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All of us see the world in a completely different way. One persons experience of the world, how it works, what it means and so on, can be completely different from another persons view. This is true even with people who grow up in exactly the same neighborhood and the same community. Does this mean that we all technically live in different worlds? That we all live in different realities?
The definition of an alternative reality, according to Wikipedia, is akin to a parallel universe – which in turn is defined as a hypothetical self-contained reality co-existing with one’s own. It’s more common when talking about a parallel universe to think of there somehow being multiple physical versions of the universe and this often makes little sense. However, what if there are multiple versions of the universe, but rather than being physical, they are virtual, mental or imagined versions of the universe. If they are imagined in the minds of everyone who lives in and among the universe, are they any less real? After all what is real? We think that the world we see around us is real, but is it? We are only seeing the world, the universe, through the senses that we have – sight, sound, touch, taste but those senses do not fully document the universe. What if humans did not exist? The world as we see it would not exist either.
So how can we define the actual universe? We can’t define it by what it looks like or what it feels like because they are senses that only we have as humans. The universe doesn’t know looks, feelings and sight. The universe just is. So its possible that nobody has ever really “known” exactly what the universe is. Instead we each have our own interpretation of it, based on what we perceive, what we see, what we feel and in turn how it makes us feel.
As such, we are all in some ways living in a different universe. In my universe, there are certain rules that make everything work, but these rules often don’t add up with how other people perceive the world. In fact, other people clearly perceive the world very differently. So essentially their world is slightly different to mine.
In addition to this, trying to imagine how someone else perceives the world is very difficult, if not impossible. The only way that one could experience another’s view of the world is to have lived their life, and to see through their eyes. Even though we feel as if we are so close to each-other as humans, we are infinity far away from each-other. Looking out on the world, can you imagine how you would get to someone else’ view of the world? How you would get inside their mind? You couldn’t even comprehend what that means, or how to get there.
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So in essence we really do live in alternate realities, in parallel universes and we only really know how our own universe works. We don’t know how anyone else’ universe works, how it relates to ours and we certainly don’t know what the universe actually is – what it is without being defined by an external sense such as sight or sound. If nobody was here to interpret the world around us, what would it be? Without perception what is the universe? What is the universe’ true form?