Reality Creation Is The New Yoga
How Businesses Can Advance Through Creating Reality
Businesses are insatiable creatures. They must grow. They need to expand. They have to increase their profits. Companies are always on the prowl to get more customers, extend their markets or boost their performance. They go to any lengths in order to add a couple of percentage points to whatever their chosen performance indicators might be. Literally, everything a company spends its money on is to advance and improve.
Businesses do, however, have a habit of staying away from anything too exotic or experimental until it becomes a tried and tested piece of applicable literature.
It is generally accepted that change is something that just happens. One has to adapt, so the prevalent opinion, rather than shape and create. At the very most we try to predict trends and prepare accordingly. We try to adjust to “what is” rather than make arrangements for “what could be” — the option of molding reality into a desired future is an unfamiliar and foreign concept for most. Especially in a corporate environment where more often than not, “creating opportunities” has deteriorated into a subcategory of “avoiding risks”.
There is one risk, however, that is not just central to every company but to every human being, in fact, it is central to everything that is. This risk is called the law of increasing entropy: the growing lack of order and predictability. This law of nature is central to the universe and it implies that nothing true is being held constant and not changing. Ever. Everything is deteriorating. All the time.
In other words, constant actively induced change is inevitable in order to escape unavoidable decline.
(read my article about Increasing Entropy here: Why Your Business Is Depressed)
If risk avoidance is crucial then avoiding the risk of deteriorating into nothingness by actively creating could be considered a fundamental objective for any organization. One could certainly always strive to create a better future for the sake of peace, prosperity, and happiness for all of humankind regardless of any risk avoiding tactics. But then that might be asking too much.
Years ago I found my own company in the stronghold of increasing entropy, spiralling into depression. I decided my best choice to stop the choking was to create rather than avoid. I called my creation “The Company Of The Future” and it ended up becoming a poster child of the new work movement in Central Europe.
At the time intuition was my main guide. But years later, after I dug into the particulars and tried to analyze my process of creation, I discovered a pattern, a framework, and a mechanism. When I studied my findings I realized that this was no coincidence. Reality is not what it seems it is. It is literally what you make it. Based on science. Backed by facts and figures.
And here is the proof.
The new Yoga
In 1979 Jon Kabat-Zinn, a young MIT-trained molecular biologist and avid student of Buddhist meditation, had a vision of what his life’s work, his “karmic assignment” would be: he’d bring the ancient Eastern disciplines he’d followed for more than a decade — mindfulness, meditation, and yoga — to people with chronic health conditions in modern America.
At the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he was working as a post-doc in cell biology and gross anatomy, he convinced scientifically trained medical professionals and ordinary patients that learning to follow their breath as well as a few gentle yoga postures might help relieve intractable pain and suffering.
40 years later, this little-known practice and then considered new-age-hippie-hokum has now become a wellness movement for the mainstream; with scientifically proven benefits, tens of millions of practitioners in North America alone and an industry worth billions of dollars.
The continuous rapprochement of science and spirituality had demystified this practice that society had once deemed too foreign to embrace.
Fast forward another 40 years and a little-known practice and nowadays considered new-age-hippie-hokum at best will have become the scientifically proven new paradigm in personal, organizational and societal advancement.
Because the continuous rapprochement of science and spirituality will have demystified this practice that society presently might deem too foreign to embrace.
This practice is called Reality Creation.
What is Reality?
In order to understand what Reality Creation is and why it works, it is essential to consent on what reality is. Or rather what it isn’t.
We tend to see reality as unquestionably objective. It just is what it is. Simply put reality is everything we can see and touch; it’s everything that we interact with, every thing around us. Everything that everyone agrees is present, existent, proven by science or accepted by society.
Reality is obvious.
According to Wikipedia “Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent, as opposed to that which is merely imaginary.”
Except, this is the one thing reality isn’t. Reality is not obvious or as Donald Hoffman, professor at the department of cognitive sciences at the University of California, puts it: “The probability that we see reality as it is is zero.”
For the most part, we perceive reality with our senses. Those sensors that are proven to be limited in their functionality and historically geared towards the specific purpose of survival in a hostile world. What we see, hear or feel today is still the same content that helped us to stay alive during a time when we were not just proficient hunters but also unsuspecting prey.
What Is Real?
The simplest way to illustrate how our senses restrict the way we perceive reality is to trick them into revealing their limitations.
Example 1: Seeing
This visual illusion is called simultaneous contrast. It is a perceptual effect in which our perception of colour changes when compared to different chromatic backgrounds. In this example, the bar in the middle is one solid grey tone.
What our brain lets us see depends on the context.
Example 2: Mixed Senses
This audio-visual phenomenon is called the McGurk effect and demonstrates the interaction between hearing and vision in speech perception. The illusion occurs when the auditory component of one sound is paired with the visual component of another.
What we hear depends on what we see.
Example 3: Hearing
This auditory phenomenon is a simple example of predictive processing. It demonstrates that how we perceive the outside world is a prediction our brain makes — from the inside out — rather than just signals that enter our brain from the outside in.
What we don’t know we can’t hear.
Listen to this audio clip first:
Now listen to this audio clip:
This is the first audio clip you just listened to. Listen to it again.
Example 4: Feeling
This body transfer illusion shows that the congruence between feeling touch and seeing touch manipulates the brain into believing that a fake rubber hand is, in fact, part of its own body.
What we see is not what we feel.
These illusions demonstrate one simple fact:
We can’t trust our senses when it comes to determining what reality is.
According to Anil Seth, professor at the University of Sussex and one of the leading researchers into the neuroscience of consciousness, the reality we experience is more like a “controlled hallucination” by the brain.
Concealed inside a dark skull, the brain has to rely on nothing but electrical impulses that it translates into sights, sounds or feelings.
“Perception — figuring out what’s out there — is a process of informed guesswork in which the brain combines sensory signals from the environment with its prior expectations or beliefs about the way the world is, to form its best guess about what caused those signals.”
“The brain doesn’t hear sound or see light. What we perceive is its best guess of what’s out there in the world.”
Anil Seth, University of Sussex
The rubber hand experiment is a good example of this: the brain experiences a combination of sensory signals from the environment and prompts a reaction to its best predictions about what caused those signals.
From the outside-in? Or from the inside-out?
Education and common sense tell us that perception is caused by signals coming into the brain from the outside world.
However, research in neuroscience is showing that what we perceive as reality depends as much, if not more, on the brain’s predictions going the other way: from the inside out.
“We don’t just passively perceive the world, we actively generate it. The world as we experience it, comes as much, if not more, from the inside-out, as from the outside-in.” Anil Seth
The hypothesis that the brain creates consciousness still dominates the mainstream materialistic world of science, despite a wealth of evidence showing that the brain (and our entire physical reality, for that matter) could be a product of consciousness.
There is, however, a growing notion within the scientific society that the universe and our experience of the material world could, in fact, be a mental construction — and that consciousness, at the very least, plays a fundamental role in their creation.
“The stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter; we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.”
Sir James Jeans, pioneering physicist 1877–1946
Science presumes that the mind creates matter. How is this possible?
The Philosophy of True Reality
Quantum mechanics offers an auspicious explanation in regards to how this new-age-hippie-hokum can be anchored in the safe haven of science. This fundamental theory in physics describes nature at the smallest scales of energy levels of atoms and subatomic particles.
Intriguing about quantum physics is the fact that it seems to defy some of the laws that govern classical physics. In experiments, these subatomic entities, the particles, behave differently depending on whether or not an observing human mind is present.
For example, in the well-documented double slit experiment electrons show an odd and inexplicable behaviour. During any attempt to observe these entities with appropriate measuring equipment they appear as particles, and manifest in a certain position in space. When no measurement is carried out they behave like waves, spread out in space, with no particular position.
Strangely enough, these particles don’t seem to be located at any specific point in space at any given moment. They are theorized to exist in what is called a “superposition”, the range of all possible positions they could possibly be in. However, until they actually are observed they do not exist in either space or time.
In short, these particles require the presence of a human mind to attain a position in our 3-dimensional reality. When no one is looking each particle is neither here nor there — it’s literally everywhere at the same time.
In the same manner, without being observed by a human mind, the physical universe may exist in a kind of superposition: an infinite range of possible modes of occurrence. Meaning that, unless it is being observed by a human mind, it doesn’t exist at all as a physical universe.
“The mere fact that this wave-like versus particle-like behaviour exists, suggests that there is something peculiar about the role of observation, and that strangeness opens the door to the possibility that consciousness and the physical world might interact in fundamental ways.”
Dean Radin, Chief Scientist at the IONS Institute
From this quantum perspective, the human mind, our consciousness, creates and sustains everything that is. It literally creates what we perceive as reality.
Reality Creation Is Not Science Fiction. It’s Just Science.
The idea that our existence is embedded in a reality that transcends the small sliver we identify as such, is a proven fact. And the evidence suggested by the laws of physics, that we can influence and actively shape reality is conclusive.
But does this really work?
There are plenty of techniques that are said to alter reality but they all have something in common: in one way or another, they all require the application of focused attention, intention, imagination, and belief.
So, in order to create reality, you just imagine it? Clearly, this must be some new age hippie woo-woo!
Here’s the science to back it up.
There is a wealth of scientific proof that reality creating phenomena exist. The delicate nature of the subject, however, makes it particularly difficult to generate strong evidence in a lab setting. Getting unerring and statistically relevant results requires experiments to be set up in a way that more or less constrains the mind to function in a seemingly unnatural, or at least unusual, binary manner. Subtle tendencies are not good enough to prove anything. Results should be on or off, yes or no, black or white — and repeatable.
The question that arises with virtually every major new finding in science is: What makes a result reliable enough to be taken seriously? The answer has to do with statistical significance.
One of the widest spread examples of experiments that surpass such statistical significance on this matter are variations of tests of psychokinesis (PSI) that involve random number generators (RNG’s).
RNG’s are electronic devices designed to produce truly random sequences of 0s and 1s through technology such as electron tunnelling, a quantum mechanical phenomenon considered in physics to be fundamentally random.
This laboratory protocol is used to examine if mental intention affects the outputs of random physical systems. In other words, this experiment tests whether the human mind can influence which number, 0 or 1, is generated. The experiment is deemed successful when the expected outcome — in this case mentally influencing the generated results — is above a statistically relevant threshold.
The results of hundreds of such tests have been published since the 1960s. It is one of the classes of experiments in this realm that exceed the six-sigma threshold; all cases combined this corresponds to about a one-in-a-billion chance that the findings are just a result of random variations.
In 2003 the effect was even replicated by a staunch skeptic.
Such an outcome substantially exceeds the requirements for statistical significance.
In fact, in 2016 the then president of the American Statistical Association (ASA), Professor Jessica Utts, said the following in her presidential address: “[…] The data in support of precognition and possibly other related phenomena are quite strong statistically, and would be widely accepted if it pertained to something more mundane […].”
Having established that experiments that appear at the very least dubious to a mainstream science conditioned mind, in fact, bear eligible results, we can touch on something that’s a little more tangible than just trying to nudge the outcome of a generated number.
Charged With Intention
In 2017 Professor Yung-Jong Shia from the National Kaohsiung Normal University in Taiwan, conducted an experiment to investigate whether intentionally treated, i.e. blessed, water would have an effect on a living organism.
In a previous experiment, the results suggested that the consumption of mentally treated tea influenced the mood of test subjects in a positive way. Naturally, these tests were carried out under standardized double-blind controlled conditions and under application of the scientific method. Nevertheless, the subjective nature of perceived influence on mood could give reason to a critic to dismiss the experiment as too vague.
To investigate whether that effect could be observed objectively the researchers conducted a study to find out if blessed water would influence the growth of Thale cress seeds, a plant that has close analogs in some of its genes to those of humans.
The water used to hydrate the seeds was brought in from a commercial bottling plant and intentionally treated by Master Lu Cheng, a monk, and director of the Bliss and Wisdom Buddhist Foundation in Taiwan, along with two senior monks from the same Foundation.
The goal was to improve the growth of the seeds and the blessing was mentally directed at one batch of water for 20 minutes; bottled water from the same source served as an untreated control. The seedlings were randomly placed in temperature-controlled incubators and hydrated with either the blessed or the control water.
A number of different indicators were examined during this experiment, one of which was the measurement of the seedlings stem length. In this case, a shorter stem length is associated with improved seed growth.
The outcome was more than conclusive with a combined odds against chance of 38 trillion to 1 across all 4 instances of this experiment — meaning that the chances of these results being just a random fluke are one-in-38-trillion.
In the end, there was a significant difference of more than 9% in the stem length of the treated vs. untreated seedlings.
This study showed that force of will, mental treatment with specific intentions, produced objectively measurable differences in the growth of a living organism of almost 10%.
Creating reality through the application of focused attention, intention, imagination, and belief works. So why is no one doing it?
Admission To The Kingdom Of Serious
Businesses mean business. They are the guardians at the gates in the Kingdom of Serious. Nothing gets to pass unless proven, confirmed and validated.
The simple manner of how most companies are organized, operate, are financed or how the people who run them have been educated, make even the most innovative businesses act conservatively when it comes to exploring what lies beyond the boundary of the this-is-how-its-done fellowship.
Notwithstanding that, there are parts of society who certainly understand that the mind is decisive and a central factor when it comes to gaining a competitive advantage.
Serious athletes, for instance, don’t even question the effectiveness of mental training anymore. In fact, in a study from 2004 participants who trained to perform “mental contractions” of little finger abductions increased their strength by 35% after 12 weeks.
These results were backed up by a study from 2007 which concluded a 24% strength increase of male university athletes who trained their hip flexor muscles only through mental practice.
Numbers like these should make any entrepreneur or manager worth their salt ask themselves whether they are out of their mind or into it. Reality creation works. It’s just a question of whether someone wants to believe it or not.
With yoga and meditation now at the centre of society, the evolution of the mindfulness movement has shown that the continuous rapprochement of science and spirituality leads to demystify what was once seen as too exotic to be taken seriously.
The mind might be the final frontier. The key to all possibility. The essence of it all. Or simply 42. — There is, however, no doubt that reality creation is a smart and solid starting point for any business that cares about its future. Even for those who like to stay on the beaten path.
A solid track has already been carved. It’s just whether or not one is brave enough to walk on it before it turns into a paved road.
About the author: Christoph Haase is the founder of CLEAR AS_*, a future/reality consultancy that helps owner managed businesses create reality. He formerly ran and transformed his family’s engineering and manufacturing company into The Company Of The Future. Christoph works, explores and writes along the intersection of business, reality and the future.