“Reality is an acquired taste.” I’d never heard that quote until Mathew Perry said it on the HBO show, “Real Time with Bill Maher”.
Is reality really an acquired taste? Is reality like one of those exotic foods that few people actually like? Could it be possible that some people actively have no taste for reality? Don’t we all lose our taste for reality from time to time?
Like tumbleweeds, questions and ideas rolled across the highway of my mind, blowing in a myriad of directions, in flurries of thoughts.
I’m one of those people who has been practicing being present in the here and now, ie in “reality” for decades. I’ve never really questioned whether being in the present moment was anything but the desired and ultimate goal of my inner journey. My life’s journey has been to acquire and grow my capacity for that taste of reality,
A friend tells me that life has been getting better for humanity. There are fewer wars, less famine, parasitic infection rates are lower, child mortality has fallen, and so on. There is data to back his claims.
Yay, reality looks good. Why wouldn’t we want to be part of this reality where there is evidence of progress and the quality of life improving?
Another friend tells me that we are on the brink of global economic collapse and that the end of individual and collective freedom is nigh. This is backed by data and facts.
Darn, this reality doesn’t feel so good. I can understand if a few of us wanted to withdraw from it. Add to it personal experiences of suffering or conflict and it becomes understandable why some may not have a taste for it.
However we parse it, I would conjecture that both of these realities (objective and/or subjective) exist on the spectrum of Reality and that it is unbiased in that it continues to exist regardless of how we might feel about it or ourselves. And further that it is without taste or has every flavor imaginable.
We might say it is an acquired taste but it doesn’t matter what we think because it exists whether we like it or not. Whether we avoid it or dilute it. We can change our perception of it but it is ever pervasive.
These lines from the Tao Te Ching come to mind-
And the mul mantar by Guru Nanak frames it thus:
Today, I invite you to be curious about reality. Touch it, taste it, feel it, and know it. What does it feel like for you? Exciting stuff, right?
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