The truth about reality. And ants. And stuff.

The matrix does exist. Or does it?

I think it does.
The existence of an absolute reality, individual interpretation, significance of human population compared to the trillions of galaxies breathing around us…
Is that cup of coffee on your desk really there? Or is that what it seems like to you? What if it wasn’t a coffee mug really, but your ability to comprehend your environment limited your conclusion or worse, deludes you into thinking it is a coffee mug?
Does the physical sensation of its bone china ear all the proof you will need of its unquestionable existence?
You might ask why. Why should I bother contemplating about the existence of things?
It is like the blind men and the elephant.
Each one of them grabbed an ear or tail or trunk or leg and interpreted what they could make out and decided what an elephant looks like.
To us people who can exercise their faculties of sight perfectly well, the incident seems ridiculous, simply because we have the ability to ascertain an elephant’s shape and say, no. It does not look like a rope, nor does it look like a column or a pillar.
But here’s what an elephant looks like.
Does merely seeing something equal knowledge of this something?
We’re all a blind race. Carbon and nitrogen and oxygen got cooked together in a pot and we were born. Over time, eliminating things we did not need and developing skills and features and tools that were crucial to our survival.
But just because we have come this far is no proof that we know. It does illustrate how deep in uncertainty we swim as we inch further and postulate possibilities and dare to keep going. But no, we can’t be too sure yet.
Why bother thinking about it when you have loans to pay? Knowing that your coffee mug doesn’t exist is interesting news but it doesn’t pay. Right?
Or so you think.
As a child, I would often spot red ants furiously walking along the wall and plotting to crumble the walls of my apartment, a compound particle composed of cement+concrete+wall paper/paint at a time. What did the world that we perceive look like to them?
Did they have families and schools and dinner dates and homework like I did?
What did they think of those weird looking things with four antennae protruding from their sides? They had two ovals and a long structure between them. They emitted waves that ants could sense through a slit on the upper portion of their bodies.
Do ants know we call them humans? Or homo sapiens? Do they have an ants’ version of Mozart? Or rock bands? Or malls?
How do they organize themselves? How do they run their nations?
What is insanity? A commonly agreed upon definition would be ideas and/or mental processes that stray from popularly accepted standards of logic and common sense.
Maybe. If one were to call a man mad, how do you know it is him and not oneself? What lines do you draw to demarcate insanity from eccentricity from unusual from different?
Does the concept of an absolute hold good outside measurement of errors? Or do we all inhabit our own universes and wherever these multiple universes intersect, is the world we know and read of and see?
Would science be a lie?
Would the pursuit of truth until now be rightly stamped as futile?

6 thoughts on “The truth about reality. And ants. And stuff.

  1. Very interesting. The idea truth can exists beyond human perception is not necessarily going to change anyone’s daily life drastically. Whether they accept the premise or not. Nevertheless, it can, and I love discussing the subject with those interested

    We can all have different ideas and views as to what happened five minutes ago, let alone what happened years ago. I well remember trying to get this point across to my sisters whenever disagreements over family history arose, When don’t they?

    I tried to make it as simple as I could to try to achieve some sort of peace and compromise. It rarely worked out as I hoped.

    There are always three possibilites when three people hold two versions of the truth. That is to say when two people say one thing and the third says another. Either one could be right and two could be wrong, or two could be right and one could be wrong. It was always the third posibility they found almost impossible to accept. That both versions could be wrong.

    Truth is not a matter of democracy, and can always lie beyond the limits of human perception.

    I discuss this very point in the novel Pedersen’s Last Dream, which I am working on at the moment, and try to come at it from different angles. This is a great subject for debate, but can confuse some people too much.

    • Having watched the movie trilogy The Matrix as a kid only planted a fatter seed of doubt in my head. How did I know the food I’m eating is even real? Am I in an awkward watery pod in a post-apocalyptic universe cavorting in a drugged existence?
      Debating (fighting) over things like these Bryan- that is awesome! My brother and I just probably kept hitting each other on the head back and forth during childhood.

      ‘How do you know?’ is that question that births bigger questions.
      Pedersen’s Last Dream? Could you please post a link to the novel? I’d love to read it : )

      • The thought of my sisters and I debating had me laughing. Two were bigger than me so I had to head for behind the sofa when the question of truth came up. Not that my version of it had any more credibility than theirs. Especially when it was about who was going to take the blame for breaking a cup, Self-preservation is one of truth´s first victims.

        No, it´s later I´m talking about, when we were supposed to be grown up.

        We can go to universtiy, college and what have you, but when it comes to families, the older we get, the more like children we become. Why don´t they do do a matrix film about that? Well, they do and they´re called soaps.

  2. i still prefer playing the child, and have difficulty coming to terms with being an adult, despite the law dictating I am. Adulthood still seems so serious to me. I love to talk to kids because their questions make me think a little more, as they aren´t usually about the foorball match last night, or if it will rain tomorrow. But I still prefer snuggling under the sheets more than most things.

    I have the feeling you´ve read some of Pecersen´s Last Dream before, but here´s the link: the bits I talked about in my reply to your post come later.

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