Sunday, January 10, 2010

Reality... really?

What is reality? Everything that actually is. What about our perception of reality? Is there a common perception of reality? Or does that perception vary from person to person? We all discuss that each person has his own perspective. No doubt then, it should logically follow that there exists no common perception of reality - unless, of course, we have failed to apply logic as it should be applied.

Many wise men are known to have spent their lifetimes seeking universal truth. I would assume that means that they want to know reality(as it is), instead of just another perception of it. The biggest conundrum for me would always be - how would you know when you've reached? If you define a goal that you're headed towards, how do you know it's not tainted by your perspective? If you haven't defined a goal, well, then it doesn't matter anyways.(Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland?)

Now, what is anyone's perception of reality? In short, everything that we experience, with all our senses - some of them known, some not so well known(the sixth sense?). Was my dream real? I would suggest it indeed was. But not in the same way as my narration of the dream that I typed into my laptop one night after waking up. What makes the two realities different?

A dream is indeed real. I definitely perceived myself walking through the jungle and talking to a tree. Only, the tree existed in a reality that is not in front of me now - a reality that appears not based on the materialistic world we deal with, or with the five senses we normally rely on. In fact, I believe that tree still exists somewhere. My mind just made a journey to a world that I can't take anyone else to, because I reached there randomly. If I knew how I got there, I would tell you, and you might probably go there too, and see exactly what I saw, and heard, and felt.

As a child, I used to sit on the staircase, and imagine I was flying a fighter plane and shooting down "the bad guys". I had no steering wheel, no joystick. Just my closed eyes, and the vivid scenes running through my mind. The planes are always there, the runway's always there, just waiting for me to hop in and fly out. I could see them. I felt the wind blowing against me. I had a chill run down my spine as I gained the speed to take off. You can't tell me that's not real. I'm sure just reading those lines conjured up an image in your mind!

The big problem with reality is, we often start to get carried away with everything we perceive, and think everyone else should perceive it the same way. For instance, candies are sweet. How do you know what "sweet" feels like for another person? You don't. Yes, it is true that it triggers roughly the same taste buds for both you and the other person. That may not be the same experience for the other person. Lets move to another possibly more comprehensible example - law. There are many innocent people who get convicted because of circumstantial evidence (mistaken to outline reality), when there really was a big missing link that nobody found and brought to light. Once a man is convicted, it's difficult for anyone to believe his story, no matter how true it might be. In other words, again, your perception of reality, could be a far fetch from the reality.

Where is all this headed? It's simple. Each of us has a perception of reality, and should experience it anyway we like. We could try to share the experience, but we should be wary of the fact that the experience we give another person may or may not be as pleasant as ours. Every now and then, we might come across someone that appreciates our point of view. But we should keep in mind, that true reality consists of everyone's perceptions combined. The fact that each of us perceives, whether the same way or another, is indeed, real.