So what is reality?

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What is reality? Mainstream science describes reality as “the state of things as they actually exist”. One simple interpretation of this very broad definition is this: reality is everything we observe to be real.

But hang on – I consciously observe the lucid dream world, so does that make it a genuine reality?

Just how many realities are there – yours, mine, his, hers? As Einstein suggested, is every form of reality merely an illusion? Is nothing real?

Let’s start by looking at how the human brain perceives reality, and how this can give way to subjective experience.

The human brain is split into two distinct halves: the right brain and the left brain. They have completely separate roles and agendas. Some would even say they have separate personalities. However, in order to function, the two halves of the human brain must communicate as one via the corpus callosum.

The right brain is all about the present moment; right here, right now. It thinks entirely in pictures and learns through the kinesthetic movement of your body. It absorbs energy from the world around you and translates that into information for your sensory systems. It does not know the difference between your individual consciousness and the world around you. The right brain only sees one universal energy field of awareness.

The left brain is a very different place. It thinks linearly and methodically. It picks out countless details from the events in the past and makes calculated predictions about the future. The left hemisphere thinks in language, which creates your internal voice. Crucially, it makes you aware of your existence, as a separate being from the mass energy field perceived by the right brain.

Imagine if the human brain had evolved with only the functions of the right hemisphere. Your perception of reality would be completely different. You would be drifting around in a universe filled with energy in the here and now, with no perception of the past and future. You would not know where your body ended and the ground began, or the difference between you and me.

This is a very different perception of the world. But would it be a more accurate representation of reality? Knowing this about the human brain, the question “what is reality?” changes form. It now hinges on your individual perception. This has led to multiple theories of reality by various philosophers and scientists.

Phenomenological reality is based on subjective experience. Whatever you observe is instantly real to you. This theory of reality means that unreality is non-existent. Therefore lucid dreams, hallucinations, spiritual experiences, and astral travel are all forms of one subjective reality.

Consensus reality is based on the opinions and observations made by a group of people. A few individuals may decide on an interpretation of an event, which spreads across entire societies and becomes a consensual truth. Religion is a good example of a socially constructed reality.

Non-reality simply means that there is no such thing as objective reality. Every possible observation or interpretation is tainted by subjectivity and therefore does not constitute truth. Nothing is real! This is supported by quantum theory, which states that prior to observation, nothing can be said about a physical system (read In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat by John Gribbin for an excellent introduction to this topic). This theory is further backed by the Double Slit Experiment, which suggests our mere observation changes the outcome.

So what is reality? A computer simulation? A multiverse? Or is our human brain perceiving just one possible interpretation of the ultimate reality?

I think philosophers will be stuck on this one for a while. Our understanding of the universe is very much limited to our own capacity for understanding… The truth is out there – and it is probably much crazier than we can imagine.


4 thoughts on “So what is reality?

  1. So do you have an opinion on reality? Are we living reality? Is reality even a necessary word? Shouldn’t it just be called the individual “human experience”?

    • Reality is nothing more than the observers perspective. Did you know that the human brain doesn’t know the difference between a real picture and a thought? The same parts of the brain fire up – this means that whether a mentally generated image or visually generated image is presented the mind then defines that as “reality”…

  2. Ah yes, but if the Soul/Spirit has the ability to understand the difference between a real picture and a thought, then doesn’t that negate the brains place in the decision making process of reality? Also, I would think it would be limiting, to the notion of reality, to only think of it in two planes of existence. It is my perception that reality can be more than just a thought or an actual picture. I believe there are other facets to the idea of reality that apply when one is in their Soul/Spirit form, a heighten level of existence which does not always dwell in the standard understandings of life and living. Your thoughts?

    Will you please email me? I have a question for you and do not have your updated contact information.

    Miss your face.


    • I agree! The underscore is reality is that of the observer. In this realty, the limits of our bodies and mind dither observation, whereas in other dimensions/reality where the spirit is confined, reality from that perspective would appear much different.

      The big question is how do we undo generations of collective conditioning to even maximize THIS reality to the spirits content?

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Also, be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor even implied. Any irrelevancies you can mention will also be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous :)

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