An observation on reality


I feel this is a good place to put this observation because this is a question I come across when dealing with the fae.

It is a reflection of the world that I deal with in general when I teach my Multicultural Folklore class. We deal with myth, legend, folklore, fable, parable, and also the fairy realm. One of the points I stress from day one is that we live in a very logical, actual world of science, where reality is something you can measure with your senses, and only with your senses. To my students, myth is a made up story. What I try to get them to see is the subjectiveness of reality. That our senses are bombarded every millisecond with tons of information. Our brains decide what is important to filter out, what to keep. I demonstrate this by pointing out an insignificant sound in the room, the heating system or air conditioning for instance. As soon as I point it out, they hear it clearly. Why didn't they hear it before? It wasn't important. I made it important to their brains and now the sound, which has not changed volume, has become important. So, in short, I point out that reality, the real, is what their brains determine. If you believe that Life sucks, then everything you experience will back that up.

So my point here is how people see the reality of the fae. I hear many who speak of them as one would speak of squirrels, or raccoons, or other creatures on the planet. Their reality is just the same. I take a different viewpoint, that their reality to me is from my mind accepting their reality, which is different from my creating them from my mind. These are beings who are a product of centuries, perhaps millenia, of humans accepting their reality, and there is great power in that. One of the primal debates on Christianity versus Darwinism is the reality of Adam and Eve. People calculate when they must have been born, and people polarize on the issue, saying, to be a Christian, you must confirm that Adam and Eve were real humans, the first humans, as well as that Jesus rose from the dead.

I see a problem in this. In saying that they are real in the form of the reality our senses take in becomes limiting. When I look at the fae, I see a reality in them, but I do not expect one to poke his head out from my desk, say hi, and smile at me. Yet I do see them as real. There is a reality between sensory reality and pure imagination. Our world is a product of individual and collective understanding. The fae understand this, and much lore is devoted to faery land, which exists around us, in the same space, but not in the same place. The limit I see in simply taking the fae as of a same reality as our own material world is that people who do so are averse to taking them apart and understanding them, that partially they come from us. I came to this epiphany after just writing my response to sagitarian's thread on the Soul Shrinker. She characterized him, crying at being misunderstood, and wanting to be accepted, and I didn't see him that way. I see him misunderstood, of course, but understanding and accepting his role in throwing the mirror before us. The mirror shrinks us and takes the perfect image we have of ourselves (imagine standing naked before the mirror, most of us shrink before it). But he smiles because he knows he does us a service. But, of course, that is my reality of him. Sagitarians is just as valid.

I think reality needs to be taken apart and re-evaluated from time to time. The only way I feel to do this is to accept that reality is in many ways a construction of ourselves, both the individual self and the collective self. I cannot take apart the fae if I see them as woodland creatures. I cannot understand a squirrel as a symbol and understand his meaning to me if he is that furry creature of the rodent genus who lives in my backyard and can be dissected. If he is a fae, he transforms now into something I can understand in my reality.

Ok, I am not sure if my point came out here. I think the crux of my insight is somewhere in the limbo. It isn't crystal sharp here, but I hope folks got something out of this. Debate me, transform me, send a fae my way! :D



Faeries ... sparking observations on the nature of reality ... who said that Faeries are only about goofing around and being silly?

I think I understand what you're getting at Khat, and in fact I read this thread, then posted down on sag's thread of "what do Faery folk mean to you?" some of my own thoughts that this thread had stirred in conjunction with it.

Reality, or what is perceived as "normal," is always what is considered socially accepted, and is somehow mutually decided upon. This mysterious process of "what is normal?" became "what is real?" when I wrote a book from a schizophrenic's point of view. What was normal? What was "reality," if reality is shaped entirely by one's perception?

And, most importantly to me, who decides what actions are normal and which are "paranoid" ... and are they labelled as "paranoid" only because others' don't see the threats, and therefore the *reality*, that you perceive?

Duct tape anyone???

If I duct taped my house 2 weeks ago, I'd have been labelled a paranoid nut. Now, it's been sanctified by mass opinion, and is believed to be an appropriate action in defending myself from a perceived threat.

Who decided that? When did that switch and become "normal" and therefore a mutually accepted reality? And if that's just duct tape, imagine how many other things we mutually decide upon and define as "normal" and "real," and never examine more fully.

:D Like ... Faeries!!! (Go ahead! Call me a faery-talking wierdo! I don't have duct tape and plastic over all my windows, so I feel fine....)


You wrote a book about schizofrenia?

My mom is schizofrenic (luckily, her meds work perfectly, so it doesn't bother her anymore) and my friends dad, too. He told the following story:

He was visited by a stranger, everyday at 5 pm that stranger came by. The only problem was, that noone else could see that stranger.
His psychologist said the following: I'll be there, today at 5, and you'll describe me what you see. I'll be completely honest with you: I'll not be able to see that stranger. But I'll accept it as part of you reality.

At the time he told me that story, I didn't know exactly what to think of schizofrenia. But this was a revelation to me.
It made me realize that reality is so subjective. If I can see it, it's there for me, no matter what others tell me. Maybe they're the 'crazy' (I hate to use that word) ones, for not seeing it. Why should I be crazy. Because I'm in the minority of people who see it? Why does mass opinion count as general opinion? Why won't people accept other realities?

I told a friend about Faery and he said: it's all in your head, they don't exist. How does he know? Because he can't see them and only a minority of people can? Well, now I think they're the crazy ones, for Faery does exist. It's too bad for them that they won't let them into their world. They'll miss a lot of fun and help, that we can receive.

They exist for me. And that's what matters. It's reality for me, no matter what people say. And I'm glad I don't let my reality be created by others. I won't be led by their opinions, and I'm proud of it.

Well, that's a relief... ;)


i find this thread very interesting. some great points have been made that have allowed me to reflect on some past experiences as the denier of someone else's reality and as being denied my sense of reality.

i had a friend who believed she could hear trees talk and see fairies. i could not see or hear them but i wanted to be kind to her so i played along with her. as her behavior became more disturbing to me, i was told that she had manic depression but wasn't on lithium. when i learned she was manic, i started discounting her reality. she sent friends my way encouraging me to validate her reality but i knew they didn't know the truth about her as i knew it. at the time, i was studying psychology and i couldn't allow myself to believe in a reality alternate to the one of science. thus we are no longer friends today. this happened 16 years ago.

however, i've had many experiences with my mother's haunted house that have been pretty terrifying. i told a friend about it and he laughed at me. he was certain there was a rational explanation for what i experienced. i knew there wasn't b/c other family members and friends had experienced similar phenomenon that had been nonbelievers at first. plus he added insult to injury when i told him about my spiritual beliefs and tarot. he made me repeat after him that tarot was fraudulent and encouraged me to find a church to attend.

since those experiences, my life has come full circle. i have since had many experiences that lead me to believe there are alternate realities where fae, angels, spirit animals and other beings live. i now consider myself a shaman and no longer ascribe to the regime of science as i once did. i am allowing myself to be the artist i was meant to be. the more i allow my true creative nature to surface, the more connected i feel to alternative realities and nature herself. i don't "hear" trees talk per se but i could channel the essence of a tree spirit by writing.

my cats communicate volumes to me-a never ceasing source of amusement to my husband. he even asks me to translate what one is saying and i can comply! LOL i don't know how. i just watch my cats and know. i caught one cat in the very early stages of hyperthyroidism by knowing how to speak to my cats. even the vet was amazed b/c most owners don't notice the early symptoms. i didn't know what she had but i knew something was wrong in her throat-where the thyroid is and she had lost some weight. only a few ounces but significant. did i tell the vet my cat told me she was sick? h*** NO! but i now have validation for what i thought was true. i suspect one day i'll get validation that those other messages i get are true, too.

i've thought about attempting to contact the friend whose reality i denied and let her know i have changed. if that was the only reason we stopped being friends, i would but too many other things happened to make that possible. i do wish her well.



I completely agree with what has been said here so far. There's not much that I can add, but I do want to comment.

I studied psychology both in school and on my own. It was an area of interest to me that I thought at one point in my life that I wanted to make a career out of. I can not remember exactly the psychologist that came up with this, but it's something that I totally agree with. The concept is, we all see things through rose tinted windows. There is the reality of truth, which is the reality of science. What we see, hear, touch, feel, and taste is the "true" reality. Everything else, we make up with rose tinted views. If we are miserable with our lives, that is a feeling, a made up reality by our understanding of good and bad. That is something we can choose to manipulate and change. Not a "true" reality. Reality is what everyone else can sense with at least one of their five senses, and we can not manipulate it otherwise. We make what we want out of what happens to us, and react to it accordingly. Our individual reality as what khat pointed out, is what we make of it. Our brain indeed filters out what it considers not important information. We learn what we feel is good and bad, and file it sorta speak into those two catagories, react accordingly to how it fits in with our rose tinted windows. Not everything that is good to one person is good to another.

I agree with Alissa though on that we can (if we want to) choose to communicate to other realms intuitively. Now, the mermaid I actually SAW in THIS reality, as one can see a mountain, or the blue sky. I also believe that once (about the same time period about ten yrs ago) I also saw two faeries flying VERY briefly over a pool in the back yard at a house I used to live at. I've also seen a ghost there too, she was more scared then I was. In any case, I've seen many many many celestial beings with my eyes in this reality. When I was talking of hearing Soul Shrinker, I felt him intuitively, heard him intuitively, not in a "true" reality. It has always been very easy for me to talk to "spirits". Something that I'm not always comfortable with, but I've learned much about it.

I also very much so believe that we may have a deck that looks exactly like the next, but I think the faes are a bit different to each person. Or it could be that they just have other messages to get across to each of us. Maybe both.


Reality is a state of mind ... not sure who it was that said (or worte) that phrase long ago but it is one that I believe in more with each passing day. My reality is full of fae, and I could really care less what science thinks about that. I think you guys have summed up all the arguments so there is nothing more left for me to say.

Truthsayer, I hope some day, some how you and that friend can reconcile differences ... I can see how much she means to you now.


Athara said:
You wrote a book about schizofrenia?

It made me realize that reality is so subjective. If I can see it, it's there for me, no matter what others tell me. Maybe they're the 'crazy' (I hate to use that word) ones, for not seeing it.

I wrote one ... but, it's never been published. :D It did receive a little attention from some literary agents in the past, but that was a few years ago. The project, however, remains dear to my heart, regardless of publication (...although, I do still wish others might have had the chance to read it).

In any case, YES -- you hit it on the nail Athara, that was the point I was trying to make throughout the novel.

By living in the character's reality, I was trying to use a "forced perspective" for the reader, and purposefully make the reader begin to wonder "Is she really the "crazy" one, or are all of the rest of us???" [At one point, however, the narrative becomes clear as her condition worsens and her ability to distinguish from her reality and our reality is gone, but this isn't until much later in the tale.]

And truthsayer, I found your stories very moving as well. I don't know if you really need to find that person in order to still send out a message of thanks to her for teaching you the lesson you gained. Release any guilt you have for feeling you may have hurt her ... your intention was to find her medical help, because that was what you most believed she needed. You still acted out of love and concern, even if you couldn't act out of the acceptance for her that you now feel.

And ... here is one of the greatest secrets of all, to me ... reality is what you make it. You may not be able to change the rest of the world, or its events, but you can always change how you *choose* to perceive it, and how you will act and react.

"If you can't change your fate ... change your attitude."


Alissa said:
reality is what you make it. You may not be able to change the rest of the world, or its events, but you can always change how you *choose* to perceive it, and how you will act and react.

"If you can't change your fate ... change your attitude."
Absolutely agree, and something so hard for people to realize. The one thing you have 100% control of in life is your attitude. A motivational speaker, I think it was Jack Canfield (famous for the Chicken Soup books), that explained that the outcome of an event is dependent on two things. Many think it is just one, the event itself. Thus, people or things make them feel things, i.e. "Your mean words made me feel awful." It is more than that. Your reaction figures in that too. Someone's bad words can't make you feel anything, unless you go inside and react to them. If you say to yourself, "Oh no, you figured out I am a worthless human being." then your outcome will be in line with what the person said. But if you say to yourself, "You know, this person really doesn't know anything about me," then those same words had the opposite effect, you are content in who you are. In any case, the words didn't make you feel anything, it is what you did inside after that which made you feel it. Remember the old, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me"?

Thus with your reality. My favorite example was the two bus drivers that drove me to high school. Both drove the same route, dealt with the same people, etc. One was miserable: we kids drove him crazy, made him grumpy, and on and on. The other was happy, greeted you with a smile, etc. and he dealt with the same situation.

You make your reality. If Life Sucks, it is your choice that it sucks. Just see Roberto Bellini's movie Life is Beautiful. In the concentration camps, he made a game for his child, made a beautful life that saved the young boy. There's the key to life right there!



No, I don’t own a Faeries Oracle, but I found this thread wonderful!

It’s odd that every culture has its invisible worlds before being polluted by a monotheistic religion.

…and in all of those cultures it is possible to peek into, and occasionally step into those other worlds…

And who says the little people are little? And who says they are always cute?

And what of those folks who’s pictures are on the milk-cartons? Did they all come to violent ends at the hands of a madman?

Or did they just find a soft spot in the Sidhe and step through?

What if…?

We are so rational these days, and have been deluded into believing that science knows the only view of the real truth. It is the job of science to prove and disprove, not believe. They begin with the hypothesis, and move outward from there…recently in one of the Washington State universities, they ‘proved’ that Bovine expelled Methane Gas (cow farts) was partially responsible for global warming. This is similar to saying that the Dinosaurs created the Ice Age by not passing enough gas. Currently they are proving that man has ‘caused’ global warming, without studying the natural changes in climate. 100% of all murderers in prison ate candy bars and drank milk as children. It is dangerous to imply causality.


Way back when, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley did the ‘Huntley –Brinkley Report’. 30 minutes of international and national news (smoking the whole time). Then we had 30 minutes of local news.
Now we have been taught that we need, one hour of local news, 30 minutes of international news, followed by another hour, followed by 20/20, 60 Minutes, Dateline, Newsline, ET, Hollywood Extra, Nightline, Today, Tomorrow, Special Reports and on and on…and we fall for it every time. They effing invent news stories and we fall for it.

Folks are so ‘concerned’ with what (they are being told) is going on across the globe; they ignore their own neighborhoods…

Science – Myth – Media…

If one of you should find a soft-spot in the Sidhe…let me know…

What? You’re right, I’m ranting…sorry…


Umbrae said:
Way back when, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley did the Huntley Brinkley Report. 30 minutes of international and national news (smoking the whole time). Then we had 30 minutes of local news.
Now we have been taught that we need, one hour of local news, 30 minutes of international news, followed by another hour, followed by 20/20, 60 Minutes, Dateline, Newsline, ET, Hollywood Extra, Nightline, Today, Tomorrow, Special Reports and on and on?and we fall for it every time. They effing invent news stories and we fall for it.
Yep, you hit it perfectly, Umbrae. And you know something? I independently developed two courses for my night school program, the multi-cultural folklore course and a course on understanding the mass media. Amazingly, they overlap in some incredibly scary ways thematically.

To add to your news observation: I recently heard a statistic that actual incidents of violent crimes reported in the United States in the past ten years have decreased approximately 20%. In that same time period, focus on violent crime in the U.S. Mass Media has increased 700%!!!

So the mass media is responsible for giving us a realistic view of our world? Hmmm, I will sooner look out the door myself. :p