14 Jan The True Nature of Reality: Three Circles – 7

In our last journaling exercise, we defined the following three types of experiences:

  1. Real experiences.
  2. Imaginary experiences.
  3. Real experiences that exist outside of our awareness.


In this journaling exercise, we will think about, and better define, what we customarily call “the unknown”. Then, we will examine the specific relationships between the three types of experiences defined above. I hope you will take some time to contemplate how they interact together and operate as powerful influencers over our thoughts, yet somehow remain extremely subtle, oftentimes hiding themselves from our conscious mind.

The Unknown:

There are things we know to be true, and then there is everything else. We tend to lump that “everything else” into one category we call “the unknown”, but it really consists of two very different types of experiences. Part of the unknown will be things that are real, but lie outside of our awareness and understanding. The other part will be based in the imaginary world of belief and speculation, without having any grounding in reality. Of course, we don’t always have the capacity to know if something unknown is real or not.

The Three Circles:

three circlesThink of the three types of experience as intersecting circles where reality (what is real), non-reality (the imaginary), and unobserved reality intersect at different points. Through journaling, you have developed a clearer understanding of each type of experience, but contemplate the relationships between these experiences at the three points where they intersect.

Contemplate the relationships shown at points a, b, and c.

a) When we assume something is real even though we don’t really know if it is, and it is indeed real.

b) When we assume something imaginary is real when it is in fact not real.

c) When what is unknown consists of a mix of things that are real and not real, and we are unable to distinguish the difference between the two.


Think about the unknown. Name three examples of the unknown that are most likely imaginary, and three examples of the unknown that could be true. If something is unknown, by definition, can we know whether it is imaginary or real?

What role does the concept of faith have with the unknown that is real and imaginary?

Give an example of something that was once believed to be true, and was later confirmed to be true.

Give an example of something that was once believed to be true, and was later proven to be false?

What was the test that ended up separating the unknown that was real from the unknown that was imaginary?

What needs to occur before a belief can be validated as real or ruled out as a false belief?


Michael Ken