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Do We Create Our Own Reality?

Café-Salon Philosophique #75

February 3, 2001

No. of Participants: 14

Topic for Discussion: "Do we create our own reality?"

Samuel began the evening by welcoming everyone to the Café-Salon gathering and sharing the purpose for our gatherings. "The world is a melting pot of various cultures, attitudes, values and beliefs." "No two people are the same. One topic amongst the crowd can take on many different connotations."

"The idea is to choose a topic and expand upon it," he said. "Café-Salon gatherings are not for discussing politics, making personal attacks, nor for the sole purpose of entertainment."

"The purpose is to stimulate and expand new ways of thinking - something that will catapult us beyond the limitations of personal worlds, to what's happening universally." Striving to go beyond the ordinary means of communication.

This means, that at Café gatherings, people are asked to silent the "chaotic monkey." Instead of jumping in to "show" what "we know," participants are asked to stop, and listen to what others have to say. To pause, before responding to what has just been said.

This seems very hard for some participants of the group to do at times. It can be very distracting to the speaker when others are already in the process of forming comments, answers and opinions to "spout out," even before the speaker has had a chance to share and finish their ideas. It would be nice if we could be a little more considerate of the speaker.

We were then asked to share topics of interest for the evening discussion. Suggested topics included: "Left brain, right brain. Is there a good and bad side?" "What is there to say about reality? Why talk at all?" "The Nature of Evil - What is it? Why does it exist?" "What is the relationship between consciousness and the properties of light?" "How do people create their own reality?" "How can one find meaning in life from nothingness?"

The majority decided that "Do we create our own reality?" would be a good springboard from which to develop a topic.

Are we really able to invent how we want to navigate on this planet? "Little things tend to get exaggerated in life." "Our lives revolve around mundane things," said Julya."There are so many different cultures. So many different interpretations about life, no wonder we are confused," she finished.

Steve said, "Reality depends upon the environment." "No two people are alike," said Tina. It doesn't matter what environment someone is in. Each person experiences every situation totally different. "For example, one person in prison might have a religious experience from the confinement, whereas, another might feel like he is living in hell the rest of his life," she added. Tony agreed. "One man's heaven, could be another man's hell."

"We have the choice to stay imprisoned and enslaved to our ideas, or seek freedom," said Suzanne. "You have to look at whether or not the person's way of thinking is rational or not." "Are they in the situation by choice or by force?"

"Reality is created by the different relationships we have in the world," said Julya. "Egos tend to get in the way of developing those relationships, though," said Tony. "You know, the"he-go and she-go's gets in the way of developing relationships and creating your own reality."

"Reality happens in spite of you," said Samuel.

Steve thinks, "it is what we agree upon and disagree about that makes realities happen.""Reality is created by experiences of life," said Rick. "It just depends upon how our brain interprets the information."

Julya believes that "experiencing the esoteric" enables one to look at the bigger picture. The bigger spectrum. After a recent trip to Tibet, she was surprised to find that Boulder actually seemed to practice the more spiritually-based Buddhism, than the home country it self.

Sometimes our expectations and interpretations can be quite different than what we experience as Julya found out.

"Ideas can be like viruses," said Samuel. "So easily, so subtly, we can become entrapped and enslaved to the spoken and written word(s). Ideas become concepts, and before you know it, those concepts can become reality. We then think this is intelligence.

"In Café-Salon No. 69, we discussed how ideas were called "memes."Memes are supposedly ideas that can act like viruses taking over our way of thinking. Theoretically, bits and pieces of information evolve and form into patterns which begin to become repeated patterns of behavior that people display.

Memes can include such things as slogans, ideas, catch-phrases, melodies, icons, inventions and fashions. Whatever we turn into symbology, can be considered a "meme." (Café-Salon No. 69 - "The Game of Life").

Our next question was, "What is good? What is evil? How do they play into our realities?" "It depends upon one's experiences, values and interpretations in life," said Tony. "In Africa, water conservation is so important, that if someone were to take more than their fair share, the punishment would be to cut off their hand, or if the water situation were really strained, then that person would probably be killed," he added. The group then discussed how different cultures have different perspectives on what is right and wrong, good and bad.

Karin thinks, the reason for good and evil is because "people make myths truth." False gods become king. When people are in a weakened state and hope is needed, anything can sound good.

Suzanne commented that, "evil is when one takes more than what is needed." She gave the example of how land development is gobbling up open space. "Once an average family only needed a 2,500 sq. ft. house." "Now they think they need 5,000 sq. ft." What is the rationale in this? What is happening here? Where are our values? She expressed her concern about human "over consumption" and the "exorbant waste" of all materials on this planet.

The group then bounced to discussing "outer evils versus inner knowing." "What about the inner self?" asked Rick. Does this serve to protect us in anyway? Why are we so easily distracted by the outside world?

"Because we don't take full responsibility for our actions," said Rick. And, we are unaware of how to live every moment consciously. (The majority of people don't even know what this means.)

There is a lack of genuine honesty and integrity within our being. Of course we will deny this. But, why do most relationships seem so superifical? What is the conflict when relating to others? Why is it so hard to communicate with others and have our needs fulfilled?

It seems as if we spend alot of time dwelling on negative happenings rather than positive ones. Little things that don't mean much, at times, may take on great meaning. Life is then taken too seriously.

Interpretations get twisted and distorted. We get caught up in the stream of competition, the need to achieve, to be somebody. Creative living goes by the way side. The almighty dollar becomes the "lead carrot."

And to end our discussion, Samuel brought us back to ponder these questions, "Why are we here?" "Why is there a need to talk at all?" "What is the significance of these philosophical discussions anyway?"

Because "we need friendship," said Tony. "Everyone needs a little attention and a listening ear."

These gatherings are to provide the opportunity for individuals to gather, share and expound upon real, life universal concerns about what is happening in the world today. Café was meant to elevate conversation above and beyond the normal means of communication by finding new ways to respond intelligently while possibly discovering new realizations.

This forum gives people the opportunity to speak freely without fear of retribution or alienation. It is for those who want to affirm their existence as humans becoming, and to make their presence known. How is your existence known? What is the nature of your reality?

Our next Café-Salon meeting will be held Feburary 17, 2001, at the Boulder Bookstore located at 1107 Pearl St., in Boulder, Colorado. Start time is 6:30 pm.

Hope to see you there! Bring a new and interesting topic.

Reported by Alessandra

"Samuel brings awareness to the soul of people and gives the artists who work under his direction the need, dedication, and love for the world of silence and the beautiful art of movement."


- Marcel Marceau, BIP 1961

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LCDS is an independent school for self-discovery through the human Arts.  The school offers seminars and workshops teaching the concepts of Theater, Mime, and Movement.