What is real? What about dreams? Are dreams real and our experiences while awake really dreams, and just how could anyone ever tell the difference?
Whether we realize it or not, we define reality based on information received from our physical senses. Unfortunately, our physical senses are really little more than transmitters of electrical signals. These signals are sent to the brain where they are interpreted and labeled as reality. We then overlay logic and biases to form our ideas of what we think is real and what is not (i.e. our perception of reality).
Take seeing for example. Our eyes actually see in 2D, but thanks to our brain we experience objects in 3D. This process of “seeing” actually takes place in an extremely small area of the brain. We have no way to know for certain that the objects we see actually exist outside of ourselves. We, that is our brain, might actually be simply watching a computer monitor. The scientific word to describe experiencing a 2D reality in 3D is holographic. Michael Talbot, in his book “The Holographic Universe”, describes how this all works, “Our brains mathematically construct objective reality by interpreting frequencies that are ultimately projections from another dimension, a deeper order of existence that is beyond both space and time: The brain is a hologram folded in a holographic universe!”
Just when you thought that it couldn’t get any weirder, science comes along with a new theory that we might actually exist inside a computer simulation! Theoretical physicists have begun to explore that part of creation that lies beyond space and time. For example, they are trying to answer the question of what came before the Big Bang. These investigations have resulted in new and very interesting theories, like the Multiverse (i.e. the existence of many universes). In the process, they found something rather earthshaking even for them. They found that their equations had a computer code embedded in them. We’re talking about the same kind of computer code that your computer’s web browser uses. This computer code describes the fundamental nature of reality in 1s and 0s.
As a result of their findings, it has been theorized that we might therefore exist inside of a computer simulation not too unlike the movie ”The Matrix”. The computer simulation would have to have been developed by a very advanced race, perhaps even by our own species sometime in the distant future. You might think that this is a bit of a stretch but Einstein did say that space/time was a construct. In any event, it sure makes one reconsider the nature of reality and consciousness. By the way, how’s that for Intelligent Design?
“Reality is merely an illusion, although a very persistent one.”
– Albert Einstein