May 2, 2009#

What Is Real?

I find that I question reality more and more lately. This isn’t some psychic break, but a sincere questioning that comes from looking within. We trust so much our perceptions, the senses, and all the filters that process what we then determine to be real. But how is it shaped? How does language help sculpt our conclusions? And what about culture?

Anyway, along similar lines, I came across this quote from a speech by the great Philip K. Dick:

Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups…So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.

We all do in our own way.