Do we really exist, or is this simply a hallucination?

– Sometimes I stay still and wonder ”Do we really exist, or is this simply a hallucination?”
– You ask yourself complicated questions, but this one is easy to answer…

Tweak yourself, did you feel the pain?
Roll under your covers, feel the warmth.
Drink some coffee, the sensation of good taste will make you smile.

Kiss slowly,
try out something new,
face your fears.

Find an exciting hobby, 
get all sweaty, 
DANCE!

Practice an act of random kindness,
Scream at the top of your lungs,
Hold eye contact with someone for longer than they are used to.

Give a random compliment to a stranger,
Share your fears,
travel.

Make love,
challenge yourself,
Place your hand on your chest, your heart is constantly beating.

It’s all real.

PS. To all of you trying to ”escape” reality,
Make your reality your escape!!

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21 thoughts on “Do we really exist, or is this simply a hallucination?

  1. Hmmm…I beg to differ. I think we don’t exist, but beyond that, I don’t believe it is a hallucination, either. It is neither. We are all in a place called Dungeons of Insanity. It exists to crush us if ever hope, to anhialate us if ever we dream, to demean us if ever we achieve. The more we allow ourselves to not exist, the more free we become until we reach total, unfettered freedom where nothing is and nothing ever was, not even ourselves. Try it. I think you’ll like it. It is so much better the deeper you go.

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      1. Oh, it’s just something I watched in a movie called Princess Bride. You know, the Cliffs of Insanity, the Pit of Despair. I dunno, just watch the movie. You’ll figure it out.

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    1. I recently pointed out in a comment that indeed from the notorious ‘cogito’ it does not follow that ‘sum’ but at best that ‘aliquid est’. Nevertheless, however, even the absence of a traditionally assumed unique and singular consciousness can not save us from existing in some sense. And the fatalism you add to the mix flat out denies your prior statement in the shape of advice that we may in any one manner influence, let alone control our own existence, as though there were degrees of existence, which, for aught I can tell at this point, must remain an unprovable and thus useless hypothesis. What you suggest amounts to little, if anything, more than a wilful departure into obscurity, the illusion (or would it rather be a delusion in the point in case) of which may ironically be helped by foreign substances – but to what point or end? If the only point is escape from an unpleasant and at least seemingly immutable reality, why not choose death instead? The suggested fashion of dealing with life appears to create a condition of suspension between post-life and pre-death, it would seem.

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      1. When light refuses to hug, darkness grants that which the soul desires. Life is only about satisfaction. Satisfaction follows from choice. If I am satisfied with my state or condition, even if it is completely nonexistent, what bearing does that have on longevity or as you say, some state between post-life and pre-death? No, it is not pre-death. It is post-death. It is across the singularity and on the other side. For that reason, I don’t feel that it is, as you say, aliquid est, but rather very real in terms of consequences and ramifications. Cause and effect must go both ways. No monopoles exist, and every principle must also exist in its opposite. For every light, there must be dark. Otherwise, balance in the universe becomes unsustainable. I am simply here to balance out uber-positives such as yourself that see life in rose-colored glasses and avoid reality as it really is.

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      2. Just because that which one desires cannot (or appears not to) be found in the light, it does not follow that it can, let alone will be in the dark. I disagree that life is only about satisfaction, but let us grant this point for the sake of argument. It still does not follow that satisfaction merely follows from choice. Someone who loses everyone dear to him or her, who is continuously tortured but kept alive, who is repeatedly raped and abused otherwise, a child suffering from AIDS, hunger, and other consequences of poverty, disregard, and (civil) war, etc. cannot choose or change the circumstances that hinder their happiness or at least freedom from pain.
        Besides, you are portraying a false dichotomy, a picture only consisting of black and white, right or wrong, good or bad. But there are many, if not countless, conditions in between. And to say that one can be satisfied with a nonexistent condition does not make sense unless one suffers from a delusion, in which case one would be unaware of one’s own condition.
        Furthermore, even if we grant, again for the sake of argument, that there is life after death, it still makes no sense to declare any state in this life as post-death. There certainly is no state of mind to be called post-death, only the state of a decaying body unless burnt.
        My other point was a hint at Descartes’ attempt of reconstructing knowledge through a purported knowledge of his own existence, underlain by the implicit premise of the existence of a traditionally assumed unique and immutable self or consciousness. But such a thing neither follows from ‘cogito’ nor is it a prerequisite. It can only be concluded that ‘aliquid est’, something exists. This does not, at least as I meant it, have any kind of consequences for our perception of things; everything may feel the same way to us, regardless of the question whether the aforementioned is an insight holding any actual truth to it or just another tentative hypothesis.
        Cause and effect need not go both ways, but certainly can, at least insomuch as an effect can itself influence its cause in turn, but that point is trivial.
        It is not true, though, that every principle must exist in its opposite. We may like to think so, but nothing necessarily follows from our preferences. The balance in the universe consists in its total energy sum being exactly zero. Yet there is no existential or essential need for a balance of subjective, temporary states of mind. There is many a feeling, for instance, which, for simplicity’s sake, we categorize as happy or sad, but is not really either. Again, to assume the reality of such a dichotomy because of the manner in which we talk and like to think is not a necessity.
        The second proposition of your last sentence unfortunately contradicts that which you stated earlier: choosing how you feel means choosing how to perceive, and any fashion in which you would do this is a denial of reality. I have no idea, by the way, why you describe me as being overly positive and seeing life in rose-coloured glasses. Most times, I am the exact opposite. But then again, you may just have chosen to see me this way and not that.

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      3. Hmmm…if you do suffer from all those AIDS, poverty, rapes, etc. I do really feel for you. That is terrible. What a terrible life you must have had!

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      4. I fortunately have not had to put up with all of the above; I have been through phases where I did not know where my next meal would come from, to be sure, and I have suffered from recurrent depression for twelve years now. But that was not the point; the point was rather that under any of those circumstances, regardless of whether one at a time or all of them combined, happiness is or even content is not an option to be chosen at will. Positive feelings, just as much as negative feelings, are always the result of both inner and outer causes combined. Some people will of course be unhappy due to their lack of appreciation of their good luck as to having that which they have; others will suffer because there is simply nothing they can do about it. And your inner attitude towards that which you have to face can only get you so far.

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      5. Look, I appreciate your interest in my simple blog comment, but I must say that we are doing on this commenting on someone else’s blog post. I don’t know about everyone, but I have a limited cache. I imagine many others do as well. Let’s not use theirs up. If you want to comment, comment on my blog, or I’ll comment on yours. Like the kids at school in sixth grade that wanted to fight. They pick a time and a place to fight, but not on school grounds and not during school hours. Capiche?

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      6. First, your comment was not simple at all. Instead, you outlined a complete worldview, including rules for the interpretation of specific phenomena.
        Second, I do not think that Nina takes any issue with a discussion taking place in the commentary section of one of her posts. Her About page clearly invites to do so, and I approve of this culture of debate and discussion as following from a post on a website.
        Third, if you must needs take the discussion elsewhere, we can do so as far as I am concerned. Your choice of words, however, appears a bit rude, especially because you are comparing our calm and peaceful discussion to a fight, and I would ask you not kindly not to say, ‘Capiche?’, as though I were a bit stupid or deaf on one ear. You most probably did not even intend to be interpreted like this, so I am not going to make a fuss about it. It is just how it feels to me right now.

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      7. Whatever. I don’t know. I don’t know her. As far as I’m concerned, this debate does not even exist.

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      8. Hey, Ofcourse I have no problem. You can go on discussing, peacefully. We are all here to share ideologies etc. No one is supposed to believe to what I believe or someone else, right? But I dont think I understood this whole theory, maybe because my vocabulary is still not as enriched as yours…

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      9. Our discussion – granted that it happened for the sake of argument 😉 – revolved around two fundamentally different worldviews, although we both most likely did not do enough justice to each other’s position.
        His worldview centres around individual consciousness and perception, while he does not subscribe to strong solipsism, but rather a constructivist form of it – choices of perception have real consequences, for instance –, which at least partially allows for an external world (external to the individual mind or consciousness). Whether this real world, or reality, is supposed to be only of epistemic or also of ontological importance, I cannot say.
        My worldview, on the other hand, leans towards a reserved kind of realism, mostly ontologically but also partially epistemically. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy offers a very good introduction to the topic of realism: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/realism/
        While I do think that individual consciousness and perception play a role both ontologically and epistemically, I reject the hypothesis that life is simply about satisfaction or states of mind, and especially that we can choose the way we feel. The latter proposition has been very popular within the last couple of years, but the facts of so many lives suggest the opposite. Of course, we can be more or less happy depending upon how much we value that which we have or are given, but that is not particularly noteworthy, as it is trivial and there is not much of a choice we can consciously make. While you may change your mind about the value of a kiss or a hug or a conversation with someone at any one point in your life, you cannot consciously choose how to feel about it at this time. You cannot simply decide to be more satisfied with someone or something, thus making it so.
        Another major difference between our worldviews consists in the assumption (which I reject) that there has to be a balance between everything in existence, even between states of mind. He called me overly positive (which I still do not understand) and contrasted it with his own existence as a balancing counterpart. I agree insomuch as there is a balance in our universe seen from a physical viewpoint, but consider individual states of mind and consciousness as experienced phenomena as different in the following sense: There can be any amount of suffering in the world at any one given point of time, while no amount of happiness exists, and indeed: has to exist, to counterbalance it.

        I hope I was able to clear things up a bit for you instead of adding to the confusion. 🙂

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      10. Haha yes you kind of did clear things up, personally- with my poor mind i believe that we only live what is there. I may ask myself weird questions sometimes but not everyone can give me an answer. Its like religion someon believes in God, someone in Allah and someone in Buddha but everyone fails to persuade me which one is the right one. Anyways what ever it is that I am living, experiencing I am going to make the best out of it. Cause thinking too much may not always be the right thing to do 😜

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