What then is reality and what is not? It may actually be a sentiment that is better left unexposed to curiosity because the answer ruffles mental feathers. However, when we choose not to discover the truth about our curiosity, we are abdicating the quest for authenticity. Everything gives off an image of authenticity. When we visualize something…it is real to us. Our sense of smell receives pleasant or unpleasant whiffs. The sound of the geese in flight reverberates in our ears as real. We love the taste of certain food because they give us pleasure and hugging and touching brings the warmth of a person or the texture of an item to our receptive sense of touch. However, all these senses are real in so far as our minds receive them as such. Take John Godfrey Saxe’s (1816-1887) version of the famous Indian legend of the blind men who described an elephant according to the section of the elephant they touched. They saw the elephant as a wall, a snake, a spear, a tree, a fan, and a rope. Each satisfied that their description fits their sensory perception of an Elephant (though they were all off beam!).
The Igbos of Nigeria say “Ahu na anya ekwere” (seeing is believing) and “Ka m jide ihe m huru anya” (I shall hold as truth that which my eyes see) when personal sensory affirmation is the objective. How then can it be proven that perception is accurate? To answer this may require an examination of the eye to see if within it there is a built-in defect. To do so however, will require that someone else’s eyes are used to make the assessment. This could quite easily be said to yield flawed results as a matter of logic. Consequently, the accuracy of the additional senses would not be dependable.
This may be a confusing development in the assessment of what reality is. What we take for granted as real may turn out to be something that is not really base on reality. The good news however is that the very fact that there is perception means that there is indeed a degree of truth in it, there is merely an issue of deformation.
What if everything is a figment of our imagination and nothing really exists? Would this be an extreme possibility? What if life is lived through the perception conjured up by the mind to sustain reality that allows the human being to adapt to nothingness? As far fetched as this may sound, the point is that no one has exclusive truth when it comes to Divine Consciousness Chineke (God). As you embrace the perception of the world from the prism your mind has created, it becomes imperative to accept that your perception may not necessarily be someone else’s reality. Thus, the Chiist concept of Biri ka m biri (live and let live) becomes the indispensable catalyst for religious acceptance and an instrument for peace.