Chapter 7 – The End of Reality

Beyond the Rest of Us –By Chapter 7 of the book some readers may have become confused by the chain of events. All humans are basically storytellers and authors are required to organise their stories into chains of causes and effects, leading the reader deeper into a fictional rabbit hole of action and emotion. Some readers may even believe that these stories are how the world works, when in fact they are just a framework we use to manipulate the world for the convenience of our entertainment. When the reader finds the pilot with Janet and her children on a Caribbean Island, in another dimension you are being taken out of your comfort zone to somewhere you cannot understand. Is it time to read another women’s book on Yoga, or something about speed traps for the men? But wait Janet is a mother and her children are so much at risk, maybe you should read to the end of the chapter?

Lindsay had already stepped down from the cab and looked carefully around him. The only sign he saw in the headlights of the ambulance was the name of the house in a black wrought iron on the wall which said “THE REST OF US.” Janet carried her daughter in her arms, but Ben was ahead of her and saw there was a new engraving on the front door”.

Lindsay and Janet know they are in a future dimension, but the objects around them are all familiar, the ambulance they find appears real, the island with a volcano is familiar and their house is still much the same, with some new additions. We’re inclined to think that perception is like a window on reality as it is. But the theory of evolution is telling us that this is an incorrect interpretation of our perceptions. The physical objects we see around us may be more like a 3D computer desktop that is designed to hide the complexity of the real world in order to guide our behaviour.

Do we see reality as it is or is our perception of the world simply an ILLUSION? Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman claims we’re being tricked into believing our own reality. He believes that what we are seeing around us is simply a façade that guides our way around a far more complex and hidden matrix. According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive and that’s pretty much all of reality, whatever reality might be.

According to Donald Hoffman from the University of California, what is the relationship between your brain and your conscious experiences, such as your experience of the taste of chocolate or the feeling of new underwear? Some experts think that we can’t solve this problem because we lack the necessary concepts and intelligence. Could it be misinterpreting the nature of our perceptions? We have misinterpreted our perceptions before. We used to think the Earth is flat, because it looks that way. Pythagoras discovered that we were wrong. What does modern science have to say when neuroscientists tell us that we are creating in real time, all the shapes, objects, colours, and motions that we see. It feels like we’re just taking a snapshot of this room the way it is, but in fact, we’re constructing everything that we see. We don’t construct the whole world at once. We construct what we need in the moment, by what he calls conscious realism.

More is explained in this TED talk