Is our reality as insubstantial as reflections on calm harbor water?
Some people age into religion. Consciousness of mortality brings out the best and the worst. Perhaps the oddest aspect of this change of perspective is that there is so much diversity in our “religious impulse.”
I am well aware of multiple realities. I encounter, for example, one set of things I have definitely experienced while asleep. I experience another set, with more rigid rules, when awake. I may be happy or sad within instants when confronting exactly the same scenario. Daydream imagination, unfounded worries, or specious plans are constant companions.
Rarely do these different aspects of my consciousness fully interact. The rules of my awake self do not apply in dreams, nor vice versa. The mood of this moment vanishes rather than clashing with my next mercurial emotion. I accept this complexity and contradiction as part of the mysterious miracle of existence.
I believe my contrasting experiences are each real within my universes. Dreams of flying over fields or taking a detested test or talking with dead friends are memories as sharp as those of going to the grocery store yesterday morning. Since all remembrances are suspect, dare I judge which is more real than the other?
Where do I fit, where do other people fit, and what about all the rest of it including this squirrel?
But that is my personal universe. We can both remember going to the supermarket together, but our dreams are sealed from one another. I may see you in my dreams; you do not simultaneously find me in yours. I know the “whole” universe is mysterious and unknowable, so none of that distresses me. I accept that “ultimate reality” is truly ineffable _ we are incapable of knowing it. And I leave it at that.
I object to others who would try to force their own rigid alternate visions on me. I encounter personal “truths”, they find their own, each is unique. I refuse to believe any prophet knows more than I do about how I experience life. Anything beyond what we call “objective reality” _ which is to say the passage of days, the effect of gravity, the happiness of a good meal, and so on _ is disputation in vapor.
The more fervent the preaching, the faster I run.
Standard reference for resurrection are deciduous trees _ I prefer these nearly-blooming snowdrops.
Science is a fine thing, but it is only a tool. Human existence is as ineffable as the cosmos it inhabits. Scientific measurement of purpose, joy, love, friendship is cold and useless. Like any tool, science has proper uses and improper applications.
People are fine-tuned to be people. What we can experience is what we should experience, and at least in some sense that is what “reality” means. Moreover, people are social creatures, and some of our existence requires interaction with others. We can share bread, we can share work, we can share love: we can only share individual visions through the power of words. In spite of the claims of ancient philosophers and prophets, words are not the basis of my spiritual worlds.