Lesson 12: Your Reality
What is this world we live in really like? You may be surprised. What you see and hear is a creation of your brain. Do you remember when we talked about electromagnetic waves, and I said that was so important? That is because you create your entire world using electromagnetic waves. We will show you that in this lesson.
Since our entire world is made of electromagnetic waves, it might be important to come to a consensus on just what a wave is.
A wave is a disturbance, and it transfers energy through matter or space. The most obvious example is the ocean. You can see the disturbance made in the water as the waves come crashing to the shore. The disturbance is made by the wind blowing over the surface of the water.
A sound wave is a disturbance of energy through air. For example, when someone speaks, it creates a wave of disturbance of energy through the air coming from their mouth to your ear. This energy dies down, and this is why it is harder to hear what someone is saying the farther away they are from you.
A light wave is energy, but unlike sound waves, which need air to travel, light can move on its own through the emptiness of space (although we will soon see space isn’t exactly empty.)
To better understand waves, get a piece of rope at least 6 feet long. Grab one end and have a friend grab the other. One of you shakes the rope moving your wrist up and down. You will notice waves arching up and down across the rope. This is energy being sent through the rope.
The high points on the rope are the wave crests, and the bottom points are the wave troughs. The amplitude is the distance between a crest or trough and the equilibrium of the wave. Look at the line running through the middle of the wave. The farther the distance, the bigger the amplitude, which means more energy.
The wavelength is the distance from one crest to another crest.
A wave’s frequency is the number of waves that pass a given point in a certain period of time.
The longer the wavelength, the lower the frequency and energy. The shorter the wavelength, the higher the frequency and energy. Try it with the rope. The faster you shake the rope, the more you will see higher, thinner, faster-moving waves.
Now that we know more about waves let’s see how you actually hear something.
Look at the picture above.
Sound waves enter your ear and go through your ear canal to the eardrum. The waves make your eardrum vibrate, and the vibrations are sent to three tiny bones. These bones are named the malleus, incus, and stapes. The bones amplify the sound and send vibrations to the cochlea, which looks like a snail. It is filled with fluid. The vibrations cause the fluid to ripple. This causes hair cells in the cochlea to move. Chemicals then rush into the cells, creating an electric signal. The signal is sent by the auditory nerve to the brain, and the brain turns the signal into the sounds you hear.
The entire process is electrical and chemical. You “hear” with your brain.
Almost everyone has heard the question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it does it make a sound?”
From what you just learned, the answer should be obvious. Do you know what it is?
The answer is…
If a tree falls in the forest, it produces sound waves, but if there is no ear and brain to receive and interpret the waves, there can be no sound.
We can say if there is nothing conscious around, there can be no sound. (We may also be able to say if there is no consciousness around, there is no tree, but we will save that for later lessons.)
Now let’s switch gears and find out how we see.
Look at the image above.
This is so important. The only thing being taken in by the eye is light (an electromagnetic wave). The light comes in through the cornea, which is the covering of the front of the eye. The cornea bends the light, and the iris (the colored part of the eye) regulates how much light is taken in by changing the size of the pupil. This is why your pupil is smaller when you are in sunlight and larger in the dark, so you can see better.
Behind the pupil is the lens, which focuses the light on the retina. The retina contains cells that convert the light into electrical signals. The electrical signals are sent to the brain by the optic nerve. What we then see is interpreted by our brain. We “see” with our brain.
Like with our hearing, what is out there is nothing but electromagnetic waves. It is our brain that creates the sounds and images, inside us.
Kind of shocking the first time you are told this, isn’t it?
As we tend to do in this class, let’s get even more shocking.
What if we told you that you have actually never touched anything?
It has to do with atoms. We will talk about atoms in more detail in a later lesson.
Right now, you just need to know that atoms are the building blocks of the universe. Atoms are composed of particles called protons, electrons, and neutrons. It is the electrons we are concerned about. Remember, in the lesson about electromagnetism; we discussed how like charges repel each other. Electrons are negatively charged.
What happens is the electrons in your body are repelling the electrons in anything you try and touch. Touch something with your hand right now. You are not really touching it. Your hand is actually hovering over the object at a negative 100,000,000 meters. The electrons in your hand are being repelled by the electrons in the object you think you are touching.
It is the nerve cells of your body sending signals to your brain which are giving you the sensation of touching something. That sensation depends on how your brain perceives the world.
All your ears are really “hearing” are electric waves.
All your eyes are really “seeing” are electric waves.
You touch nothing.
Welcome to your new world.
Now would probably be a good time to discuss the implications of living in this world. Don’t you think?
The first thing to say is how your brain interprets waves is not going to be the same way another person’s brain interprets waves. Therefore, no two people are going to see the world exactly the same.
This should lead us to tolerance. Two people can see the same thing from two different points of view, and both can be right. Consider a person who is color blind. He may not see the colors of the world as most people do, but you can’t say he does not see correctly. His brain is just interpreting the world in a way that is different than yours.
Even two individuals who are not color blind may see different shades of the same color. In fact, we may not even see objects in the same way.
What you think you see as things out in the world are not. They are pictures in your head created by you for you. You create your reality. Your beliefs and past experiences help form that reality. We see what we expect to see. You really do live in your own special universe.
Can you see how empowering this is? You and you alone create your universe. Sometimes we think we have trouble coming to grips with what we truly believe.
Do you want to know your beliefs? Look around you. Look at your life. You are living your beliefs. What you believe becomes your reality.
This is actually a scary thought to some people. But it shouldn’t be.
Your brain creates the reality you see, but as we have already learned, you have so much control over your brain. Your thoughts change your brain. Your thoughts grow dendrites and create neuron clusters. This changes what you think, know, and feel.
Use your imagination. See and feel your future. Daydream, as we discussed in lesson five. You will be amazed.
Was this lesson an “eye-opener” for you? We hope so. Now go tell someone else what you just learned and open their eyes.