They always tell you reality is one thing and perception another. I wonder if it's more true that we simply misinterpret our perception of things... it seems empirically clear that reality and experience are actually one and the same, and so we have to blame something else for our misunderstanding of reality.
For instance, when we step on a rope and think it's a snake. The reality is the rope, our perception of it is actually just a feeling of stepping on a rope. It seems that the only thing that stops us from realizing that it is a rope is our distracted state of mind at the moment of contacting the rope - if we were truly focused on reality, the idea of a snake wouldn't have reason to arise. This goes for all suffering in our lives, I think. Even suffering based on physical pain is simply a misunderstanding of the perception as bad, evil, unpleasant, dangerous, etc.
Just some thoughts - I've been out of the forest for a few days :) Tomorrow I find a place to start my real work.