The Four Assumptive Worlds of Psychopathology III B- The World of Distorted/Inaccurate Views of Reality

The Four Assumptive Worlds of Psychopathology III B- The World of Distorted/Inaccurate Views of Reality


As far as language is concerned, eastern traditions equivocally agree that language is not capable of describing reality. (In this context, ‘real’ may be understood as what absolutely exists and without which nothing else will exist, & whose existence cannot be disproved). Words rise from reality and is only a fragment of the whole. A fragment is incapable of understanding or expressing the whole. Also, the linear language structure of Subject Object delineation creates confusion when we try to use such language to investigate the work. Language is convenient yet limiting. The words we use to describe Reality often causes confusion. Hence the proponents of the eastern traditions like Taoism, Buddhism and Non dual teachings are against the application of language to investigate reality. Rather the best path is often seen as the application of meditation to trust our first-hand experiences. When we rest into pure awareness, we begin to experience a breaking down of boundaries. The subject and object separation is not real. Our pure awareness appears to permeate all. Therefore, the rigid identification of awareness to the body or the individual self, looking out at an external world is an illusion. It is like an optical illusion. Remember the saying from Lao Tzu: “If Tao can be described, then it is not real Tao”.

It is also important to note the teachings in silence mentioned in texts and the description of reality in Upanishads as ‘the place where the words retract.”. For instance, when we use the word “table” to refer to a wooden item which was previously taken from a tree which was originally grown from the soil, one begins to know that everything in the universe is interdependent which results in co-dependent arising. Language often obscures this reality. Quantum mechanics and quantum physics are relatively new disciplines that have very effectively challenged our traditional views in science. The mind which is consciousness appears to create the very reality we witness. And nothing is inherently substantial and separated in this constant flux or change.


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About the Author

Richard LimDr. Richard Lim serves as the Senior Consultant Psychologist with TASE—a center providing clinical and consulting services (located in Singapore and Jakarta Indonesia). His organizational consultancy and training specialty is in the application of the science of focus, thinking, communication and team leadership for the achievement of excellence. Dr. Lim provides leadership development work with very diverse organizations. In more than 15 years of leadership performance consultancy, Richard Lim has worked with leaders and senior executives from multi-national companies like Microsoft, Coca Cola (Indonesia), JP Morgan, and SIA; international agencies like The Salvation Army, YMCA, Outward Bounds and World Vision; and numerous government organizations and community institutions. He is also an active contributor to the development of staff and research at the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, and BINUS. Richard has served as President of the Psychotherapy Association of Singapore.

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