What is a Reality Tunnel?

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RobertAntonWilson

The term ‘reality tunnel’ comes from Timothy Leary, and was expounded upon by Robert Anton Wilson in many of his books, especially ‘Prometheus Rising’.

It is analogous to ‘confirmation bias’: the tendency to automatically search for, favor and recall information confirming that which you already believe, and automatically dismissing, ignoring or forgetting information that contradicts already existing beliefs.

A reality tunnel is like confirmation bias, but goes further. It’s not just a belief, but an entire model of reality that filters your every perception.

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. – Anais Nin

Like confirmation bias, a reality tunnel, it’s easier to see in other people: politically we see the confirmation bias of viewers of FOX news very clearly, if we are liberal; it is very easy to understand Fundamentalist Christians that understand ‘Creationism is fact’ live through a ‘reality tunnel’ that is unlike that of someone that respects science and evidence of the fossil record and carbon dating.

What is harder to see, of course, is our own confirmation bias: I am liberal, but of course I am fair minded! I am an existentialist and respect materialist reality, that’s just reality, surely it’s not a ‘reality tunnel’!

And the sad truth is there is no freedom from reality tunnels or confirmation bias that is even possible. Zen practice and meditation may break the reality tunnel, with a focused less thoughtful frame of mind – but the result is a broader reality tunnel, not the absence of one. You may have broken the reality tunnels you personally were born into, most of us stop believing in Santa, many of us can appreciate the magical reality of Christianity and that of material science simultaneously, anyone that is LGBT must break free of anti gay reality models and find larger ones if they hope to find psychological health.

But the reality is that when you find yourself with the capacity to understand your perception of reality is not objective and it is all you got, and that more than one model of reality is possible – you now are NOT free. You simply have traded a limited reality model for a larger less limited model. As with confirmation bias – it’s not a function of your point of view – only that you HAVE ONE.

This is how Chaos magicians are ‘diabolical’ to some people, and how Chaos magic is post modern: it aggressively flows from a larger model of reality than Newtonian material science or fundamentalist religion. Paradigm Piracy, is a Chaos magic practice, used intentionally to break yourself free from accepting any model of reality too literally. If as a Paradigm Pirate you know you have successfully healed a person using prayer and faith in the Catholic tradition, but Also know you have done the same using Taoism or Reiki, you now know your model is not the territory!

And that scares people that ‘KNOW’ that their model is the territory – shitless! This is the secret meaning of the phrase: Nothing is true, Everything is permitted.

So what if you understand, because you know that you have experienced a reality tunnel, because it’s no longer your reality tunnel? So you now can appreciate what a reality tunnel is and can appreciate how more than one exists. What now? You now have a Larger model of what is real and own the subjectivity that is your only access to what is real. What’s next?

I myself don’t know. Surely there’s an even bigger model of reality, and I don’t see the blinders of my larger model – because it’s larger.

In the meantime, if you stand outside of the small and limiting reality tunnels, even if you still have blinders that you can’t see because your new reality tunnel is so large – if you can let go of needing your reality tunnel to be true – you have freedom choose or invent a reality tunnel that SERVES you! Choose FUN!

Here’s a model I’ve beep playing with, you may want to try on: reality hacking – Life is a GAME, YOU are the PLAYER, your game character is YOUR EGO, you choose the game! Play well!

As a reality tunnel this ‘reality hacking’ lets you choose the game and consider yourself a winner, and if the game is a loving relationship, being kind to as many people as possible or even getting as much money as possible – everyone gets to play to win at what is important to THEM!

Conceptualizing life as a game I find empowering, many of us are better at games than at life – our ego sabotages our life, fear of success, being uncomfortable in new roles and so forth.

But the player is not the EGO! And while psychologists and Buddhists can ‘realize this’ – you can jump start that realization by asserting the truth of it as your reality tunnel! And maybe this reality tunnel can stop your ego from stopping you! Just an idea!

I leave you with a comic I created long ago, that I may have shared on this website before. But it is relevant  to this conversation. I present PSYCHE VAMPYRES!

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