You steer your reality by directing attention.

Looking into the internet’s public spaces, I notice people expressing stress and anxiety about the government’s affairs: elections, court rulings, corruption–that are rightly given attention as we navigate a humble attempt at democracy. I’ve felt that the rapid rate that news comes in is overwhelming. Especially in situations where it seems justice is in order, but we have to wait. I think it’s the sense of justice denied that stresses us out the most, not the high volume of information or even the bias of its sources. It is our sense of fairness clashing with reality.

I want to jump off here on that word, reality. What is it? You have a perspetive. I have one. They’re definitely different except in those rare moments of alignment. Which perspective is the right one, and is the truth dependent on belief or observation? For an expiriment, let’s say that reality exists when one or more perspectives align. Two viewers seeing the same thing. There is agreement there that whatever they are both seeing is real.

We now have mass social media–with traditional big broadcasters and billions of individual contributors internetted together. And whatever is happening in that conversation pertaining to current affairs is going to have agreement in perspectives multiplied by those billions of internet users. Applying my assumption that agreeing perspectives creates reality, than you have a powerful set of beliefs that become the de facto REALITY. The main stream.

The gravity of this main perspective stream would be difficult to avoid but not impossible. The way to do it, if all of this were indeed the way it works, would be to direct attention away from the main stream of information. In our case it comes from the global network of electronic media, but it has taken other forms and contents thoughout history.

All of this suggests a potential releif from the stress and anxiety we experience by simply directing our attention away from the unwanted perspective. Changing perspective changes reality. when we give our attention to the main channel of war, politics, crime, and legal battles those things seem to hold weight as the real things happening, but looking away–at a cloud, a stream of water, a bird flying by, a friend speaking to you–you can uncover a completely different reality untouched by the heavy and often unfair news of the day. It can be done alone, but becomes stronger with more members joining the new perspective. The main stream of reality doesn’t disappear, you could easily find it again, but your viewpoint changes reality because your are the the receiver and the final perceiver of what is real. Your ability to shift your attention is actually the power to transform reality any moment. Try it!