What Exactly is Reality?
Is the reality we know may simply be an illusion?
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
- Albert Einstein
Sometimes when we discuss our fascinating ideas, big dreams and perhaps grand vision to people, you might meet with a response like ‘Oh be realistic, it’s not gonna work’ or something along those lines.
However, what a lot of people may not have realised is that our way of thinking has been largely conditioned by many factors, such as social conventions, cultural backgrounds and the conventional way of life. For example, one default way of living according to the society would be to first graduate from University, then to get a job, buy a house if we can, get married and have kids et cetera.
In fact, most of us have been conditioned since our childhood, perhaps around the time when we first started developing self-awareness, our parents stepped in immediately to tell us what we can or cannot do, then other people stepped in and the society stepped into label what is right or wrong.
Society trains people to think and react in certain ways. The media and the fashion industry are particularly good at conditioning women and girls of what they should be wearing or look like.
The reality is that the conditioned mind is a box of standard thoughts and it is utterly limited, naturally fear-based and acts as a huge obstacle for many people to think outside the box. That is why what we call reality can be quite delusional — because you are still in the box, just like a frog that is still in the well, the reality the frog can see is only the fraction of the sky above the well.
“What we call reality is, in fact, nothing more than a culturally sanctioned and linguistically reinforced hallucination.’
- Terence McKenna
So then what is the reality?
I cannot conceive it, again due to my limited and conditioned mind, but I do like to remind myself a few facts from now and then to help me float above the ‘delusional reality’ and keep thinking outside the box —
The reality is that our planet Earth is simply a tiny planet that orbits one of the hundreds of billions of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy.
The reality is that our Milky Way Galaxy is also one of hundreds of billions in the observable universe and it has existed for over 13 billion years.
The reality is that the size of the entire Universe is unknown and simply beyond imagination.
The reality is that the Universe is infinite as it keeps expanding and there could be parallel universes (multiverse) that we do not know of in which the Universe we live in could be simply one of the many universes.
Elon Musk once said that ‘The chance is one in billions that what we are living is the base reality.’ It is almost certain that we are all walking around in something akin to The Matrix right this moment and the majority of us do not even realise it.
This is certainly not what we have been taught at school or University. Our current educational system and the materialistic values emphasised by the society could impose many limitations on our way of thinking and existence, hence drastically narrowing our mind and imagination.
The reality is that we also have a universe within, we are also the universe. The same atoms in me and you were formed in the core of exploding stars billions of years ago. The laws of the universe apply to us just as much as they apply to anything else.
Just like the Universe, we are also infinite. We all have infinite potential within us and our imagination can be limitless. We can actually live limitlessly. Our existence can be limitless.
Legendary people like Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo, Omar Khayyam and nowadays Elon Musk are all great role models for limitless living. These people are certainly the proof that human beings actually do have infinite potential.
I am not saying we should all strive to be like Leonardo Da Vinci or Elon Musk. After all, we are all gifted in different ways and bestowed with unique talents. The way I see it is that the purpose of our human existence is to uncover the hidden natural talents (I congratulate you if you already know them), realising the infinite potential and unleashing the forces within.
So my dear, never be afraid of dreaming big and pursuing whatever seemingly ‘unrealistic’ dreams by others you might have. If you are not dreaming big, you might as well not be dreaming at all.
Stop acting so small, you are the Universe in ecstatic motion.
THAT, my dear, is the reality.