We live in a world of harsh reality – destructive earthquake/thunderstorm/tornado, freezing temperature, unbearable heat wave, and crop-killing drought – and unreal make-believes – movie, music, novel, and theme park. In life, we face real problems of murder/robbery/bullying/deception/financial fraud and unreal expectations of knowing how the world works, studying how to find a job in society, coping with how to work in a stressful environment, and learning how to raise an ever-demanding family.
Our body is real; it has fresh and blood. Our soul is unreal; it has no shape and substance. Anything that we can see and touch is real and that is how we decide what to do. Idea, dreams, and imagination are unreal but they are the inspiration behind a lot of our changing reality.
Abuse and Avoid
In life, we are facing the harsh reality of:
1) Bullying because some people do not like what we are,
2) Prejudice because some people do not like who we are,
3) Discrimination because some people do not like where we come from,
4) Jealousy because some people do not like how we do things.
To get by those unfair real treatments, we learn to surmount the unreal abilities that we never know we have:
1) Courage to stand up against the formidable force of injustice,
2) Patience to weather the unrelenting storm of ignorance,
3) Determination not to give up our dreams to be what we are capable of.
With our body, we are facing the harsh reality of:
1) Deliberating illness caused by malnutrition, organ dysfunction, stressful environment, etc.,
2) Excruciating sickness caused by a virus, bacteria, over-eating, etc.,
3) Painful injury caused by a traffic accident, sports activity, falling, etc.
With our mind, we are constantly plagued by the unreal feelings of:
1) Suffocating stress from performance pressure at work, children out of control at home, etc.,
2) Heart pounding anxiety from anticipating the outcome of events that will affect our life,
3) Life draining depression is a result of many disappointments and the sense of no purpose in life.
Fitness and Finesse
In the animal world, we are witnessing the harsh reality of:
1) Those that are stronger physically can fight off competitions to get food and mate ensuring that they have a better chance of passing their genes to the next generation,
2) All are at the mercy of the environmental conditions. When the weather is warm and wet, all animals flourish and multiply. When the weather is hot and dry, all animals suffer and some perish,
3) Each animal plays a simple and pre-defined role in Nature’s ecosystem that keeps life on Earth in check, in sync, and evolving.
We, the human beings, have changed all that with the unreal power of intuition/ingenuity/implementation that we use to create the man-made world, cooperation/compassion/competitiveness that we use to live harmoniously together, and curiosity/awareness/understanding that we use to unravel how Nature works.
Sense and Sensibility
Every living thing relies on the 5 senses as a guide to the real world. Their survival is limited by what they can see, touch, hear, smell, and taste. However, we are endowed with the sixth sense as a guide to the unreal world. It enables:
1) Our eyes to see the beauty of a summer day sunset, the invisible laws of Nature, and the role we play in Nature’s ecosystem,
2) Our ears to listen to the sounds made by the animals to decipher their meanings, to people’s conversations to understand their intentions, and to the falling rain to seek relief from stress,
3) Our nose to smell the suffocation of fear, the vigor of joy, the stench of death, and the nervousness of pain,
4) Our mouth to taste the sweetness of victory, the bitterness of betraying, and the sourness of jealousy,
5) Our hands to feel the hardness of human spirit, the warmth of kindness, and the chill of selfishness.
With that, we have built a man-made world where:
1) The strong and the weak have equal opportunities to live a full life,
2) People live and work in dwellings that can withstand or minimize the ravage of thunderstorms, earthquakes, and hurricanes,
3) People can enjoy movies, music, and sight-seeing,
4) People can learn how and why Nature works such that we can control the ways we live, and how and why we are all different such that we can embrace, appreciate, and tolerate one another.