The Reality Conundrum


“The meaning you give to an event, is the event itself.” ~ Deepak Chopra

I am the master of my fate. The captain of my soul. 

So ends the the much celebrated poem, Invictus, by William Ernst Henley, which has inspired so many, including the late Nelson Mandela.

At first sight, the words are powerful, invigorating.

You close your eyes to feel them.

Yes, you say.

I am the master of my fate and the captain of my ship!

Destiny is in my hands!

And then you hit the first obstacle, perhaps in the next moment, and you think, Well, maybe not.

There’s too much left to chance, you think. I cannot be the captain. Ultimately, I have no control.

And so you give up. In going so, your external world becomes the cause, and you, the effect. In essence, you become a victim to the swirl of events outside yourself.

Your thinking becomes fatalistic, thereby narrowing your range of possibilities. Your world shrinks.

This overall feeling you call the real world. And your vision becomes shaded by this so called, “reality.”

Yes, I have just sketched an oversimplification, but only to illustrate how we get conditioned into seeing the world. Haven’t we all done this?

On the other end of the ontological spectrum, the notion of a malleable reality has been circulating for some time now.

It’s not only our intuition, but also scientific research that points us in that direction.

For example, the late Japanese researcher, Masaru Emoto, conducted experiments where he showed that human consciousness can effect the molecular structure of water.

The same was alluded to in the 1930s by the Hungarian scientist Eugene Wegner: “It follows that the quantum description of objects is influenced by impressions entering my consciousness.”

Recently I heard an interview between Tony Robbins and Deepak Chopra that really brought this home. In particular, it was a comment made by Mr. Chopra:

“The meaning you give to an event, is the event itself.”

I wrote it down, kept rereading it throughout the day. It summed up what I had believed, intuited, read about, experienced and admittedly, hoped was true.

I had followed the science of particle theory, which undergirds much of these ideas, but hearing it come from a human, and it pertaining to human experience, was an entirely different things altogether.

Mr. Chopra didn’t say that there is an event, and then there’s the meaning you give to it. He takes the conventional understanding and turns it on its head, putting consciousness at the center of experience.

The implications are profound. They suggest a co-created, multi-layered world. They suggest that who I am and what I think not only influence reality, but are its very nature. Which brings a sense of responsibility and with it, that most thorny of human conundrums—choice.

Are you indeed, The master of your fate. The captain of your soul?

To follow the famous line of Henry Ford’s, whether you think you are, and whether you think you’re not, both are true.

Or in other words, whichever is your answer, could very well be your reality.

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