What is real?
It’s a simple three word question. What is real? Welcome to my treasure hunt. This will not be an extensive or exhaustive search of all possible opinions on what is real but only for ones that have grounding in the sciences, and that I can get my mind around. Telling you that may be discouraging to folks who want to explore the more spiritual side of the question but it will become apparent that science, physics in particular, is blurring the line between the materialistic science studies and the much older non-material philosophies.
I have a pattern in mind for the way I will bring these gems to your attention. I intend the nature of this path to be based on the scientific approach which in its essence questions all assumptions and observations. My return to this hunt was primarily driven by curiosity about the mind body connection. I propose this is fundamental to understanding reality and that is where my path will eventually lead, but not start. Why might you may be interested in the scientific path? Watch this short clip of physicist Lisa Randall proposing why:
As Professor Randall explained, the basics cannot be explained in a few minutes but I think she did a pretty good summary of some of the areas of new interests in the next link and also why the “truth” will take awhile to explore:
To take care at the beginning, setting the path on the most beneficial heading, the next link is to Sir Roger Penrose’s interview where he is asked what things really exist. This gem is short compared to others I have in mind and at the end of it, in the last 30 seconds, he reveals that he does think there can be an even greater reality than what can be described in his “trialism” view. The triangle image at top is his Impossible Triangle. It’s not exactly the triangle he describes in this talk but I’m keeping it as a symbol of how our world can be complex and mysteries while still appearing simple. Because of his amazing insights I will be coming back to his articles to cover ground from his theories on consciousness to his new alternative theory to replace “The Big Bang”.
The thing about this path is that the complexity of the world of physics can quickly become overwhelming. There are many sources with many ways of presenting the ideas. Even though the ideas are fascinating quite frankly it was still very necessary to have skilled speakers for this traveller to gain the insights they intended to teach. Both Professors Randall and Penrose do it well and we are fortunate to have this caliber of thinkers available free on the internet. The ground work of introducing the range of new ideas will continue in my next article where I’ll bring to your attention Nima Arkani-Hamed.