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The weirdness has you.
Posted by HeatherMarie on Dec 13th, 2004 12:34 AM
I was thinking about reality today. What is reality? Most people would agree that the computer in front of them is real, along with the desk, keyboard, and any other tangible object around them. These words are real. But at what point do they become real? When another person reads them? If I hit send and my internet connection gets dropped and the words are lost, do they stop being real? They still exist in my mind and I can recreate them on the screen at will.

But imagined things aren't real. Real things can't be touched, tasted, smelled, or in any other way experienced by the five (or so) senses. But what is touch, for example? It's an impulse relayed from the nerve endings in your fingers to the nerve endings in your brain. So what if we just cut out the middleman and skipped right to brain stimulation? What if I shot you with a substance that caused you to hallucinate? Suppose that you, under the influence of drugs, imagine sitting down to a tofurkey dinner. (Yes, tofurkey. We must not add to the needless deaths of imaginary fowl.) The taste, smell, texture, everything is entirely true to real food. You actually think you are eating a nice slice of turkey flavored tofu. Isn't this event real to you? If reality is what we experience with our senses, and these senses are manipulated, isn't reality manipulated along with it? Suppose that every memory of what you did yesterday was the result of alien abduction and programming. Is yesterday any less real?

Now I know what you're thinking. Somebody has been watching the Matrix too much. (And I mean The Matrix, as in the original, not the recent experiments in CGI passed off as sequels.) But actually, I'm taking reality in a direction opposite the Matrix. Reality IS what is observed by our senses. Regardless of whether I am currently in front of my computer, on an alien observation bed, or suspended in primordial goo with cables connected to my back, this chair I'm sitting on and the keyboard I am typing on ARE reality, as far as I am concerned. They are what my official reality processor, my brain, tells me are reality. And you know what they say, if you can't trust your own brain, the government is a lot scarier than we thought it was. (I reccomend tinfoil and duct tape. Lots of it.)

So what about imagined objects? I'm talking about dreams here. Have you ever had the kind of dream that is so vivid that after you wake up, you swear it really happened. And you remember it at later points as an event you actually witnessed, and have to remind yourself it was just a dream, or have trouble remembering whether it was a dream or not. For me this usually has to do with mundane tasks, like looking up a show in the TV guide or cleaning some part of the house. If I dream about flying or making out with Johnny Depp, I can usually realize that the event took place solely within my mind. (But was good and worthy of remembering nonetheless!)

Don't these sort of dreams actually exist in a reality of their own? And since we've already established how easily what we call reality can be manipulated, it isn't too far a jump to say there is one and only one reality per person (and don't think we don't see you stuffing extras down your pants!) and that dreams and fantasies must be a part of that.

Speaking of brains, I've just hurt mine, so I think I'm going to call it a night. I -think- this all has something to do with a way to use magic. I wonder if there's a way to alter the surrounding world by altering your dreams. At the very least, it seems you could change the way you present yourself to the world by forcing yourself to take on challenges differently in dreams, which will have an effect of its own. I'll have to look into that some more.

Well, good night, and sweet Depp-filled dreams,


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