Quotes about Reality

Most popular reality quotes

Humans think they are rational, and they think they understand their reality. But they are wrong on both counts.

rational thinking

I have no reason to believe humans evolved with the capability to understand their reality. That capability was not important to survival. When it comes to evolution, any illusion that keeps us alive long enough to procreate is good enough.
Things are symbols of themselves.
You live your life as if it's real.
A hallucination is a species of reality.
Human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.


Be it life or death, we seek only reality.
Reality is for people who lack imagination.
Our separate fictions add up to joint reality.
It is inconceivable that anything should be existing.


The reality of any place is what its people remember of it.


Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
What is reality anyway!  It's nothing but a collective hunch.
Reality is always controlled by the people who are the most insane.


Reality is neutral. Our reactions reflect back and create our world.


One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.
The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.


The difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make sense.


Reality only reveals itself when it is illuminated by a ray of poetry.


Reality can destroy the dream; why shouldn't the dream destroy reality?


Reality is that which when you stop believing in it, it doesn't go away.
Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.
You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.
It is a narrow little house which becomes a prison to those who can't get out of it.
If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.


Reality provides us with facts so romantic that imagination itself could add nothing to them.

facts imagination

Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached.


Without our knowing it, we see reality through glasses colored by the subconscious memory of previous experiences.


We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world.


I do not know how to distinguish between our waking life and a dream. Are we not always living the life that we imagine we are?

dreams (during sleep) interesting

All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.
To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.


As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.


Reality cannot be ignored except at a price; and the longer the ignorance is persisted in, the higher and the more terrible becomes the price that must be paid.


All our previous positions are now exposed as absurd. But people don't draw the obvious conclusion: it must also mean then that our present situation is absurd.
It is notorious that illusions are shattered by conflict with reality, so no real happiness, no real wit, no real profundity are tolerated where the illusion prevails.


You are a miracle, capable of creating in the likeness of your Creator. Everything else is your own nightmare, and does not exist. Only the creations of light are real.
Since the initial publication of the charged electromagnetic spectrum, humans learned that what they can touch, smell, see, and hear...is less than one millionth of reality.
There's no reality except the one contained within us. That's why so many people live an unreal life. They take images outside them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself.
Concepts and ideas are incapable of expressing reality as it is... Most of our suffering arises from our ideas and concepts. If you are able to free yourself from these concepts, anxiety and fear will disappear.
Civilised life, you know, is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.


Free yourself from the shackles of an oppressive reality. What's real to you is what you imagine and what you feel. If you manage your illusions wisely, you might get what you want, but you won't necessarily understand why it worked.
If you were to meet a termite, to state that his or her goal in life was the perfect modeling of the cosmos, you would think it was quite a comic undertaking. And yet how different are we that we should presume to more than a shadow of the truth.


You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
Truth and power can travel together only so far. Sooner or later they go their separate ways. If you want power, at some point you will have to spread fictions. If you want to know the truth about the world, at some point you will have to renounce power.

power truth

Outside is pure energy and colorless substance, all of the rest happens through the mechanism of our senses. Our eyes see just a small fraction of the light in the world. It is a trick to make a colored world, which does not exist outside of human beings.


As a species, humans prefer power to truth. We spend far more time and effort on trying to control the world than on trying to understand it – and even when we try to understand it, we usually do so in the hope that understanding the world will make it easier to control it.

power truth

Everything you've learned in school as "obvious" becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There's not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines.
Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.
The grand illusion of life is that our minds have the capacity to understand reality. But human minds didn't evolve to understand reality. We didn't need that capability. A clear view of reality wasn't necessary for our survival. Evolution cares only that you survive long enough to procreate. And that's a low bar. The result is that each of us is, in effect, living in our own little movie that our brain has cooked up for us to explain our experiences


Your brain, after all, is encased in darkness and silence in the vault of the skull. It's only contact with the outside world is via the electrical signals exiting and entering along the super-highways of nerve bundles. Because different types of sensory information (hearing, seeing, touch, and so on) are processed at different speeds by different neural architectures, your brain faces an enormous challenge: what is the best story that can be constructed about the outside world?


The word "suchness" describes reality as it is. Concepts and ideas are incapable of expressing reality as it is. Nirvana, the ultimate reality, cannot be described, because it is free of all concepts and ideas. Nirvana is the extinction of all concepts. Most of our suffering arises from our ideas and concepts. If you are able to free yourself from these concepts, anxiety and fear will disappear. Nirvana, the ultimate reality, or God, is of the nature of no-birth and no-death. It is total freedom.

nirvana ultimate reality

The common worldview, shared by most humans, is that there is one objective reality, and we humans can understand that reality through a rigorous application of facts and reason. This view of the world imagines that some people have already achieved a fact-based type of enlightenment that is compatible with science and logic, and they are trying to help the rest of us see the world the "right" way. As far as I can tell, most people share that interpretation of the world. The only wrinkle with that worldview is that we all think we are the enlightened ones. And we assume the people who disagree with us just need better facts, and perhaps better brains, in order to agree with us. That filter on life makes most of us happy.