I like to think I’m the sort of person who lives in the real world. I like to think I’m a grounded sort of person who is connected to the things that matter, and that I make decisions based on the best available evidence.
Unfortunately, numerous recent events have made me begin to question that judgement.
I don’t want to go into details about all the events that are occurring at the moment that make me wonder exactly how real the real world is. There have already been more than enough words spilled about the current political situation in a number of countries (and I’m not singling any particular one out – it seems to me that there’s more than enough bonkersness spread all over the world).
It’s the whole thing about trying to make sense of it all. Depending on which newspaper I read or which report I watch on the telly, the same events tend to be interpreted completely differently. Just when I think that I’ve got it all figured out, and I have a clear idea of which side is right and which side is wrong, I’ll receive some additional information that contradicts everything I first believed. The practical upshot of all of this is that I’m starting to have trouble believing that any of it is real. The only conclusion I can reach is that there is no real world – just a bunch of pretend ones originating in different people’s imaginations.
And maybe that’s the whole point of it all. Maybe it’s just not possible for any of us to be in touch with the “real world”. Maybe the best thing we can manage is to keep in touch with as many of the various unreal worlds as we can. If we want to stay connected with people and issues when each of those people and issues seems to be related to a completely different world, I don’t think there’s any more we can actually do.
After all, don’t the physicists say that there are an infinite number of universes, and that every instant can unwind in multiple possible ways, each of which spins out to create another new universe. What hope does that give us? How are we meant to make any sort of sense of such a range of competing worlds?
Even though it isn’t immediately apparent, I still like to believe that somewhere out there, there is a world that makes sense. A world within which I can actually solve all the problems I’m faced with and create for myself the life that I’d like to. I just have no idea which world that is.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as