Are Illusions and Reality Really Different?

For a middle school student, it may seem that the only purpose of school is to drill trivial information into one's brain. While many could argue against that, that is ultimately what school was created on. It was created for a hunger of knowledge. While sometimes it may not seem like it, knowledge is what every human brain craves. It is what the human mind centers around; it's what it is built for. Without knowledge, the human brain would be nothing more than a blank space of dusty cobwebs. But with such high demand of knowledge comes the inevitability of total and complete knowledge. For example, when an innocent five-year-old finds out that Santa Claus is not real, they are stuck in a mind trick that confuses the young and old. That five-year-old begins to question what he has believed and cherished for years. Consequently, a year later, the now six-year-old can be found despising the idea of Santa Claus. These examples are found throughout life, not just in childhood. But when analyzing the example, there are three main components. First is the subject. Second is the illusion, the thing that the subject has been believing for a period of time. And finally comes the rift, the knowledge that the illusion is an illusion. This concept has caused many philosophers' heads to spin uncontrollably. Those philosophers begin to examine each aspect of life carefully and then question the authenticity of those aspects. But there is an aspect of life many of them have been overlooking. Illusions are all around us, but they are also nowhere to be found. Illusions are present in each second of our lives, but they are also absent from each moment. Thus, illusions are reality. They are our reality via their ability to convey fresh emotions and expand our views of life and what lies beneath it.

Life is a roller coaster of emotions. From experiencing the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, life is uncompromised when it comes to arranging a wide array of emotions. Illusions are a key part in making the array of emotions so grand in scale. The five-year-old who believed in Santa Claus will feel rabid excitement when Christmas comes near. Audiences will feel sheer wonder when a magician performs a shocking feat. Illusions are all around us, from the obvious ones to the more questionable and far-stretched ones such as time for instance. In fact, there is no real proof that there is anything authentically real in our reality. As such, it is worthy to conclude that illusions make up a decent part of reality. As a result, they are able to bring fresh emotions to each turn and twist that life throws at humanity.

In addition to just new emotions, illusions also are able to expand our views of life. The five-year-old amazed by Santa Claus will earnestly believe that Santa Claus is real. The religious will be largely intertwined in their religion's gods' realism. Religions, lies, and fantasies are all prime examples of illusions and with the human mind, they are able to affect everyone in different ways. That is why religion speaks to people differently and why there is such a broad range of categories of religions, from Buddhism to Confucianism. The mind tends to agree with the ideal ideology or way of thinking. A voter, for example, will tend to vote for the political candidate who bests suits their interests and concerns. But that voter does not know every decision the candidate will make in office. As a result, that voter's mind will trick itself into imagining that the candidate, should he or she be elected, will make every decision to please that particular voter. And when inevitably that does not occur, that voter's mind will go into a state similar to when the five-year-old discovers Santa Claus is not real. Consequently, illusions are real for each and every person whether they are aware of it or not. However, those same illusions can be real for different people as well, and that is the pure genius of the human mind. Each human mind is different and accepts different things from another human mind.

As a whole, illusions and reality have no true, physical barriers between them. They are both able to convey raw emotions into humanity, seemingly the toys of life. The five-year-old feels wonder and utter magic when their parents set up the Christmas tree and they bake cookies for the white-bearded red stalker. They are both also able to reveal new things about life and how that both illusions and reality are easily shattered. The pair is richly intertwined with each other; one cannot exist without the other. There is no reality without the presence of illusions. Ultimately, through their competencies to affirm new truths, illusions proves to be reality, if anything.

-Charlie Jin