When Things Feel Unreal, Is That a Delusion or an Insight?

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When Things Feel Unreal, Is That a Delusion or an Insight?

Quote:The psychiatric syndrome called derealization raises profound moral and philosophical questions.

Quote:I’m glad Camille has drawn attention to the disorder, because derealization raises profound philosophical questions. Sages ancient and modern have suggested that everyday reality, in which we go about the business of living, is an illusion. Plato likened our perceptions of things to shadows cast on the wall of a cave. The eighth-century Hindu philosopher Adi Shankara asserted that ultimate reality is an eternal, undifferentiated field of consciousness. The Buddhist doctrine of anatta says our individual selves are illusory.

Modern philosophers such as Nick Bostrom postulate that our cosmos is probably a simulation, a virtual reality created by the alien equivalent of a bored teenage hacker. The philosophical stance known as solipsism insinuates that you are the only conscious being in the universe; everyone around you only seems conscious. As I mention in a recent column, some interpretations of quantum mechanics undermine the status of objective reality. Could derealization have inspired all these metaphysical conjectures?

Quote:Derealization is like a slap across the face. It cuts through the monotony of life and wakes you up. It reminds you of the weirdness of the world, of other people, of yourself. By weirdness I mean infinite improbability and inexplicability. Weirdness encompasses all the bipolar properties of our existence, its beauty and ugliness, kindness and cruelty, good and evil.

Seeing the weirdness doesn’t negate our moral responsibility to others. Far from it. By estranging me from the world, derealization, paradoxically, makes it more real. It helps me see humanity more clearly and care about it more deeply. What once felt like a curse has become a gift.

That’s what I tell myself, anyway...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell

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(2022-06-29, 07:30 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: When Things Feel Unreal, Is That a Delusion or an Insight?

Anytime you close the feedback loop too tightly you get destructive resonance. Whether that destruction is a good or bad thing in this case is a matter of perspective.

Real/illusion are too poorly defined. What is real/true is defined as subjective perceptions of an objective environment that are useful in achieving a goal.
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