Saturday, December 4, 2010

Is Reality an Illusion?

Is reality an illusion? This is not just a philosophical question. Here's a link to an article about a new scientific experiment, and the title says it all: "Fermilab is Building a Holometer to Determine Once and for All Whether Reality is Just an Illusion".

A direct link to the above video is at

The above video is for Changing Reality, recently put up on youtube but accompanying a blog entry from six months ago. The Big Question is, how much are we each creating the reality we see around us, and by extension how inevitable is it? Can we change our reality by changing our attitude? Epigenetics and the increasingly effective Placebo Effect are some of the signposts I've been using to say that leading edge science supports this idea, but a century of training to the contrary still makes a number of educated people reject such ideas immediately. "The only thing that matters is matter", they say, and "people can't change reality with their thoughts".

In Just Geometry we looked at an idea from The Grand Design: Model Dependent Realism. Some are lamenting that this represents Stephen Hawking giving up on the possibility of there ever being one TOE, one Theory of Everything, because each unique frame of reference changes the rules, so to speak. Model Dependent Realism proposes that the fabric of reality contains many possibilities, and no one theory or formula is going to be able to encompass them all.

So if reality is an illusion and different frames of reference allow the possibility of different rules, are you willing to accept the implications of the following video my facebook friend Frank Samaritano recently sent to me? Or are you going to say the man in this video is a charlatan? Is it really possible for a person to set paper on fire using only the energy from their body? A century of training to the contrary will lead some people to assume that this couldn't possibly be real, but see what you think.

A direct link to the above video is at

Next time we'll return to the Three Becomes One concept, with an entry called Threes. Till then, enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton


muzuzuzus said...

I dont think 'reality is illusion' feels right. For one from my experience this is a very, what i am terming patriarchal-idealist notion, possibly originating in Asian philosophy---ie., that reality is 'Maya'. As a result of this forms of yoga came about which denied nature and emphasized the discipline of 'one pointed awareness meditation' where it was deemed dangerous to even GAZE at nature, because nature was considered to be a seductive sensual trap likened to a femal seductress (Maya) who would try and entice the male 'hero' away from his goal of 'enlightened' realization.

So I would sooner the illusion of demnding there be only one 'truthful perspective'....? I am just asking? Not stating. There has to be a dynamic state of being encouraged that resolves becoming rigid in a mindSET. So not to see actual nature as illusion but the mindsets who belive they can pin 'it' down.

Ron Krumpos said...

In "The Grand Design" Hawking says that we are somewhat like goldfish in a curved fishbowl. Our perceptions are limited and warped by the kind of lenses we see through, “the interpretive structure of our human brains.” Albert Einstein rejected this subjective approach, common to much of quantum mechanics, but did admit that our view of reality is distorted.

Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity has the surprising consequences that “the same event, when viewed from inertial systems in motion with respect to each other, will seem to occur at different times, bodies will measure out at different lengths, and clocks will run at different speeds.” Light does travel in a curve, due to the gravity of matter, thereby distorting views from each perspective in this Universe. Similarly, mystics’ experience in divine oneness, which might be considered the same "eternal" event, viewed from various historical, cultural and personal perspectives, have occurred with different frequencies, degrees of realization and durations. This might help to explain the diversity in the expressions or reports of that spiritual awareness. What is seen is the same; it is the "seeing" which differs.

In some sciences, all existence is described as matter or energy. In some of mysticism, only consciousness exists. Dark matter is 25%, and dark energy about 70%, of the critical density of this Universe. Divine essence, also not visible, emanates and sustains universal matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and cosmic consciousness (f(x) raised to its greatest power). During suprarational consciousness, and beyond, mystics share in that essence to varying extents. [quoted from my e-book on comparative mysticism]

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