Here’s the thing: you’re already familiar with constructed reality on a day-to-day basis.
Have you ever had a dream that felt real? So real you couldn’t tell it was a dream until afterward? A dream in which all the pieces fit together, logically, within the dream (even if they seemed entirely absurd after you woke up)?
That’s a constructed reality. Dreams are our minds’ way of communicating to us, when we’re unwilling to listen to direct signals. It builds up a whole world for us, a whole universe, and lets us experience what we refuse to accept in logical impulses.
My point is this: our brains are GOOD at building realities. We all know it. We all experience it all the time.
Have you ever seen someone hypnotized? I very much hope so. It’s an amazing experience (being hypnotized, yes, but even just watching). You tell someone he’s a chicken and he begins to behave as though he’s a chicken. Yeah, that’s a silly one. My favorite is the three-year-old. Watch how someone becomes a three-year-old, within his own mind.
As a matter of fact…HAVE you ever been hypnotized? You can realize you’re participating in an imaginary universe (you’re conscious the whole time) even as you are completely submersed in it. You’re not ACTING, the suggested scene becomes truly real for you and imposes itself on you, but there’s a part of Man that can sit outside and watch, even as the body and mind are caught up in the illusion.
That’s a very important point, right there, and it’s what keeps the rest of what I’m saying from being just mad, useless ramblings. We are capable of stepping outside and watching the play, even as our bodies and minds are trapped within it. Most of us choose NOT to, which…
Well, you’ve heard that rule about hypnosis, that the hypnotist can’t make you do anything you normally wouldn’t do. That’s not entirely true. It’s possible, in normal hypnosis, to let the monitoring part of your mind…go to sleep. Most people don’t (they don’t trust the hypnotist), but it’s possible, and then you just go along.
It’s also possible, as a hypnotist, to build so deceptive a world, so captivating an illusion, that the environment itself (rather than your suggestion) causes the hypnotized to do something they wouldn’t normally do. Maybe you couldn’t Command a hypnotized woman to take off all her clothes in front of a huge audience, but you could convince her that her clothes were full of vicious, biting ants….
Both of those are real concerns. What we do, with our science and our logic and our arm’s-length consideration of philosophy, is put to sleep that monitoring part of our mind. We like to stop thinking of this world as an illusion, because that’s less WORK. It also means we no longer have the freedom to manipulate our own role within it, or to stop the play if it gets too absurd (or repulsive).
We need to be reminded, from time to time, that the reality we’re living in is just an illusion we’ve dreamed up for ourselves. We need to look at it from the outside because we (especially we Christians) know we have that power, that perspective. Constantly examine your life, your reality, to make sure it’s not misusing you, not leading you down paths you don’t want to follow.