Origins of Reality

From where does reality originate? From outside-in or inside-out? Are we but ignorant creatures exploring a mysterious world that gradually reveals its truths as we laboriously decipher them? Or are we literally creating our reality as we live it, a dreamlike experience that manifests for our ever-observing consciousness?

If an external reality existed, we’d expect our observations to align with those of every other observer — yet they don’t — interpretations of life often vary. Are our senses so flawed that they allow for analyses that are so different? Therefore, even if an external reality exists, we clearly lack the mechanism to accurately analyze it.

We can reason then, that even if an external reality exists, we’re incapable of obtaining a factual picture of it. Instead, everything we experience is an interpretation based on limited and likely-flawed data. So even from a physical-world standpoint, the reality we know essentially originates from the inside-out.

But is it more than that? Could it be that reality actually begins within the consciousness and projects outward onto a canvas we call the world? The concept isn’t so far fetched of course, as we regularly experience something similar in the form of sleep-based dreams. Yet who’s to say that what we perceive while awake isn’t also a dreamlike experience?

The point being, how much does our attitude and what we project affect the world we see? Does a turbulent mind cause us to experience turbulent circumstances? Do we always find exactly what we seek? And if we tame the turbulence, do the stormy seas subside, allowing us to smoothly walk upon the still water?

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Implanted Dreams

What about wishing, manifesting, asking-prayer, goal-setting, etc? Isn’t that free-will?

Where does the inspiration to want come from? Why do you want that particular thing in the first place? The desire is implanted as a prelude for what’s to come. Life is leading you down a specific path by implanting these attractions.

Some dreams are so grand and change-inducing that they can overwhelm the dreamer, causing him to retract and disbelieve the dream. Without trust in life and faith in a grand narrative, he’ll sit stalled and unfulfilled.

The free-will we have is our consent to follow-through with each step along the path. We have no skill but that which is provided for our character-type, our vehicle does all the work, the consciousness mostly watches.

But at critical junctures, the consciousness must choose to move on, accepting each goal. Fear must be rejected and replaced with faith. Immature adherence to any ideals must also be rejected, as life moves on and circumstances broaden.

Your job in life (you the consciousness, the ever-present observer) is as an accepting audience member allowing the scenes to flow uninterrupted from one to the next. Yes, you can invoke manual-control, but try to leave the autopilot on, it makes things much smoother.

Virtual Free Will

If life is an RPG (role-playing game), what about free-will? Because it’s a game, there’s a bunch of preset missions customized for each character. And like a game, characters are of a particular type traveling an appropriate path. RPGs tend to lead characters to the correct checkpoints at the right times. Once at the checkpoint, the player can decide whether to cross or not — but if he doesn’t cross, he’s not allowed to do anything significant, he stalls and becomes depressed.

So as to maintain the illusion of control, life does allow mistakes to be made. In other words, if you try to break something, it’ll break. So yes, recklessness is possible and will likely cause your character to experience some unpleasantness. Manual-control provides the most immersive sensation possible and greatly amplifies the gaming experience — but the drawback is, you can derail your narrative.

But to remain on the rails, it’s not skill that’s necessary, it’s trust in your story — faith. Our character knows what he’s doing, it’s our consciousness that’s completely clueless. Characters are best on autopilot, it’s manual-control and mental-intervention that gets in the way, causing our character to trip over himself. It’s impossible to mentally control the complex process of existence.

Then were does free-will fit in? We enter with a preset personality and an appropriate set of goals that must be accomplished. But we do have consent in the sense that we can refuse to cross each finish-line. Our refusals come from fear or an immature devotion to an ideal. The game doesn’t force us into the next step if we’re not ready to handle it. But again, it’s not a skillset issue, it’s a trust issue — our character can handle it, it’s our consciousness that hinders.

Ultimately the game wants us to win — win in the sense that we engage enjoyably with the world we’re in. If at anytime we derail our narrative, the game is always patient and graciously waits to welcome us back. Our acceptance comes in the form of active-pursuit of the goal. We must head in its direction, doing whatever we’re inspired to do, not filled with doubt and trepidation.

Role Playing Game

At this stage, life seems most like a role-playing game (RPG), where I’m playing as a particular character-type within a specific narrative. Disclaimer: I don’t have a lot of experience with actual RPGs. There’s a bunch of preset goals that must be accomplished — and the game will lead me to those points the best it can. I think there’s time between the checkpoints where I can screw around and do whatever, but eventually the time comes to cross each finish-line.

I think this RPG does a lot of hand-holding and leads me through without much effort or necessary knowledge on my part. The resources just show up when needed, ideas just form in my head, and any skills I perform are released at the appropriate time for my character. Easy peasy. Like any game though, the most difficult part is syncing with the rhythm of the action (e.g. pressing JUMP at the right time, etc).

But in this game, in which I’m supposed to be on autopilot most of the time, “syncing” has to do with not getting in my own way. In other words, my character functions fine without mental intervention. When I attempt to manually-control and think my way through a task, I trip over myself. The game allows manual-control because that provides the most immersive sensation possible — otherwise it’d feel too much like a scripted movie.

Yet I seem to be taking the game too seriously — the total-immersion scares the heck outta me. I really feel like a fragile little creature crawling around a big rock attempting to survive while surrounded by impending doom — it’s a bit overwhelming. Because of that, I find it very difficult to trust and let go. And even though it’s impossible to mentally control such a complex process, I keep trying to do so.

Relatedly, I think I’m required to actively and purposefully cross each checkpoint. I can stall all I want — I shouldn’t, but I can. This is probably where people typically screwup their narratives — by resisting their story due to fear or an immature devotion to an ideal. If you’re not prepared for the next step, why would the game force it on you — so you’re stuck right where you are, stalled and depressed.

I suppose acceptance comes in the form of active-pursuit of the goal. I must head in its direction, doing whatever I’m inspired to do, not filled with doubt and trepidation. I have to have faith in my story. When I do stall, I think the game often forces a change in perspective by applying so much negative pressure that I’m basically forced to give up and let go. I could continue denying the change, but at my detriment of course.

Video-games are most fun when they stretch our abilities yet allow us to win in the end. I think this game really wants me to win. I was confused and overwhelmed at first, caught off-guard by the intensity, but as my perspective broadens, I can see the underlying entertainment-value of it all.

Checkmate Atheists

Ever-advancing technology suggests that humanity will eventually create indistinguishable simulations, in other words, games will become more realistic over time until they’re so immersive that we’re fooled into believing our gaming experiences are real. And if this is ever going to happen, then it most likely happened already. Earth was depleted long ago and humanity lives within a suspended state as minds reside within a simulation. Either the bodies are still on Earth or they’re possibly traveling within a ship in search of another habitable planet. Almost under no circumstance is what we’re seeing real.

How do we know we’re not the first generation of humanity? Here is an earlier post entitled Dreamy Details that provides some common circumstances suggesting that what we’re experiencing isn’t physically real. But the question becomes, was there even a first generation of actual human beings? In a video-game for instance, the characters we control aren’t perfect representations of ourselves, they’re often stripped-down versions of human-like creatures with either limited or exaggerated abilities. Thus, our current human character might be an avatar for a being far different than a human — perhaps even a formless conciousness wishing to experiment with embodied existence.

But if all this is plausible, it means that spirituality is likely an actual phenomenon. And what that means, is that the fundamental nature of existence isn’t up for debate: this is a contrived experience. In other words, life on Earth is not an accident, it was created by something greater than the feeble little characters within it. Therefore, if you truly believe in a physical world, you believe in a powerful creator just as every God-lovin’ religioso does. Cold hard logic suggests that all this is fabricated, whereas it takes a leap of faith to believe humans are fragile creatures struggling for survival within a chance-based physical reality.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’ll simply ask you this: at the fundamental level, what have you done in your own life to truly provide for yourself? The food is there, the shelter is there, the companionship is there, the activities are there — you need simply reach out and engage with the world so provided for you. You are simply not capable of taking care of yourself — and it is not the collective power of a billion equally clueless hairless apes carrying you through either. No, there is a clear and present power underlying this world ensuring your well-being, ensuring you experience an immersive all-encompassing extravaganza of light and sound, this fun-house known as Earth. In other words: Checkmate, atheists.

Choosing Density

There are two primary competing theories of existence: physical versus ethereal.

In one theory, humans are fragile creatures struggling for survival within a chance-based physical reality. The things we see and touch are real — our senses regularly revealing reality to us as we explore through the ever-expanding fog-of-war. But watch out! Who knows what monsters lie within the darkness! Lucky is he that makes his way through the danger. And lucky is he that finds worthy companions amidst such happenstance. And lucky is he that dies a death quick, sans suffering.

In the other theory, humans are but characters within a grand spectacle of light and sound, creations of a creator that designs for the amusement of an eternal audience. Narratives abound as players interact and follow-through their varied stories. Oh monsters do exist, but only for those that summon them. Every possible dramatic element is included as storylines play out in parallel. What we see is created as we think it — the root of reality is within, and projects outwardly.

In one, reality is outside ourselves, our imagination mere fiction — whereas in the other, reality is on the inside, only illusion exists beyond the realm of thought. Choose! In choosing the concrete sets — or dissipates into dreams.