That’s actually a line one of my favorite characters delivered in this book series. I’ve been rereading it with one of my friends recently, and although I never really thought about this particular piece of dialogue besides the fact that it’s brilliant foreshadowing, I’ve really started to think about this recently.
I know I talked before about default positions in your world, and this isn’t too far off from that, but I wanted to introduce a new concept that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. It might seem kind of crazy, and you might completely disagree with me, but I don’t really care. It’s just one of my theories about people, and in the end, there’s no way to either prove it nor disprove it, so take what you will and leave everything else in the trash.
Let me start off by saying something crazy: you exist inside your world more than you do in ‘reality.’
Let me break this down for you a little bit here. It makes sense when you think about it, I promise. We’re going to start of sciencey before I get too crazy on you here. Don’t want to lose my audience right off the bat.
Going back to the whole brain connection thing from before, we know that it’s signals in your brain that create our life experiences. They dictate our emotions, the way we perceive the world, and how we see everything around us. In fact, the entirety of the ‘outside reality’ isn’t created externally, but rather, internally. In fact, perception is so important, that we don’t even know whether everyone sees the same colours as one another. What’s blue to me may look completely differently to you. We have no way of knowing whether or not the feeling I get when I’m happy is the same one you’re feeling, and chances are, the world you see around you is vastly differently than the world I see around me.
Cue philosophy. How do we actually know that we’re not just a brain in a lab somewhere receiving chemical signals from scientists who are creating the illusion of reality for us? We don’t.
So we can safely come to the conclusion that reality happens more inside of us than it does outside of us, as our perceptions and brain chemicals shape how we see the outside world.
Awesome. Now I’m going to get a bit crazy.
What if the outside world is less real than the inside world? What if we get so distracted by living in ‘reality’ that we’ve stopped existing in the place we’re actually in? What if part of ‘reality’ is a lie, and we’re just buying into it?
Weird, right? But hear me out for a second.
All of what we see outside is dictated internally – it originates from the world inside of us before it originates externally. Therefore, we can conclude that reality happens inside of us, right? And that’s not to say that the ‘real world’ is fake and not important – not at all – but it isn’t where we exist, and it isn’t where we actually are.
Again, this is just a theory. A really crazy and philosophical theory.
But let’s assume for a second that I’m right. Let’s assume that the world inside of us is more real than the one outside, yeah? What does that actually mean for us, and why is that important?
I’ve said it several times already: Life exists within you before it exists without. Therefore, before we can change the external life around us, we have to change the world within us first. We have to alter our perceptions, come to peace within ourselves, find happiness internally before we can find it externally. After all, external is just created by the internal, right?
Maybe this isn’t so strange of a concept as I think. The fact is, is that no external situation is ever going to make you happy and content. Believe me, I know. No matter how much I had for myself, how much success I’ve had, I’m still miserable. But I’ve spent most of my life blaming my situation for how I’ve been doing. I’m depressed because I lost my friends, because I hate school – because the most important person in my life now wants absolutely nothing to do with me but I have to hear him around me every single day. And so I would try to fix things. I set and attained goals, focused on being positive, tried to move forward – etc etc – and I did well at that. But no matter how hard I tried, or how much I got out of it, I would still always go back to being miserable. So I came to the conclusion that life had to be formed inside of me first. If I wasn’t okay with myself on the inside, wasn’t in a good place in my own world, no matter how much I had, I was never going to be okay.
If my internal self dictates how I see the external world around me, I need to be okay with me first. I need to find joy within myself, not my circumstances. I have to come to such a huge place of goodness within myself and my world, that nothing happening on the outside can shake me. I have to put more emphasis on myself and what’s occurring within me than outside of me.
Does this make sense?
Therefore, I exist internally before I exist externally, and the more I put into ‘reality’ before I invest in the world inside of myself – the world that is me – the more I fall into the trap, and the more miserable I’m going to be. Success is found within you. Your identity exists within you. Your life exists within you. So make sure that all those things are in order before you worry so much about what’s going on around you. After all, you can never change the world or your circumstances until you change what’s going on inside of you first.