Is the World a Simulation or Is It an Illusion?
The answer is in one’s perception
The Simulation Theory, or the theory that our reality is a simulation, has become increasingly popular over the years. Especially with the advancement of AI, and the endorsement from the likes of popularized icons Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Musk has stated,
The strongest argument for us being in a simulation, probably being in a simulation, is the following: 40 years ago, we had Pong, two rectangles and a dot…That is what games were. Now, 40 years later, we have photorealistic 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously, and it’s getting better every year. And soon we’ll have virtual reality, augmented reality. If you assume any rate of improvement at all, the games will become indistinguishable from reality.
Now, take the idea of what is called Maya in Yogic tradition. Essentially Maya means illusion. That the material world that we see and experience is an illusion.
don Miguel Ruiz in his book The 4 Agreements, shares a similar concept from the Toltec tradition known as Mitote. This is the inability to see the truth, or what is known as “fog of perception.”
Both of these theories point to the fact that there is more to reality than the material world
The Question Is Part Of the Answer
It is an interesting question and depending on who you ask you will get different answers. I have acquaintances that are in love with Elon Musk, and everything he does. Including the endorsement of The Simulation Theory.
Yet, at the same time, any notion that Yogis claim this world is an illusion is dismissed as “hippie nonsense.”
Then there are those I know that I have talked to where they say this is all just an illusion, but any notion that it’s a simulation is “anti-human rubbish.”
So, which is it?
Our choices play a role. The relatively recent science of Quantum Physics within the past 100 years is providing a different perspective that includes the viewer as part of the equation.
Enter The Double-Slit Experiment
This type of experiment was first performed, using light, by Thomas Young in 1801, as a demonstration of the wave behavior of light. At that time it was thought that light consisted of either waves or particles. With the beginning of modern physics, about a hundred years later, it was realized that light could in fact show behavior characteristic of both waves and particles.
How can this be so? Well it turns out that when the light is being observed it is a particle, but when it is not being observed it is a wave.
How does this apply to every day life?
Our awareness, that is our perception, shapes the reality that we experience.
Take a simple example: This moment.
Is it “good” or “bad?” Technically it is neither, and it is both. Your attention and intention co-create the experience with reality. Much in the same way that an observer helps co-create a particle rather than the potentiality of a wave.
Perception Is Key
It is one of the core teachings of many spiritual teachings and practices. That you play a role. You cannot experience the universe separately from yourself. Your perception is part of the world.
Spiritual traditions talk about the golden rule. Love everyone as yourself. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
The science of Quantum Physics talks about a singular field of energy. That beneath the individual particles of atoms there is one connected source.
I believe at their core these are trying to say the same thing. The difference lies in the perception of where our consciousness is directed. As well as all our projections from internal stories, thoughts, beliefs, and experiences that overlay what we perceive.
Have Fun & Be Kind
Perhaps the question of whether or not this is a simulation or an illusion isn’t important. The better question is, what do you believe? How do you act from your beliefs?
Understanding our own perception helps with our relationships. We can see how our beliefs drive us to act a certain way.
Perception is a fundamental force of existence.
The way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Pay attention to your perception. It will lead you to clues to what you believe and other parts of your psyche that remain hidden.
Use your perception to bring more kindness and joy into the world.
There is a quote attributed to Wayne Dyer
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change
Today is not a “good” or “bad” day. We are deciding with our choices.
Maybe we do live in a simulation. Maybe all of this is an illusion. Maybe these two are the same thing and it’s our language, our perception that is the common thread of our experience.