Between Illusion And Reality
T.S. Elliot once said that humanity can’t bear reality in high dosages. Life is an illusion is another sentence casually said by anybody to everybody. If our whole life is an illusion why should we bother trying to improve, to achieve something? Since no experience is real, what does exist if not us?
It would be more appropriate to say that our reality is an illusion. How we perceive things is not how they really are. And how we perceive them doesn’t matter or has any effect on what is there. In simple words, we perceive our surroundings as how we want them to be and not how they are. And we cannot see the reality if we are using illusions as our crutch.
Illusions that we have about reality are not out there in the world, they are developed within our mind. These illusions we then project onto the world. This results in influencing other’s perceptions about reality. And these distortions serve no purpose except the purpose of distraction.
How To Differentiate
Various philosophical lectures, debates and arguments are centered on how to go about distancing our reality and illusion from one another. The answer is that we can’t. The point of such debates is to ensure proper tools are provided to us to be able to tell the difference between reality and our imposed reality. Being able to figure out the difference helps us understand the source of our pain, anger and despair. Most conflicts stem from these imposed illusions on collective or personal level.
Some philosophers even suggest that humans are conditioned to imposing these illusions in the form of culture, tradition and politics. These elements are the building blocks of our identity that is unique to each one of us. We use these ideas patterns or practices, and create reality.
There are a few people who are so disillusioned that they are far away from reality. However, that disillusioned world is a reality for them. On the other hand, there are people who are so realistic that they think they are under no illusions. When the actual reality is that each person is under some form of illusion that colors the world that they live in.
Challenging beliefs, assumptions or certainties ensures a mature and wiser perspective on your reality. Challenging illusion is something that can be done with experience, where one is able to differentiate between one and the other. This brings one to debate the power of challenging oneself; how often one must challenge himself and what exactly should one challenge in himself.