“Reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent one” ~Albert Einstein.
I’ve never thought Einstein was joking in that quote. In fact, it perfectly describes my way of looking at this thing called “reality”. I used to think there was something wrong with me because from day to day, it felt like I was either in a dream (or more often, a nightmare) or in a play.
I think that’s the reason I discovered I have a knack for acting, because to me, the nature of daily life, feels so much like that. And that is not to say that I am someone who is not being honest in his day to day life…it’s just a feeling that somehow, we are “seeing through a glass darkly”.
I remember when I was a child, that sunshine seemed SO bright back then…it was one of the things I really loved… was being outside in the hot summer sun. Then, a couple of years ago, I noticed that to me, the bright summer days didn’t seem as bright as when I was a kid. Now, I don’t have cataracts or any vision problems that would explain that, so I started doing a little research. What I found was that according to the folks who measured the amount of sunlight hitting the ground in the 1950s, and who have continued keeping records to this day, there actually HAS been a drop in the amount of sunshine reaching the ground now, relative to then. It is referred to as“Global dimming” .
I’m not sure why, but it seems that the memories of the bad things that have happened to me are more pronounced in my memory than the good ones. It’s not that I don’t remember the good ones…it’s just that they have the “Glenda the Good Witch” kind of glow around them in my mind that doesn’t seem real…almost like they were just a wonderful dream I had.
The conundrum of reality has recently been even more confusing with the articles that postulate that perhaps, what we perceive as reality, is in effect, merely a holographic program that is being run by some celestial computer. This is not merely a science fiction plot line, but actual scientists are speculating on this. They call it the “simulation hypothesis”.
A few links include:
There are many more articles. All you need to do is google “simulation hypothesis”.
When I first heard of this theory, it caused my lifelong question of just how “real” is “reality”, to carry more weight, more gravitas if you will.
And, as I have grown older, I’ve noticed daily, many MORE incidents of what I guess you would call synchronicity. For example…I will be writing a sentence…and a phrase from the sentence will come on the TV as I am writing it. When I was young, I hardly ever noticed such things, not that they happened and I didn’t notice, but they just didn’t happen…perhaps once a year something like that would happen, and not as noticeable as what I am experiencing now.
In a way, it’s maddening because it FEELS like someone or something is trying to get a message through to me…but I’m just too slow or addle brained to get the clues. And, of course there’s the phenomenon of deja vu. I’ve read some theories that scientists have come up with to explain that phenomenon, and when you compare them to the possibility that we are actually reliving our life, and use Occam’s razor as the tool to compare them, the possibility that we are really reliving moments of our life makes much more sense than the contorted and bizarre mechanisms scientists have postulated.
Those who look into the “multiverse” theory know that, in some theories about multiverses, almost every type of reality that can exists, does exist , has existed, or will exist. In other words, let’s say in this dimension, you are a neurosurgeon…there is a universe in which you are a drug addict with a criminal record a mile long. But, let’s take that notion perhaps one step farther. There is something called “quantum entanglement”. From Wikipedia “Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently—instead, a quantum state may be given for the system as a whole.”
To say it more simply, if two or more particles were at any point joined…and let’s say they speed away from each other at light speed for a century…whatever happens with one of the two particles, is immediately experienced by the other particle. SO…let’s say that at some point, all the “YOUs” there are, in several different dimensions or universes, were originally together…and then, through some mechanism, the different versions of you were sent into different realities, different universes, it is possible that out of the clear blue, you would experience something you cannot explain, and the explanation is that it happened to your “Quantum twin” in some other reality. Or…perhaps the lives of two “quantum twins” are not exactly the same, but are fairly similar…deja vu might explain some odd time delay or replay of a similar event in your other twin’s life.
I’ve never spoken much about this because people start thinking…uh oh, he’s gone off the deep end…because when you start doubting reality, people want to drag out the DSM V and start trying to pigeonhole you into some form of mental illness.
I do think that the recent death of my Mother, has caused me to think a lot more about the nature of reality, and not that whole E. Kubler Ross thing about denial. I think that’s merely a defense mechanism of the brain that when any horrible event happens to you, your brain wants to play like this is not really happening….and I totally understand that.
I think it’s a good thing to challenge your belief systems on a regular basis and when your beliefs don’t seem to work well with what you are seeing or experiencing, perhaps it’s time to change to a system that DOES explain what you see. When one stays closeminded about things…and wants to say that there can be no other explanation, that is not being scientific. A real scientist goes where the facts take him or her, and doesn’t refuse to go down a path simply because their belief system says that cannot be real, even if the facts seem to indicate it IS real.
I love this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”
So, I struggle, day to day, trying my best to make sense of it all. To this point, there is an oddness about this thing called “reality”…like a shimmering silvery silk cloth placed over something…you know something is behind it, but it is being slightly hidden from you…there, but not there, at the same time.
Thanks for reading.