I was in my second year of University when they taught me about surrealism. My lecturer put his shoe on his head for the entire lecture. 

 

Granted, I didn’t listen much that lesson, but I did engage with the questioning which inevitably captures the purpose (or non-purpose) of surrealism. To question what we believe to be true. 

 

Reality is subject to interpretation. It’s an interrelation between the ego story and the information we are given from institutions, the media, those around us and our senses. How we add those facts up, deduct or omit some facets and make connections between others is our version of reality. It is the subjective story of what is real and what is not. 

 

 

If I’m honest, I’ve only really been able to fully grasp how it applies to my life in the past year or so. Is it helpful to question what is real and what is not? Is it sane to do so?

 

Ancient Greek philosopher, Phyrro, who believed that we could not trust any of our visual, tactile or olfactory senses thought so. He believed that nothing we perceived through these senses could be determined to be the truth or a lie. Therefore, we cannot rely on any information we are given from them. 

 

What then is left? A kind of hollowness to each moment which emits so much awareness and non-attachment that we almost cease to value life itself. 

 

On the other end of this is the subjective real. These are the things we have chosen to believe as truth every time we wake up. The most basic of which are facts proven by science, then those proposed by institutions, society and those around us. What is left, perhaps, is maybe the facts chosen by us; the small things we have chosen to prove to be real in ourselves. More and more, I am realising that there is a choice in the ‘truth’. 

 

Am I an outgoing person? Am I an introvert? An extrovert? Am I hardworking? Am I kind and understanding? Am I forgiving?

 

What truths do I and don’t I subscribe to?

 

I find that once we chose the truth about ourselves, not only does it become our reality but it tends to warp how we see wider reality as well. 

 

Does this sentiment make you feel lost? Have you chosen - in small, consistent ways each day - to be open or closed minded? How does that make you feel after reading this?

 

Is your truth any more true than it was five minutes ago? 

By Sophie Peterson.

All work is my own unless otherwise stated.

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