To any individual living on Earth, reality is the solid ground and the life they see around them, but medically, it’s a lot more complex than that. A great deal of what we think of as real is created right in our heads.
The human mind has evolved to three times its original size during the course of the species existence. Speculation currently holds that the reason for this was the creation of language to express our world, then expansion to include all the abstract notions that include all the abstract notions that encompass that expression. Reality is a result of that evolution. what we create in our brains is what we call “real”.
But is it?
In a sense, yes. We all believe things that aren’t true. We remember events that never happened or remember them differently than they happened when we read a book of fiction, we create that reality in the most literal sense. The book will be real, every bit as real as the other information we take into our brains.
This is all the result of the smattering of things that we remember. yet the realities we create can be very strong
Of course. And that’s what psychiatry is all about. Readjusting realities.
Mike McQuay, Memories, 1987
So now we have a decent idea of what reality is or, rather, is perceived to be.
You, your friends, and most everyone about you all agree that radios can be tuned to pick up some pretty nice music. do we all conclude this must be real? Yes, majority rules. You can’t explain it, but everybody agrees there is music coming out of that box so, since everyone says so, it must be so. But what happens when one’s perception of reality is consistently, persistently, not what the consensus agrees that it is?
What happens when you hear music and there is no box? Fractured Fairytales? Looney Tunes? Nuts? From you, the consensus, yes. But what about for the fellow who hears the music without a box? Is it just as real for him as your music is to you with your Box? That’s why he’ll argue with you about it. He hears it with his own two ears! The question for him is, why don’t you?
The consensus declares “hallucinations.” doctors prescribe Haldol, Mellaril, or Thorazine and remarkably, the differences of opinion between the medicated fellow and the general public slowly become less numerous, side effects notwithstanding.
But, again, the realities for both, the Nut and the masses of “normal” individuals are all inside the head. the only difference between the two is that with the one, there is only one to embrace the fabric of the reality while with the other, everyone considers the reality to be the “real” one.
Or is there a flaw in the masses’ concept of reality? Where do optical illusions fit in? Or prestidigitation and magic? What happens to general reality when a magician pulls that rabbit out of a hat or the coin appears from behind your ear?
Let’s go back to that radio box. Can you explain how it magically produces music just by plugging it into an electrical outlet? Is it really a singer or are you just hearing things and everyone else, to keep from being called nuts, agrees with you.
Reality is a personal voyage. Just because someone dances to a different drummer than you, does not mean he is crazy; your drummer could possibly be off beat.