Monday, April 28, 2008

what is reality? (pt 1)

I spend a lot of time thinking about what reality truly is. It is just so strange, this thing we know of as reality. We all know what we perceive of as being real, but who really knows the truth? We are each isolated inside our own universe; what we know of as reality is only the intersections between those private universes. Who knows if they match up the same way every time? We have common reference points in this reality as we are raised to call a dog a dog and a rock a rock and so on, but... who's to say that we don't perceive those things differently? Even though we refer to those things in the same fashion, that doesn't mean that inside our own private universes they are the same; it just means we were taught and conditioned to call them the same thing. The thing I wonder most about in regards to this is colors. Yes, we all call colors the same thing, as we have been taught to do so. How do I know, though, that what we both refer to as green doesn't look like what I call blue in your private universe? How are we supposed to compare it between our private universes? We both refer to it in the same way, and yes technically the wavelength of the light striking my cornea is the same as it is for you, but that doesn't mean that our perception of the color is the same inside of us, and how are we to know the difference?

According to physics, all perception of the same event has to be the same, so the colors above would of course appear the same way inside each of the separate universes we inhabit. However, I really don't know how someone tested this hypothesis; it runs into the same problem that just because we have a common reference, we don't know that it actually appears the same inside each of us. In any case, the notion that each of our universes is the same is disproved by quantum physics, which states that any event is sum of all possible outcomes until there is an observer. The observer can also have an effect on the outcome of any given situation, based on their bias towards the outcome. There are plenty of events that are only observed by one individual, so their universe will be slightly different than all others due to this slight change in the observation of the common reality. It also brings about the question that if the universe we all inhabit, this so called reality, is made up of the observations, then who is to say that the person with the strongest concept of reality and will is not the one who determines what the outcome will be for all of us? If our observing of this reality affects the outcome, why can we not consciously determine the outcome of all the choices and circumstances we observe, if our reality is the one that is the strongest?

I also wonder a lot about whether or not reality even exists. Who's to say that you aren't all figments of my imagination? Or that I'm not a figment of someone else's imagination? I think I exist and I ponder that existence, but who's to say that I'm not merely a figment of a dream that someone else is having as a means of self reflection? My self reflection and curiosity about the universe could merely be a way for them to express these same things to themselves. If that really is the case, and we are merely the figments of some super being's imagination, it does definitely make reality stranger still. Why all the fighting and violence? More, how strange does that make all the love? Brings a whole new definition to masturbation, doesn't it? Really, how messed up is this supposed super being that they have to create all of this to deal? How much more messed up is it that I am a self reflection of this being, and I am questioning the rationality of this process?

In any case, I don't know if any of this is a new reflection on reality. I doubt it, but even if it is not anything new, it is still me; it is what I think and feel. In the end, that is the only thing that matters; whether or not you cause any echoing reverberations in the fabric of what we call reality, the only thing that makes a difference is whether or not you know your own reality and what it means to you.

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