Reality is not singular in nature. There are at least four facets of reality. Once we understand the plurality of reality, the understanding of the fluidity of truth as we know it becomes apparent. The levers of reality are controlled, interpreted manually or automatically. Then there is the fourth dimension which is what we ultimately believe to be reality.
By reality, I mean an accurate assessment of what really is happening or occurring. There is this theoretical platonic reality meaning what actually is. This could be considered to be true actuality or reality.
Then there is how we perceive this reality through the filters of the lens of our minds’ perception and whatever physical impairments in any sense we have perceiving this reality. These lenses or filters could be colored or impacted by prejudice, upbringing, life experience, what was observed through how many senses, and what one is experiencing prior, during, and after the event that is the reality.
Assuming we have some perception close to the platonic reality, one makes a conscious decision to or unintentionally skews this reality with our presentation. The presentation is the reality that we present to others. We may skew it to prove a point or to gain an advantage. We can exaggerate part of the story, neglect to mention an important detail, switch the order of events, change the content of what was heard, create or neglect to explain the context, and alter the presentation subtly or aggressively.
The recipient of one’s description of the reality will make a real time judgement on how to interpret or perceive what they are being presented which varies depending on who is doing the presenting. They will do all this with the limitations in their own minds on what they can comprehend and understand coupled with how this new information ties into the overall framework of how they will interpret this based on all their other knowledge of the topic and the messenger personally or organizationally.
Finally, the recipient will decide what they think is reality and for them, that is the reality, regardless of how far from the platonic truth or reality they have ultimately strayed. Then repeat this cycle and it becomes easy to understand how there are such starkly different accounts of the same event by different people.
The actual reality can be skewed with purpose or by error in every step of the process. From my observations though, it is the mind of the recipient that typically does most of the twisting and skewing of reality. This occurs to the point of the recipient completely disregarding anything new from a familiar messenger based on their prior interactions with them.
This brings up another interesting phenomenon I have observed throughout my life in that people see other people for who they have consistently been rather than for the person that is now in front of them. This makes logical sense for a lot of reasons, the main one being that people themselves are not very fluid and the make-up of one’s character rarely changes over time. That is the rule, but not the exception.
What I am getting at is the truth of any event is infinitely harder than it would first appear and that everyone has a slightly different perception of reality than anyone else. The one that the majority agree upon is the de-facto reality, again, no matter how off-base it actually is. I think it is a worthwhile undertaking to thoroughly examine all the different elements that go into our collective determination of what reality is. By understanding and intentionally using these levers, almost any reality can be pivoted to one’s advantage through a variety of ways. Conversely, others with a better understanding of the mechanics of reality can use it to their advantage over you.