Nothing outside of yourself is real.
Think about this.
Robert Scheinfeld talks about taking a trip on a plane. Let’s say that you get on a plane in New York to fly to London.
You get on the plane you and in a little seat inside a cylinder. Maybe you have a window seat. When the time comes you feel a lot of movement through the floor as you roll out onto the runway and you see scenery scroll by out the window. Then you feel more movement under your feet as your seat tips back and eventually the clank of the landing gear stowing away.
Once you are above the clouds you have nothing visual to get your bearings and no way to tell that you are actually going anywhere other than the plane tipping one way or the other every now and then. Finally, after several hours, you come back down below the clouds.
The scenery out the window is essentially the same as before you went up into the clouds. There is landscape, then buildings, then airport as you come in for a landing. You have movement under your feet again as the landing gear comes out, the wings adjust for landing, the noise increases as the engines rev up and down, then a bump and you are on the ground again.
Signs and people’s accents are the only indication that you are in a different country instead of just around the corner.
In the hours that you were in the air, do you think the stage hands could have erected a pretty convincing scene change?
Here’s a way to compare it to a known illusion.
Go to the Living Seas in EPCOT Center at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. After the intro movie you get in one of 3 elevators that take you deep down beneath the sea.
When everyone is in the elevator, the doors close and you begin your descent. The floor starts to shake and you see the layers of rock slide up past the window in your elevator to let you know that you are traveling a long way down. Finally, your elevator reaches the bottom and you step out to board the ride, deep beneath the sea.
How far down have you actually traveled? If you look up through the windows instead of straight out into the water along the ridhe you will see that the level of water is just above the windows. You have dropped maybe one story, maybe not at all depending on how far above ground the aquariums extend.
It is all an illusion. You haven’t really traveled anywhere. How do you know, really know, that your plane trip is any more real than the illusion of dropping several stories beneath the sea at Disney World?
The engineers at Disney could just as easily make a very convincing simulation of a flight from New York to London.
Just something to think about.
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