Our Manifested Reality. ~ Jagdish Kohli, Ph.D.

Via elephant journal
on Jan 20, 2013
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Our Individual Reality is the direct result of our interaction with and learning from the universe that surrounds us.

This process of life builds our beliefs which form the foundation of our Reality. In unawareness, some limiting and negative beliefs creep into our Reality and cause ongoing pain and suffering.

This write-up unfolds:

>> Total Reality based on Absolute & Relative Realities.

>> Types of Reality: Physical, Social, Cultural and Cosmological.

>> Reality Gap & Quality of Life.

>> Ways to Expand Individual Reality.

Absolute & Relative Realities.

Manifestation of life in the universe is an endless and dynamic process. The infinite divine energy of creation constitutes Absolute Reality. All manifestations of this energy, ranging from the tiniest of particles to the largest planets, fall in the realm of Relative Realities. This phenomenon of creation from Absolute to Relative is captured in Figure 1.

PHOTO: [Jagdish Kohli, Ph. D]
PHOTO: [Jagdish Kohli, Ph. D]
While Absolute Reality is omnipresent and permanent, all other realities are relative and have only temporary existence.

Types of Reality

Physical Reality

Our physical being is assembled by nature deploying five elements: Earth, Water, Heat (Energy), Air and Space. We use the same five elements to create a variety of objects on the physical plane of existence.

Humanity has made tremendous strides in building beautiful homes, shopping malls, roads, bridges and highways. We have mastered techniques to create many technological wonders, such as household gadgets, communication networks and devices, cars, helicopters, planes, drones, space crafts, etc.

We also have built guns, tanks, missiles and bombs—under the guise of bringing peace to some parts of the world.

In the name of creating material wealth and improving quality of life, many private corporations have accelerated the development of more physical entities.

This consumption-based economy is using planet resources at a faster speed than can be replenished. We continue to witness damage to our beautiful planet in terms of, air, water and soil pollution. This trend is not sustainable as it’s causing major health hazards.

Another unsustainable outcome of current trend is the accumulation of material resources in the hands of a few corporations and individuals. The big gap between the haves and have-nots would unleash energy of anger detrimental to all.

It is time for people who can make a difference to define frameworks and policies to change the current course. A balanced approach to future development towards creating an equitable distribution of material wealth and more harmonious world social order is our challenge.

Social & Cultural Reality

Our Social Reality is created through our interaction with people and objects around us. This process of creating Reality starts early and continues throughout life. Society is a result of our interactions, yet it also guides them—it is a dynamic process.

Our Social Reality is influenced by the objects of our interaction. All objects have meaning, and that meaning is a product of communication between people. People interact successfully when they share meanings. But objects take on a meaning in relation to a person’s state of Reality.

An empty bottle can be a vase for someone who has flowers or a weapon for someone in a bar-room fight. A knife can be used to carve a turkey by one person or chop off someone’s head by some other insane person.

What we call reality is an agreement that people have arrived at to make life more livable. ~Louise Nevelson

Our Cultural Reality is the one handed over to us from previous generations. Some of the cultural aspects have significant meaning while others become irrelevant with changing times. Being polite, respectful and courteous towards others is a good part of our cultural heritage.

Waging wars to solve social and political conflicts is a misguided and dangerous aspect of our cultural tradition.

Eventually our Cultural Reality becomes a part of our Social Reality by which we experience our day-to-day life.

Cosmological Reality

Cosmological Reality is what exists in the universe independently of the human existence, or any other intelligence that can comprehend the rules of the universe. It is a self-created intelligent process that has no beginning and no end.

Everything in the universe is made up of vibrations. In the infinity of the universe, everything pours forth from the eternal energy that flows through everything—the force of existence, the source of all that is.

We and everything that exists are expressions of this vibration. It is infinite in its low and high frequencies that design and manifest reality. It is the manifestation of all we see, think and experience.

Life is a dynamic process that changes moment by moment. There is a constant exchange/transformation of energy and profound interconnectedness in various universal manifestations.

Most of the humanity is consumed by the Physical and misguided Social & Cultural Reality. Very few of us have time to experience the creative forces at work. Cosmological Consciousness elevates the quality of our living experience. Taken together, Physical, Social & Cosmological Realities create Individual Reality. These three realities are summarized in Figure 2.

figure 2

Our Individual (Perceived) Reality is dynamic and ever changing like everything else in the universe.

Reality is like a face reflected in the blade of a knife; its properties depend on the angle from which we view it. ~ Master Hsing Yun

Reality Gap & Quality of Life

In order to understand Reality Gap, our reference point is the non-changing Absolute Reality. There are only a few moments of our living experience when we feel this blissful state of our being. In this state there is perfect physical, mental & spiritual harmony and tranquility.

Purity, Love, Truth, Peace, Bliss and Compassion emerge in this state. Here one sees the Pure Perception of the Self. The farther away we are from this Reality, the larger the Reality Gap. A number of Reality Gaps for different Individual Realities are shown in Figure 3.

figure 3

Our quality of daily living is correlated with the Reality Gap. The Reality Gap is proportional to the quality of our daily living experience—the bigger the gap, the lower our quality of experience.

Expanding Individual Reality

Most of  humanity is confused today about the purpose of its existence. This is reflected in our current education system whereby emphasis is on making a living and not living a life. It is time to review our total education process from cradle-to-grave.

On an individual level we have to examine the way we cultivate thoughts, impressions, beliefs, memories and intelligence. Many misguided and damaging thought impressions have to be purified by a process of self-introspection. As we undertake this journey seriously, the next steps will emerge organically to expand our Individual Reality towards Absolute Reality.


Jagdish-Kohli-100x100Jagdish Kohli holds a Ph.D. in EE from IIT Roorkee, India. He worked as a Communication Scientist at Bell Labs, Bell Communication Research and AT&T for over 21 years. His research contributions have been published in a number of technical journals and magazines. He also presented his findings at a number of national and international conferences. He was invited to contribute a comprehensive article on “Medical Communications” for the Encyclopedia of Telecommunications. Jagdish also has held faculty positions at Panjab University, Chandigarh India, IIT Roorkee, India, New York University, NY and has been an invited speaker at Stanford University, California USA. For the past eight years Jagdish has addressed issues related to the quality of our daily living experience. He has published and presented insights on “Wealth & Quality of Life”, “ The Journey of Human Thought & Happiness”, “Many Facets of Human Mind”, “Our Dynamic Cellular Body” and “Nurturing The Self.” Jagdish and his wife Shashi live in San Francisco bay area and are members of SKY. They have two children and two grand children. Jagdish can be reached at: [email protected]

Like elephant I’m not “Spiritual.” I just practice being a good person on Facebook.



Assistant Ed: Jennifer Townsend


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26 Responses to “Our Manifested Reality. ~ Jagdish Kohli, Ph.D.”

  1. Zee says:

    Lets first define reality to mean something that is unchangeable. Well then, there is no such thing as reality. If there is such thing called reality then I am the one who gives reality to things, not only objects, but also to feelings and experiences. I see the reality through the idea I have of myself. "I" is only unchangeable thing in this universe. So everything should be observed from "I".

  2. Ben_Ralston says:

    Thank you Jagdish.
    Have you read Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein? If not, I recommend it.

  3. Jagdish says:

    Thank you for highlighting the importance of “I” in the field of REALITY. This is defined here as ABSOLUTE REALITY. This is the only REALITY that is unchanging. When one reaches that state of awareness one enjoys a very high quality of life. Most of us manufacture our own reality based on our interaction with people, objects, feelings and emotions. Our interpretations are our own.

  4. Jagdish says:

    Charles Eisenstein’s work in Economics can be viewed in the context of our current REALITY. This is a part of our Physical, Social & Cultural Reality. Our current Economic Reality has created a world of HAVE & HAVE NOTS. This trend on an ongoing basis is unsustainable. The work of some thoughtful Economic Leaders would create a more Balanced Reality.

  5. Ashok Yog says:

    Dr Jagdish Kohli's conclusion namely ''As we undertake this journey seriously, the next steps will emerge organically to expand our Individual Reality towards Absolute Reality.'' rhymes with the words of several spiritual masters. Guru Nanak refers to '' sachiara hoiye''… " aaphi aap niranjan soi''. Buddha's teaching of following the precepts with eight fold path and compassion for all will take us to such 'Nirvana' unfolding the reality by removal of all mental conditionings-(SANKHARAS). Although I have not personally experienced it, but attempts to meditate show that this path can take us to ultimate reality and enlightenment. Pictorial communication of complex and deep subject matter is Dr Kohli's speciality. Thanks for the article which is very refreshing and reaffirms the faith in 'Dhamma/ Dharma'

  6. Jagdish says:

    Thank you for such profound comments. Many spiritual masters have already paved the way for the Humanity to take this journey of seeking THE TRUTH OF LIFE- THE ULIMATE REALITY. It’s the same spirit that percolates in each of us to know the ABSOLUTE REALITY of life. When the intensity to know the “SECRET of our EXISTENCE” fires up we take the first step to EXPAND OUR REALITY. Our senses control our MIND and keep it covered with IGNORANCE that becomes a stumbling block to take even the first step. Cleaning the MIND is a prerequisite to start the SEARCH for “WHO AM I?”, “WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF LIFE? Etc.

  7. Dr. Kohli has correctly identified the problem with modern day education. Our schools of higher education teach students how to earn a living but they do not teach students how to live. By this I mean, what is the purpose of life? Why are we here to begin with. What are the principles that we should embrace and live by. The main objective of education seems to be to teach students how to earn money. So in the pursuit of money we ruin the very environment that supports life. The result is that many of us ruin out health in the first half of our life striving to earn money and then strive to improve our ruined health by spending the money we earned in the first half. The net result is that we are unhappy in both halves of our respective lives and in the process ruin the very environment which supports life. To balance the education imparted to students we need to introduce some form of "Character building" curriculum. Bahram R. Shahmardaan http://www.channeloflove.com

  8. Pondrous says:

    While I agree with parts of what Jagdish states, that education is lacking (I feel psychology and ethics should be required study in primary schooling on….) and even with the assessment that reality is relative to others, I disagree with the assessment that that is "real" reality.
    If that is the case, then why study buddhism, yoga, etc? Those ideologies teach you, if done correctly, to escape that relative reality and enter the "real" reality, that is conttinous and something that can only be ignored for so long, without disastrous effects.
    As for schools teaching children how to live, it is not the job of the school system to do that.
    That is the job of the home and the parents, and the family, not the overtasked, over worked, and underpaid school system.
    And the parents, in their own self absorption, pass their unhappiness on to their children.
    The teachers and the school system have enough on their plates. I know MANY teachers that are frustrated in the task of raising someone elses children. It's not their job.
    Be responsible and raise your own children.

  9. Jagdish says:

    Thank you identifying the role of primary and higher education in developing the personality of citizens all around the globe. As you point out life is all interconnected. Our current system of education continues to create environmental hazards, degradation of human health, onslaught of many diseases, growing terrorism, poor relationships and all around unhappiness. It’s time to take a fresh look at the whole learning process from cradle to grave and create a new reality where collective HUMAN WELL-BEING takes the highest priority.

  10. Jagdish says:

    Dear Sir,

    Our current reality is that there is more unhappiness within teachers, parents, students, doctors, politicians and so on as compared to happiness. This is a reflection of the way our social institutions function today and the collective perception of our leadership. Human mind has created this mess and Human mind can also fix it. We do need a fresh vision as to how to live peacefully in today’s world.

    With regards to Relative Reality it’s not with respect to other beings but it’s our own subjective reality which needs to be lifted with respect to our current reality. This is the purpose of our individual journey as guided by spiritual masters.

    Thank you so much for making time to offer your thoughtful comments.

  11. Kamlesh says:

    Higher the technologically advanced society becomes, higher is gap in reality. When you see a rope in dark, is it a rope or snake? It is based on your interpretation of the reality. The physical reality is clouded by your fear and instinct. The spiritually helps in understanding absolute reality which is nothing but your own conscienceness. In current materialistic environment, if one is not focused, we take one step forward and two steps backward towards absolute reality. I absolutely agree with Jagdish that damaging thought impressions have to be purified by a process of self-introspection. Very well written document..

  12. Jagdish says:

    Over the last century Human Beings have produced many wonderful technologies. Objects of technology are neutral as these have no feelings and emotions. It’s the user who gives a meaning to how it is used. If you use it for a productive purpose without getting attached it creates a beautiful REALITY.

    Thank you Kamlesh for your valuable comments.

  13. Kirit Kamdar says:

    Thank you Jagdish, for a beautiful and concise discussion of reality. Like beauty, reality is MOSTLY in the eye of the beholder – shaped by individual experiences and judged by individual values. It is perhaps only thru meditation that we strive for equanimity, serenity and bliss – a pre-requisite to get a glimpse of Absolute Reality.

  14. Jagdish says:

    Our objective REALITY is the one we all mostly agree on. As an example; SUN RISES IN THE EAST AND SETS IN THE WEST is objective REALITY. It’s the subjective REALITY that is dynamic and unique to each one of us. Before going to state of meditation we have to lift the veil of ignorance from the MIND. Thus MIND PURIFICATION is the first step as we move toward MEDITATION.

    Thank you for making time to read the article.

  15. Suzzane says:

    After going through this reality stuff I have been thinking about my own reality. I have to juggle many priorities daily about children, job, cooking, family and friends. Many times during the week I feel exhausted. Is my reality real or I am living a superficial lfe?

  16. jagdish says:

    This write up provides an opportunity to examine the state of our reality. I am glad to see your effort to think about your reality. All of us have to deal with many situations on a daily basis. In every situation we have a choice to act appropriately. Responding to an occurrence creates positive energy. Just reacting to a situation without thinking generates negative energy. Too much of negative energy can definitively cause mental exhaustion. If we send positive vibrations of love in our interaction with other folks our reality will generate joy and happiness.

    Good luck as you look deeper into your reality and thank you for raising this issue.

  17. mike rana says:

    According to the Vedanta, what u call as reality is actually the creation of MAYA. Real;ity appears only when MAYA is neutralised

  18. jagdish says:

    Thank you for observation of comparing Relative Reality with MAYA. It’s the DUALITY of creation which creates Subjective Reality. The TRUE REALITY is beyond MAYA and is the ONENESS of CREATION.

  19. Veena Jain says:

    Dr. Kohli, you have put it very nicely that we need to emphasize in our schools not only how to make living but living a life.
    We will always experience truth from our own perspective so it will always be relative. What was my reality 10,15 or 30 years back, no longer it's my reality. Once the thought crossed the mind that time is not passing, we are passing…………changed my reality. When I do volunteer work with children in need, the immanence happiness I get which I couldn't describe or put in words. The human soul, spirit and awareness derived from our Absolute Reality.

  20. jagdish says:

    Yes, our education needs a major transformation. Education and learning starts when a child is in mother’s womb. So we have to see the whole (HOLISTIC) learning process. The quality and contents of daily learning determines the quality of our living experience. Passing examinations and getting degrees is only a small part of human mental learning.

    Doing social work or any other act with awareness brings us closer to the TRUTH of life. With pure thoughts all our acts become an offering to the HIGHER POWER – A PATH towards BLISSFUL living.

  21. @rudymiick says:

    I SO love your article Jagdish.. your offering supports tangible action steps in the world of business, pragmatic steps as individuals for the leader and/or manager each of holds in ourselves as well as for those we lead or things we manage. Once again you bring wisdom of ancient eastern science to our very 21st century globe. Much appreciation. Namaste.

  22. jagdish says:

    Thanks Rudy for your valuable insight about the role of leaders in transforming our global society. This applies to leaders in business, education, politics and other areas of human activity.

    Raising the consciousness level of a handful of leaders can act as a catalyst to create a NEW REALITY of a higher quality of daily life.

  23. Harpreet Singh says:

    Great Article by a great author !!!!!

  24. jagdish says:

    Thank you for your positive feedback!

    Share with everyone you care as this write-up provides an opportunity to examine one's own REALITY.

  25. […] conditioning, based on beliefs? Or something […]

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