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Escaping reality. Healthy, unhealthy?

 
 
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 01:01 pm
Maybe these are easy for some, but not for me. Plenty of reading and experiences lie ahead.

In the meantime... questions:

If it's possible to escape reality, why wouldn't anyone wish to try? Why is it sometimes considered an unhealthy goal and/or behavior? Can this be measured? Consider meditation, using psychoactives, watching films, reading fiction, sleep.

Is it the presence of an external stimulus providing the escape that makes it unhealthy? Or is the mind alone providing the means to escape regardless of the stimuli? Does the conception of this mission explain the nature of the human mind? What purpose is served by assessing the behavior?

Be gentle. I am a young thinker.
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nameless
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 03:22 pm
@patchouli phil,
patchouli;66873 wrote:
If it's possible to escape reality?

No!
Whatever you perceive is 'reality' (for you), and a 'real (existing) feature' of the complete Reality of the Universe.
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Jun, 2009 01:53 pm
@nameless,
It depends upon what you consider reality.

Every night we fall asleep. Is it reality? It is certainly quite different.

Rich
Hermes
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 04:13 pm
@richrf,
An interesting question, "why wouldn't anyone wish to try?"...

I think the human race has an endemic habit of escaping reality, through use of mind altering substances and fiction, in all countries in all times. In current developed countries, drug use is, perhaps, on the decrease, even commonly legalised drugs such as nicotine and alcohol are taking a battering from political institutions around the world. The alternate reality of choice is becoming digital entertainment...

Why do we do it? My best guess would be our mental capability for abstraction, coupled with mental curiosity and reward stimuli. I think most forms of alternate reality have some addictive element to them because they induce a mental reward, a high, that is otherwise rare or unavailable within "regular" reality.

Escape tends to be generally accepted, in some cultures in history revered, sometimes looked down upon, especially when done in excess (ie. addiction).

Quote:

Does the conception of this mission explain the nature of the human mind? What purpose is served by assessing the behavior?


Not quite sure what you mean here, patchouli! I think in general people view the desire to escape reality as a more "animalistic" aspect of the human mind and something that should be controlled by the consciousness. As such, I don't think this field is strongly linked to explanation of the mind in general (eg. like in AGI, artificial general intelligence).
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 06:31 pm
@Hermes,
Except for psychoactives, the activities you mention seem to be active involvement with reality.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 07:15 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
I'm really skeptical as to whether a person can escpae reality without having a full dissasociative episode. Rather I think what people are doing is finding ways to escape their problems, which consumes their perception of reality. So Drugs, alcohol, -------> all the way to meditation and prayer are all ways to divert attention from problems (reality).

On a side note I think adaptive human nature to remember the bad over the good, not doing the bad again is much more life sustaining than doing the good again. Hence we have a worldview that life is short brutish and ugly or we have (Reality). I'm not so sure that the reality we talk about in the coloquial sense (short brutish and Ugly) is the reality we actually live in, just the reality we remember.
0 Replies
 
William
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 08:10 pm
@patchouli phil,
Hello Patchouli,
Outstanding question my young friend. I think you might want to substitute the word "escape" with those measures we have to take to deal with this reality. That is a bit of a task considering all this reality tosses at us. It could me immeasurably simpler if we didn't make it so complicated. Some are more capable of dealing with it than others and some not at all, and those become slaves to it and become this reality's burden of which we pay little attention. which only adds to the weight of that burden. We will one day have to pay attention to that or this ship will become too heavily laden and sink. It's happened before and it will happen again if we don't open our eyes and see the damage we are doing. (see list). This reality will improve, it just matters how heavy a load we can carry. We are at out best when times are worst as it has been through out history, yet we seem to never learn as we compare our problems to bigger problems making us feel "better off".

Insanity is an escape and a tremendous burden all at the same time. Once we understand how so very valuable the "mind' is and set it free, will we begin to truly realize what this reality can be. Live one moment at a time and stay in that moment and focus on that and it will allow your mind to "rest". It works best that way. Easier said than done, I know, but it can be done. Try and keep those disturbing influences of which we all think about at arms length and don't let them hamper your the minds function. It works really well on it's own as it 'digest' all that you have put into it. Something I hope one day you will realize. The more we distrub it or allow others to disturb it, the greater the task it has in functioning properly and becomes "disturbed" itself. When it is functioning properly you totally forget it is there. How peaceful that is. My comments, IMMHO.

William
0 Replies
 
mister kitten
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 08:49 pm
@patchouli phil,
How about simply spending some time in nature?
Joe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 09:01 pm
@patchouli phil,
patchouli;66873 wrote:
Maybe these are easy for some, but not for me. Plenty of reading and experiences lie ahead.

In the meantime... questions:

If it's possible to escape reality, why wouldn't anyone wish to try? Why is it sometimes considered an unhealthy goal and/or behavior? Can this be measured? Consider meditation, using psychoactives, watching films, reading fiction, sleep.

Is it the presence of an external stimulus providing the escape that makes it unhealthy? Or is the mind alone providing the means to escape regardless of the stimuli? Does the conception of this mission explain the nature of the human mind? What purpose is served by assessing the behavior?

Be gentle. I am a young thinker.


I think the idea of escaping one reality for another is natural. Look at American Culture.

The unhealthy part is probably due to comparison. Comparing realities doesnt seem to express much accept difference. Atleast Most of the time in my opinion. Worlds colide and such.........................
0 Replies
 
William
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 09:04 pm
@mister kitten,
mister kitten;72610 wrote:
How about simply spending some time in nature?


That will work; away from the "maddening crowd". Good suggestion. :a-ok:

William
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 10:31 am
@William,
GoshisDead;72589 wrote:
. Rather I think what people are doing is finding ways to escape their problems, which consumes their perception of reality. So Drugs, alcohol, -------> all the way to meditation and prayer are all ways to divert attention from problems (reality).


Whoah, talk about cynical. The whole purpose of meditation and prayer is to directly confront the true nature of reality. To say that these practices are, broadly, ways to escape problems is quite a wild, however popular, assertion.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 10:43 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Yes Thomas:
Having been a habitual meditiator for a couple decades now I understand what it is designed to do, also having been a habitual meditator for a couple decades now I also understand what a majorityof westerners start doing it for, stress relief and trying to connect with something greater than their everyday expereince. Both of these, although very real and very positive are an attempted escape from the negative experiences of life. Maybe it was the implied connection to alcohol and drug that makes it seem cynical, but if you noticed it was also implied that it was on the far end of a spectrum from those things.

Again in my above post, I was commenting on how people remember mostly the bad things and by that assume that reality is a horrible thing, so any stress managment or attmepted replacement of positive experience is an escape from the percieved bad reality.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 10:48 am
@GoshisDead,
I am not sure what sort of meditation you practice, but despite your decades of experience, there do exist quite a few significant traditions of meditation that seem to teach that meditation is exactly the opposite of escaping reality.

To be honest, I cannot think of a single meditative traditions that sees meditation as an escape from reality. Every meditative tradition with which I am familiar sees meditation as a practice by which people confront reality, not escape from it.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 11:12 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;72741 wrote:
I am not sure what sort of meditation you practice, but despite your decades of experience, there do exist quite a few significant traditions of meditation that seem to teach that meditation is exactly the opposite of escaping reality.

To be honest, I cannot think of a single meditative traditions that sees meditation as an escape from reality. Every meditative tradition with which I am familiar sees meditation as a practice by which people confront reality, not escape from it.


1. The purpose of the meditative tradition and the purpose of a person starting them are not necessarily correlated, and those traditions incorporate this human tendency.

2. These traditions do teach people to confront reality by trying to teach what reality is. If one's perception of reality is expanded past the negative memories and experiences one escapes the negative consequences associated with the perception that life is short brutish etc...

3. On a spectrum from drugs to prayer and meditation, one being a complete escape from perceived reality (negative reality) as it is assumed and the other being an expantion of the pervieved reality to include that which is not negative, it is still and escape from the original reality, one end of the spectrum temproarily removes a person from any state of reality for escape the other expands the perception of reality changing the nature of reality in a person's mind to provide the escape. Just as when cornered by a physical threat there is a fight or flight, one confronts to end the threat for good the other flies to end the threat temporarily.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 01:54 pm
@GoshisDead,
Ah, so, in other words, if we redefine "reality" as "reality as X understands it to be at any given moment"

Yeah, you're right about that, then.
William
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 04:07 pm
@patchouli phil,
Gosh, off the subject I just realized what your signature means. Great! Me too, though I do get "perturbed from time to time". Ha.
William
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 11:13 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;73123 wrote:
Ah, so, in other words, if we redefine "reality" as "reality as X understands it to be at any given moment"

Yeah, you're right about that, then.


Thomas:
Yeah that's a nice way to put it.
0 Replies
 
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 11:25 am
@patchouli phil,
I love to escape into a good book, that's healthy especially fro relaxing, it can help take your mind off stress. I read somewhere that a hospital used vr helmets on kids that were suffering from burns, when they went to change the bandages the child was so absorbed in what he/she was seeing through the vr helmet that they didnt even realise the bandages had been changed which would've otherwise been a painful experience so that was a healthy escape. However, i think some people who spend too much time on game consoles can be a danger. Everyone does bad things to escape the stresses of life, it's when it's done to excess it becomes unhealthy and apparently there are other healthier ways of dealing with stress. I dont think there is anything wrong with escapism as long as it's not done in excess.
0 Replies
 
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 03:48 pm
@patchouli phil,
patchouli;66873 wrote:
Maybe these are easy for some, but not for me. Plenty of reading and experiences lie ahead.

In the meantime... questions:

If it's possible to escape reality, why wouldn't anyone wish to try? Why is it sometimes considered an unhealthy goal and/or behavior? Can this be measured? Consider meditation, using psychoactives, watching films, reading fiction, sleep.

Is it the presence of an external stimulus providing the escape that makes it unhealthy? Or is the mind alone providing the means to escape regardless of the stimuli? Does the conception of this mission explain the nature of the human mind? What purpose is served by assessing the behavior?

Be gentle. I am a young thinker.
I am not sure it is possible to escape reality. Whatever you are doing or experiencing at any time, is reality for that moment in time. You'd have to define what is real, and what is unreal for the question to make any sense.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2009 02:20 am
@patchouli phil,
all escapes are only temporary, and generally when you come back there's a pile of unpaid bills (weary voice of no-longer-young thinker).
0 Replies
 
 

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