Sight is arguably the strongest sense we possess as Human, ironically, our strongest sense can be very unreliable. Everyone who went on a road trip on a hot day can agree that our eyes can play tricks on us. The mirage down the horizon looks certainly real but yet isn’t, or is it?
Imagine walking down a side street late at night, it’s dark, the moon and stars are the dominating light source, and suddenly you see a Post a few inches in front of you, in a split second you have to make a decision. The Post is an obstacle to you, it’s dark, you not seeing well but you are almost certain that there is a post in front of you. Is the post really there? Or is it an object of your imagination? If it is an object of your imagination does it make it less real?
Regardless of the post being physically there or not, it is real. It has affected your judgment and changed your course. The second you started to think about the post and the different alternative you had in order to pass that obstacle, you made it real.
In other words, it is real because it altered your life. It became real the moment you believed it was there. It is now an obstacle real or not. Reality just like Time is relative. In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, Among the many others, there is one thing to take from it, The runaway have now a brand new reality but yet the cave people don’t believe him and never will, their reality remains the same as it always was. In this case what is truly real? The runaway slave discovered something that they don’t know about but does it mean that he discovered everything there is to reality, absolutely not. His reality is also limited, wider than his old pals, but still limited. Plato used this allegory in “The Republic” to show that the philosophers like the enlighten runaway should rule the cities while the people, whom are still in the cave seeing shadows should follow. But has the person who seen the sun been to the moon at that period of time? Not quite, they still all believed that earth was flat. Maybe Socrates wise saying: “All I know is I know nothing “ is what the runaway slave should take from the little bit of enlightenment he received, that enlightenment makes him wiser than his cave people who believe they know all there is to know to Reality.
Reality is relative, the same way time is, it is based on each individual, what really matters is belief. Once we believe in something, it is, from that very moment, Real. It is part of our reality, it affects our lives, our decisions, the way we interact with one another, and sometimes it affects and alter every aspects of our lives. God is a great example. Does God exist?
Absolutely, God exists, in the mind of the religious as well as in the mind of the atheist, the agnostic and the believer, the moment we took the time to decide if God exist to us or not, we made that Entity real. It is now part of our lives.
The greatest strength we have as Humans is our ability to believe. As we believe in things we create the world we live in. Because they shape our actions, Our believes shape the world that surrounds us. The only difference between a so called "insane" person who lost their minds and an innovator is that the innovator explained and proved their insanity, that way it became accepted and we agreed to follow his insanity because now it makes sense to us. If it doesn't make sense it must be wrong, that's the limited Human mind way of thinking.
Our reality is different than everyone else's even if there are a lot of similarities, for instance the President of America is the same person to most people, but what he represent is different to everyone. To be more precise, if Obama represents hope, we need to understand that the meaning of hope is singular to each individual. What money represents to me is different than what it represents to many people around me, yet money is a reality for all of us for the simple reason that it affects us all in some way.
If everyone's reality is different, what is real, do we all have fake realities, or are they all valid and legitimate truths? Everyone's reality is true as long as it affects him or her. Perceptions, judgments, intuition and many more strong aspect of human nature aren't palpable but yet they define who we are and most importantly how we perceive things. For instance, A simple smile, the same smile coming from the same person can mean something different to each person that sees it. The smile is real we can all see it, the way it affects us is just as real.
Maybe we are dreaming and Descartes' example of the evil doctor exciting our brains in a pot making us think we are alive is real, but even if that were the case, it wouldn't matter because we still feel. Descartes went to the conclusion that "I think therefore I am”. A very interesting concept true in many aspect and certainly real to many, I would like to add to that the feeling aspect, because if we think or not, or if we are conscious of our thoughts or not, if we can feel then we are: “I feel therefore I am”. No matter what the thoughts are, if they make us feel something they become real because they are affecting us. A plant doesn't think at least to our knowledge it doesn't, meaning on a human conscious level we do not know if a plant is conscious and we have all the reasons to believe it is not. A plant doesn't think but it definitely feels, this paragraph from Aristotle illustrates that thought very well: ” Think of a flower. If you water it, give it enough light, maybe feed it a little, then it will glow and bloom. If you neglect it, keep it in the dark, let insects nibble its leaves, allow it to dry out, it will wilt and die, or at best end up as a very unattractive plant. “. Is the plant real? Or in Descartes words, "is it not because it doesn't think" or is it simply a fruit of our imagination?
IT doesn’t think as far as we know but it definitely feels then reacts. The plant is real, but most importantly, even if it was possible to prove that the plant wasn't actually there, it wouldn't matter, the fact is, if I smell the plant and have a reaction from smelling it, the plant is real and so is the reaction created from smelling it. It is real in my world because it affects my life. If everything that affects us and makes us act or react is real, what does that mean?
The most powerful attribute of the Human race is “ THE ABILITY TO BELIEVE”. Our lives are shape by our beliefs. Are we slaves of our ability or need to believe? Is that ability a Strength or a weakness, a blessing or a curse, or both?
Chapter Two: “The Ability to Believe, strength or weakness"