantgardemvc/with/6930390617/

82 Comments

  1. Hi Debbie,

    Thanks for a thought-prompting article. It reminded me of something I saw on YouTube recently. David Eagleman is a neuroscientist. In this clip he talks about his theory of “Possibilianism.” Not so much a theory I suppose as a way of thinking. It’s about 20 min long and well worth the time investment. After reading your article I wonder if this will resonate with you as it did with me:

    http://www.poptech.org/popcasts/david_eagleman_on_possibilianism

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Kathy, thanks for commenting. I love, love, love David Eagleman. His book, Icognito, is fantastic. I have seen the clip before. In it, he tells of the Hubble telescope focusing on an “empty” patch of space. They discovered TEN THOUSAND galaxies in what looked to be black space. Findings like this further convince me that I cannot even begin to presume that I know anything for sure – for me or anyone else. There is always the possibility of anything. It is fun and interesting to keep an open mind about everything, I think.

  2. Stephen Gemmell Reply

    Hey Debbie, thanks for another fascinating post. For me, reality is an attachment, a sense of belonging or knowing. When the ego gets too agitated then, yes, the insistence of being right takes over. Your Thoreau quote reminds me of the first post I read when I came across your blog a couple of years ago – the one with video of the basketball players and the gorilla. Yep, there are none so blind as those that cannot see. Take care, Stephen

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Stephen…have not heard from you in a while. Hope you are well.

      Interesting. I had not thought about what part the ego plays in this. A large part, no doubt. I think, when someone feels no need to feed the ego, there is no need to be right. Right?!? 🙂

  3. I completely disagree with everything you say here, Debby:)

    Lol, kidding of course. We each have our own reality – why spend our lives trying to convince others we are right or our point of view is best. I tend to do that because of my legal background but trying hard to stop! Life’s too short and convincing others is usually a futile and frustrating experience. We may each not live in the “real world” but we live in our own worlds and that reality is what works for me:)

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Vishnu, I expected some differing opinions and challenges with this one! I have had some in Facebook comments…which, I think, only exemplify the message in the post. That some people feel the need to be “right.”

      As long as no one is getting murdered or no laws are being broken, (They indicated I was suggesting that the Holocaust was “right” because it was the manifestation of some people’s beliefs.) can’t they believe what works for them and I believe what works for me? Can’t we all just get along?!

  4. Judy M. Hampton Reply

    Well done, darling daughter. You have truly posted one of the best blogs EVER! Many discussion lately concerning this very subject and it all harks back to Live and Let Live ! Also, the golden rule is a very appropriate guide for living. I applaude you for this brave and heartfelt expression of your beliefs and wish others would follow your example. As always, lots of love, your Mom

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Mom, thanks for you encouragement and support. Without all the neuroscience and quantum physics, you summed it nicely in the saying “live and let live!” Precisely!

  5. Hi Sis,

    Love the article… and, here’s my “belief” or occasional experience, if you will, about this…

    The transcendent experience of the razor’s edge of Zen, for example, occurs at the junction of subjective and objective reality.

    In the clarity of this experience, the maya of subjective reality, the perceptions which we impose upon the world, drop away. The veils are rent, and Reality, in it’s objective glory, is revealed to the unencumbered mind. Mind at this point is not individual, it is a collective experience, beyond subjectivity, revealed as soul.

    Cheers,

    Penn

  6. Debbie Hampton Reply

    I am going to have to read, re-read, and think over your response! I couldn’t even grasp it the first time through! 🙂

    It is an interesting point you make which I never thought about is that where the subjective and objective meet is transcendence. Hmmmm. I like thought of that. And, of the collective experience being beyond subjectivity.

    Thanks for giving my mind something to chew on. You are always good for that. 🙂

  7. Debbie,

    You given us so much to reflect on in this article! I’ve been touched by this reality recently myself: that we all living in our own – sometimes very small – worlds defined by our perceptions. Does this ever lead to a sense of feeling disconnected for you?

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Sandra, I tend to live a life that is very much in isolation anyway. While this can contribute to that, I think that the awareness of this can also can make me feel more connected knowing that we are all living in our own unique perceptions of reality, if that makes any sense.

    • Sandra, you may feel disconnected to some people out there, but this always gives you the chance to connect in other ways, through service to people for example. I feel more connected with the universe. I know everyone is connected to the universe also. So I feel that eventually most people will wake up, I wait for that day. The first rule of mindfulness is being centered within yourself. I think that Debbie’s writing of reality is just that. Realizing that you are one person, we all have different ways of looking at things and different beliefs. But in the end there is a commonality among all of us we need to tap into to continue on this planet.

  8. I have heard bits and pieces in this article before, but never considered how they all added up. The amazing thing to me is, that its so hard to accept there is no right or wrong. I have fought this in myself for decades now. It was never from a I am better than you mentality…I just assumed I was always wrong… as I never seemed to agree with the majority of people around me about anything. So I figured I was broken, stupid, or lacking in some major way. Turns out I just live in a different world after all… as its mine and mine alone.
    I feel like there is almost a break through in my understanding and peace is possible in my “Soul” after all.

    Thank you for your blog, time and effort to share your thoughts with others. I am going to read your blog now as long as you do one, which I hope is forever as I enjoy your articles very much.
    “forever as in as long as you live and I am around to read it”

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Trevq, I am so glad to hear that this resonated with you and glad it allowed you to make a break through in your thinking. Your reality, your perspective, and your opinions are just as valid as anyone else’s. There is no right or wrong…only different.

      Please be aware of how you talk to yourself. This, too, shapes your reality. Practice kindness and compassion with yourself. By changing this, you can change your reality. A couple of blogs I want you to read: https://thebestbrainpossible.com/seeing-the-world-through-rose-colored-glasses https://thebestbrainpossible.com/everybody-is-a-genius https://thebestbrainpossible.com/thought-inventory-what-thoughts-are-you-feeding-your-brain

      Oh and thank you for the kind words. I will try to live up to espousing wisdom. Can’t always guarantee it, but I can garantee that I will share what I have learned through my own challenges. Blessings to you.

      • Thank you again, your site has been a blessing to myself and many others. I hope to one day be as enlightened and self aware as yourself have shown to be. I take it a day at a time, and with examples such as yourself in the world makes it a joy to strive towards the goal!

        • Debbie Hampton Reply

          I do not think of myself as enlightened and self aware. I work zt it every day, just like anyone else. It is a continual challenge. Some days I do well. Some days, not so gooed.

          But I will say this: I am leaps and bounds beyond where I was! If I can do it, anyone can! 🙂 So, keep going! Being mindful makes the journey so much richer along the way!

  9. Bret McLaughlin Reply

    What a well-written article — clearly you’ve got some serious mental horsepower. I wonder if your solitary lifestyle (as you mentioned earlier) might be leading you to miss two important nuances of the discussion:

    1. Sometimes there IS a right answer.
    The world is not flat. The moon is not made out of cheese. I think these cases are a tiny minority of the typical “right/wrong” cases that people discuss (I had trouble thinking of examples!), but sometimes there is a right answer, I think.

    2. Sometimes people can be persuaded.
    Even if each of us has our own intrinsic beliefs of what is right, that doesn’t mean that it’s pointless to discuss viewpoints. At one point or another, even the most stubborn of us has been persuaded to change our definition of right. We can all grow, learn and change — so it’s not pointless to try to convince someone to change their beliefs.

    3. Sometimes by “right” we often mean “most right.”
    Society has to define rules, on some level: we have no choice, unless we want society as we know it to totally break down. Yet, no facet of society is “right” by everyone’s standards. Whether it’s national healthcare, drunk driving or even pedophilia, there will never be 100% consensus on what is right. So sometimes even if something isn’t “right” for everyone, it should still be done for the common good.

    I wonder if the art of a functioning society is one in which its people can agree which rules fall into categories 1, 2 and 3.

    Anyway, you should totally listen to me — I know I’m right! 😛

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Bret, thank you for your comment with its encouraging words and well thought out points. I love hearing that I have “mental horsepower” …even after my brain injury! In response to your points:

      1) Yes, there clearly are some things which are black or white with no ambiguity – for now – based on our understanding and interpretation of the information available to us. These are not usually going to be things about which people have very differing opinions. Our perspective, understanding and the information changes. “Right” is only as correct as the current information available. The world was thought to be flat. Flat was “right” for a long time. Right is only right until it is not right anymore. Even facts thought to be definitively right can and have changed many times over the years.

      2) Just because people can be persuaded does not make anything right. I did not say it is pointless to discuss viewpoints. I just cannot respect anyone who insists that their view is the only one and is “right”. It is right for them. It may be right for me, but it is up to me with my unique perspective and brain to decide that.

      3) I absolutely agree with your last point that we usually mean “most right” when saying “right”. Substituting “most right” in the first point above works for me!

      You are absolutely right …..and so am I! 🙂 (Isn’t it nice how that works?!)

      • Bret McLaughlin Reply

        I think that black-and-white issues can be slippery, too. Maybe that’s the problem: It’s so easy for us to consider things obvious, even when we meet someone who considers the opposite opinion “obvious”, too! Consider homosexuality.

        Some people would classify it as behavioral in nature, like littering or spanking children, and say that it’s wrong and must be discouraged. Others, like me, believe it’s an intrinsic brain mapping, like being left-handed — where discouraging it is downright cruel.

        My gut instinct is that this is a brain issue, and that the other side is kidding themselves. I’ve tried to cite studies demonstrating this with my more conservative family members, but it does little to persuade.

        So things brings up an interesting moral dilemma: Should I stick to my guns that this is a factual, black-and-white issue? Or should just acknowledge that my “right” isn’t their “right”?

        • Debbie Hampton Reply

          Bret, there is much evidence to suggest that homosexuality is a biological issue. This is a subject of special interest to me and I hope that attitudes will change here. However, I cannot force anyone to change their thinking and I feel that trying to convince someone is a misuse of my time and energy. I prefer to put my efforts , in this situation ans all others, towards “being the change I want to see.”

          In this way, I am not imposing my “right” on anyone else who believes just as firmly in their “right”. It also allows me to feel as if I am doing something positive to evolve attitudes and perceptions without judging others.

          Be the change. It works in all situations.

          Blog I wrote about this: https://thebestbrainpossible.com/be-the-change

    • Agreed, i would be interested in reading about how our existence and nature is a pattern, a part of everything else as a “living” thing in nothingness. Also what fascinates me is the reality we all share which is the nature to be born and die. What happens to that energy after passing? Does all there is go through these cycles endlessly?

      • That’s the big question. No one knows for sure. There are many theories, and you have to decide which one you believe. I believe it does.

  10. Well, I’m sorry but you are wrong. Here is why:

    “I do remember one formative influence in my undergraduate life. There was an elderly professor in my department who had been passionately keen on a particular theory for, oh, a number of years, and one day an American visiting researcher came and he completely and utterly disproved our old man’s hypothesis. The old man strode to the front, shook his hand and said, “My dear fellow, I wish to thank you, I have been wrong these fifteen years”. And we all clapped our hands raw. That was the scientific ideal, of somebody who had a lot invested, a lifetime almost invested in a theory, and he was rejoicing that he had been shown wrong and that scientific truth had been advanced.” – Richard Dawkins

    We should not strive to be people who cannot bear to be told we are wrong, we should strive to be people who thank others for proving us wrong.

    • o my – there is so much that is wrong with this article. This is the kind of thinking that leads to someone telling me that “they respect my opinion, but disagree” when I present them with facts that they do not like or care to think about because it goes against their idealized version of the world. Not everything is an opinion or interpretation. And yes, the sky is blue because that is the way we have defined blue and have some knowledge of the way human eyes work – those are facts. If your eyes see a slightly different shade of blue, well, it is still blue, not red. There is a range of variation we work in. If everyone has their own reality, it leads to a moral codes also being negotiable (their own realities!), and so in some people’s opinion, it is okay to so something like murder someone else. There ARE differences between right and wrong, and facts and beliefs – it is NOT what what I believe is right!
      Shane – your end quote is great. Trained as a scientist, I fear the world is going back to the dark ages.

      • Debbie Hampton Reply

        All I can say, Laurie, is that I respect your opinion, but I disagree. I feel no need to convince you that I am “right.” You have your reality which is true for you and I have mine.

        I do say in the blog:
        “Of course, to live in a civilized society, we have laws which are really just beliefs upon which the majority agree. For this reason, laws vary in different cultures.”

        Even as a trained scientist, you might benefit by giving up your need to be right.

      • The sky is actually purple, if you measure the wavelengths as they enter our eyes.

        • Debbie Hampton Reply

          Good to know, but why do we see it as blue?

  11. An excellent blog. It reminded me of a story they tell in yoga where 5 brothers all wore blindfolds and stood infront of an elephant. Their father asked them to describe the animal infront just by their touch. They all disagreed: one saying it was long and tall, another like an octopus, another etc. The same elephant but from different experiences (of blindness interestingly).

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Exactly! I love your example. We only know what our experience is. Someone else’s experience of anything is going to be totally different because it is interpreted by their brain. Neither one is right or wrong or encompassing of the whole picture. How do we even know what the whole picture is or how any one else “should” experience it?

  12. Robert Bommicino Reply

    Good article Debbie!
    Reality just IS…it’s our perceptions that are variable. “The information we have available to us, at the most basic level, is merely our brains interpretation of some electrical signals.” I think this is basically belief. I am grateful to anyone who proves my belief wrong. I can advance my thinking… It’s the Need to be ‘right’ that’s the problem….
    We tend to decide on what we already believe… confirmatory bias…people favor information that confirms their beliefs and attitudes while discounting ambiguous or unfounded or fallacious evidence as supporting their belief. They become overconfident in their belief even in the face of this contrary evidence. If scientific proof exists that proves their belief false it doesn’t matter to them, they’ll still cling to their belief….this is the same thinking that drives superstitions, divine revelations and the like. Desired conclusions are more likely to be believed true…

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Robert, thank you for commenting. You are so “right!” 🙂 We look for evidence confirming what we already believe and tend to disregard that which contradicts our beliefs.

      I, too, am grateful to be shown a different perspective. I won’t say wrong because, I believe, there really is no “right” or “wrong.” I love to be shown new colors! 🙂

  13. “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” ― William Shakespeare, As You Like It

    I’ve also heard that the fewer beliefs you have, the happier you are. Beliefs are attachments, which lead to suffering when they’re “messed with.”

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Scott, I love both of your statements and couldn’t agree more!

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  15. Bla bla bla, inspired bla bla bla, but still just bla bla bla. Can you grasp the depth of this comment?

    Bliss

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      I’ll have to give that one some thought. 🙂

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  20. Great article.

    I’ve always been taught when I was growing up not to take peoples opinions as fact. I did not truly realise what that means until recently. Some people can tell you their opinion in such a way as to make you feel stupid for thinking the way you do. Like their opinion IS FACT. It’s like i’ve just woken up from a long slumber.

    For example at my work I confronted my boss and said that I do not see how working for someone is going to get me anywhere other than working for someone and that I’m thinking about leaving to pursue my dreams. They immediately reminded me of my financial commitments and that I need to work to get money. I was like no that is your opinion, I will find a way to make it work. They said that is not the way the world works! I was like are you serious.

    Anyway thanks for writing the article 🙂

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      C-man, I like the way you think. Do not let others who subscribe to the status quo set your boundaries for you. The limitations are what your mind believes the limitations to be. If you believe it, you can achieve it!

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  25. Lynn Louise Wonders Reply

    Great article! I remember an argument I had with a professor in grad school. He insisted there is only ONE truth and I argued that each person has their own mental filter through which information passes resulting in a perception that is each person’s personal truth. He held up three fingers and asked me how many fingers he was holding up and of course I and others said three but interestingly one lady in the back of the room who didn’t have her glasses on said “Well, from here it looks like 3 or 4.” My point was made. The brain interprets information through our individual lenses whether it be literally the way the eye is able to take the info in or whether it be our psychological filters. I appreciate the fact that you are telling people their truth is not your truth….

    • Boy, Lynn, you were brave for a college student to challenge a professor. Way to go! I have gotten a lot of angry comments on this blog over the years (I lost all the comments when went live with new site) from people who didn’t like this blog and passionately disagreed. People really didn’t like the part about right and laws being collectively agreed upon subjective realities. I have compassion for those with such limited thinking and the need to be right. When you open your mind to other perceptions, the world literally expands and the possibilities become vast. I much prefer that! 🙂

    • dblhampton Reply

      Great example! You were thinking out of the box way back in college. I sure wasn’t, but I totally believe and know now that we shape our reality and our experience of this life ourselves. It’s a huge responsibility, but so empowering too! 🙂

  26. So, if I believe that my subjective experience is the all encompassing truth because of my brain’s bias, then that is right for me. But if it is right for me, then by its definition it would have to be right for you. However, clearly this is not the case (based on your article). Herein lies the contradiction. The ontological proof:

    1.Everybody is right no matter what.
    2.If someone believes that one person is wrong, they are right about that person being wrong.
    3.Somebody else is not right.
    4.Not everybody is right.

    There is the contradiction. From this we can deduce that it is not necessarily true that everybody is right all the time, contrary to your claims in the article. Whether you believe it or not, you are wrong. We can also, from this proof, deduce that in order for people to be right, there must be possibility to be wrong. Nothing exists without its opposite.
    This is the truth. I did not invent it. My brain did not invent it, my brain only observed it in its own thoughts. It is the objective. It is right for everybody, regardless of if they believe it.
    You are wrong in this article, and because you can be wrong, you have the possibility of being right. Be grateful for that.
    Most things in this world have no such opportunity.

    • Dan,

      I appreciate your perspective and the obvious thought and time you put into analyzing this.To your points, I will simply say: You are right. I don’t have any interest in debating your very literal, black and white interpretation of this. The main point is that your brain adds subjective material to your interpretation of reality – which yours has obviously done here. Your need to be “right” perfectly illustrates the points in the last couple of paragraphs. You are absolutely right. And so am I. 🙂

      • Thank you for your response. I love thinking about these sorts of things and i enjoy many of your other posts. I myself struggled with depression and I too agree that it gives you perspective on things in ways that other things simply cant. It is the reason why I started to think about these sorts of things.

        • Well, you sure made me think – and confused me at that! With depression or an analysis of a blog post, we can find evidence to support any position we want to take. Our brains are really good at that. We see in the world what we look for. Look for (and think about) the good and you”ll find it!

  27. I agree with what you are saying in your post but I see a bigger picture in considering what is a person’s reality. Sure the physical environment and sure their subjective experience but there is also the non-physical aspect or mind and this is a common platform. It is one that science doesn’t accept. Scientists consider the mind to be the “software” in the brain. This may agree with the man is a machine paradigm (maybe man but not woman!) but this paradigm is questionable.

    If you take the mind into account then you see a lot more going on. Everyone related (familial, friendship, work etc.,) to a person is mentally entangled to some degree so their thinking, where it is relevant to another person can be perceived by the person. ESP is a reality.

    So while we all share the physical aspects we don’t all share the same interpersonal aspects that also make up reality. This changes the subject on beliefs. When doctor says that some person has “lost touch with reality” they are considering only what is shared and not the whole of a person’s reality. What a person believes may be influenced by others and they ;may not realize it. An unrelated person such as a doctor has not even the capacity of making the observations that are needed to determine another person’s reality. It is only that person alone that has the best chance of determining what is right for them. .

    • Kyrani, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Very interesting points. You confirm the message of this post with them. No two individual’s realities are the same nor should we assume that ours is the “right” one or that anyone’s is wrong just because it is different from ours or “the norm.” I agree that it is pointless for “experts” to try to make observations on someone else’s reality.

  28. Chris Gugliuzza Reply

    If you have your “beliefs”, and they are “right” to you, then in my opinion you are closing yourself off from learning new things or evolving, which is an important part of the human condition. This is what makes the world an interesting place. People with such set beliefs are often narrow minded and the ones trying to push their beliefs onto other people. Look at the problems in the Middle East that have been going on for many decades, these are people unwilling to look at another human and even consider that their beliefs have any meaning. Many of these people are so narrow minded that they kill in the name of their belief.

    I live this life to learn, everyone is my teacher, and my beliefs have changed a thousand times over from experience and taking from and hearing other peoples beliefs. Many times in this life I have had revelations in my beliefs from other people sharing theirs with me. Often times it may happen long after the fact. If you are closing yourself off with a set of “right” beliefs, you are ignoring a realm of limitless possibility that is yours for the taking. I haven’t yet read any of your other articles, but I would be willing to bet that we have many similar beliefs. Still there are so many things to learn and experience that I shall never set my beliefs in stone or shut anyone else’s out without hearing, and even trying to experience them for myself. This is how we grow and many times find what is truly inside of us. In Michio Kaku by Frederic P. Miller (A quantum physicist himself) describes that science has never been able to prove the simple fact that the outside world even exists. There is a universe of possibilities out there, shutting yourself off to them is a terrible thing. Live, love, learn, and try new things you might be amazed at what you find.

    • Chris,
      Thank you for your comment. You’re right! We do believe similarly. Because I had a brain injury which wiped out my perceptual foundation, I learned first hand that there are no hard and fast truths. What is “right” is whatever is right at that time at that moment for that person. All reality is subjective to each person, and we can’t project our beliefs onto others – much less do horrible things in the name of them! I wish more people thought this way. There would be so much more peace in the world.

  29. Chris Gugliuzza Reply

    “Giving up the need to be right and being more open-minded can lead to a happier, more peaceful life and allow many opportunities for growth and learning. Not needing to be right can make a person more humble and a better listener. A person who does not have any identity or value invested in being right can live life not being afraid to make mistakes and can laugh more easily at themselves. When a person is secure with a strong sense of self, they feel no need to be right because a differing view is not a threat.” – This my dear, I believe whole heartedly in.

  30. Pingback: The Reality Of Illusion

  31. Jigsey Giles Reply

    At last I find a point of view generally synchronising with my own. In the last 5 years I have experienced many unique (to me) events, not shared by those in the vicinity. Having read The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot and eventually understanding the true nature of reality and the Quantum Hologram in which we exist. I was able to make sense of the unfortunate experience of many people diagnosed with some mental conditions. A good example I feel would be that of Mr John Nash in the film A Beautiful Mind.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jigsey. I am not familiar with The Holographic Universe. I will have to check it out. Thanks for the reminder to revisit A Beautiful Mind. I had forgotten about that one.

      • Jigsey Giles Reply

        Hello Debbie, could I just add to your reading list (all available on Youtube on audio) …….Conversation with God…Neale Donald Walsch, I found the section on the sponsored thought very illuminating. Also the KYBALION with reference to the seven universal principles. The information in these texts should and will I believe be far more widely shared in the coming years.

  32. Dear Debbie,
    I do agree with the majority of this article however I do have a few thoughts I would like to share.

    If you were ever going to rewrite this article I would suggest explaining consensus reality.

    Another thing is your ending. It comes off a little hypocritical for you to say that people are wasting their time pursuing rightness after you just finished writing an article that is pretty much all about how your opinion is right using information you took the time to look up.

    Also it seems to me that you don’t like having your reality judged (pretty sure no one does) and yet you judge people who view the world differently than you, how does that make sense? Have you ever asked someone why they believe the way they do about reality?

        • Kamil Khan Reply

          ParisPink you must read it again not as a bird view, and only read it but look into it, I hope you will find your answer, and no doubt your right answer will be wrong for us 😀

          • Thank You for replying to me Kamil Kahn, I think there has been some miss communication here. I did reread the article (today and before I commented the first time) and just like the first time I agree with the message my problem, which I probably didn’t make clear, is with the writing. I was trying to give constructive criticism. I believe that a few changes would have made it easier to understand for a wider audience as abstract topics can be hard to understand. The changes I will rewrite hopefully in a manner that is clearer.

            1. Consensus Reality – I believe it would help some individuals if the concept of consensus reality was explained using this term or something similar and in a sentence or two. It can be a little hard to follow along with a larger explanation I do NOT mean that the original explanation was bad or should be eliminated or anything like that just that explaining what you mean could help a wider audience understand you.

            2. The wording used in the article can be seen as judge-y

            “The need to be right denotes inflexible and limited thinking. Taking a position of being right assumes superiority and judges the other person. ”

            Doesn’t that sound a little odd? Calling someone inflexible and limited in their thinking because of the way they see reality while simultaneously saying that trying to be right judges other people? Perhaps it doesn’t to you which brings me to my next point:

            3. I asked “Have you ever asked someone why they believe the way they do about reality?”

            I asked because she wrote:

            “I am truly shocked at the overwhelming number of people who want to impose their “right” beliefs on me.”

            It would be nice if there was a hypothetical example where Debbie explains what views are being imposed by whom at what location at what time or during what event, and it would be nice if she explained her reaction aka whether or not she tried to work with the person(s) in question or if she dismissed them immediately.

            It would be nice to have this because it would be easier to understand why Debbie used the terms she did (inflexible and limited).
            —————-

            I don’t know if Justin Gutier was talking to me or not but regardless I would like to say that I genuinely had a hard time following this article, and am actually trying to understand Debbie better. I also would like others to understand me so if something (or everything) I have typed is hard to understand/read please let me know.

            P.S. Good God I didn’t realize this was so wordy sorry

  33. Brandon James Reply

    Very deep stuff.

    I’ve been both people:
    1. The guy always needing to be right.
    2. The guy who was wise enough to conserve my energy.

    Now I’m 3rd guy, telling the deer their about to get hit by a train, but only when there’s a train coming.

    I understand exactly what you’re saying.

    It can be draining to interact with people who are dogmatic and imposing. They don’t want to feel like their world isn’t as certain as they think it is.

    It’s the lazy way out.

    Shit, imagine how much energy would’ve been saved had the world still been flat! Our curiosity wouldn’t be exploring dark matter.

    With curiosity comes discovery and you may not always like what you discover… hence, why their world view is Truth, and your disagreement is a threat to their reality.

    • Brandon,

      Thank you for your entertaining comments! 🙂 I’ve been all three too. I agree. People who insist on being “right” almost always feel threatened and are trying to maintain their superiority. Who needs it? Not me.

      • Brandon James Reply

        Deb,

        I know. You’ve got one trip around the block might as well make it count. If you’ve been all three, where are you now in your wisdom?

        • I’m not sure I understand the question. But, if I do, I would say, respectfully, that I’m at a fourth place. I just don’t give a shit. I don’t mean that to be rude or unkind, but I just does not matter to me one little bit what others think – of me or something else. What’s right for them is right for them. What’s right for me is right for me. (The election of the president in the US is the one BIG exception here.) Make sense?

          • Brandon James Reply

            Totally. You answered my question, too.

            How has that affected your interactions with others and what rewards have come with your chosen perspective?

            • I would say that I’m a lot less liked than I used to be. 🙂 Some people even despise me now. (gasp!) I’m probably nowhere near the “apple of my parent’s eyes” anymore, but you know what? I’m so much happier and feel so much more free to just be me. Like it or not. I don’t care. I’m OK with me. 🙂

  34. Zion Baldwin Reply

    This was a great article. I love to read about stuff like this. And you said you suffered from DECADES of depression? you dont look a day over, 30 years old, beautiful? . Great article??

    • Thank you for your kind words! Glad I made you think. In that picture, I’m in my mid-40s….a little older now.

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