Reality: a state of things as they are, rather than as they are imagined to be. Yet, as we all know, one man’s/woman’s reality is not another’s. We all live in our own personal realities based on life experiences, perceptions and beliefs. And so, “My reality is not your reality!” The question then becomes, which one of our realities are real? Or even perhaps? Are “any” of our realities real?
So if we all live in different realities inside our heads, none two exactly the same, wouldn’t that mean that Reality is more “one’s perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes towards reality?” Yet when we look at these definitions, we find the opposite meaning of “Things that ARE, rather than imagined?”
One of these reality opposites, is “belief!” Meaning: an opinion or conviction. A confidence, faith or trust. A confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof.
So in essence, our realities are not based on “things as they truly are” but on how we individually perceive them. And since perceptions are unique to each and every one of us — reality is what our individual brains tells us it is. Not true reality, but a personal fabricated perception.
“It’s not reality that shapes us, but the lens which your brain views the world that shapes your reality” — Unknown
One false notion of reality, is that our eyes, ears, nose, and sense of touch pick up objective reality. But that just simply isn’t true. Smells, sounds, and colors do not actually exist in the outside world. And so the interaction between the “outside World” and our sensory perceptions do not give us the true story.
From DAVID EAGLEMAN (The Brain, the story of you)
The world around you with its rich colors, textures, sounds and scents is an illusion! A fabrication of reality produced by our brain. Reality as it really is would shock you, because it’s a colorless, odorless, tasteless and silent world!
The real world is bland, filled with cascading different optic wavelengths. Compression and expanding air picked up by our ears are turned into tones that then are assigned as to be repeatedly recognizable as ‘different sounds.’
Molecules floating through the air bind to receptors in our nose and then are interpreted as different smells by our brain.
Color doesn’t exist in the outside world at all! Our brain merely distinguishing the combination of wavelengths, but it is only inside our heads that this then becomes color. — end.
All this, fabricated in the brain, making the outside world truly an illusion. And making Reality — a mere human perception.
“What is Real? How do you define ‘real?’ If your talking about what you feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by our brain.” — Morpheus (the Matrix)
You and I also experience reality within the confining boundaries of our human senses. There are many animals that see much farther and whose sense of smell is many times greater than our own. Some even have dedicated sensory perceptions that we don’t have at all!
So our view of reality is not only complicated by our individualized concepts, beliefs and personal perceptions. And by our brain-fabricated outside world view, but also by our limited sensing capabilities as human beings.
Even Furthermore, our brain has no direct access to the outside world. It functions in the dark silent hollow inside our skull. So our brains never see the outside world, and yet we experience it and go about our lives as though we are operating in an objective reality. But truly we are not!
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” – Albert Einstein
Let me ask you this? In what reality are you living in? Most likely your reality, as most of ours, revolves around you the individual. Your life, in the form of a story. Your birth the opening pages and your death, still to be written, the final chapter in your own personal and ongoing biographical movie.
In the middle, and starring You, is your ongoing life-journey. Your own personal journey, with all the discoveries, the emotions, the experiences. Rife with good times and bad, dreams and promises fulfilled and those that are broken. Joy and heartbreak. Worries and concerns. Family, births and deaths, and all that is in-between.
“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.” ― Patrick Rothfuss,
Yet, the bigger picture of reality trivializes this story as it does all of ours. The outside world cares not about our existence at all! We live, we die. Just one of more than 100 billion of us who’ve done the same, come and gone living out their lives on this one small planet that’s spinning and hurtling through space at incredible speeds around a giant ball of fire.
We are but one of some 7.5 billion others now living on this planet. Scurrying busily over their lifetime on a thin rocky crust of a spherical blue planet in a universe filled with trillions upon trillions of stars. Which are in turn, orbited by countless other planets. Beyond that, in the vastness of our universe, the numbers grow unimaginably.
You and I, one small single biological organism from a species Homo Sapiens are all but microscopic specks in an incomprehensible vast universe. One that will live on trillions and trillions of years after we the individual is gone. And our story too, the all consuming emotional journey that we live in inside our heads — Gone and irrelevant in the grand scheme of time.
So? Think about your emotional day to day social interactions, your daily trials and tribulations. Your quest for more… More money? More Things? More everything? How about your long-held beliefs about religion, political affiliation or your concerns on what clothes to wear, or your frustrations trying to lose weight? — Do any of these things really matter?
In the grand scheme of reality — none of these things matter in the slightest. These are just trivial, emotionally based thoughts and reactions conceived by a biased and self-serving human brain. One of some 7.5 billion currently producing their own personal stories. And some 100 billion brains that came before us and now whose stories have long since disappeared.
“Humans are the outcome of blind evolutionary processes that operate without goal or purpose. Our actions are not part of some divine cosmic plan, and if planet earth were to blow up tomorrow morning, the universe would probably keep going about its business as usual. As far as we can tell at this point, human subjectivity would not be missed. Hence any meaning that people inscribe to their lives is just a delusion.” ― Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Now Mr. Harari paints a harsh reality and one many refuse to believe. Refuse to accept, as true reality! But why? It’s based on sound logical science and research? Minus of course, any emotional delusions, personal wants, wishes or needs. So perhaps human nature plays a role in clouding our visions of reality?
Can our dominant emotional makeup be partly to blame? Including our fears of death and eventual nonexistence. Our somewhat inherent need to believe that there is something more to life. Something bigger than us? — Yet some 100 billion lives later? — Wishes, wants and beliefs they remain?
“Whatever you believe with conviction, becomes your reality, whether or not it is true or false” — Brian Tracy
Perhaps the answer lies in perception? Think for instance, an ants’ reality? How limited their range, unaware of the scale of the very planet they scurry upon. What about fish? Confined to the water, some as big as an ocean yet some spend their entire lives in a small quiet pond. Both are blind to the enormity of what lies just some 100 kilometers above their heads.
Is our reality, human reality, like this? Perceived within the confines that we know? Our experiences on this planet and what we see on the nightly news? Living out our overly-emotional lives within the social principles du jour and refusing to let go the perceptions originally founded by some strangers we’ve never even met!
Are we even living in our own realities — or a copy of someone else’s?
Yet, we as human beings are able through our science and technologies to see beyond our limited realities and expand our minds to encompass the reality that exists beyond the world we live on. The reality of the universe itself! Yet? Here we are? Back to square one!
Living our lives confined in this man-made bubble of social trials and tribulations. Fretting over our social inequities, defending our man-made and made-up beliefs and pursuing the all mighty dollar. But surely this is not all there is to human reality?
One thing is clear. There is definitely more, likely much more to reality than the one we humans currently perceive. Physically, as well as between our ears. Will we ever get to live in this true reality? Well first we have to find it! And define it! We’re still very much blind to its true form or state.
I.e. Quantum physics (all matter, including us, are just vortices of vibrating energy), dark energy and dark matter? Consciousness? And on and on.
Then there’s the question of between the ears’ acceptance? Are we each willing to drop a lifetime of long-held beliefs and personal perceptions that we righteously defend and embrace for a new version of reality? A virtual paradigm shift of what we believe in today?
One that, most likely will shatter our current perceptions into tiny little trivial pieces of falsehoods and expose them as mere man-made delusions. Social ideologies and emotional fabrications.
Are we as a species, even capable of accepting a new and very contradictory reality? This, after a lifetime perceiving in total conviction the one that we now believe we are living in?
Perhaps the better question might be …
Are we even capable — of wanting too?
“It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” — Carl Sagan