Reality in everyday usage means "the state of things as they actually exist." The term Reality, in a wider sense indicates the whole of which everything is a part, including everything that exists, has existed, or can exist, whether it is observable, comprehensible, or contradictory in regard to various sciences, philosophies, or any system of perception or analysis.
- Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author
A - F
- Any author who uses mathematics should always express in ordinary language the meaning of the assumptions he admits, as well as the significance of the results obtained. The more abstract his theory, the more imperative this obligation. In fact, mathematics are and can only be a tool to explore reality. In this exploration, mathematics do not constitute an end in itself, they are and can only be a means.
- Maurice Allais, La formation scientifique, Une communication du Prix Nobel d’économie, Maurice Allais, address to the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques (1997).
- Shinji: I don't understand. I don't understand what reality is.
- Rei: You can't bridge the gap between your own truth and the reality of others.
- Shinji: I don't know where to find happiness.
- Rei: So you only find happiness in your dreams.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion, End of Evangelion written by Hideaki Anno, July 19, 1997.
- Nothing is wholly obvious without becoming enigmatic. Reality itself is too obvious to be true.
- Jean Baudrillard, in The Perfect Crime (1993), as translated by Ian Michel and William Sarah (1995)
- Nothing is more real than nothing.
- My God, how can you stand such things, children? They say, "Mom, don't you know it is only television, it is not real."
- We live in a nightmare of falsehoods, and there are few who are sufficiently awake and aware to see things as they are. Our first duty is to clear away illusions and recover a sense of reality.
- He who has the bigger stick has the better chance of imposing his definitions of reality.
- Peter Berger, "The Social Construction of Reality", p. 109, 1966
- I myself find the division of the world into an objective and a subjective side much too arbitrary. The fact that religions through the ages have spoken in images, parables, and paradoxes means simply that there are no other ways of grasping the reality to which they refer. But that does not mean that it is not a genuine reality. And splitting this reality into an objective and a subjective side won't get us very far.
- I reject your reality and substitute my own!
- Things and actions are what they are, and the consequences of them will be what they will be: why, then, should we desire to be deceived?
- Stellar wars are a sort of parallel reality in the filmic imagination, terrestrial wars are still today a harsh daily reality.
- Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Writings by Fausto Cercignani, 2014, quote 45
- There's times to be real, and there's times to be phony. That's right, I said it, phony! You think I'm this nice in real life? Fuck that, son! That's just 'cause I'm on TV. I'd pull my balls out right now... skeet skeet skeet skeet!
- Dave Chappelle Chappelle's Show season 2 ep. 6
- Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
- Already in 1948, observations... agreed with quantum mechanics, not with local realism.
- There's real poetry in the real world. Science is the poetry of reality.
- Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
- Philip K. Dick, in "How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later" (1978)
- We have always had a great deal of difficulty understanding the world view that quantum mechanics represents. At least I do, because I'm an old enough man that I haven't got to the point that this stuff is obvious to me. Okay, I still get nervous with it.... You know how it always is, every new idea, it takes a generation or two until it becomes obvious that there's no real problem. I cannot define the real problem, therefore I suspect there's no real problem, but I'm not sure there's no real problem.
- Richard Feynman, in Simulating Physics with Computers appearing in International Journal of Theoretical Physics (1982) p. 471.
G - L
- Everything in this world is "PHURO" - transient. It has no reality. True reality is to proceed on the path of truth, to keep the company of saintly people, and to render service to men.
- Haidakhan Babaji, The Teachings of Babaji, 31 August 1983.
- The Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.
- J. B. S. Haldane, Possible Worlds and Other Papers (1927), p. 286
- Often paraphrased: The world is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.
- The foolish read to escape reality; the wise surrender to it.
- Tom Heehler, Well-Spoken Thesaurus: The Most Powerful Ways to Say Everyday Words and Phrases, p. 176
- I deny this reality. The reality is a computation matrix.
- Doctor Who, "The Deadly Assassin" by Robert Holmes
- Pretending that the fake is real only makes the real seem fake.
- Reality can take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut.
- Stephen King, in the introduction to Nightmares and Dreamscapes
- It doesn’t have to be New York; it could have been Kokomo. I think the point is that having a fictional character come from a real place makes the character seem more real. When I was young, I loved to read Sherlock Holmes. And the fact that he lived on Baker Street in London, a real place, made me enjoy the stories more, with a greater feeling of authenticity.
M - R
- Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.
- Ralph Marston, author and publisher of the Daily Motivator
- It is not the form of things that must be attended to but their spirit. The real is what matters, not the apparent. In politics, reality is that which is unseen.
- José Martí, in The Monetary Conference of the American Republics (1891)
- The first thing necessary for a constructive dealing with time is to learn to live in the reality of the present moment. For psychologically speaking, this present moment is all we have.
- Rollo May, in Man’s Search for Himself (1953)
- Consciousness is unquantifiable, a ghost in the machine, barely considered real at all, though in a sense this flickering mosaic of awareness is the only true reality that we can ever know.
- Alan Moore in What Is Reality?
- Ideas, unlike solid structures, do not perish. They remain immortal, immaterial and everywhere, like all Divine things. Ideas are a golden, savage landscape that we wander unaware, without a map. Be careful: in the last analysis, reality may be exactly what we think it is.
- Alan Moore in What Is Reality?
- Il n'est rien de réel que la rêve et l'amour.
- Translation: Nothing is real but dreams and love.
- Anna de Noailles, Le Cœur innombrable (1901), IV, "Chanson du temps opportun"
- A fundamental value in the scientific outlook is concern with the best available map of reality. The scientist will always seek a description of events which enables him to predict most by assuming least. He thus already prefers a particular form of behavior. If moralities are systems of preferences, here is at least one point at which science cannot be said to be completely without preferences. Science prefers good maps.
- The jnani, following the path of knowledge, always reason about the Reality saying, "not this, not this." Brahman is neither "this" nor "that"; It is neither the universe nor its living beings. Reasoning in this way, the mind becomes steady. Finally it disappears and the aspirant goes into samadhi. This is the Knowledge of Brahman. It is the unwavering conviction of the jnani that Brahman alone is real and the world is illusory. All these names and forms are illusory, like a dream. What Brahman is cannot be described. One cannot even say that Brahman is a Person. This is the opinion of the jnanis, the followers of Vedanta. But the bhaktas accept all the states of consciousness. They take the waking state to be real also. They don't think the world to be illusory, like a dream. They say that the universe is a manifestation of the God's power and glory. God has created all these — sky, stars, moon, sun, mountains, ocean, men, animals. They constitute His glory. He is within us, in our hearts. Again, He is outside. The most advanced devotees say that He Himself has become all this — the 24 cosmic principles, the universe, and all living beings. The devotee of God wants to eat sugar, and not become sugar. (All laugh.) Do you know how a lover of God feels? His attitude is: "O God, Thou art the Master, and I am Thy servant. Thou art the Mother, and I Thy child." Or again: "Thou art my Father and Mother. Thou art the Whole, and I am a part." He does not like to say, "I am Brahman." They yogi seeks to realize the Paramatman, the Supreme Soul. His ideal is the union of the embodied soul and the Supreme Soul. He withdraws his mind from sense objects and tries to concentrate on the Paramatman. Therefore, during the first stage of his spiritual discipline, he retires into solitude and with undivided attention practices meditation in a fixed posture.
But the reality is one and the same; the difference is only in name. He who is Brahman is verily Atman, and again, He is the Bhagavan. He is Brahman to the followers of the path of knowledge, Paramatman to the yogis, and Bhagavan to the lovers of God.
- Ramakrishna, in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (1942), p. 132
- Hudson: Movies, television, video games...These days, it's hard to tell what's real and what's not.
- Gargoyles (TV series), Deadly Force, November 18, 1994 written by Michael Reaves.
- Some people think that we are stuck in physical reality like flies in flypaper or victims in quicksand, so that each motion we make only worsens our predicament and hastens our extinction. Others see the universe as a sort of theater into which we are thrust at birth and from which we depart forever at death. In the backs of their minds people with either attitude will see a built-in threat in each new day; even joy will be suspect because it, too, must end in the body's eventual death. I used to feel this way. When I fell in love with Rob, my joy served to double the underlying sense of tragedy I felt, as if death mocked me all the more by making life twice as precious. I saw each day bringing me closer to a total extinction that I could hardly imagine, but which I resented with growing vehemence.
- Jane Roberts in The Seth Material, p. 123
- There is no reality but God,
says the completely surrendered sheik, who is an ocean for all beings.
- Jelaluddin Rumi, in The Essential Rumi (1995) translated by Coleman Barks with John Moyne, A. J. Arberry and Reynold Nicholson; "The Grasses" in Ch. 4 Spring Giddiness, p. 44
- You knock at the door of Reality. You shake your thought wings, loosen your shoulders, and open.
- Jelaluddin Rumi, in The Essential Rumi (1995) translated by Coleman Barks with John Moyne, A. J. Arberry and Reynold Nicholson; "The Gift of Water" Ch. 18 The Three Fish, p. 200
S - Z
- Things are entirely what they appear to be and behind them...there is nothing.
- Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea
- Many things are narrated in Scripture as real, and were believed to be real, which were in fact only symbolical and imaginary.
- Each of us lives,dependent and bound by our individual knowledge and our awareness. All that is what we call reality, however, both knowledge and awareness are equivocal. One's reality might be another's illusion. We all live inside our own fantasies.
- Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.
- Nikola Tesla "Radio Power Will Revolutionize the World" in Modern Mechanics and Inventions (July 1934)
- Cypher: You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain...that it is juicy...and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? Ignorance is bliss.
- The Matrix (film) (1999), written by Larry and Andy Wachowski
- It from bit.
- John Wheeler, as quoted in Black Hole Computers by Lloyd Seth and Y. Jack Ng, in Scientific American (November 2004), p. 53
- Reality... What A Concept!
- Robin Williams, title of his 1979 comedy album
- Once Zhuang Zhou dreamed he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fl uttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn’t know he was Zhuang Zhou. Suddenly he woke up, and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuang Zhou. But he didn’t know if he were Zhuang Zhou who had dreamed he was a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuang Zhou. Between Zhuang Zhou and a butterfly, there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things.
- It from qubit.
- Paola Zizzi, quoted in Black Hole Computers by Lloyd Seth and Y. Jack Ng, in Scientific American (November 2004), p. 54