Reality or illusion

Posted by Ali Reda | Posted in | Posted on 12/13/2010

The Dream argument states that one can never be fully certain whether or not we’re “awake” because a dreamer doesn’t realize he’s dreaming. A Chinese philosopher named Zhuangzi stated that:

Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly , a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn’t know he was Zhuangzi. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuangzi. But he didn’t know if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi.
Then Plato questioned whether or not only perception of the objects constitutes real knowledge of them in his Allegory of the Cave, It is written as a fictional dialogue between Plato's teacher Socrates and Plato's brother Glaucon :

Socrates describes a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. Socrates suggests the prisoners would take the shadows to be real things not just reflections of reality, since they are all they had ever see.
Suppose that a prisoner is freed and permitted to stand up. If someone were to show him the things that had cast the shadows, he would not recognize them for what they were and could not name them; he would believe the shadows on the wall to be more real than what he sees."Suppose further," Socrates says, "What if someone forcibly dragged such a man out of the cave: wouldn't the man be angry at the one doing this to him?"
After some time on the surface, however, Socrates suggests that the freed prisoner would acclimate. He would see more and more things around him, until he could look upon the Sun. He would understand that the Sun is the cause of all those things he and his companions had been seeing"
Socrates next asks Glaucon to consider the condition of this man. "Wouldn't he remember his first home, what passed for wisdom there, and his fellow prisoners, and consider himself happy and them pitiable? no longer being accustomed to the darkness? "Wouldn't they say that he went up and came back with his eyes corrupted, and that it's not even worth trying to go up? And if they were somehow able to get their hands on and kill the man who attempts to release and lead up, wouldn't they kill him?"
our perception of reality in our environment is a shadow for our believes and thoughts

Movies Discussing The Reality Of Perception
  1. The Matrix "Are we Living inside a computer simulation?"
  2. The Thirteenth Floor "Are we Living inside a computer simulation inside a computer simulation?"
  3. Inception "Are we Living in a dream?"
  4. The Sixth Sense "Are we dead?"
  5. The Others "Are we dead and are our haunting ghosts are alive people?" 
  6. Secret Window "Is it really me doing those things?" 
  7. Vanilla Sky: Am I still dreaming?
  8. eXistenZ: Are we still in the game?
  9. Fight Club: Am I Tyler Durden?
In the time being now we can control machines by our thoughts using sensors reading neurons of the brain so we are on the road to the matrix

Movies Discussing The Controlled Reality
  1. Dark City "Life Controlled by Aliens on a distant planet"
  2. The Truman Show "Life  in a TV reality Show Controlled by the Director"
  3. The Game "Life is a controlled series of events composing a game"
So why do we dream?

Freudian view of dreams as subconscious dreamily wishes to be interpreted.

Zhang hypothesizes that the function of sleep is to process, encode and transfer the data from the short-term memory to the long-term memory, though there is not much evidence backing up this so-called "consolidation." NREM sleep processes the conscious-related memory (declarative memory), and REM sleep processes the unconscious related memory (procedural memory).So it helps us in proccessing memories and learning from them , help us to connect old ideas (memories) to new ones (future) or even think of new ones who are connected to the old ones. They help us to think outside the box (unconventional solutions)

A 2001 study showed evidence that illogical locations, characters, and dream flow may help the brain strengthen the linking and consolidation of semantic memories.One stage of memory consolidation is the linking of distant but related memories. Payne and Nadal hypothesize that these memories are then consolidated into a smooth narrative, similar to a process that happens when memories are created under stress.NREM sleep processes the past and sees how it may connect to the future (Super-facial Learning) but REM Sleep processes the past and sees how experincies the future after proceesing the past (Learning from Future Silumation).

Robert (1886) a physician from Hamburg, was the first who suggested that dreams are a need and that they have the function to erase (a) sensory impressions which were not fully worked up and (b) ideas which were not fully developed during the day.

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