Skip to main content

20 Quotations About Reality From Religions and Famous People

Tim Truzy is a rehabilitation counselor, educator, and former dispatcher from North Carolina.

Trying to figure reality is like looking through a cloud sometimes.

Trying to figure reality is like looking through a cloud sometimes.

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.

Understanding reality is like a sunny day.

Understanding reality is like a sunny day.

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.

Religion can help us focus on what is reality.

Religion can help us focus on what is 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.
Interacting with others in religious and cultural ways may be reality for many.

Interacting with others in religious and cultural ways may be reality for many.

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 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 the truth, in many ways, requires considering all of these ideas about reality. William Shakespeare famously wrote that 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.

Reality is seeing the forest and the trees.

Reality is seeing the forest and the trees.

Quotations From Famous People About Reality

  1. Albert Einstein: “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
  2. Alex Haley: “Either you deal with what is the reality, or you can be sure that the reality is going to deal with you.”
  3. Byron Katie: “When I argue with reality, I lose—but only 100% of the time.”
  4. Dr. Seuss: “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
  5. John Lennon: “Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”
  6. Tom Clancy: “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”
  7. 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.



Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on June 29, 2019:

Thank you, Mark. Knowing there are people like you on the planet working the causes we, and many of our friends share, makes the world a better place. Respect and admiration, Tim

Mark Tulin from Long Beach, California on June 29, 2019:

Hi Tim, this was my second reading of your amazing undertaking of what is reality. Taoism has always resonated with me. The idea of acceptance, going with the flow, and not resisting how the world is gives me a sense of inner peace. That being said, I still vote and do my part to change certain political and social realities that seem harmful, toxic, and inhumane.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on February 28, 2019:

Flexibility is crucial, Mark. After reading your comment, I watched the movie: 12 Angry Men, which is similar in helping people think critically about reality. It’s on and it’s a really good drama. Thanks for dropping by with your thoughtful comment. Much respect and admiration,


Mark Tulin from Long Beach, California on February 28, 2019:

Love how this topic has stirred up a bunch of different realities. An old movie that I saw with Spencer Tracy was Inherit the Wind about the Monkey Trial. Two very conflicting realities, both sides equally distorted. If you’re too rigid with your reality, suffering will follow. I encourage flexibility.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on February 21, 2019:

Interpreting reality is certainly tricky, especially if we rely on the views of others to make those determinations for us. I read a story in the N.Y. Times concerning a town in Minnesota which has experienced this. Apparently, a reporter for Der Spiegel, a German newspaper, gave inaccurate information about Fergus Falls to readers in Germany. The residents of Fergus Falls were called “backward” and unquestioning Trump supporters. The town’s folk kept records and fact-checked everything the reporter, Clas Relotius, wrote about their town.

Eventually, the guy was fired, but a negative picture was painted of this little town which convinced some German readers. Apologies have been made, and now, the town is seen as the most “forgiving” place on the planet. Indeed, forgiving is a part of reality, but sources can be misleading. That’s why we have to “check” our version of reality to make sure it conforms to facts. Thanks for reading.



Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on February 11, 2019:

Of course, Nell.

Looking forward to reading and sharing more with great writers such as the ones commenting here.

And the beat goes on.



Nell Rose from England on February 11, 2019:

Thanks Tim, hope you are having a lovely day across the pond!

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on February 11, 2019:

Great observation, Gary. And it's so true.

I appreciate your visit and thanks for the thoughtful comment.

Much respect to a talented HP writer,



Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on February 11, 2019:

Thanks, Natalie,

I truly appreciate your dropping by.

Yes, reality doesn't seem to make sense sometimes.

Hopefully, things will become more satisfying for you in the future.

To a thoughtful and respectable HP writer,

Much respect and admiration,


Garry Reed from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas on February 11, 2019:

Most people continually confuse their own opinions with facts, some thoughtlessly and some knowingly and arrogantly. The majority of what we "know" on a daily basis is just our own opinions about what may or may not be actual facts.

Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on February 10, 2019:

Interesting information and quotes. I love the quote from Tom Clancy about fiction differing from reality because it has to make sense.That seems particularly apropos to my life right now.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on February 08, 2019:

Hello, Sean,

Welcome back, dear friend.

Brother, I believe those who share love have a very powerful reality. It's a great illusion, if we want to believe that; or it is the basis of our reality. That's what I choose to believe.

We were created from "perfect love," and to "love" we will return.

Thank you for your visit.

Much respect and admiration,


Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on February 08, 2019:

That's funny, Nell. That put a smile on my face. Those rainbows are beautiful. yes, if we are having a persistent illusion, then I will enjoy every wonderful moment of it.

It's easy to do when their are hard working, kind, thoughtful and uplifting people along for the trip, like you and those positive HP writers.

I appreciate your visit.

May your evening and tomorrow be amazing and filled with love,

Much respect and thanks for being supportive,


Nell Rose from England on February 08, 2019:

Hiya Tim, I agree with good old Albert E. I always used to say we are living in a huge hologram! When a rainbow shows up I say, there you go, its just showing the background color! lol! fascinating subject!

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on February 08, 2019:

Good food for thought, my brother! Inspiring and full of Love as always! Thank you for sharing!

Love is my reality!


Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on February 08, 2019:

You are correct, astute writing colleague.

The trouble always arises when determining who determines what is "fact" or what is "truth." Is what's a fact today the same as yesterday? A hundred years ago? A thousand years ago?

Unquestionable facts: we need oxygen to breathe, clean water to live, safe food to eat - some people would even debate that for their version of reality.

Many people don't realize often individuals who meet with psychologists and counselors are not categorically "mentally ill." In fact, they usually need help orienting to a reality which promotes independence while acting as good citizens. Along the way, these patients bought into questionable facts which deterred their ambitions.

Regardless, one truth I shall never question, tamara. I am honored to read your comments and pleased to have a visit from a creative, talented, and informative soul such as yourself.

To an excellent author who writes interesting and well researched articles,

Thank you for dedicating some time to this work.

Much respect and admiration,


Tamara Wilhite from Fort Worth, Texas on February 07, 2019:

We end up with people living in fantasies when we let them say "my truth" or "your truth" instead of "the truth". You can have your opinions and beliefs, but facts and truth are not negotiable.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on February 06, 2019:

Hello, Mary,

Thank you for visiting and leaving an insightful comment. All of humanity is like a multi-colored quilt: filled with diversity, but still one. I agree with what you wrote.

So many want to live in the now, but are thwarted by the "what has happened to me," and the "what ifs." Getting to the "now" of reality requires tough introspection (examining failures, successes, gains, losses, etc.) with a measure of objectivity which simply frightens many people.

Perhaps, this is why psychologists hold some of the top rated shows in America: looking yourself in the eye may be terrifying.

I greatly appreciate your comment.

Thanks again for the visit.

Much respect and admiration,


Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on February 06, 2019:

Hello, Ms. Dora,

A visit from you is always a treasure. I am often encouraged by reading the fine quotations you find and share to uplift and help us.

You are another person who would be worth sharing time with in this reality. You always have something interesting to share. (I love the Caribbean sauces and juices and so does my wife.)

Thanks again to a talented and caring soul for your kind comment.

Much respect and deepest admiration,


Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on February 06, 2019:

I am glad to read from you, Eric (or your brilliant young son). As your dad probably has informed you: The beginning of wisdom is the phrase, "I don't know." That's very intelligent on your part, and it is more than some adults will take the chance to admit to.

Indeed, if I make it to the West Coast, I would be pleased to go hiking or have a cup of some wonderful tea with you and your dad.

My reality includes knowing I know people on the West Coast who I truly admire, and you guys rock.

Stay true to yourself and love, the ultimate reality.

Much respect and deepest admiration,


Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 06, 2019:

Hi Tim. You engaged me to think on what reality is. For me, it is the NOW. It changes based on varied perceptions and given our different backgrounds, reality will be multicoloured.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 06, 2019:

Tim, you set me thinking seriously about what reality is to me. I appreciate having quotes from different religions. Unique and appealing.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 05, 2019:

Mr. Truzy my dad asked me your questions. I don't know.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on February 05, 2019:

Hi, Eric,

When you write a comment on my articles, you may say as much as you want because there is usually a gem of wisdom in your lines. My friend, you will never be accused of rambling by me.

Besides, everybody knows Shaggy and Scoobe-Do really are chasing ghosts. (When I discovered cartoons were fantasies, I think it broke my heart as a young boy. No Justice League? No Fantastic Four? Rats!)

Your son is ahead of me in that score. I still like to believe that somewhere, in some reality, there is a Superman fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. (O.K., forget all of that. I just want a Batmobile.) lol.

I guess I get part of that, buddy. My daughter playfully calls me and her mom: Mom and Daddy Bat.

Much respect and deepest admiration,


Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on February 05, 2019:

Hi, Bill,

Love is the ultimate reality. Stated like the professional thoughtful writer and creative soul you are, Bill.

Like you, I pray I have changed my reality to reflect one of love and compassion.

I love the quote from the Book of Mark that states we can tell "the mountain" to move. In times of crisis, I remember an old gospel song that goes:

"Lord, you don't have to move my mountain, but give me the strength to climb."

I figure that way I will get a good workout physically and spiritually.

To a kind, encouraging, respectful, and gifted writer,

Thanks for giving my work some of your time, my friend.

Much respect and admiration,


Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on February 05, 2019:

Hi, Flourish,

Excellent comment, dear friend.

I must admit to you: I'm a dedicated fan of Reality Therapy, using its techniques to help clients and even students on occasion.

I do accept the fact that we do engage in group perception of reality, but individually those perceptions can vary widely or even within a country. For example, nations have a "group reality," which they buy into. (Within the 20th-century: feudal Japan, imperialistic America, Communist Russia, Nazi Germany, etc.) We would be in error to think everyone bought into those values at those times. There existed a range within those values even in the darkest times, from brutality to love.

We can share reality, but there are outliers in those perspectives and total conformists, too. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle in viewing reality which allows societies to function.

Flourish, if you and I were to sit down and have a cup of coffee, I suspect we would have one fabulous discussion because the sincere person you are comes out in your writing and in your comments. (I think Lori, my wife, would think you are pretty cool as well.)

I'm glad you have contributed your comment and time to my work.

I am always honored to see a respected, talented, and kind writer visit.

Much respect and admiration,


FlourishAnyway from USA on February 05, 2019:

These reflections and quotes made me think. I tend to be evidence-based in looking for the construction of reality. However, wouldn't it be intriguing if delusions were some portal to another world rather than an indication of brain malfunction? An elderly relative with dementia has delusions, believing they're seeing a little boy. It's happened repeatedly.

There have been moments in my life when events were so unbelievable that I thought one couldn't possibly make this up. Reality can be stranger than any plot-driven novel. Tom Clancy is right about fiction having to make sense. Even the events in our history (like 9/11, Watergate, the current administration) could be so unbelievable they'd be rejected as a movie or book script for complexity or being as believable as a two-bit thriller.

We do all construct a semblance of reality. Hopefully, we're not too far off from others' representation. If we don't exist in the same reality, it's a bit tough to co-exist at all.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 05, 2019:

The quotations are fascinating and interesting. One person's reality is another person's dream? My reality may seem like a nightmare to someone else? And can my reality be different from what it was twelve years ago when I stopped fighting life and accepted love as my guiding light? Interesting thoughts for sure, my friend.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 05, 2019:

Fantastic article. really good on the quotes.

My elder son and I have degrees in Philosophy. His is a BA and mine a BS. We have spent hours and hours discussing in this area. And now my young boy and I get into it. My favorite is watching animated shows. "Dad that is not real". As most of us would say, but it is wrong. They are real cartoons.

I also just love the Narcissus flower. All of my children think it smells differently. It stinks to me but is heaven to my younger daughter.

Oops, sorry I ramble.