posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 11:19 AM
Hm. Interesting.. Just watched part 1 for now, but I know of the theory they are discussing. I myself subscribe to something like that. I know I
have explained my beliefs before about the nature of our existence as humans, etc., but I have not really delved much into this bit primarilly because
it never came up.
I started my journey to this line of thinking with the concepts promoted by Socrates and Plato and was reminded about it with the movie The Matrix.
Basically, the idea is that we live in a world of rules. The rules apply to us because we genuinely accept these rules as real.
A good basis to approach this from is religion. Kids are born into this world with no apparent concept of religion. They learn the rules of religion
because their parents spend the first ddecade or so teaching it to them. After enough programming, the brain has been changed to the point that even
something that seems ludicrous to an outside observer seems perfectly normal to a follow of said belief. The rules of the world and the universe
might not have changed for the observer, but they are definately differant for the observed.
I understand that of all the "stuff" I know about the world, it is all relative and based on either hearsay or experiences that color my thought
processes. I don't touch a pan that has been used recently for cooking because I did it once and burned myself. In addition, I have been told by my
parents and all sorts of other "experts" over the years that beyond the pain, burning causes physical damage to the body. I still don't *know*
that the pan is going to be hot when I touch it until I actually touch it.
I also understand that the sum of all of my experiences is entirely in my head. There is nothing physical outside of my body that I am aware of. I
only know that when the image of my hand lines up with the image of a flame in what I percieve as 3D space, there is a chance that I will feel a pain
signal in part of my brain and associate that signal with the image of my hand. I don't know of anything that my senses haven't told me about. If
my senses change for whatever reason, my impression of the world will change accordingly.
So how does this relate to the idea that tthe world is an illusion? Well, As in the Matrix, there are rules to this place. We call those rules
Physics, although we don't fully understand them. Within the illusion we have in our minds, we apply those rules as best as we understand them to
guide our actions. We do not necessarilly walk off of a cliff and "trust" that there will be a camoflauged ledge there that will support us
(Raiders of the Lost Ark II, I think). Instead, we assume that making that leap will cause us to fall to our untimely death. does that mean that
would happen? Not exactly. We make that assumption.
Now with this understanding that we operate in an artificial construct created by our nervous system's interpretation of the world and apply a set of
rules to it of which we have a somewhat limited knowledge, what affect does this have on our every day lives that is of *any* importance whatsoever?
This is the key, I think. This is what people who promote ideas like Leap and "The Secret" and "Think and Grow Rich" are trying to get across.
Understanding that we don't really know the rules, it's a good idea to break them on occasion.
Positive thinking is a part of this. People who feel good about themselves and their place in the world are more like to succeed than people who are
depressed and think of themselves poorly. Why? Well, because they do little, automatic things that make others feel good. We reward people who make
us feel good with a positive response.
I once asked, if the rules are arbitrary, can I just "walk through a wall" without affecting it? I first thought the answer was, no, that's a part
of some base level of rules that exist beyond our illusionary world, but now I am not so sure. I cannot walk through walls, mind you, but through
several years of training, I have managed to figure out how to make my body do things that would seem to be unlikely, if not impossible. The classic
breaking bricks demonstration of martial arts, for example.
If you take some strong man from the circus and tell him to break two bricks stacked on each other, assuming he has never practiced some sort of Chi
focusing or meditation, he might try all he likes and just end up with a broken hand. A wiry old chinese elder, however, might be able to do it
without a second thought. It's isn't strength, it is belief in the rule that bricks are tough and human hands are weak. Forget that rule, or
understand that it is wrong (and I mean understand on more than an intellectual level) and anyone can break bricks.
Wow, this has been a bit more than I intended to write, but I think I might have gotten my point across. In summary, the world we live in *is* an
illusion created in our minds based on sensory input and controlled by a set of arbitrary laws that we assume to be real. By changing the rules and
our programming around these rules, we can alter our experiences to suit our desires.