Do you really feel that reality is really as real as it seems?

@Vvance (280)
United States
March 20, 2012 9:56am CST
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein. As one might expect, these words have been the cause of a lot of controversy, especially because of the beliefs of various religions. They regard this particular idea of Einstein's as an insult and contradiction to the 'fact' that God is responsible for everything that happens in this world. True, he might've been opposed, but seeing as he was undoubtedly one of the greatest physicists of all time, there was little his critics could have done. Some believe that there is a divine plan which is unfolding as time goes by, and that we are merely puppets in His Game. Others say that God wishes that each of us live our lives as best as we can, and thus make our way past the heavenly gates. Is everything we cling to and hold so dear, really just an illusion, as Einstein put it? Everything we've worked for, everything we've done throughout our lives, each smile of joy, each tear of grief? Is this screen on which you're reading this really real, however tangible it feels? What IS real? No one who has struggled all his life would like to believe that his efforts were all in vain. All that seems so real, so true, and perhaps the only reason we still trod this Earth can't just be a wisp of smoke, can it? But if Einstein could shatter what generations before him achieved, and make humanity rethink each concept it ever had, could he also be right about this? As far as the laws of the universe refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality - Albert Einstein.
3 responses
@GreenMoo (11842)
21 Mar 12
If reality is an illusion, what difference does that make to you and I in our day to day lives? Whether it is, or whether it isn´t, seems to me to make little difference.
@GreenMoo (11842)
21 Mar 12
I like your thinking. But if your job is an illusion, then getting out of bed to go to it seems rather unnecessary. The pay cheque you won´t receive will, of course, be an illusion too. But try telling that to the shopkeeper when you´d like to purchase some illusory dinner, or the landlord when he ejects you from you illusory home.
@Vvance (280)
• United States
21 Mar 12
Thank you!! You like my thinking, and I like your sense of humor!! That last paragraph really made me laugh!! Well, yes, you make total sense. But what if the shopkeeper and landlord knew that reality was an illusion too?? That's also another interesting option. What if the whole world came to know that reality is an illusion, the same way they realized that mass and energy are the same thing (courtesy Einstein)? What would things be like then? Yes, getting out of bed would be unnecessary, if you didn't have a job. Perhaps, in the future, people will stop working, and will start living life the way we are supposed to - Live, and not merely survive. The main consequence of understanding these words of Einstein's would be that people would be a lot more happy than they currently are. And that, is what I hope to convey through this discussion. I know a lot of this might seem like crap, but what who knows what the 'reality' is, so as to use it as a standard of reference? Only if you knew what wasn't crap, could you come to the conclusion that something IS crap, right?
@GreenMoo (11842)
21 Mar 12
OK, so the shopkeeper is an enlightened sort of chap and allows you some illusory dinner to take home and imagine you are cooking. I can live with that. How does that make you happier? Other than stilling the rumble in your tummy of course, which would happen whether you believe that the dinner you are looking forward to is illusory or real. People may indeed start living the way they are supposed to in the future, but if the things they replace work with are also illusory then the question of real versus illusory is fairly pointless really. Most standards of reference are crap really. They´re an invention by somebody, somewhere, just to give value to something else. If more people understood that, then perhaps they would stop worshiping money, which is probably the most pervasive illusion of them all.
@samson1 (738)
• Jamaica
20 Mar 12
Mmm. Interesting topic indeed. Let me add another wrinkle to your postulation. How do you explain the sightings of a mirage on a hot day (whether it is seen in a desert or on a long stretch of road)? In essense, the expressions of ones reality can take two forms: 1) Reality can be real (actually occurring, or physically present in a tangible way) as well as; 2) It (the reality) can be a perception to be real. If that argument forwarded above is true, then it is possible that perception can shape ones reality. In other words, ones concept of reality could be viewed as, or 'driven by' the mere 'figment' of ones own imagination. Therefore, whatever ones perception of their reality to be, so be it. Did I really help to clarify the thoughts about the reality for real? (Smile)
@Vvance (280)
• United States
21 Mar 12
Thank you for that very relevant example of the mirage phenomenon. That,too can be explained by physics but cannot, in terms of 'reality'. Yes, I agree with you, a person's perception is the only 'real' thing to him. But then, how does one explore those realms that are outside his perception? What does he have to do? How does he know that his perceptions are true reflections of what really exist,and not distorted pictures presented to him? If one knew how to do this, the universe would be a much simpler place.
@samson1 (738)
• Jamaica
21 Mar 12
Interesting points indeed. However, one would expect that whenever the 'items of thought and reality' falls outside the scope of the indidual's comprehension, then one cannot stress the importance of holding fora like these. Why? Because solutions can be had, when the issues are discussed as a result of accommodation of the effective 'meeting' of the minds. Be encouraged by raising the issues, as healthy discourse may be allowed to continue.
• United States
20 Mar 12
Wow. It does make you wonder just what is real and or perceived as real and is all that we have experienced mearly an illusion. I do not know the answer to this and I have had such thoughts myself as to just what is our purpose and is what we see really what we see. It is definately food for thought.
@Vvance (280)
• United States
21 Mar 12
I know !! Isn't it amazing?? Glad you share the same perspective and I hope that you will get the answers to your questions. Best of luck!!