attempting to define reality : a thought experiment

625539's picture

The world which surrounds me, real or not, operates by precise physical rules. Something cannot come from nothing, everything is a series of transformations. F=MA. E=MC^2. Gravitation. Physics.

Q: Where do these rules come from?

A1: The universe must be dominated by rules because it is a real physical space. If not there would be chaos and chaos is only something that happens in the inferno of the human mind.

A2: These rules are defined by the collective unconscious. The world suggests things. Science defines them. As science creates rules, the universe begins to obey them. For instance, in the Middle Ages it was commonly accepted that witchcraft did exist and therefore it did. As science distances itself from mysticism magic fades.

If A2 is accepted as true, we could deduce that things in the universe are only there because it is accepted by the collective unconscious (CU). There is a tree in my front yard because the CU has defined it as such.

Question : If I gather a significant amount of people, would it be possible to force an object into "reality"?
Hypothesis 1: Yes, with the condition that the CU agrees that the CU is present and is sufficiently powerful to manipulate the physical world.
Hypothesis 2: No, because the CU has already strongly defined that something cannot come from nothing.
Hypothesis 3: No, the CU does not exist.

Question : What forms the collective unconscious?
Hypothesis: The rules of the physical realm I am in as defined by history and observation of the suggestions of the world.

Question : What if there is no collective unconscious?
Hypothesis 1: The universe is a real, physical place dominated by logical physical rules.
Hypothesis 2: The universe has been defined by my own unconscious thought and imagination with no concrete meaning.

1) If the world is dictated by the CU, I am, as a being of this world, also nothing but a projection. I am therefore unreal. Death is the only escape.
2) If I dictate the world, I am alone. Nothing will ever amount to anything. Death is the only escape.
3)If I am part of a real, physical dimension and convinced I am not, I will remain unsatisfied with life. Death is the only escape.


godforbidlaura's picture

very interseting subject, it

very interseting subject, it all scares me a little, after a month or so into math or chemistry clase i start to question the stability of the reality I experience on a daily basis, aand become quite sure that if someone were to figure out pi to the last decimal place, the world will unravel, literally, all things of matter and substance will disintegrate to nothing. thanks for sharing I am going to be very tripped out for the next couple of days.

There is a principle which is a bar to all information which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance- that principle is contempt prior to investigation- Herbert Spencer

625539's picture

the only kind of pie i like

the only kind of pie i like is apple pie

elph's picture

A nascent cosmologist amongst us...


Not too useful, however, the expression: collective unconscious :(

It sounds very-knowingly specific, whereas underlying order would have done quite well.

Science searches for patterns of order... and then proposes tentative rules that will allow the future to be predicted from the present. As long as those rules appear to work, they are known as laws of nature.

If an exception is ever found, the rule is tweaked so as to include the anomaly... with the intent of producing a more all-encompassing law.

No level of consciousness is required...

I hope you find this subject sufficiently interesting to continue...

625539's picture

thank you everything in your

thank you
everything in your comment is correct

MacAvity's picture


This is amazing. You've gotten me thinking, very much. Your logic seems sound, and I find the expression 'collective unconscious' completely appropriate. I have one further question, though:
Why would you want to escape?

625539's picture

Verb escape (third-person

escape (third-person singular simple present escapes, present participle escaping, simple past and past participle escaped)
(intransitive) To get free, to free oneself.

lonewolf678's picture


"Death is the only escape."

Surely you don't plan on leaving the universe soon. The universe, if we figure it out or not, in our lifetime or not, is definately something to behold. And it's certainly something to be a part of.

Of course I should remember not to interfere with someone's wishes, sorry.

625539's picture

i want to know what's behind

i want to know what's behind the curtain

elph's picture

But... you really want to go there without holding a return ticket and reservation?

funnyflyby's picture


My brain is spinning into all sorts of thoughts now...