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Consensus Reality

by Steven Liebowitz

Look at a picture. What's in the picture? Please look carefully and see everything there is to see in it.

What controls what you see in the picture is another obstacle to changing your conframes (your interpretation of what you see and experience) and being empowered. It is a culturally determined, common or shared conframe, called "consensus reality".

Consensus reality occurs when others agree with our dominant conframes and we all forget that we're only dealing with our habitual interpretations and not reality itself. Even if others share our conframes and agree with our interpretations, that still doesn't make them real. It merely means that we're all sharing the same illusion.

Time To Get Functional

It takes courage and great skill to break with consensus reality and go on functioning. Yet, we have no choice but to do so if we wish to empower ourselves and be a role model for others. Consensus reality is a rut that must be transcended and the only differences between a rut and a grave are the depth and width.

Consensus reality is a self-fulfilling prophecy, a limitation, a box. It defines our expectations, and because we only perceive what we expect to perceive, it limits us.

Here are a few examples of how consensus reality binds and limits: Look at the unemployment rate. I can't change jobs now. I can't do that, I'm a woman... a child... a man...etc. They're only hiring bi-lingual people. I can't look for another job because I don't speak Spanish. Thirty-eight is old. Nobody will hire somebody my age. If God meant man to fly, he'd have given him wings. (This was the consensus reality that Wilbur and Orville Wright transcended.) The earth is flat. If you sail too far out, you'll fall off. (That was the consensus reality that Columbus transcended.)

Consensus reality is a self-fulfilling prophecy, a limitation, a box. It defines our expectations, and because we only perceive what we expect to perceive, it limits us. Consensus reality is transcended by having faith in the limitless potential at the right end of the continuum. When it is transcended, not just one person is empowered — all people are.

Change Your Viewpoint

Let go of laziness, comfort, fear and superstition. Turn off the auto pilot of habitual patterns and take control. You're not a victim, you're just asleep! Wake up, become aware and take responsibility for the consequences of your interpretations. It doesn't matter how many people think it's the Truth. It's merely consensus reality and as such, it is a mere superstition, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If conditions are not the way you want them to be, change your interpretation of them, and you'll change them as well. Columbus did it, Marconi did it, Martin Luther King did it. Realize that, whether you think you can or you can't, you're right!

Mistaking our projections for reality is another obstacle. Reality is the entire continuum — more than our habits and greater than our conframes. Walk around outside after spending hours indoors and you'll know that this is true. The whole world lies open and shining, waiting and available, ripe and bursting with potential. Anything and everything is possible. Options abound. This is the reality of empowerment.

As you're strolling, think that this very moment people in Rome, Chicago, and Hong Kong are experiencing the very same sense of peace and power, joy and excitement. Then think about Mars, Neptune and the galaxies beyond, and you'll know that reality is so much more than our words and habits can contain.

Purchase the book
"The New Professionalism"
by Steven Liebowitz.

About The Author

Steven Liebowitz is a doctor of education, and does personal growth and management training for individuals and groups in South Florida. The above was excerpted from his book, "The E-Power Papers — A Manual for Self-Empowerment" with Frank and Bibi Gromling. He can be reached at: 7510 SW 88 Place, Miami, FL 33173.

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