Embracing Reality

Posted on September 18, 2018 by Robert Ringer Comments (41)

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As the lying, corruption, and craziness continue unabated in Washington, it’s a reminder of just how important it is to one’s sanity to embrace reality.  Reality is synonymous with truth, but, as Baltasar Gracian, the insightful and pragmatic 17th century Jesuit priest, cautioned, “Truth is abhorred by the masses.”

Instead of loving truth, most people try to make true that which they love, which is a self-delusive practice that virtually guarantees frustration and failure.  Thus, most people live in an unreal world, a world they create in their own minds based on the way they would like it to be rather than the way it actually is.  They seem to have adopted the philosophy of Ashleigh Brilliant, who once remarked, “I have abandoned my search for truth and am now looking for a good fantasy.”

It is absolutely essential that a person intellectually and emotionally recognizes that reality isn’t the way he wishes things to be or the way they appear to be, but the way they actually are.  The individual who is not able to make this distinction finds it virtually impossible to make decisions that lead to positive results.     

Which brings me to principles.  A principle is synonymous with a law of nature, as opposed to a law of man.  Most manmade laws are nothing more than legalized aggression against the sovereignty of peaceful individuals and rarely bear any relationship to Natural Law, reality, or morality.

A true principle of nature cannot be created or altered in any way.  Consider the principle of gravity.  Isaac Newton didn’t wake up one morning and decide to create a principle whereby if he dropped an apple from a tree twenty times, it would fall to the ground nineteen times and rise upward the twentieth time.

Instead, through experimentation, he found that if you drop an apple from a tree twenty times, it will fall to the ground twenty times.  What he did was discover the principle, or law, of gravity.  A principle, then, is the essence of reality.

To try to create our own reality is both futile and destructive.  You certainly have the right to go on believing whatever you want to believe, but reality doesn’t care about your wants or beliefs.  Reality will deliver negative consequences to the well-meaning, ignorant individual as surely as it will to the most malevolent, stubborn person.  Not once has reality excused anyone for good motives, so consistency is essential when it comes to an accurate perception of reality.

In physics, we learn that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  The longer I live, however, the more convinced I am that in the daily process of living (as opposed to the science of physics), reactions tend to be far greater than the actions that provoke them.

In other words, whenever we make a decision or take an action that we know, in our heart of hearts, is wrong, the punishment seems to be way out of proportion to the “crime.”  My experience has been that I almost always end up paying for an irresponsible action multiple times, with each payment seeming to take the form of a balloon note carrying onerous, compounded interest.

The consequence may take a long time, and it may be indirect or subtle in nature, but there is always a consequence.  Symbolically speaking, everything you do goes into your book of life.  This doesn’t necessarily hold a religious connotation, but I do firmly believe that universal forces are at work that pull us inexorably toward the deserving results of our actions.  Kindness begets kindness; cruelty begets cruelty.

Where many people allow themselves to be misled is that the payback for their actions is not always immediate, which results in their failing to make the connection when it finally arrives.  And even when the consequence is immediate, they may miss the subtlety of the connection between the result and the action that caused it.

Though most people know, deep down inside, that all actions have consequences, I am convinced that very few of them give it more than a passing thought as they go about their daily affairs.  The question is, why would people ignore such an all-powerful, immutable principle?  

I believe it’s because man inhabits a world of delusions, which obscures reality and creates dangers for himself and others.  He rarely understands what he is doing or why he is doing it.  His actions and beliefs indicate that he lives in a state of waking dreams.

I further believe that one of the most important steps in a person’s personal growth is to become adept at transcending his world of delusions.  This is not an easy task, due in no small part to the fact that we are surrounded by delusions each and every day.

The nice thing about it, however, is that you can overcome these delusions, provided you are committed to truth.  This means being willing to subordinate your desires and wishes — your dreams, as it were — to reality.

This is not to say that you should not have dreams.  On the contrary, dreams can be healthy for the psyche.  What it does mean, however, is that you should not allow your dreams and desires to override reality.  Put simply, your love of truth must be greater than your desire to make your dreams come true.

The more often, and more quickly, you are able to recognize truth in your daily life, the more likely it is that you will become part of that small minority of the human race that lives in the real world rather than inhabiting a state of waking dreams.

The challenge is to learn to correctly perceive reality, because when you accurately and consistently perceive reality, delusions begin to disappear.  And as delusions vanish from your life, you are able to deal with problems on a more rational basis, which in turn leads to success in all areas of your life.

Robert Ringer

+Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

41 responses to “Embracing Reality”

  1. TheLookOut says:

    WOW RJR this article is a gran slam. Living in reality ain't always pretty,
    but it does keep our "life" boat afloat.

  2. Fred says:

    Excellent article, Robert. I'm almost your age but gave up decades ago trying to convince people of the disasters fiat money must eventually bring. I always use the price of gasoline. Everyone complains about the price of gas. I then ask them "do you realize that gas is cheaper today than is was 100 years ago?" That brings the usual scoffing disdain. But hold on, in 1920 the price of gas was around 20 cents per gallon. Therefore a twenty dollar gold coin, real money circulating at the time, would buy 100 gallons. Today that same gold coin, no longer allowed to function as money sells for around $1,200. With gasoline at $3 per gallon that same coin now buys 400 gallons of gas. Then comes the look of confusion, anger, or simply a change of subject. As you say, no one wants to deal with reality. Where did the difference go? Essentially wasted or into the pockets of the connected elites. Note that Washington DC and surrounding zip codes have some of the highest incomes in the country.
    "Palace" – the fruit of the flower called the hovel (Devil's Dictionary)

    • Steve V. says:

      In 1970 gasoline was around 40 cents per gallon in my neck of the woods. In today's money that's app. $2.60, so the price of gas (at least in southeast PA) is 15% *higher* than it should be.

  3. kauai_mike says:

    Old school, bedrock RR – love it because I live it!

  4. Rick G. says:

    This is pure vintage Robert Ringer at his finest. This is all based on his Theory of Reality, which was discussed in his masterpiece Looking Out For Number One. Reality rules all. Acknowledge it and succeed; ignore it and fail with often times catastrophic consequences plain and simple. Aways remember though, like I do, your ABCs: Actions Beget Consequences. Robert Ringer is a true philosopher , and simply the best I have ever known.

  5. Marlena says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Rick G. Robert Ringer is truly the best and the easiest to understand. I recognized myself while reading and received a shocking comeuppance. I discovered that I must adhere to reality or never realize the person I want to be. Thank you Mr. Ringer.

  6. James says:

    As I put it, "Reality always wins."

  7. Stephan F says:

    “…most people try to make true that which they love…”

    And what the masses truly love is free stuff, especially other people’s stuff.

    “most people live in an unreal world…”

    Make that: “the ‘vast’ majority of people live in an unreal world.” I truly believe this is now the case. And those people will automatically turn to their most favored person they can count on in order to obtain that false reality — the politician. Forget about earning your livelihood the old fashion way, that’s old hat & what your grandparents did. You see, in this modern hip age the term “work ethic” has disingregrated. It has for all intense & purposes ceased to exist. Not in everyone, just with those of the “vast majority”.

    So just what does this have to do with the price of tea in China? Just this: if you are one of those few who still has a work ethic; a moral ethic; a respect for truth, honesty and your fellow man; you are no longer a valued member of today’s “modern society”. Odds are you will not get ahead of the pack, or even stay with the pack, based on those outdated human values. Too bad…you are a rare & dying breed, indeed.

  8. RealitySeeker says:

    "I believe it’s because man inhabits a world of delusions, which obscures reality and creates dangers for himself and others. He rarely understands what he is doing or why he is doing it. His actions and beliefs indicate that he lives in a state of waking dreams".

    Yes, and a very fine example of the above truth is the epidemic of mental delusion and the associated neurotic behavior that results from a syndrome so aptly named, "Trump Derangement Syndrome".

    "Trump Derangement Syndrome" has infected almost a third of the U.S. population, and it has become a very real threat, indeed. Talk about a large group of individuals who are out of touch with reality; by the looks of things this mental illness is actually turning into a sort of mass hysteria. And no where on the planet are there more mental cases than on Capital Hill, aka Capital Swamp-hill.

    Take, for example, the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing. Talk about living in a dream world! Have we ( by we, I actually mean they) actually reached the point whereupon a fifty-three year old man is being judged on a 36 year old accusation that pops up at the last minute? — some event that supposedly took place when the man was 17 years old and the woman was 15 years old? — an accusation made by a female helminth who crawled out of the anus of the Progressive Collective? — we are supposed to believe this True Blue Trump Hater with a very bad case of Trump Derangement Syndrome? All of this nonsense on Swamp Hill makes a rational man like myself wonder what else the Washington Swamp People will pull out of their asses?

    Those people on Capital Hill have gone totally bat-shit crazy;or should I say, Trump-shit crazy? What next? I see where all this is going: a total mental breakdown is coming. Yes, I think that shortly we are going to witness the next stage down in this mass mental illness. What is that? I call it, "a Trump Conniption Fit". And that's when things get really nasty.

    What do we do? The answer is actually counterintuitive. It is as follows:

    Please be sure to purchase a large supply of bright red MAGA hats and attend every Trump rally possible. And when you spot a Liberal be sure to wave that red MAGA hat back and forth at them like a matador does to a bull….. and watch as they go into a total frenzy. Maybe, if we all work together, we can totally frenzy the Leftys into such a crazed state of mind ( or lack thereof) that they'll actually rip each other to pieces like a frenzied school of sharks….. Trump is being a great leader in this regard. A good example is how he deliberately Tweets out comments designed to frenzy the Leftys. Yes, President Trump is leading the way…….. now it's up to you and I to get off from our ass and do something.

    • Rick G. says:

      Those allegations against Kavanaugh are made up by those Dirty Dems who will resort to anything to derail the Trump administration. How low into the gutter can anyone possibly go?

    • patg2 says:

      One small correction. Swamps are made of water, and water flows downhill, so there is no such thing as a Swamp Hill. When you hit rock bottom, you will be immersed in swamp.

      • RealitySeeker says:

        There is such a thing as as a swamp hill. It's a hill located smack dab in the middle of a swamp. There's also islands and peninsulas in some swamps. They might also have a hill or two on them.

        If you want to be critical of my post, at least help me out with something other than geography. Try proofreading it for me, instead, e.g., Capital Hill should have been Capitol Hill.

    • Richard Lee Van Der says:

      Excellent commentary! Yes!

    • lee says:

      Get off your ass and go to silent place and stay there!

  9. Joseph C says:

    Robert, I think the Democrats should read your article. But, then again, they would get mad and insist that they are, in reality. They still DENY Trumps victory and therefor have chosen to live in a world of delusion.

  10. David Baker says:

    “Should be” is the land of Oz; I try to live in the land of “is.”

  11. Logan1paul says:

    Reality always wins. Thanks for sharing this wonderful blog

  12. Jurgy says:

    few people live in reality – that is why you can find a television in nearly every home …

  13. Kenneth says:

    Robert I became a BIG fan of yours back….waaaayyyy back in the 1970s. Your ability to convey simple truths as you have done here is the reason why. You are a great American and a great human being. And that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it!

    You DO remember the 1970s?… Back when we both still had a reasonable crop of hair? :^)

  14. José Luis says:

    Truth and Reality are sinonimous.
    As Dr. House told us "evrybody lies" or he lies as well?

    • Jett Rucker says:

      We all lie, most of us frequently. But some lies are conscious, even calculated, and others are … reflexive. We imagine they COULD be lies, but console ourselves with the thought that they COULD be true, or even just OUGHT to be.

      Sometimes, we even trouble ourselves to deceive ourselves as to what we believe.

  15. Jean says:

    The wisdom contained in this one piece could save so many people a lot of money and a lot of heartache. Too many people make important life choices based on what they wish rather than what is. In my counseling sessions, I point out behavior patterns that should have raised red flags (I do a lot of one-sided relationship counseling) but that the person dismissed because they didn't want to acknowledge reality. And those clients who refuse to take ownership of their choices have wasted their money and my time, because they have chosen to continue living in their unreality – and to continue creating the negative results that brought them to me in the first place. I suppose I should be happy for the repeat business, but it gets exhausting!

  16. ensomulv123 says:

    I'm a fan of your book (and have been for 40 years) but I have problems with this essay. It's easier said than done to disentangle fantasy from "reality" (whatever that is). This is because we see the outside world through the prism of our wishes,hopes, and interests. We can't get rid of that prism: the idea of a neutral observer is a figment of imagination. We can *try* to subject our interpretations to testing, but even that often that doesn't work because the seeing and interpreting happen simultaneously (there's a more detailed discussion in Gombrich's "Art and Illusion").

    On a side note, people already knew that dropping an apple would lead to it hitting the ground. That's not Newton's achievement. His achievement was seeing that terrestrial gravity and the force that kept the moon in orbit around the earth (and the earth around the sun) were one and the same: until his time, the planets and their satellites had been thought to be obeying another set of laws to what prevailed on earth.

  17. Steve H says:

    The tortoise again speaks the truth! Contrary to legalman or boy.

  18. John Jpsix says:

    Superb commentary!

  19. patg2 says:

    This is so beautifully written, and so true. That is one of many reasons why I pray you will someday embrace the only religion that conforms to reality: Christianity. Keep on thinking. It does you good, as it does me.

  20. Richard Lee Van Der says:

    Proselytizers are a sickening lot!

  21. Jett Rucker says:

    I don't quite believe in reality, much less its knowability to (any of) us. For example: "Robert Ringer is an American icon.." Is THAT reality?" Maybe for you. Maybe for him. I (an American) have never heard of him, so it is NOT reality for me.

    Anyway, as in Newton's case, there are "operative" facts – facts that can, when used judiciously, lead to effective actions. In the meantime …

    All information is propaganda, but …
    All propaganda is information.

    Chew on that for a while, THINKING while doing so.

    • James says:

      Reality is that which, when no one believes in it, still exists. Anything which requires one or more to believe in is simply an illusion — perhaps a popular illusion, but still an illusion.

  22. lee says:

    Welcome back robert ringer to your senses and reality.this is the great robert ringer i remember from the past.i hope you stay here.

  23. WesleyZebediah says:

    This is all based totally on his concept of fact, which became discussed in his masterpiece searching Out For number one. fact guidelines all. Well known it and be successful ignore it and fail with Dissertation Help UAE often times catastrophic effects simple and easy. I identified myself even as analyzing and acquired a surprising comeuppance. I found that I ought to adhere to reality or by no means realize the man or woman I need to be.

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