Is Reality Real?


Everybody I talk to is so certain of just about everything. It certainly gives the impression that no one is wrong about anything.  So, here’s a little pop quiz for those who think that they know everything.

What is a table made out of? If you answered wood, that’s fine. If so, then what is the wood made out of? In other words, what is the essence of matter? For those of you who answered the atom, very good. So what, then, does the atom mostly consist of?

Answer: Its 99.9% empty space. Show of hands. How many got that right?

Back to the original question: What is a table made out of? Best answer: Mostly empty space.

Then, what is reality you might ask. Good question. Karl Pribram, a neurophysiologist and physicist, says that we exist in a virtual reality matrix where our brains construct reality by interpreting frequencies that are projections from beyond space and time. In other words, the physical world is a projection from the quantum world. With regards to how we actually view our reality, science says that 2-D optical impulses are sent to the brain where they are converted into 3-D holographic images. So, where is it that we actually “see” an object? Perhaps, you can now see where I am going with this (no pun intended).

Sleep studies show that we roll over in bed at night, sometimes a lot. After all, we wake up in a different position than when we fell asleep. Since we’re asleep, who tells our body to roll over and why don’t we ever fall out of bed? For that matter, how would we even know where the edge of the bed is, since our eyes are closed? Obviously, we don’t understand what consciousness is and therefore we lack an understanding of who and what we really are.

Then there’s the curious case of our belief systems. Given what was just said, do we even have an accurate view of life? How can one make enough sense out of our perception of reality (since that’s all that it is) in order to make proper decisions (e.g. in order to be able to differentiate between right and wrong). Consider this: science has discovered that decisions are made in our mind even before we are consciously aware of them! So, who really made the decision?  Who are we?

One of the wisest men in history was the Greek philosopher Socrates. Socrates understood that no matter how much he knew, his knowledge would be dwarfed by what he did not know. Today, science has confirmed what Socrates knew intuitively. That is, reality is not understandable. As Einstein said, man will never be able to grasp the magnitude of the Universe and we now can appreciate why that is. The source of matter, and therefore the origins of reality, can be traced to the quantum world. It’s a world that we cannot penetrate. We can only theorize what it is like and what kind of natural laws might operate therein.

So you can probably see why I am a little skeptical when people tell me with absolute confidence that they know an answer to a particular question. As a Greek philosopher once said, “Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion” – and now we know that atoms are basically empty space as well.

Aside: Of course, there is no such thing as empty space as what we’re really talking about here is a quantum field.

Life is truly an enigma which scientists are still trying to figure out. As astrophysicist Martin Rees noted, “Life is the most mysterious of all the wonders of creation because atoms have been assembled in such a way so that they can ponder their own existence.” However, because we have a very limited understanding of reality, we can ponder our existence all we want but I believe that our opinions are just that – they are opinions, and not facts. After all, how can you prove something, indeed anything, that you do not understand in the first place? If you believe otherwise, please enlighten me.


“In the world of physics…the shadow of my elbow rests on the shadow table as the shadow ink flows over the shadow paper…the frank realization that physical science is concerned with a world of shadow…”

   – Arthur Eddington, astronomer, physicist








11 Responses to “Is Reality Real?”

  1. Arkenaten said

    There are a great many things we do not know – at present – but we have also been blessed/equipped with certain tools to aid our survival and development in this ”reality” – or plane of existence, if you prefer. One such, being the ability to detect pain and generally avoid it. Unless we have suffered severe nerve damage or have severe masochistic tendencies.
    This is a crucial aspect of our humanity for without it most people would suffer almost certain physical damage, some irreparable and maybe even death.

    So whatever this ”reality” is, our bodies have come equipped with at least one very clever safeguard to help us survive for as long as possible.

  2. Strange that thru a search to help in my chewing (thinking) on God as: a mother (El Shaddai), Yahweh (father) & Jesus (son), I wound up here reading this, which is where God has also had me chewing. The bible is a bit deeper than religion gives it credit. I’m finding that the truth out of it is revealed only by God in our thoughts. My first finding, total from Him bc I’m just not that smart, was the mistranslation of the word we call hell. You can read or find links to that on my sight if so lead. It has been 2 yrs of revelation and is currently in this idea much like u just mentioned. I’ll read anything believing that my faith in God will direct my thoughts at the time to be, right or wrong, the thoughts I need to move towards Him in all truth at the end. I believe it is all His timing and can believe this, bc I have found hell not being taught correctly to be part of His plan as well. Anyway I have just started (literally I’m in chapter 1) a book by JC Tefft that seems to be linking some of these ideas together. God and the reality we see. I’m not sure what I searched that led me to it. ?? I’ve decided God has control of my Google. Lol. Anyway, I’m looking to find how it links to just what this glorified body of Christ will be like for us and how much of it has to do with our thinking etc. Just thought I would share and say thanks for your words here.
    Thanks 🙂

    • chicagoja said

      Good luck with your search. However, my search (revelation) leads me to believe that we were not created to know the truth…but rather to observe.

      • I’ll keep that in mind as I seek.

      • chicagoja said

        My favorite saying in that regard is an ancient Australian aboriginal proverb which says,“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love…and then we return home.”

      • Somewhat like I’m finding. Just ran across a statement in Tefft’s book…..
        ‘To be enlightened in the light of Truth requires that we not rely on others, including scientists and/or religious authorities, to tell us what to think, believe, or do. It requires, instead, that we remain open to the possibility that living Truth will reveal itself in our own lives.’
        At least this fits with Jesus’ ideas.
        John 6:65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.” How else would the Father be in control, except that He has to open our mind to Truth, that we would get thru observation and our thoughts? Things to ponder…..

      • chicagoja said

        The Buddhists have an expression which goes,”If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!” It basically means that not even the Buddha can give you enlightenment. It’s something that you must experience on your own. The last people that I would ever ask for the truth is scientists or deists. My favorite expression in that regard is from Dorion Sagan who said, “The difference between science and philosophy is that the scientist learns more and more about less and less until she knows everything about nothing, whereas a philosopher learns less and less about more and more until he knows nothing about everything.”

  3. I remember reading this once before, but I think it’s interesting how re-reading something at another point in one’s life truly changes your perception and ideals at a certain time. As usual, this piece was very eye-opening and puts one at peace, particularly knowing that we’re all here to observe anyways. I think that once one accepts that we’ll never truly know anything about ourselves and this universe, one will be able to find peace. (or go crazy trying to figure it out anyways).

    • chicagoja said

      I couldn’t resist taking another whack at those who believe that they have the answers. Life is truly a mystery, God or no God. All you can do is accept the reality that you don’t know. The atheists think that this was all just some random cosmic accident, the odds of which are incalculable, and the deists have already forgotten the Pascal Wager which states that “If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible.” I rest my case.

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