Itâ€™s an old question in philosophy and religion:
Is our experience of life in this world real?
It sounds a little crazy to ask the question, doesnâ€™t it? It makes you think of people who are mentally unbalanced, who canâ€™t tell the difference between the world they live in and the hallucinations that run around in their heads.
What do people mean when they ask if our experience of life in this world is real?
There are many questions hiding behind the simple world â€œrealâ€
- Do our senses give us an accurate picture of the world outside of us, uncolored by our personal experience and expectations? Here weâ€™re asking whether we get a clear picture of the â€œrealâ€ world, or whether weâ€™re at least partially living in a world colored by our fears and desires.
- Is this world and our experience of it a superficial or limited experience of a deeper, larger, more profound reality? What if our life on this earth is just a brief moment in a much greater existence. What if there are other dimensions of existence that we live in before and after we come to this world? If true, then our life on earth has a certain reality to it, but it pales when compared with our broader existence.
- Is this world planned, structured, and orchestrated with some purpose in mind? This question is an add-on to the last one. What if our time in this world is somewhat scripted and purposeful. What if weâ€™re here to learn some lesson, or accomplish some spiritual task before moving on to another existence? If so, this world is real to a point. Like a play or a simulation, it may have meaning, but thereâ€™s so much going on beyond the stage and beyond the simulator.
- Is this world an illusion? Does this world, like a magician, use some kind of misdirection to get me to focus on the more trivial aspects of existence and ignore more fundamental, more important aspects of existence?
Whatâ€™s the difference?
Ok. Whatâ€™s the difference whether this world is real?
Whatâ€™s the difference to me right now if there are other realities that Iâ€™m not aware of.
Even if I was some sort of lab rat being observed, who cares?
Iâ€™m here, Iâ€™m alive. Iâ€™ve got to play the game according to what I can see.
I could imagine a thousand alternate stories for whatâ€™s beyond this world.
But they might be pure fantasy. Seems better then, to just focus on what I can see, doesnâ€™t it? Even if weâ€™re like the people in The Matrix, serving as unwitting but happy slaves, wouldnâ€™t we rather not know?
Brave new world
Maybe, or maybe not.
It depends on whether we have the ability to see beyond the world that weâ€™re currently living in.
It depends on whether we have the capability to use knowledge of other realities to change ourselves and this world to become something much greater.
If we can rise up, take off the blinders and live differently, then there is a point in knowing whether thereâ€™s more to the world than what weâ€™ve been told.
Letâ€™s say this all sounds pretty far fetched to you, and way beyond your experience.
Well, I have one more uncomfortable version of â€œis life realâ€ to throw at you.
Am I living the life that Iâ€™m capable of living with all my talents? Have I fully explored the possibilities within me?
Can any of us really say that weâ€™re living life 100%, and living up to the possibilities hidden away within us?
Can you and I live lives dramatically more powerful than the lives weâ€™re living now?
If we feel and know that we can find and live a greatness that weâ€™ve only seen hints of, then our current lives must be looked at as shadows of the real life that we can live in this world.
The answer to the question, â€œIs life real?â€, might just be: