You’re reading this post right now, whether that be through the ability of your eyes or ears or any sensory cell in your body. You’re reading this, right at this very moment. Right?
Now, you might be thinking, Shay, what’s up with you? It’s not even 4:20.
Well, young child (or old), be prepared to start thinking as if it is 4:20.
In our day to day lives, we touch, hear, smell, see, think, talk, move, etc. That’s how we know we exist. We acknowledge the world functioning around us and the people we meet and the places we go and we input all that information in through our sensory cells, which basically explain to your brain what’s going on in the outside world, while it’s cooped up inside your skull. It’s as if your brain is living vicariously through you…but also, functioning and supplying you with the necessities to live.
And we trust our brains to process what is going on because it’s all we really know, since the day we were born. Now, take away that trust.
How do we know what our brain is processing and telling us is actually happening?
How do you know we’re not just hooked up to a machine and 4D videos aren’t being inputted into our brains to make it seem like we’re living in this fake world, where we can feel things and see things? How do you know your thoughts are even yours?
How do you know if we’re not just in a some kind of dream? Or a simulation?
Is seeing really believing?
Take the Rubber Arm Experiment, as an example. People were convinced that the rubber arm in front of them was really their arm, with just a few minutes of illusion.
An experiment by Shaw and Porter of the University of British Columbia in Canada found that when they had three interviews with a group of participants, telling and asking them of one false memory (either a crime they did or an emotional event like injury) as well as telling them about two true memories, that were personal to the participants, 71% of those 30 student participants developed a false memory of the crime and 76.6% of another 30 students formed a false memory of the emotional event.
These students were convinced, in quick time, of inaccurate and false criminal and emotional events that occurred in their lives, which never even happened.
So how do we really know that what’s happened in our lives is real? It could all just be one big lie!
Maybe you’re real…but how do you know that everybody else is? You can’t see what they’re really thinking or their functioning brain.
Morty Lefkoe wrote a post similar to this and asked readers to imagine their hand expanding and expanding until there was nothing in the universe except the hand. He stated:
“it would disappear because there would be nothing in the universe that was not the hand. This is a very basic concept about reality: In order for any thing to exist, there must also be not that thing. In order for anything to exist, it must be distinguished from everything else. If no distinction is made between a specific thing and everything else, there is only an undifferentiated everything—which is another way of saying nothing. Everything, without any distinctions, is the same as nothing.”
If I lost you there, I’m not surprised. I was a bit lost too. But to basically put it in simple terms, imagine the air. We sometimes refer to the air as nothing because there’s “nothing” there, when actually, there are millions and millions of particles and elements milling around. And they’re not just the same element – they’re different. But we can’t see that difference, we can’t see that distinction so to us, it’s just a big collective thing known as air, which is a huge thing since air is pretty much everywhere so we consider it to be nothing. Think of the phrase “vanish into nothingness”. It’s not really nothingness, though.
Therefore, what really does the word ‘exist’ mean? That’s the real question.
Because with what Morty Lefkoe explained, if everything exists, nothing really does.
At the end of the day, no matter what your opinion is and whatever this crazy world really is and whether or not we are real or not, this is our reality and our only reality. So deal with it.