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The miscellaneous writings of Mark Bridgeman

How do we know if the world we are living in is reality?

The world we all live in is pretty largely consistent for everyone, this consistency we mistake for reality when in actual fact we can’t be sure that it’s real at all.

Our senses convert vibrations and waves from sound, light and sensation into electrical impulses that the brain then uses to create a model of reality. Most people mistake their sensory input for reality when it is not. It’s just a model created and maintained in your mind, not the actual reality itself.

If you have a brown chair for instance it’s actually every colour but brown. It’s only the brown wavelength of light that is not absorbed by the chair, so it bounces of and hits our eyes making us perceive the colour as brown (after conversion from electrical impulses into our working model of reality that is).

So reality is not what it seems, the model is good for most things, but can be limited in other ways, for instance we have no way of actually seeing x-rays as we’ve never needed to evolve that particular sensitivity during our species development. The senses and our model of reality only represent an incomplete picture.

If it were possible to see ‘naked reality’, i.e. things are they really are without the filtering of the senses, you would still need to model reality in your mind somehow or other because without the model there is no perception.

Naked reality would be interesting though, I think we’d see the universe as a cloud of atoms, electrons and elementary particles, cosmic foam and entangled pairs, no single thing would exist, because it would be impossible to tell where the chair ended and the rest of the room began, as even empty space is full of atoms. You might have regions of lesser or greater density of material but that would be it.

Reality is just a sea of vibrating things, an atomic cloud.

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