Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A bit of philosophy

Space is a big place. Many planets. So how can we know when we have landed on the right one?

OK so that might make no sense to most people, but I wanted to open with something about space that also brings up the question that has been on my mind quite a lot over the last year or so. I often refer to the journey I have been on these last few years as a journey through space, trying to find the right planet (hence the name of this blog). This has been even more so in the last year.

But seriously, how can we actually know that we are on the right planet? How can we know that we are not lost in space?

The big question that has been a part of my journey, particularly over the last year, is 'what exactly is reality?'. Maybe some of you have picked up something along these lines from my paintings and poems that I have posted so far here, and there will be more to come in the future. There have been times of much confusion along my journey, where I really have felt that I was lost in space and desperate to return home. And also times of much certainty, when I would refuse to accept my friends telling me that I was not on the planet I so much thought I was on.

These days things aren't so bad. I'm settled here on what I mostly think is planet Earth. But I equally know that I cannot be certain of where I am. There are times on this journey that I decide to turn back, because I believe that I have been sent in the wrong direction.

It annoys me when one person decides that they are the one who knows all of reality and we should all listen to them, because everybody who disagrees is wrong. For many years I thought I was that person, but getting through to the world around me was something that I never managed to figure out how to do. I'm glad that I no longer believe this as it has definitely taken one of my worries away from me. But most people (and I do realise it is just human nature) will claim that they are the ones who have the answers - 'what I believe is the true reality'.

But truth is nobody can know.

Funnily enough, my own belief that I was the one who knew all reality and everyone should listen to me turned out to be a delusion. What I so much thought was the reality I needed to share with everyone (if only I could work out how to get through to them) turned out to be me stuck in the middle of a psychotic episode.

So how stupid do I feel now, knowing all that? Answer is quite a lot.

But the question still remains, as it will always do. I am not saying we are all psychotic, but we do tend to always trust our own views over those of the people around us. I must admit I hate being proven wrong, and the more convinced I was over something the more I hate when people say I am wrong. But I do have a point here. How can those who say something is wrong or untrue know this for certain?

I wonder if we do all experience delusions to some extent, just not significant enough to cause us problems. And nobody likes to be proven wrong. When people accuse me of getting it wrong, my tendency is to find more evidence (whether real or imaginary) to prove that actually I am right. So can't I suggest that this is a completely normal behaviour? Well it certainly seems logical.

I don't think that anyone can know 'true reality' (whatever that is). The question will always be there. We are all doomed to be always lost in space, whether trying to find Earth (well assuming that Earth is the right planet) or happy on whatever planet we find ourselves on.

I hope I haven't confused everyone too much!


  1. Oh you haven't confused me. I can confuse myself just by thinking about my confusing confusion. Oh dear, what am I doing.
    Perhaps one person's reality is another person's unreality. How can nothing become something....And when I look at a table, do you see the same table as me? Or is that table in your reality or unreality, a chair?
    Of course, we all have our own form of validity. I respect what you have to say and I find it most fascinating. And who is to say we are actually on this planet or any planet. Perhaps it is a convenient perception created by us to make sense of our alleged physicality. Okay, I shall now drift back to my blog....
    Take care and keep writing.
    With respect, Gary

  2. Thank you Gary, for your very interesting perspective. Of course, nobody can know fully what does constitute 'reality' for another person. And to me that is something I find very interesting about philosophy and the questions it asks us all.