Questions of Reality


We are often told that an artist’s goal must be to attempt a personal reflection of the world, not to mimic it, but to bring out and amplify some truths that are instantly recognised. These truths through time have always been elusive, and they are often clouded by our own beliefs, prejudices and how our senses perceive the world. It is now recognised that representational art is quite a blunt instrument when used to portray something which we now know is clearly very complex.

Some films are now being produced in 3D, and we are told that 3DTV will soon follow. So how will we cope with this illusory 3D world in our living rooms with the boundaries of reality becoming blurred? I’ll warrant that the consequences will be that the next ‘couch potato’ generation will be even more devoid of humanity and lacking in social skills than the present.

But what of reality in its wider sense? Mathematicians and physicists now openly discus ‘the eleven dimensions’. These may seem very strange and unbelievable to the ordinary person, but dimensions are very real to a scientific view of the universe. Recent research seems to show that an understanding of other dimensions is the key to a better understanding of how our universe came into being and give some indication of what its final end may be.

Recent discoveries using the gravitational wave detector (GEO600) in Hanover, Germany suggest bizarre outcomes that are at the limit of believability. The whole area is discussed in a New scientist article entitled ‘Our World May Be a Giant Hologram’. But to cut to the chase, the conclusion is that we are living in ‘holographic space’. Reality is just an illusion, a construct of quantum physics. Scientists claim that they may have stumbled upon its actual ‘fabric’. The analogy is with a newspaper image. They claim to have found the graininess present in the image but related to actual matter. You may recall that the film ‘Matrix’ explored the concept of such an illusory world. It may yet be proved to have some elements of truth in it.

Leaving academia behind and taking a more personal view, one important way to investigate reality may be to investigate ourselves, for what world exists outside of ourselves? When all senses are removed, what is there? The answer is the imagination.

Imagination is what makes us human and frees us from what we perceive. The power of the mind was well known to the ancient mystics. Gods and goddesses, trolls, elves and goblins and all manner of other entities have existed, and have been believed to be real, in the minds of men. The limit of all that we are, or can be, is vested in this most precious commodity.

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