Is physical reality real?

In my last article, I said I was looking into Deliberate Creation. I did not last long. I listened to the book “Ask and it is Given” by Abraham a few times, with the intention of experimenting, but I have lost interest in it. I like the wisdom of choosing my best-feeling thought of the thoughts which are available to me right now. That makes sense.

I’m going back to delving into the idea of physical reality. More like the absence of it. Is physical reality physical? It’s real of course; that is, it is consistent and persistent. But it would feel that way even it was not physical. So is it? Is there an objective reality out there?

At this point, I am see that it could go either way. All I can see are my perceptions. Whether my senses are sensing something real or not, I don’t know yet. My intuition says it’s not real.

I’ve read Jed Mckenna’s “Theory of Everything.” It’s good but there isn’t anything in it which helps me look at this. I am reading Goran Buckland’s “Refuting External Reality.” ( It’s short (36 pages) but heady–it will take a few readings to get my mind around it.  Goran’s key point is:  There’s no objective reality – there’s only experiencing.

6 thoughts on “Is physical reality real?

  1. Davidya

    The approach I would take is – rather than looking for the right concepts or philosophy, look to your own experience. Is it real to you? And in what way is it real? And what is your relationship to it? Creating concepts which conflict with your experience can be a form of delusion, mood making, and internal dissonance. Denial is not the way to peace.

    Our sense of what is real is dependent on who we see ourselves as being. The average adult sees the world as concrete and real. Seekers with a practice of stepping out of the world may tend to see it more like a veil. After the Self Realization shift, depending on the dominant quality (guna), we may see the inner as real and the world as illusory. Or at least not the reality we once though it was. With refinement and the awakening heart, the world is more like Lila, a divine play. With Unity or true non-duality, the world is recognized as That also, hence the Upanishads saying I am That, Thou art That, all this is That, That alone is. The world is not what we once thought but rather is mySelf, appearing as all this. And so on.

    Each of these are very distinct experiences of the nature of the world and who we are. Each changes the definition of “real” and “reality” for us. 😉

    So the answer? It depends. 😉

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hehe, yes it depends. Depends referring to relative, and not the adult diaper. 🙂

      Goran Buckland lays out a nice argument that it is illogical that physical reality is physical. I have to go through his book a few more times before I can understand it completely, but it comes down to what you are saying, that there is experience only. There is experience, that we can be sure of.

  2. Yuvaraj Mohan

    please read Stephen hawking’s ‘The Grand Design’. an intelligent take on this subject by Hawking himself.. I have read Goran’s book and it is true that one cannot prove the existence of an objective world, but refuting the existence is also a position that mind takes. No one can know what is really real, but the current model of reality works as we can manipulate energy and create stuff from matter. So unless otherwise proven, the present understanding of external world seems to be an intelligent choice for survival and purpose.

    1. Kaushik Post author

      Hi Yuvaraj,

      The way I see it, science’s understanding of the objective world might be useful–as you say “an intelligent choice”–but that understanding is not inconsistent with the understanding that all rises in consciousness. There is no independent, objective physicality, only consciousness, and what rises in consciousness is understandable through science, with consistency and usefulness. I don’t know if this can be proved, for that would be, as you say, a position the mind takes.

      I haven’t read “The Grand Design”; I’ve read his previous books, and it would be interesting to read it with the perspective I now have. The turning point book for me was Jed Mckenna’s “Theory of Everything”.

      1. Yuvaraj Mohan

        Sure, I will read his book. Right now I am working on releasing deep negative thought patterns. I am curious on how you experience non-dual witnessing? To me, it just happened a couple of times and lasted less than a second. But the energy it brought with it was tremendous. Unfortunately, to me, though i know that this state of consciousness is our default state, the illusoriness of self is predominant in daily life. Is there a technique that you use to fall back into our natural state (non dual)? Or do you release negative emotions by witnessing thoughts dually (mindful of thoughts but not transcending self)?

        1. Kaushik Post author

          Hi Yuvaraj,

          I don’t try to reach any particular mental state. I don’t think it’s helpful to try to achieve “non-dual witnessing” or any other state. When such a thing happens, I notice, and am appreciative if I’m enjoying the state, and if I’m not, I know these states are ephemeral. If I have a goal, it is to completely let go of what you are calling “deep negative thought patterns”, and these patterns I notice not just in the mind but also in the body.

          I prefer to use techniques, rather than knowledge or beliefs. I find that conceptual knowledge is useful in trying to understand what is happening after it has happened, but I’m not sure that particular beliefs, viewpoints, or conceptual knowledge can help let go of negativity; and perhaps they might even get in the way.

          The techniques I’ve had success with are self-observation with self-honesty (eg, witnessing thoughts and emotions and mental activity), looking at the sense-of-I-am, which I think John Sherman explains very well; and the release technique I talk about here.

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