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In this text, I intend to show that Astrophysics, quantum mechanics, and consciousness build the tripod of reality. In order to achieve a deeper understanding of reality, we must unveil the secrets of the above topics. It seems this to be the main challenge put forth for the human race in 21st century and beyond.



Tripod of Reality

Defining Reality

When we talk about reality, we have to come to a common agreement about true meaning ofthe word. Offering a description for the word reality is a dire task. One may suggest that,

"Reality is what we sense from out there."

However this cannot be a convincing description. Our senses are limited. For example, we just can see a narrow portion of electromagnetic spectrum. On the other hand, fundamental elements of objective world like matter, space, time and energy are not defined to one's satisfaction either. To our knowledge, ultimate quanta of matter are particles. By definition particles are zero size, mass-less objects that intermittently cease to exist. Therefore the observed matter can not be defined in familiar classical terms. We do not know if matter is a separate and fundamental element either. Space on the other hand has a subtle meaning as well. Quantum entanglement asserts that space may not a solid foundation to lean on.

Time in one definition is made of sequence of events in space. Therefore, it is another mystery and may not be a fundamental element after all. With introducing fields as the origin of energy (gravity, electromagnetic, etc…), the meaning of energy is also not so concrete. The nature of fields remains a mystery. Therefore, it is better to say that,

"Reality is what we sense from out there and beyond."

However this cannot be a complete definition yet, because it ignores another big portion of reality. Our consciousness is an active part in constructing our perception of the reality. That is why reality for each person is a bet different from the other. In fact quantum mechanics suggests a more fundamental rule for consciousness. The observer may have a rule in altering the reality itself. Observer problem introduces a huge puzzle in quantum mechanics. So maybe we have to modify our definition to,

"Reality is what we sense from out there and beyond plus what is inside."

Then again, this is not complete yet. The nature of consciousness is a mystery. Is there an underlying realm beyond our consciousness awareness? We know that our awareness is rooted in an unconscious domain. Besides, there maybe a common awareness between living things. In addition, perhaps there is a binding element which is coordinating and synchronizing the whole existence (strong anthropic principle). So maybe it is fair to finalize our definition as, "Reality is what we sense from out there and beyond" Plus

"What is inside and beyond"

Or in simpler version we may say,

"Reality is what we sense and beyond plus what we feel and beyond."

Here, I do not want to portray a dualistic relationship between an individual and the universe. Every evidence is pointing to a unified nature of reality. The above definition is only for analytic purposes.

This definition portrays a reality that is far from objective/classical reality. It is an abstract, all encompassing, multi-factual, multi-form and vibrant reality which is beyond our comprehension at this time. However, new findings are constantly expanding the scope and erasing the boundaries of our ignorance.

At the dawn of twenty one century our traditional perception of reality is in a very shaky ground indeed. The naturalistic view proves to be incomplete and inefficient. We have realized that the seemingly solid and deterministic macrocosm has its roots in chaotic and irrational fundamentals of quantum mechanics. We need a completely new perception of reality. How can we go about doing so? The definition of matter, space and time are not as clear cut. Many strange findings question the validity of Newtonian physics and classical science.

Even causality is going under question. Many efforts have been directed to extending classical explanations for quantum mechanical phenomena to no avail. These paradoxes challenge our logical thinking. It seems that classical science and logic is reaching to a dead end. Our conventional logic cannot explain the new phenomena. At this point it seems that we need to drastically alter our vision and judgment in order to encompass new findings. We need to open up and revise our so-called logical thinking. Are we ready to completely revamp our rational views?

Zero and Infinity

At this point on time we need to develop non-classical theories that can explain the unexplained. To this end, I believe, we have to expand our scope and introduce physical definitions for zeros and infinities. Unfortunately so far mainstream physics and the dominant theoretical physical theories have chosen to avoid these two fundamental elements.

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