Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Challenge of Believed Realities and Shared Spaces

Process of perception, approach and framework ...
Process of perception, approach and framework of perception (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Karin Anderssen

Recently I returned from an extended trip overseas.

While on-route home I glimpsed an insight that made the reality of my home-coming deeper, richer, and clearer as I knew what I was returning to.

I had just spent time with family and friends whose realities are quite different from mine even though our interconnectedness was evident.

Life is in constant movement as our individual reality presents images and impressions on what seems like wafer thin disks layered one upon the other - constantly appearing and disappearing yet somehow static in a foundation that is real and true or illusionary based on beliefs and life conditioning.

Individual realities seem to run parallel to each other until we enter someone else's time and space for brief, fleeting moments. Until we understand someone else's reality. Interpretations typically form perceptions based on how we think that person's life is, not on true understandings associated with the phenomenon of reality.

The last leg of my return flight was subject to delays caused by weather related disrupted operations at London's Heathrow Airport. It wasn't the snow that fell over most parts of Great Britain that day that caused the disruptions, but extreme freezing temperatures that required the de-icing of hundreds of planes to ensure proper functioning of intricate mechanical and structural parts of the airplane.

This crucial process is necessary to counter balance the effects of extreme weather created circumstances; the laws of nature are absolute and prevail over complex operations associated with human designs regardless of how grand they are.

After a two-hour boarding delay, passengers took their seats in the fully booked plane. Due to a high volume of airplanes that needed to be de-iced, the plane sat another three hours on the tarmac before it took flight high over the Atlantic Ocean at an altitude that reached sub-zero temperatures of -65 degrees according to the on-board flight tracker passengers could follow.

It seems like a miracle of physics and human ingenuity when you consider all the factors associated with keeping a vehicle flying as it soars through the atmosphere at speeds that exceed gravity.

Individual realities are similar. In a shared space and time - like a group of passengers on-board the same airplane - each person is collectively subjected to the same outcome. Individual realities seem stationary, yet each person's perception of their world reflects the life they believe in and is in constant flux.

How each person handles their thoughts and behaviors differs. Human interconnectedness and personal accountability takes on a whole new dimension. For those who see human interconnectedness as a matter of responsibility, the aloneness of this absolute principle seems to intensify as the physical body tries to keep-up with the speed of thought.

The British flight crew responsible for the operations of this flight was exceptionally well-trained and performed exemplary, and even though the captain personally spoke with each passenger on-board as he walked the aisles, personal wants and needs were behind the many questions that arose.

Depending on the individual's ability to reason the situation at hand, comfort levels were stretched and anxieties bubbled-up making it obvious that broader considerations might be necessary relative to the collective nature of the people on-board the plane.

Passengers were diligently updated over the intercom to the ever-changing de-icing schedule and lift-off time as the plane had to take flight almost immediately after this 45 minute process was complete to avoid further complications.

We were told that the air conditioning would have to be turned off to prevent chemical fumes from entering the cabin, so passengers had time to prepare for resultant warmer temperatures inside the plane.

Something to drink was offered. Passengers connecting to other flights were assured that sufficient airline personal would be available to help them upon arrival.

I knew we were in one of the safest airplanes ever designed, and the manner in which the crew functioned allowed me to settle-in and gauge the prevailing energy, while working several Sudoku puzzles which put my attention on something I could control.

After all I wanted to arrive home safely and didn't particularly enjoy uncertainties associated with insufficient or rushed de-icing of an airplane about to fly over the Atlantic Ocean subjected to weather related conditions that no one had control over.

The other side of the equation was also considered, and I knew the value of managing my own thoughts and perceptions so as not to behave in any way that would add additional pressure on trained professionals doing their job.

Rampant emotions and unchecked feelings that arise from situations that are perceived as adverse in nature or an inconvenience at best, affect others whether we understand this phenomenon or not.

Granted, I could have been somewhere else and then the reality of that moment would have been different, but then I wouldn't be on my way home. I was grateful for the smooth running operations unaffected by added stress of individual realities impacting an already stress impacted, collective situation.

This gratitude and perspective was shared by a few even as some passengers grew impatient or frustrated as their sense of relevance diminished or seemed lost.

The world turns and life moves on, people and circumstances come in and out of our reality. Should interpretations perceive another person's life as being better off or worse than the life you are living, question why this is.

With the loss of relevance, people label, criticize, and pressure themselves and others into actions that culminate in a space that lacks mature reasoning, while emotional instabilities cling to beliefs that the life they are living is all there is? Insights that result from inquires into your own perceptions may surprise you and for the first time reveal opportunities that always existed.

The next time you are in a shared reality, stop and invite reflections that question old beliefs and patterns. Invite new impressions into your world, include considerations that speak to our human interconnectedness, take appropriate action and watch your reality change.

Karin Anderssen is a current contributor to the information website Master Life Instructions @ She has been writing for adults and children for over ten years basing articles and children's fables and stories on her understandings of metaphysics and the humanities. The intent behind her writings is to encourage and support authentic, heartfelt dialogue between generations.

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