How can so many people hold so many varying beliefs? Are we each only able to grasp a mere fraction of sensory data, or are we all describing the same things just with different words, or are we literally creating the external reality that we individually perceive?
If we each only ever perceive a fractional amount of sensory data, we’d expect that our collected data would accumulate over time both individually and as a society — yet that’s not what happens, we’re as dumb as we ever were, repeating the exact same themes over and over and over again. Technology has the appearance of accumulating knowledge over time, but that’s about it.
Just to note, that’s not really true about technology building upon itself over time. If you examine it more closely, technology simply refreshes itself, changing its skin to fit the transforming scenery. Technology primarily deals with communication, entertainment, transportation, warfare, and household gadgetry. Letters become phone-calls, voice becomes video. Oral stories become books which become movies. Teams-of-horses become trains, horse-carriages become cars, boats/trains become planes. Rocks become bullets which then become missiles. Fire pits become stoves/ovens, ice blocks become refrigerators, candles become lamps. The purpose of each technological category is still the same: to communicate, to captivate, to travel, to dominate, to cook/clean/heat/cool within a dwelling. In other words: the overall narratives of humanity have stayed pretty static and the purpose of the props haven’t changed — only the way they look.
Are we all describing the same things just with different words? Everyone has their own perspective and we do interpret things differently, that’s true. For example, most of us imagine some force created the known universe and we just apply different labels. But that’s not an accurate depiction because our labels should overlap over time both individually and as a society. Additionally, this outlook presupposes a concrete external reality in which we all have access to the exact same stuff. And if we’re working with the same stuff, outcomes should be predictable. But that’s not true either — people and societies are often blindsided. One guy’s outcome can vary widely from another guy’s despite them both trying to do the same thing.
So, we’re left with option C. We are literally creating the external reality that we individually perceive. And not on a mere perceptual level, but on a summoning-into-existence level. What we seek, we find. Therefore, life is more like a lucid dream in which the reality we experience is projected outward from ourself, rather than a pre-existing concrete world in which we explore and consume. If we see something we don’t like for example, it’s our very own projection, an illusion that matches our turbulent mind. To control this dream, we must first calm the mind and direct its focus, projecting the most delightful scenes we can imagine.
In conclusion, the many varying beliefs exist because the world literally differs from one perspective to another. To some it’s a moss-covered rock, to others it’s a garden of Eden, to some it’s a hellish nightmare — it’s whatever the mind projects. As Hamlet said, “for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. It is in our best interest then, to think the best thoughts. And to do that, we need to abandon our fears and suspicions about life, completely accept the paradise we’ve been provided, and live.