07 July 2015

Inflating Reality Much? - Meconomics

This post is a continuation to:

Reality in a Bubble – Meconomics

In my previous post we discussed speculative bubbles in the economy, where we saw how prices of assets increase through a process of speculation over and above the ‘real prices’ (which would reflect their actual value). We say the prices are ‘inflated’ (just like how you inflate a balloon or bubble) – and we looked at some of the major damage that those speculative bubbles can create, especially after they pop, where we looked at the example of the Greek economy.

How are Speculative Bubbles in the economy a reflection of bubbles we create in our personal lives?

Maybe let’s start with the following question: have you ever had an argument with a friend, family member or partner where the initial point of disagreement or the initial issue is blown entirely out of proportion? A conversation with your partner can start, for instance, with ‘did you remember to buy us toothpaste?’ and end up in a full-blown fight with shouting and tears. And then when you calm down, you realize you just broke up with your partner – you can’t remember how the fight started but suddenly your life looks very different. How does that happen? How do we do that?

We do it through a process of inflation – have a look, I twice used some form of the word ‘blowing’ in the above paragraph: blowing something out of proportion and full-blown fight – we blow bubbles and then they pop. Why is it inflation? Because there is no way someone is going to break up with their partner over forgetting to buy toothpaste – obviously something happened between the asking of that question and breaking up…

What we’re looking at is two ‘dimensions’ – you have the first dimension which is the ‘physical reality’, the actual events that take place or the reality we all have in common, and you have the ‘experiential reality’, which is how you interpret things that happen in your reality, how you become upset or sad over something, everything that you experience, that ‘takes place’ on an energetic level inside your own mind and body. I put the words ‘takes place’ in those little quotation marks, because the very nature of everything that happens in your ‘experiential reality’ is that it doesn’t really take up space – it’s not physical, you can’t touch it. We generate those experiences inside ourselves in moments, but they are not constant or stable.

When we start reacting inside ourselves (in the experiential reality/dimension) to what we hear/see in our physical reality, we change the way we perceive reality. If your partner forgot to buy toothpaste, then in physical reality, this means: your partner forgot to buy toothpaste. (Okay, that may sound silly, but it’s actually so silly that most of us don’t recognize how complicated we make our lives.) In your experiential reality, if your partner forgot to buy toothpaste, it can mean: “My partner doesn’t care about me”; “My partner is unreliable”; “I have to think of everything in this relationship”, “I do so much for him/her and he/she can’t even do this one little thing for me”.

So – we have this nasty habit of inflating something that happens in our physical reality through interpreting it and reacting to it in our experiential reality – making it seem bigger than it actually is. I’m sure you can relate to such moments, they occur so often that we have come to accept them as ‘normal’ – but let’s continue looking at them a bit further so we can really grasp and understand what it is we’re doing in such moments and how it creates a direct line of responsibility from ourselves to the phenomenon of speculative bubbles and the consequences they create in people’s lives.


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