So my first definition of reality is ‘everything that exists’, however that is a bit vague. We understand that reality is something that exists through our perception of it, it is not enough for something to exist to be real, it must be known to exist for it to be real. On the face of it that seems like an absurd statement, but if you consider reality to be more than just physical objects then it makes more sense.
The classic example here is quantum mechanics; at a low enough level of physical existence we encounter the uncertainty principle. This is where we find situations where not all aspects of an event can be measured, we know one thing or another, but not both even though both do occur.
This uncertainty forms an integral part of our understanding of the universe around us, although we haven’t yet been able to combine that understanding with our wider knowledge of the universe. Things become even more complicated when we examine how we perceive reality.
On the most basic level we are fed information through our various senses, but we do not act upon that information, instead our brains process the data and form a mental construct of the world around us, it is that internal map that guides the decisions we make.
Experiments have shown how flawed that mental map can be and that is without considering effects from mental illness or drug taking. We can be sure that something is real even if it doesn’t actually exist, the fact that it is present in our mental map is enough.
Like most living things we are to varying degrees social creatures, that means that we can share information and understanding. We are individuals, but being part of a group highlights our individual characteristics.
Now imagine that you are born without senses and completely alone. Everything that exists does so only within your mind, there is no external context which defines you are the reality you exist in. This is the situation I imagine when I describe God in my story. The thoughts inside his mind are the only reality he knows, but he is aware of his own consciousness so has a sense of self awareness and identity. Unfortunately he doesn’t realise that his creations have a life of his own.
The fall is when he first realises that something is amiss and he separates the two factions into Heaven and Hell (although the difference between the two is more along the lines of loyalist and rebel rather than good and evil), but despite this their war continues. He then creates a thought experiment to try and glean some understanding of this division and thus the physical universe is created.
As the universe evolves a new being evolves, one that has a strong sense of self, yet it is also a very social animal, that creature is of course us. Unfortunately for him we process everything inside our own imaginations, transient realms that are unique to the individual yet still share a great deal of commonality.
The final part of the trilogy is currently being written and in it I will unify his superior intellect with the more prosaic understanding that we have of our own reality. It’s quite some challenge, one that I’m enjoying tackling and at its heart is the simple truth that reality is in the eye of the beholder.
Michael Brookes is an Executive Producer with a leading UK games developer. Working in games and writing are two of his life passions and he considers himself fortunate to be able to indulge them both. He lives in the east of England, enjoying starry skies in the flattest part of the country. When not working or writing he can sometimes be found sleeping. Which is good as that is where many good ideas come from. - https://www.goodreads.com/Technohippy
Check out Michael's website at http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/