Reader comment on The Wachowskis's passage ...

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    On Jul 30, 2019 Bill Miller wrote:


    I’ve also often thought that there’s something profound in The Matrix’ story concept. Such discussions though, seem to get tangled up in the meanings of words like reality, dream, and illusion — and which of these are “true” versus false, wrong, or delusional.

    “Illusion” often implies something wrong or mistaken - not what one thinks it is. Yet I read a book many years ago, “User Illusion” (Tor Norretranders) that put a more benign and practical spin on the term. In this sense, “illusion” is taking something complex, maybe even beyond understanding, and concocting a simplified model that enables one to engage with the phenomenon even without total understanding. An easy example: I am writing this on a computer screen which gives the illusion of typing letters on a sheet of paper, yet behind the illusion I am flipping digital bits in a memory core. Doing the latter directly would be an oppressive task. Fortunately I have the user illusion.

    The structure of ultimate reality is certainly far, far more complex than a computer’s memory and display, but I suspect the analogy of a digital display is a useful, simplified model. A digital motion picture comes to life when, behind the white light of the projector, the millions of two-dimensional pixel display units are turned on and off in the proper pattern and sequence.

    Perhaps our experienced reality occurs similarly when, behind the white light of Source, three-dimensional cosmic “pixels” are selectively attended to or not attended to by consciousness. When enough of us agree to attend to the same pixels, we have a common experience of reality that enables a society to function. And when some attend to pixels that most others do not, we label them crazies or mystics.

    Ultimately it’s an illusion, but it is also our reality.


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    On Jul 30, 2019 Jonathan Wilkendorf wrote:

    Very good analogies and reflection, Bill Miller! I take much of what you are describing as relating to the aspects of sensory organ inputs and the brain's translations of those into perception which leads toward cognition. I also sense many additional layers of "illusion" that can happen between the stages of perception, cognition, recognition, interpretation, deduction/reasoning/analysis, belief system imprinting, memory storage, memory recall, etc. There are so many ways that our minds can get caught up in the "story" of what we see or engage with in the world, such that complex layers of "illusion" can develop and intermingle, especially on the sub-conscious levels. I get tiny reminders of this at certain moments each day, especially when I'm transitioning between activities and environments. For instance, I get so engrossed in my work during the day, taking on the mindset of the workplace and the co-workers, adapting to the language styles, behavior norms, workplace values, goals, and expectations. But when I leave work and get back home, I often recognize a mental shift happens where I shed those "illusions" of the way of being at work, and morph back into my familiar/comfortable relaxed personal habits of behavior and desires that are freed of the expectations and needs of the workplace. In that brief moment of transition, I feel I can see the "illusion" of the workplace in comparison to the "reality" of my personal life, which then also helps me see my "reality" is also an "illusion" because that "reality" does change gradually over the years as my life situation and desires change. Over the years (especially ever since I started Buddhist "Insight Meditation" practice), I have gradually become more easily reminded to try to look past the "illusion" of each moment regardless of the situation so that I can be more present and not caught up in the stories my mind keeps generating.


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