reality

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

A start of my look into perception vs. reality.

We exist here. We exist now. Yet, we find ourselves in a dream state or a tired state and our reality shifts completely. Is reality changing, or is our perception changing? These two ideas go hand-in-hand, so I guess it would be orderly to define them foremost. The definition of reality from the dictionary is, “the world or state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.” I find this definition interesting, and almost counterintuitive, because the “state of things as they actually exist” is completely individual to the being experiencing that given state. In other words, I may see blue as blue and you may see blue as blue, but who’s to say you don’t see blue in a different shade or hue of light than I? Because of this discrepancy we fall upon calling things what they are through agreeing that we see the same thing. So, just by the definition of reality we can conclude that a perceivable reality is the only one we can truly define, and if we can compare and agree then it must be “real”. 

Now, looking at the definition of perception, we find an interesting connection to reality. Perception is defined, in simple terms, as, “using our senses to construct a reality.” Reading deeper into perception I noticed a common theme of recollection of things. Many writings explained how perceptions can be described and repeatable. So, without reality we can’t perceive, and oppositely, without perceptions reality is obsolete. These two ideas play off of eachother infinitely. 

Lets try to create a scenario where one may exist in the absence of reality, yet is still left with perceptions. This is a hard idea to grasp, so lets start simple. To build an existence in such a place one would need a mind. The mind allows one to perceive and have conscious thoughts. Let's say we have a consciousness that can perceive everything around it including all senses. What would one consciousness observe? A white room? This is the big question. If you don’t exist in a true reality can one even form true thoughts or perceptions? Our thoughts are constructed through what we perceive and how they make us feel. So if one were to exist in a place that holds no colors or temperatures is there room to even think? Evidently there would be some sort of thought because even in the absence of reality one would assume there is still a line of questions introspectively asked. What is this world? I cannot see anything so maybe this world is dark. I cannot feel anything so this world must be empty. Yet, here I am, how? This twisted form of existence would raise nothing but questions as to the meaning of it all.

Now let's take a look into what it would be like if one existed in reality but could not perceive it. Thinking logically one would assume it would be the same as our other scenario we constructed but that is not the truth. You wouldn’t be able to tell if it was dark or warm or scary or happy. It would simply be nothing. So, through this exercise we can determine that perceptions need to exist before a reality can or it simply would not be a reality. Our perceptions determine if something exists rather than a reality determining if something exists. 

Taking this idea to a broader spectrum we can explore “different realities.” Yet again we are faced with another strange paradox. The paradox is this, “if a different reality exists, is our perception changed or the reality itself?” By this I mean, does reality stay the same indefinitely and our perceptions are what change, or is this different reality a true altered state of existence. Think about dying. A very big question yes, but what if this idea of death is not us going to a different reality, but instead existing in the same one, void of our senses. In other words, we have all of these senses that lead us to thoughts in our head. “Why does this make me feel like this?” “Why is the sun so warm on my skin?” Broken down to the simplest idea, our senses are what allows us to feel. So taking away all of these senses, taking away our hands that allow us to feel, taking away our eyes that allow us to see, and even taking away our bodies that allow us to take up space, what is there left to observe? What if, rather than a transcendence into another reality, death is the absence of all perceptions making this “reality” obsolete. 

 


Submitted: November 14, 2021

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