How can something be more real than reality?
Well… it can’t. Semantically, that doesn’t make sense.
And yet, folks experience that all the time.
Have you ever had a dream that was more vivid and compelling than your waking state? Most dreams aren’t like that because you can feel your memory get scrambled from within the dream.
If you could remember them all clearly, though, many of them would have this strange quality. They would seem more real than reality.
I’ve had dreams like that.
You don’t have to be unconscious to experience it.
Folks faced with certain death, in the throes of religious revelation or simply grappling with a soul-shifting epiphany often report feeling this. Suddenly their senses sharpen and they see the world as if for the first time.
Hallucinations of any kind are like this.
It’s strange, though. Why would something that’s the product of your brain misfiring seem more real than reality?
If you ask this of any of the dozens of Facebook groups dedicated to Carl Jung, mysticism or the Secret, they’ll tell you it’s proof that the real world is made of thoughts. The material world, they say, is the one that’s actually ephemeral.
This pretentious codswallop might be right, who knows – although it sounds unlikely.
But they’re wrong when they call this ‘proof’ of anything.
Anything generated in the mind is always going to seem more real than anything generated from optic nerve signals. Of course it is – your eye is lossy, marked by scars, scratches and random neural noise.
Vision is impressive because your brain takes a crappy input and uses it to create detailed models of the world.
But imagine generating models with a cleaner source of input.
That’s what hallucinations are. You can see a lot clearer when you don’t rely on your eyes.
(Less accurately, maybe, but clearer… )
Those Facebook losers hate this sort of explanation, but they’ll get over it the next time someone asks “is God truth, love or life?” and they can show they’re as deep as the average stoned philosophy major.
But my explanation, apart from actually meaning something, is far deeper than theirs.
It points to a truth about your mind you can’t even see.
When you look around, it often feels like your eyes are open doors through which the real world pours in. That’s not how you work. It’s closer to taking Morse code signals and translating them into a CGI rendering.
It might be useful, it might even be accurate, but you’re never seeing true reality.
When your thoughts generate a clearer image out of nothing, it can seem like something super-real… even when it’s less real than everything else.
Your mind is funny like that.
It’s one of the reasons why hypnosis can be so powerful. In a trance, you can have impulses that come from somewhere other than your senses. Bubbling up from your unconscious, they can appear to be more real than anything else.
Some of those thoughts might be dark and primitive.
Many will seem random.
Others will hold deep wisdom you’ve allowed yourself to forget.
And with a skilled hypnotist, you can take whatever emerges and resolve even the toughest, most stubborn problems.
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