What is reality?

My reality is the true one

Am I living in “the” reality or in “my” reality? Over 99% of humanity today uses the first choice or ignores the question. Even if I am a philosopher and neuroscientist, perfectly aware that everyone lives in their personal reality, I do not take it into account on a daily basis. For me as for a layman, there is “the” reality, the only problem of which is that many misunderstand it. Some even distort it to the point that they have to be placed in an asylum. While I feel anchored in a reality so close to the real one that I can confuse them. Assimilation allowed by the fact that I share it with my best-informed colleagues.

We would be reluctant to admit that this reality is in fact a coalescence of quite similar personal worlds, revolving close to the reality itself. Of course, scientific ideas are in the closest orbit to this inaccessible sun. But a mind never contains concepts of only one category. A scientist can wander off on a more fanciful trajectory, riding emotion or belief, blinding comets.

The protection of groupism

All persuaded to perceive reality in themselves! Conflicts between groups of opinion are affected. Everyone considers their coalition large and strong enough to say that this is “the” reality. Faced with a divergence, the misunderstanding is total. Each group believes that the other lives in an illusion. Argument of authority. Faced with a contradiction, the group does not go out of style. “Reality per se may seem strange. We don’t know everything about it. This contradiction is not a flaw. Surely there is an explanation. You’d better think like us and help us solve the problem.”

Groupism is concealing. In detail, individual realities are less close than advertised. Smell that radical groups are those afraid to discover unpleasant things in their members. The focus on ideals must be total, leaving defects in the shadows. No dissension. The version used of “the” reality is the one the group wants to see happen. The others must be actively eliminated. The group thus seems to be approaching a monolithic reality. But precisely the real one is unique. It’s success!

Use the cloud of approximations

Unfortunately, this approach is fundamentally wrong. No reality per se has been achieved. Our representations only define it. A cloud of approximations molds it better than the statues we build in our heads. Too precise images that blind us to the mystery separating us indefinitely from her.

To flesh out this cloud, our reality must be permeable to that of others. Examine their mistakes, see if our truths are not part of them. Spreading our minds in the cloud. Tighten it around “the” reality thanks to the variety of our approaches. Conclusion on a paradox: to know that we are approaching the single reality is to have made it multiple.

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