Who Do We Think We Are?- A question of reality

Living in a complex and sophisticated society as we do, it is very easy to lose sight of the basics.  Who are we? Where could we have come from? Any search for the truth of the matter about our origins has to start with the  only clues that we actually have.

What are we ?

Our main clue is, funnily enough, ourselves. Who are we anyway? What can we learn about reality from looking at ourselves?

We are taught at school that we are Homo Sapiens, man apes, living on the planet earth. At a basic animal level, we survive by eating other creatures, and the plant life of Earth’s biosphere. What we eat, we turn into the energy we need to fuel our bodies. We breathe the planet’s atmosphere to put oxygen in our lungs to enable us to survive.

Where did we come from?

Some say we are mere advanced animals, creatures of evolution, designed by the  forces of  natural selection, as per the theories of Charles Darwin. Some say that we are more than that. We were made by a creator God, who breathed life and a soul into us by his design. Which of these could it be? The actual truth may be quite different. How can we actually know?

Physical matters

We must look first at out actual physical body for clues. What are we made of? As organic creatures, we are made of cells. Our bodies are made of thousands and thousands of cells, all genetically identical. These cells do different things and look different, but genetically they are the same. The basic substances that make up our cells are only six in number. These are oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus. These act and interact together to make all the compounds and chemicals that our complex bodies need to work and survive.

So all we are, at a physical basic level, is a bunch six of naturally occurring elements in combination.

What are these  made of?

They are made from atoms. Atoms are mostly empty space. We are actually really mostly empty space. Atoms have nucleus of  protons and neutrons in their centre, and electrons whizzing around them. This is what we are actually made of. Why do we feel solid then? Why don’t we just dissolve into all around us?

Why do we feel solid?

We feel solid because of relative densities. The energy fields created by the atomic structure keep the atoms intact. More, seemingly solid, things have a denser structure. My desk is denser than me, I cannot fall through it. A saw is denser than my desk, it can penetrate its surfaces.

Sub atomic reality

The various parts of the atoms can themselves be broken down into smaller particles. These include things like quarks and leptrons.

These sub atomic particles consist themselves of vibrating parcels of energy. All we are at base is vibrating parcels of energy. All we see around us is made only of vibrating parcels of energy in different combinations.

Ultimate questions

Our first look at the physical  nature of our reality, throws up a first major question. Is reality all an illusion? Are we all holograms? What could that say about where we  come from? How do we know we are “real” at all?

How do we know we are real?

We feel we are real because we interact with our environment around us. We touch other people and things, we smell, taste, see and hear. We feel pleasure and pain. The truth is though, all of this happens only in our brain. Sense organs, eyes, ears and  skin  relay information continually back to the brain. This is then processed and becomes the information, by which we can be sure we exist.

Aspects of reality

This, as they say, is another story. Our minds /thoughts are the only thing we can be sure of.  Whatever our origins, our reality comes down to who we are mentally, not physically. As Descartes said hundreds of years ago, “I think therefore I am”. This is still very valid today. We can count on nothing else.

 

Marian

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