Sure, as we go through the motions of our daily lives we think everything is ‘real,’ but is it? Could everything we are percieving be an illusion?
Now while most of us do not have any clue as to how to begin trying to understand quantum physics, there are some things that can be broken down quite easily. Before we delve into whether reality actually exists or not it is important to go over energy.
We are all energy, everything is energy. This means reality is also energy, right? As Niels Bohr once said: “Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.” This seems to relate back to the law of vibration. The world is not as unchangeable as it seems to be, the world is a very fluid place.
While there are tons of different theories in regards to reality one of the most recognized theories is known as the Copenhagen Interpretation. This comes from the school of quantum mechanics and states that reality does not exist without someone to observe it. This meaning when our eyes are closed, the things we would see are no longer in existence and so forth.
This theory says that energy is only conscious when being observed by consciousness. Things exist in this world because we ‘will’ them to. Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman has spent years researching reality and how we perceive it. He believes the real reality is nothing like the reality we see but that it is a good thing.
Hoffman told the Atlantic in an interview as follows when asked what seeing a false reality did as far as benefits go for an organism’s survival:
There’s a metaphor that’s only been available to us in the past 30 or 40 years, and that’s the desktop interface. Suppose there’s a blue rectangular icon on the lower right corner of your computer’s desktop — does that mean that the file itself is blue and rectangular and lives in the lower right corner of your computer? Of course not. But those are the only things that can be asserted about anything on the desktop — it has color, position, and shape. Those are the only categories available to you, and yet none of them are true about the file itself or anything in the computer. They couldn’t possibly be true. That’s an interesting thing. You could not form a true description of the innards of the computer if your entire view of reality was confined to the desktop. And yet the desktop is useful. That blue rectangular icon guides my behavior, and it hides a complex reality that I don’t need to know. That’s the key idea. Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. They guide adaptive behaviors. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know. And that’s pretty much all of reality, whatever reality might be. If you had to spend all that time figuring it out, the tiger would eat you.
We’ve been shaped to have perceptions that keep us alive, so we have to take them seriously. If I see something that I think of as a snake, I don’t pick it up. If I see a train, I don’t step in front of it. I’ve evolved these symbols to keep me alive, so I have to take them seriously. But it’s a logical flaw to think that if we have to take it seriously, we also have to take it literally.
Do you think that reality is an illusion or are you not quite convinced. I for one believe anything is possible.
Featured image via Futurism