How to decide whether an experience is real or not

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How to decide whether an experience is real or not

Postby Heddwen » 21 Oct 2017, 10:00

Hello everyone :)

Please take a look at Philips video on the above subject.... any thoughts? ... qzouefX8xc


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Re: How to decide whether an experience is real or not

Postby ZavieBelle » 22 Oct 2017, 08:31

I loved it.

It's a topic I consider often. I love writing, daydreaming, making up stories in my head. Plus I often tend to err on the side of practical when it comes to "is this a supernatural thing". A few witch friends of mine jokingly tell me I'm so mundane I'm practically a Muggle :P

It reminds me of the quote from HP "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"

And for the most part I've come to the same conclusion as Philip. If it's beneficial, if it helps me grow/heal/etc... does it really matter? Because the truth is I'm unlikely to ever have a definite answer real/not real.

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Re: How to decide whether an experience is real or not

Postby daerwin » 23 Oct 2017, 05:30

"Everything you can imagine is real"
--Pablo Picaso

I have a few jumbled thoughts on this topic and I'm finding it difficult to put them into coherent words...

The quote from Harry Potter that ZavieBelle mentioned always resonated with me. And the fact we're talking about a quote from a work of fiction leads my to my main thought: fiction, non-fiction, technology, food, drink, even our understanding of nature - all this needed to be imagined by someone to be part of our world, it has to be 'imagined' before it can be 'real'.

I like the analogy Philip uses about the filing clerk not knowing how to process it - and it reinforces my dislike of labelling and pigeon-holing, whether that's experiences or people. I like the fluidity that life brings, and I find that labelling and categorising diminishes the experience.

What I've found with the Sacred Grove exercise (which after all is completely 'imaginary', at least in my case) is that it has helped with physical experiences. I really struggled with the Light Body Exercise the first few times I did it, because I couldn't visualise the light, but found that if I did it in my Sacred Grove (i.e. in my head), I felt the sensation of the LBE in the physical world. In this case, the 'imaginary' and the 'real' experiences were one and the same.

So as Philip and ZavieBelle have both said, if its beneficial, does it really matter?

Anyway, I'm rambling. I hope that all made sense

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Re: How to decide whether an experience is real or not

Postby ShadowCat » 23 Oct 2017, 08:47

I do agree with both Philip and the posters above, yet I also want to add a caveat in the sense that we are not floating islands isolated from the world. If your experiences, even if labeled as genuine by your own mind, drive a wedge between you and the world around you, you might want to re-examen them...
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Re: How to decide whether an experience is real or not

Postby malcolmb » 23 Oct 2017, 10:24

The problem with questions like this one is in defining the terms used. "Real". What does that mean? The first time I heard about Quantum Theory, my brain frozen and has never worked properly since. The concepts are simply too complex and confusing for a simple person like myself. But it does make me aware that the world that I thought I lived in may or may not exist as I thought it did. And the same can be said about me. I may or may not exist!

So what is "real"? I think "real" is very personal. What is real to me may or may not be real to anyone else. As my brain processes everything I see, hear, smell or touch, my perception of reality is in my brain. My brain makes judgements. It does that through the accumulated knowledge it has gained throughout my life. My accumulated knowledge is different to everyone else's. So my ability to judge is different to everyone else. My "real" can therefore never be your "real".

If the above is true, then "real" cannot be a basis for judgement of experiences except at the personal level. One person's "real" can be another person's illusion. So it all comes down to the individual perception. I discard "real". It doesn't matter to me if it is real or not. The question is whether the experience has "meaning" to me. When I "talk" to a Spirit of Place or of a Tree, reality is irrelevant. Whether such a Spirit exists is irrelevant. It is the the meaning I obtain from that experience that is important. Perhaps that is why Druidry cannot be defined. It is an intensely personal belief focussed on finding meaning in Life which is itself about one's own perception of one's place in Life and one's own perception of what Life is. Not anyone else's.
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Re: How to decide whether an experience is real or not

Postby Wanderer » 23 Oct 2017, 11:08

Maybe whether something is 'real' or not is not the relevant question to add, but rather, Who is creating/participating in this experience?

Is it purely me and my imagination?
Is it me and my subconscious?
Is it me and something 'outside of the previous categories'?

All these experience have been created by 'someone' and hence are real. All can be helpful or unhelpful. But the appropriate way to deal with them will depend on who we are communicating with...

(Note that I consider all three categories to be equally 'real' and 'important'!)

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Re: How to decide whether an experience is real or not

Postby DaRC » 23 Oct 2017, 21:14

I think in this modern world there is a realisation that concepts that were previously thought to be hard, immutable and clearly defined are not, nor have ever truly been.
It is both a wonder and a malaise, like any freedom.

Under the rule of monotheism there is only 1 reality, 1 truth and 1 physical world. As malcolmb has said quantum physics has seen a particle be in 2 places at the same time, science has shown us that reality is more a mutable perception than an absolute which muddies what truth is.

Maybe it is more important to work out whether an experience is beneficial or not. To apply the Druidic triad of knowledge, experience and inquiry to determine whether you choose to accept it as real or not.
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and to live a life without shame. (Havamal 68) Image

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