20 Quotations About Reality From Religions and Famous People
What Is Reality?
Throughout history, humanity has struggled with comprehending how to define reality. Over the centuries, scientific research provided several clues. Religions have systematically sought to give us guidance as well. Yet, perceiving reality can be a personal experience, depending on cultural or social norms and standards. In essence, the lines between fiction and fact can be blurred without a foundational viewpoint for some individuals.
Nevertheless, there are many definitions of what actually constitutes reality. Generally, reality can be thought of as the state of things as they actually are. In addition, another way to contemplate reality is the world of existence as opposed to fantasy, notions, or idealistic perspectives. Furthermore, experiencing something in a true representation is also considered reality. Essentially, self-sufficient awareness based on objectivity derived from facts and not human subjectivity fosters reality.
Religious Quotations on the Meaning of Reality
As a counselor with Teacher of the Visually Impaired training, often I’ve worked with people who needed to regain focus of reality. Those who tended to re-establish their sense of direction had ideas about purpose, goals, and actions to obtain success. I found these individuals usually had a favorite quote they would repeat to encourage themselves during stressful moments to remain centered on what is real. Below I’ve provided 13 quotes from three religions that may help you in difficult times when you think about reality.
1. Judeo-Christian Quotations (From English Standard Version of the Bible)
- 1 John 4:18: There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
- Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
- Mark 11:24: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
- Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
- Mark 11-23: Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.
2. Quotes From Taoism
- Lao Tzu: “Knowing others is wisdom, (but) knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”
- Miyamoto Musashi: “Accept everything just the way it is.”
- Lao Tzu: “Life is a series of . . . changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
3. Quotations From Hinduism
- Bhagavad Gita: You are what you believe in. You become that which you believe you can become.
- Isha Upanishad verse 6 &7: He who sees all beings in his own self and his own self in all beings, what sorrow and what delusion can overcome him?
- Lord Krishna: The greatest contentment comes from devotion alone and not from its rewards, therefore one who has this devotion seeks nothing else.
- Maha Upanishad: "This person is my relative and that person is a stranger, says the small minded one, for the one who knows the truth, the whole world is a family."
- Bhaskarananda: A spiritually illumined soul lives in the world, yet is never contaminated by it.
Different Views on Reality
Without question, perceptions vary about what reality is because we all perceive reality individually. As a species, we are always seeking understanding of the universe. This applies to the average individual as well as researchers. We are always searching for the truth of existence. Eventually, we discover there is no universally accepted belief about the composition of reality.
For example, within the scientific community, there is a theory that suggests we are merely simulations within a machine of grand design. Researchers also have found we may be dwellers in a massive multi-verse with many “mirror” universes around us. The scientific math seems to suggest we are in a holographic state of being. But another scientific field wonders if the secrets of the components of reality are found on the "quantum" level. Subatomic particles, like neutrinos, are believed to hold the key to why our matter-based reality even materialized in this view. As the debates rage, no conclusive evidence from any of these viewpoints has been accepted as overwhelmingly decisive.
What is your view of reality?
What Are Some Philosophical and Psychological Views on Reality?
Indeed, other fields of study question the meaning of reality as well. For instance, philosophers and psychologists argue experiencing emotions is the truth of our essence. Yet, a psychological approach is known as “Reality Therapy,” derived from William Glasser (1925-2013). This therapy, along with Choice Theory, suggests we can best understand reality in terms of human behavior based on decisions we make daily. Nevertheless, René Descartes (1596-1650) famously stated that thinking is the basis of existence.
Perhaps, truth in many ways requires considering all of these ideas about reality. William Shakespeare famously wrote we are actors playing a part on a stage. Regardless, we must play our parts in this drama called life, and a psychological theory was developed with that concept in mind. For these reasons, I’ve provided seven quotations from famous people about what is real. This is because we all have a view of our existence from individual scripts as we perform in our group production of life.
Quotations From Famous People About Reality
- Albert Einstein: “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
- Alex Haley: “Either you deal with what is the reality, or you can be sure that the reality is going to deal with you.”
- Byron Katie: “When I argue with reality, I lose—but only 100% of the time.”
- Dr. Seuss: “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
- John Lennon: “Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”
- Tom Clancy: “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”
- Tupac Shakur: ”Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.”
Banerjee, S., &Nandy, P. (2014). Ishaupanishad. London: Seagull Books.
Kumar, M. (2014). Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the great debate about the nature of reality. London: Icon Books.
Laozi, & Henricks, R. G. (1993). Lao-tzu: Te-taoching: A new translation based on the recently discovered Ma-wang-tui texts. New York: Modern Library.
Talbot, M., & McTaggart, L. (2011). The holographic universe: The revolutionary theory of reality. New York, NY: HarperPerennial.