So, we are all one thing playing our own little role this enormous integrated system – where particles can exist in two places at the same, where we can change the way an object behaves simply observing it, where what see is not the raw data of reality, where physical things are mostly empty space, where plants may have some form of consciousness. What is really going in here and what are you doing in the middle of it all?
Some of the concepts discussed in this chapter lead us question what we think is real. Is my reality the same as yours? Are we all generally seeing and feeling the same things? Is reality more than just the things that you perceive through your senses? What is happening when you recall and negative conversation or event over and over and it makes you feel bad even though it’s not happening in the present?
There are numerous concepts from physics, philosophy, sociology and other fields that contribute to our understanding of what reality really is. For example, there is a concept that suggests that there literally is no reality beyond the perceptions or beliefs we each have about reality. Do you agree with this? Or do you believe that there is an absolute truth about everything and this is the reality that we all should use as a reference point? There is no right or wrong answer. Your answer simply tells you more about yourself.
One of the reasons that a discussion of reality is often required is that it often influences the way in which reality does or does not arise from mental and cultural factors such as perceptions, beliefs other mental states, cultural and religious artifacts, etc. the view that there is a reality that exists independently of any beliefs, perceptions, etc. is known as realism. However, there are also people that have views that can be categorized as anti-realism. The most common is idealism. It proposes that reality is in the mind or, at least, arises from the mind but does not exist separately from the mind. One of the more important and often discussed issues that arises from definitions of reality our attempt to understand what reality is, is an understanding of consciousness.
You have all heard the expression that “perception is reality”. It is the view that the view that there is no objective reality, whether acknowledged explicitly or not. Are you a realist or an idealist? A realist tends to believe that time and space have an existence that is totally separate from the human mind. On the other hand, idealists doubt that any object exists independent of the mind.
When considered in isolation the possibility that plants may have consciousness may not seem very significant or very relevant. The same can be said for the significance and relevance of quantum mechanics in isolation along with numerous other concepts. It’s all about connecting the dots. Some dots more significant than others. The more dots you become aware of and the deeper your understanding of each of them, the more dots you can connect. This allows you to advance on your journey of self-discovery and use this expanded view of life to get more connected with everyone and everything around you and, as a consequence, make better decisions.
Next article in this series: “The Purpose Of Humanity”