By DAVID THRUSSELL
Philosophers and pundits have long discussed the nature of ‘reality’ itself. For convenience and simplicity we might consider two parallel ‘realities’: one a ‘physical reality’ (the limitations of the body, the physical environment, the mechanical activities and necessities of day-to-day survival) and another ‘mental’ or ‘psychic reality’: the lens through which your mind organises, filters and constructs both an internal and external landscape – a worldview (or supposition of ‘how things are’) both tactile and emotional.
It seems reasonable to suggest that while ‘physical reality’ (the acquisition of food, shelter, relationships, physical movement etc.) is doubtlessly of primal immediacy, the role of ‘psychic reality’ cannot be overstated in the human experience. We act (alone or in concert with others) according to our interpretation of events, information and stimuli: we move or react in concordance with a framework subtly (or overtly) instilled (or reinforced) by peers, family, media, social mores and the fabric of ‘history’ (as transmitted to us) – a collection of instincts, prejudices, short-cuts and assumptions navigating the approximation of a world our senses deliver to us each waking moment.
Though somewhat falsely lionised as ‘individuals’ (through a century of aggressive marketing and social engineering), we are actually in essence herd animals – guided by the pack, we take verbal, non-verbal and visual cues from those around us – tribalised into class, socio-economic and other strata through myriad signals, feedback loops and pervasive (yet somehow ostensibly invisible) patterns.