Friday, 1 April 2011

a Moment for Wisdom…



Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

Phillip K. Dick

Personal Wisdom: 

Using Dick’s definition, what is not “reality” in your everyday life?


Societal Wisdom:


As a society, what do we treat as “reality” which is not?  (An easy answer is “corporations”.  Think of others…)

a Moment with Sharif…



Dick’s wisdom asks us to look at our relationship to the very nature of “reality” itself.

We tend to treat as “real” that which our senses tell us.  But, we also know that all of our senses can be tricked into giving us false information – optical, aural and tactile illusions.  (Think about your last 3-D movie…)

We can also be “tricked” into a consensual lie, a consensus view of “reality” that all of us buy into – but is not “real” for those who are part of the consensus.  We can think that, for example, America is invincible, or capitalism will last forever – but what happens when we stop believing that?

The photo I use in today’s “Moment” is both beautiful and perplexing for me…

A small lotus pool sits inside my front gate at my house in Sri Lanka.  During a visit to Sri Lanka a few years ago, I snapped the above photo on my way to work.

During the life of this flower, no one else came to visit me at my home.  No other human being ever saw this flower. And… when I got back to the States and looked at this photo… I REMEMBER THE FLOWER DIFFERENTLY.  The color was very close to the photo, but… redder, or pinker.  The photo flower is beautiful, but… it’s just not the same flower.

So, did the flower truly exist?  I cannot verify it with a single other human being on the planet – did it exist?  I don’t even have a photo of it.  Did it go away?

And, before you say that I have it in my memories, think about the quote above…




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All photos by Sharif Abdullah, unless otherwise noted.

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