“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
― Albert Einstein
Everybody is talking about reality, and yet nobody fully understands what reality really means.
Reality describes a state which a human being is not able to experience, since, according to Wikipedia, “reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent, as opposed to that which is merely imaginary.” We cannot observe reality since “in living beings, observation employs the senses.”
As a matter of fact, our senses can’t receive all that is real or existent. The mantis shrimp, for example, is able to process stimulation by light with 12 different color receptors, unlike the human or other animals which have a low amount of different color receptors. Thus, a mantis shrimp sees colors our senses can’t perceive. Consequently, in its perceived reality, there are more colors than in our perception of reality.
Yet, we speak of reality all the time.
So, how can we turn reality into a more practical and tangible term, which makes it possible for us to speak of reality?
I define reality as the sum of all conscious observations because the reality is whatever the majority of one’s consciousness agrees on to accept as reality. To give an example, if I had an imaginary friend but everyone around me was able to see this friend, wouldn’t that make him real for us?
The same holds true for color blind (protanopia) people: if you put a bunch of colorblind people in one room, they will interpret your green as yellow, which means, that in their reality, the color is yellow.
If everyone would be color blind, we would agree on the observation that the apple is yellow and not green, although it is only yellow because of our perception.
But this holds true for everything, as we are not capable of observing anything without the use of our senses. Therefore, our brain dictates what is real and what isn’t.
And if it’s only our brain, it’s an illusion.
I believe reality is not an absolute or a constant, it is more like an ever-changing dynamic relationship between observer and object. Consequently, adding or eliminating the observer from an object can change the relationship between them, which, in essence, means that it changes the reality, or to be more precise: the outcome.
Interestingly enough, the double slit experiment hinted at exactly that. The outcome of an observation depends on the observer. Of course, it depends on the interpretation and there are many contrarians to Einstein’s beliefs, especially when it comes to his theory of relativity.
However, I am a strong believer in Einstein’s ideas, and since our consciousness is only able to exist if there is change, it’s a logical necessity that relativity exists in a higher context.
Gilad James, PhD, explains consciousness further:
“By no quirk of speculation can we deny the existence of the thinker, who must postulate a being able to think before he can find ground on which to stand to make denial.
When he admits the existence of a being able to form an opinion, he has established himself as an entity; for, clearly, if there is no thinker, there can be no thought, and if there is no thought there can be no denial.
Consequently, no one can deny his own existence; and from this undeniable premise any correct system of philosophy must start.
The consciousness of the thinker, thus firmly established, is a perception of relations.
These relations may be subjective or objective, but to be conscious of them he must be able to compare them. Where there is no change, no relative conditions, there can be no consciousness.”