Real Reality

Knives can be sharp. That's a reality, right?
Usually, it's quite an advantage when you're trying to use them. Dull knifes are good for spreading, I suppose, but unless the spreading is happening with the icing on that cake you just made me, I have no need for dull knives.
But, the cuspidated knife is not always advantageous. But it did teach me a lesson today. Most people have pricked themselves with a pin, given themselves a paper cut, and I will venture to say that, yes, a great majority of us have cut ourselves with a sharp knife.
You guessed it, my roommate cut off his thumb with a sharp knife. A very sharp knife. Okay, so he didn't cut his entire thumb off, but he sliced a juicy piece off just fine. While at work. Preparing food that you and I would probably eat.
Today's lesson, however, was not that I should be wary when judging the deliciousness of food at my favorite restaurants. No, that wasn't it. Rather, as he was showering this morning, screaming bloody murder as he cleaned it, waiting for me to come apply the dressing, I started thinking about reality. My reality, his reality, yours too.
Our reality.
Where does reality exist? I'm not trying to get existential on all of you, but I find it a valid question. I've always been fascinated by perspective, but really, perspective is just our interpretation of what's going on...our perspective is our reality. And that reality goes through our personal filter: our brain.
The pain from the knife exists solely in our mind, which tells us the pain is in our finger. When we touch something, it feels solid, even though we know 90% of it is empty space--the "solidness" is in our brain.
We talk about sunrise and sunset, even though we know the earth is not the center of our solar system -- and nobody ever thinks to correct it. Why have we not officially renamed "sunrise" to reflect the real dynamic, which is earth-turning-morning? We readily accept and live with ideas and experiences we know are false, and as a collective, we perpetuate this shared and realized ignorance.
We don't see color, we don't "see" anything at all, but rather we have sensors that perceive radiation in certain wavelengths, and our mind tells itself what that radiation pattern might look like. Our mind filters out more than it accepts.
Which begs the question...what, really, is reality? I'm talking the reality outside of our brain. Does it exist? Are we simply projections on that reality? What does it mean?
Either way, my mate's missing his thumb.


  1. correct me if i'm wrong, but we never actually touch the thing we think is solid right? our atoms and its atoms come close enough that the electric force becomes insurmountable. the particles never touch.
    So reality for us is much less material than we imagine..

  2. Precisely. You are not wrong.
    We never really "touch" anything. Our sense of touch is entirely a sense of pressure: we feel the object pushing back on us.