IS REALITY FOR REAL? #41 #cong23 #reality


Is there really one reality?

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Look
  2. Observe
  3. Ask
  4. Question

About David Iguaz:

Studied to be an archaeologist but circumstances steered me towards the ceramic industry in Portugal. Apart from my bread earner I try to be useful in environmental activism as well as to try and raise the political awareness of the population.

Contacting David Iguaz:

You can contact David by email.

By David Iguaz

I would like to start by apologising to the organisers and participants of this year´s edition of CONGREGATION for my late submission but only this weekend everything came together after a few months of reflecting on this nuclear subject. I did not want to write just anything to just satisfy Eoin and that of course meant some unbridled reflection on my part which requires some degree of not just free time but peace of mind as well.

It all came together somehow this weekend when I participated in this year´s EXODUS AVEIRO FEST which is a big get together of photojournalists and travellers that takes place every year in Aveiro on the north of Portugal where I have lived for the past 30 years. In a way it is a kind of visual CONGREGATION if you like.

The presentations I assisted made it very clear once more that the “reality” that the Western world lives in is very far away from the reality that countries outside this peculiar world actually live in. When you see images of dead whales stranded on the beach because of plastic poisoning, dead bodies on the street in Bucha, starving situations across the world, environmental catastrophes north and south and migrations crisis arising in every corner of the planet you continue wondering if the “reality” we live on in the western hemisphere and particularly in Europe is a reflection of the world as a whole.

Of course, is not but we Europeans tend to think it is because quite normally we unconsciously try and reflect our “reality” on everybody else and when the result does not come up to our expectations we somehow think that everybody else will sooner or later see the light of our “reality”. This idealist projection is a mental thriving force that keeps us going unconsciously mainly because we do not realize we live in a golden bubble. To see other widespread realities, we should ideally exit our comfort zones and get out onto the brave new world out there but I realize this is easier said than done. Funnily enough, the need to get out and see the other realities is becoming less needful since those other realities are knocking on our front door almost daily making the need of an actual trip outside our bubble almost useless. Climate change is one of those calling warnings. We do not need to go to Antarctica, Greenland or the South Pacific to feel the consequences of our actions. Pity we always have the comfort of our own homes to shield us from the everyday pain.

The fact that the news we receive everyday are a tiny representation of the truth does not help either. This of course varies from country to country. In Spain, where I am originally from, the news are more biased than the ones from Portugal but again it depends on the medium you get your information from.

At the end of the day, no matter where you live in this world, you should always assume that somebody somewhere is trying to manipulate you into their point of view.

To avoid that, one should always use two powerful tools at our disposal. They are simply two question words, made up of three letters each, they are the words WHY and HOW, and I firmly believe they are very powerful indeed. They are the ones that invariably spark our instinct and imagination and above all our curiosity. If you keep asking them long enough until you are satisfied you will eventually come up with a satisfying answer that will explain the reality at hand.

This is not very different from our teenage times when we were growing up. For some reason at one stage, we stopped asking those two simple questions which explains in a way why we find ourselves where we are today. History and Prehistory play a crucial role in finding some of those answers and imply looking back in order to understand where we are and where we are going (or should be going).

Observation is another powerful tool at our disposal and we should always use it and abuse it at will. Nowadays there is a lot of background noise in our brains and it prevents us from thinking clearly but in those cases, we should always fall back on the two words we spoke earlier. In theory, it should pave the way to make things clearer and simpler.

I would like to finish with a simple thought:

Realities are all around us, we should always strive to perceive the ones that matter.

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