Reality Is More Powerful Than God

Let’s explore why investing in a lifelong relationship with Reality directly is a more stable and empowering choice than basing your worldview on a relationship with a god or a religious or spiritual practice.

Reality Is Sensory

Reality doesn’t require belief or faith. It’s readily observable through your physical senses, all day every day.

You may ponder the nature of Reality in a variety of different ways, but its existence is never in doubt. The summation of your subjective perceptions suffices as a crisp enough definition of Reality.

That means this relationship is always stable. As long as you can perceive anything through the slimmest of senses, you have a stable link to Reality.

With a god or gods, however, you’re leaning into the zone of doubt and imagination. This is why faith or belief is required to fill in the gaps, but then you risk leaning away from truth since you could be wrong. Your faith could be misplaced, your beliefs inaccurate.

By basing your root philosophy of life on your relationship with Reality as opposed to a deity, you remain on solid ground truth-wise. And that matters a great deal because then you can explore that relationship in a truth-based manner, not a fanciful faith-based manner.

If you lean towards any religious or spiritual philosophies that invite your belief or faith, you can never be certain that your future self won’t eventually reject such a philosophy, especially if you later encounter evidence that contradicts what you’ve been encouraged to accept. Clearly many people do have that kind of experience. And when you run into that yourself, you’ll eventually have to decide whether to double-down on your old beliefs, to succumb to cognitive dissonance (a popular option), or to admit the truth and move on (which could cause great disruption to your social life depending on how invested you’ve become).

When you focus on developing a conscious relationship with Reality, however, you can trust that it’s a sane and sound basis upon which to build a rich and meaningful philosophy of life. You can stay rooted to the real while exploring the vastness of what’s possible within this relationship – always as an explorer, never as a potentially misguided believer.

A relationship of this nature is strong and resilient. You can trust that it will be stable enough to warrant a lifetime’s worth of attention and investment. Even if the world changes radically, and even if your body evolves in a transhumanist manner, you’ll still have your direct, stable, sensory relationship with Reality at all times.

So root yourself to this relationship. If you root yourself to something less stable, like any particular concept of deities or source or anything you can’t readily perceive even when you’re tired or drunk, you’re straying into the zone of instability, and you’ll invite the long-term consequences that stem from that instability. You won’t feel nearly as secure.

Reality Can Grow

Gods are typically static. They usually don’t grow and evolve much, except maybe in the past. They have fixed mindsets, not growth mindsets. If you treat such a god as your ideal, you’re conditioning yourself to adopt a fixed mindset as your personal ideal too.

When does a god admit to a mistake? When does a god say, “I’m sorry. I botched that. I can do better next time”? And even if there’s a story about them doing that in the past, are they still admitting and correcting mistakes today? And would you expect them to keep growing and evolving in the future?

Do you expect that your god will improve a month from now and become a slightly better god? How about a year from now? What about over the course of the next decade or two?

If your god isn’t growing, you’re weaving a fixed mindset into your philosophy of life. Is that wise? Not if you care about growth.

Reality by contrast is clearly growing and evolving. Is the world the same now as it was a month ago? A year ago? A decade ago? Of course not. Change is always occurring.

Consequently, Reality is always inviting you to grow and evolve. Reality invites you to keep exploring different ways of relating to it. It keeps you on your toes. If you try to relate to Reality in a static way, that mode of relating will eventually become strained.

Recognize that rooting your philosophy or sense of spirituality to a static god or source also roots you to a fixed mindset. It will slow you down. This isn’t a courageous thing to do. It’s a delusional form of escapism.

Even if you think you can harbor a growth mindset in the pursuit of a static ideal, that’s misguided too. It’s important for your ideal to be able to grow and evolve too. Otherwise you’ll remain stuck with a very immature standard of growth. It’s folly to think that the optimal way to grow is to adhere to a fixed standard and try to grow towards it.

Consider how much your ideal standard of human behavior has evolved since you were a child. Do you still hold the same ideals dear that you did when you were 10 years old? No, those have obviously changed as you grew. Such is the nature of life.

So don’t put the brakes on by trying to cling to a fixed ideal standard in your adult life either. Allow your relationship with Reality to invite you to flexibly explore the values and ideals that matter to you now, knowing that they’re sure to shift in the future. That’s to be expected.

You can still frame your ideal standard in a flexible way, such as always wanting to move towards the light. Just acknowledge that what you define as light will shift over time. Today it may be green. Tomorrow perhaps blue.

Anchor yourself to your relationship with Reality, and you anchor yourself to continuous learning and growth. There is stability in that, and it’s an honest kind of stability.

To keep pace with an ever-changing reality, you must accept the invitation to be ever-changing as well. Do you think you’ll ever be satisfied with a fixed philosophy attached to a static standard of being? That isn’t you.

Reality Offers Freedom and Fresh Story

Because Reality keeps evolving, it’s always free to reinvent itself. This is a delightful kind of freedom to invite into your life as well.

Reality is full of teachings and preachings, yet it remains loyal to none of them. It can always write new stories that contradict the old. It can invent rules one day and playfully ignore them the next.

Even the most liberal religious and spiritual philosophies still offer tools and stories to ground you in some kind of loyalty or obedience to their past baggage. How many of them continually update those tools for the world of today? How many are writing fresh stories every year? How many have a delete function that’s frequently exercised, just as you might clean up digital clutter now and then?

Instead of teaching you how to think the way people did in the past, Reality offers you the chance to explore and develop your own wisdom based on the life you’re leading today. That wisdom is sure to be different from the conclusions of the past.

It’s fine to look to the past for ideas and clues, but test those ideas in the present, and update them based on present realities. If you’re compartmentalizing your spiritual philosophy and not flowing it into all aspects of your life, including your career, finances, and human relationships, it’s fair to say that your mind isn’t really buying it.

You may discover, as many people do, that some of your best growth experiences will emerge from violating the rules you’ve been told are sacred and inviolable. You may even consider these to be taunts from Reality, inviting you to upgrade your courage and come play in the land of the free.

If you really want to “level up” in life, consciously break a rule that you think you cannot break. Write some fresh story. Reality loves to reward that kind of behavior.

When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reality Provides Better Social Alignment

Note that you’re less likely to be criticized or ostracized for exploring your relationship with life or Reality since we’re all here to do that. It’s not a particularly controversial philosophy these days, especially since it’s so grounded and sensory-based.

Proclaiming that you believe in or worship a deity may make you seem more acceptable to some groups, but it will leave you marginalized in so many other social circles, especially among intelligent free thinkers. Today such a philosophy positions you on the dimmer side of humanity.

Many people simply don’t want to invest in relationships with people who cling to outdated religious or spiritual beliefs, so if you out yourself as that kind of person, it may limit your social options and social freedom. A lot of smart people won’t trust that you have your head on straight, and they’ll lose respect for you, which will create negative social consequences. Your social life will likely become more insular and limiting, which will in turn constrain your ability to grow as a human being. Many people will mentally position you as a person from whom they’re always going to hide certain truths.

In case you haven’t noticed, old school religious beliefs are waning. That’s especially true in the USA, where far fewer people identify as Christian (or as any other religion) relative to just a few decades ago. As the world changes faster and faster, people are noticing that the old belief systems just aren’t keeping up and have less and less to offer them on a practical level.

Don’t resist this trend by clinging to the spiritual dinosaurs. Get aligned with where Reality is going. Dynamic exploration of the possibility space is in. Old-school mind numbing is out.

Reality Is Empowering

Get off your knees, and stand tall in your relationship with Reality. It doesn’t need your prayer or worship. It has no list of commands or directives for you. It simply invites you to explore, learn, and grow.

Reality will give you space to be as rebellious and disobedient as you want, at least for a time, but really that kind of posturing is unnecessary too. Just enjoy the heck out of your freedom. There’s nothing to rebel against because Reality is always on your side, even when it’s challenging you to the core.

How many religious and spiritual philosophies teach subservient behavior such as kneeling, bowing, seeking redemption, confessing, asking forgiveness, shaving heads, following certain rules, or showing up to rituals and ceremonies?

Reality doesn’t require you to bend the knee, but you’re always free to do so if you get off on that sort of thing. It can indeed be fun to watch, much like an episode of Downton Abbey.

Reality gives you the freedom and flexibility to explore life on your terms. It doesn’t seek to use fear, guilt, or shame to manipulate you into behaving a certain way. It lets you experience those fenced subsets of life as you see fit, but the door is always open for you to transcend those limitations.

Reality Is Practical

Investing in your relationship with reality is more practical than investing in your relationship with a god. It’s useful on a daily basis and can provide many benefits.

Instead of weaving so much make-believe into your relationship with life, Reality invites you to face and relate to what’s right in front of you in each moment: Here’s your life right now. Here’s your current living situation. Here are your resources. Here are your challenges.

Reality invites you to skip the fluff and dive right in to the action part of life. It gives you time to pause and reflect, but it doesn’t require you to waste time on silly rituals, and it isn’t impressed (amused perhaps) when you disengage from life to play in the realm of fanciful deities. The clock keeps ticking whether you deal with Reality or escape into deism.

That said, exploring a relationship with a god is still a valid subset of exploring your relationship with life and Reality. Reality permits you the freedom to do that, and when you’re ready to progress to something more interesting, expansive, and flexible, Reality is ready and willing to provide you with other ways of interfacing with it that don’t require faith or belief. You can simply observe that you always have a relationship with Reality, and so you might as well invest in improving that relationship because it’s the most stable relationship you’ll ever have.

If you want to dabble in exploring a relationship with a divine being to see what that’s like, feel free. Just remember that this relationship is always secondary to your relationship with Reality. Be careful not to sacrifice your empowering relationship with Reality in exchange for a dubious secondary relationship with a god or spiritual energy field. That isn’t going to fulfill you and can seriously drag down your happiness. Plus it creates an extra drag on society’s advancement as well.

Be Real

The relationship you cultivate with Reality can serve as a beacon of truth, wisdom, and empowerment throughout your entire life. It’s a relationship for free thinkers and explorers who are ready to embrace change and growth. By rooting yourself to Reality, you can navigate the world with a greater sense of purpose, clarity, and engagement. Embrace the honesty and groundedness of this relationship, so you can experience a rich, meaningful, and fulfilling life of freedom. As you continue to explore the vastness of what’s possible within this relationship, do so with an open heart, an open mind, and a profound appreciation for the beauty and wonder that surrounds you.

Steve Pavlina

Steve Pavlina is an American self-help author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He is the author of the web site and the book Personal Development for Smart People.

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