Reality – Why You Believe in Unicorns and Trolls
Tristan continued with his lessons, noting that everyone was fully absorbed in this matter, “Earlier, I introduced the reality experienced by higher mammals, including, primates and human beings. As you will recall, the sensory organs transmit information from the external physical world to the sensory and associated cortices of the brain. The brain processes such information, compares it to information stored in semantic and procedural memory, creates a virtual image mirroring the pertinent physical world, and back-projects such images so the virtual overlays the actual physical.
“The validity of such neurally generated virtual images is amply proven by near-perfect interobserver agreement between individually-generated overlays; speaking to the existence of a species-dependent ‘mental image operator’ (when illusion, delusion, and hallucination are absent). Moreover, science, as a discipline, would be an impossible endeavor without such concurrence, as to the actuality of the physical world.
“As an infant develops, the parents actively encourage the child’s manual exploration of his or her surroundings. Such exploration being of paramount importance for crystallizing within the child the unshakeable conviction that he or she can operate and touch the physical. For the creation of such all-controlling conviction is needed for physical survival and eventual reproduction.
“In mathematical terms, the conviction of the actuality of the physical world is similar to a prime axiom in arithmetic. Even more interesting, as in mathematical systems, one discovers that certain rules (theorems and corollaries) follow from the prime axioms of the system. Some seemingly true until disproved. In our individual cases, the false conviction that our virtual image worlds are self-existent.
“For instance, during the waking hours of the developmental period, a child’s conviction of the actual existence of the physical is fervently instilled. During dreaming, the child learns of the relationships between itself and its imaged dream world, seeing itself as an actor and a recipient of actions. As the child continues to interact with this internal virtual copy of the physical world (which is hallucinated within), the child is unknowingly developing a strong conviction of the reality of the dreamworld as shown by their reactions to nightmares and such.
“For during the early years, the child lacks the ability to clearly separate waking from dreaming experiences, and so unconsciously solidifies the connection between the actuality of the physical world and the pseudo-physical. He or she comes to believe that the entities and objects present in dreams are inherently arising from another ‘actual’ world.
“In psychological terms, the child’s reasonable conviction in the actuality of the physical world is indelibly impressed upon its virtual dream world with its myriad ego states (Jung’s archetypes). This impression is so strong that the child is absolutely conditioned to assign the same ‘conviction of actuality’ to its personal beliefs, prejudices, deities, and desires (without any verifiable foundation) as to the actual physical world.
“The contamination of our common virtual image worlds with abstractions (thoughts, feelings, prejudice, hopes, and beliefs), coupled with the ‘difficult to shake’ inner feeling that our abstractions are actually true, is the source of all compatibility problems between individuals.
“The only practical escape for an individual is via the development of type III reality; for type III reality erases the falseness of type II reality. But, escape requires finding an ‘escapee’ and convincing him or her to help you!”