We live in a series of imagined realities that have become objective reality as a result consensus and agreement among a large enough group of people. Consensus has produced religion and taxes.
But let’s say a large enough group of people, like the entire US population, decided that they didn’t want to pay federal taxes unless the government spent their tax dollars in a way that serves the. The imagined reality of “you have to pay your taxes” would eventually crumble and cease to objective reality. It would be to hard imprison the entire US population for tax evasion. Ironically, we then wouldn’t have the tax dollars to fund such a large prison population.
There’s great power in imagined reality: the tribes we build, the projects we start, and the stories that got woven into our lives also emerge from imagined reality.
But imagined realities have also resulted in social norms and social programs that we simply accept without question. Of course, whether or not you participate in many of these imagined realities is a choice.
The highly edited, and carefully curated lives we put on display for the world via our Facebook feed are an imagined reality, and we’ve sold people on an illusion that the reality portrayed is better than their personal reality. And as a result one study after another seems to keep showing that the more people use Facebook the less satisfied they are with their lives. But that doesn’t seem to keep any of us from using it less. (the irony of posting this on FB is not lost on me.) This things that has become an integral part of our lives is a source of dissatisfaction, mental health issues, and more, but it’s valued at billions of dollars. With progress, we’ve also invented new problems that didn’t exist before. When an imagined reality gets out of control it can have detrimental effects.
Imagined reality results in consensus. Consensus turns imagined reality into objective reality and people adjust their behavior accordingly. If you want some level of control over your reality, start by questioning it rather than accepting whatever someone tells you as dogma.
Before You Go…
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