What is reality?

What exactly is reality and isn't it a little bit different to everyone? Since we spend such an large part of our lives asleep shouldn't dreams be considered an alternative reality?

Updates:
Sorry I know this is some deep shit compared to most other questions posted here but I just feel like really posting my deep ass thoughts atm

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Most Helpful Guy

  • This is a bit of a tricky question to deal with in a small word count.

    There are two realities, there is a common reality shared by the world, and a personal reality unique to the individual.

    That unique individual reality will have been moulded by personal experience, it will be dependent upon brain chemistry, it can be modified by physiological and/or psychological abnormalities. Reality for a red/green colour blind person will be slightly different than it would be for someone without the condition. They will simply have to accept on faith that the 'common reality' is different than their 'individual reality', which they usually do by simple weight of evidence. This individual reality is where some of your thoughts on dreams will come into play. Dreams are not really a separate reality per se, they are simply fragments of your brain building patterns around thoughts that it is re-organizing. But how you feel during those dreams, the emotional reactions you have to them, can affect your brain in a very real way. If you feel scared during a dream, your brain doesn't know it occurred in a dream or in reality, the same chemicals are released. And that leaves a very real history in your mind. It transforms part of your 'individual' reality. But it has no bearing on the shared reality. Every individual reality is slightly flawed however, they are all interpreting a baseline 'truth' in their own different ways. And on an individual level, you can never truly know what is the actual, real, fundamental shared reality.

    The shared reality is what we would think of as being the 'truth' of existence. We basically try to determine what it is, in comparison to how we perceive reality, by almost crowd sourcing. If everyone we talk to agrees that the colour of the sky is called blue, we accept that to be true. We will never know if blue to them looks like blue to us, but we can use science to explain what the wavelength is, and understand that while we may all perceive it differently, there is a baseline truth at work there. We try to work on what that reality is through consensus, through scientific exploration, and through logic. And our understanding of that shared reality constantly evolves as we find new ways to explore it. We know the Earth is round, we know it travels around the sun, we know how old it is... all of these things are now part of the shared understanding of reality, though they were not in the past. Each step brings us closer to the truth.

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    • Thank you for MHO, just one question - so basically our shared reality is in some kind just common sense? And as we extend our knowledge as a society we extend our common sense and therefore extend our shared reality?

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    • You are very welcome. It was a cool question :)

    • Thank you sir, you helped more than one person :)

What Guys Said 8

  • The state or quality of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them which can be proven by facts or valid logic.

    Dreams is nothing but a peculiar integration of your thoughts, ideas, desires, sensations and life experiences which is just an cognitive experience often comes during sleep.

    You're dreaming, it is reality, but what you are dreaming, it is not.

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    • But what if our existence as in here and now, all the 'proven facts' and 'valid logic' are just the content of a dream? And at the end of our lives we wake up and realise we were just dreaming all the time? As in 'when you die in a dream, you wake up.'.. Then the dreams we have when we're asleep in this level are just dreams within a dream. It's a 'proven fact' that time runs much slower in dreams, each dream we have actually only lasts for a few seconds in our time but they can sometimes feel like weeks or even years! And most dreams I have do feel pretty real in some way.

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    • The illusion that we are all basically one universe and one god?
      Sounds confusing but the reincarnation thesis makes sense..
      But then I would like to believe that the illusion we live in, is in some way our reality because it is what we perceive as real.

    • So why we are here

      What is our purpose

      Karma <-- this

      (While describing Karma) The God said that :-

      "You have the right to perform your actions, but you are not entitled to the fruits of the actions. Do not let the fruit be the purpose of your actions, and therefore you won’t be attached to not doing your duty."

      "One who enacts obligatory prescribed actions without expectation of the result of actions he is truly a renunciate and a follower of the science of uniting the individual consciousness with the Ultimate consciousness; not one without prescribed duties, nor one who merely renounces bodily activities."

      "Whenever and wherever a decline of righteousness and a predominance of unrighteousness prevails;at that time I manifest Myself personally, Odescendant of world"

  • Reality is whatever your brain wants it to be.

    And that is both incredibly beautiful, and incredibly dangerous.

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    • Makes sense, but do you agree about my theory of dreams possibly being an alternate reality? Our whole existence might just be one really long dream in the end..

  • Reality is what can be prooved with facts.

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  • Yes I agree with a lot of what you say.

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  • Your beauty is reality ;)

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  • I guess you can say dreams are alternative realities. Sometimes I forget who I am and think I'm someone else. It's really bizarre.

    There is probably only one true reality but we'll never be sure we're in it...

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    • Which is ok we can assume the one we're in is the real one most of the time. :)

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    • Well what I meant is that we can only ever see part of reality and we're never sure we're seeing the whole thing. So like sometimes when we're in a dream we think we know everything. But then we wake up and realize it's just a dream. But it doesn't mean it was a separate reality it's just that it was just a part of reality and we mistook it for the whole thing...
      anyway you already chose mho so no need to keep blabbing haha

    • But thank you for answering anyways ahah ! :)

  • not what we are living in

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  • Reality is whatever you want it to be your reality.

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    • That might be dangerous tho.. just consider all the people suffering from mental illnesses

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    • PS. reality is relative. If choose to live in denial, that's your reality.

    • I'm sorry but I think you didn't get me from the beginning - I never said that reality 'sounds' dangerous I've said that everybody living with the perception of everything they believe right or wrong could potentially be very dangerous as in the sense that for everybody morals and ethics are a bit different. Hope you got me? :)

What Girls Said 2

  • When you are in a conscious state, physically interacting with the world, this is what we know as reality. We are all affected by what we are doing either to ourselves or each other in a physical way. When you dream or daydream, your "alternate reality" is not so real, not in a physical sense. Therefore, you are just living in your mind which has no physical affect on the rest of the world in any way.

    When you dream about something and wake up all emotionally charged, that only affects you and no one else, even though other people may be involved in your dream. It's not real, even alternately. It's just your subconscious state that has charged you up emotionally for just the moment you were sleeping.

    I had a dream last night about Eddie Van Halen. He took his guitar offstage and passed me and asked me if I liked the show and if I would hang on to his guitar while he went to the toilet. I did, and he was quite grateful afterward and chatted with me all the way back to the stage, taking his guitar back and returning to the stage. None of this affects Eddie Van Halen right here, right now. He has no idea he was a part of my thoughts and never will. No one in my life knows either, so to assume this was some sort of reality is false. It is something that made me feel something real, but the act of what happened was not real at all.

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    • But what if all of this, all the happenings in the 'conscious state' that you describe are just a deeper level of sleep? Maybe at the end of our lives we actually wake up and realise we were just dreaming? Then the dreams we have when we're asleep in this level are just dreams within a dream. It's true that time runs much slower in dreams, each dream we have actually only lasts for a few seconds in our time but they sometimes feel like weeks or even years! And dreams can feel pretty real to me...

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    • But thank you a lot for answering my question in such detail!

    • No problem. You gave me something to think about as well. :)

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