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A Truman Life

There's something about The Truman Show that I can't quite figure out. Something about the enduring beauty of a movie premised upon an idea so basic, it's almost unthinkable. A question so simple, it's sure to make one seem a simpleton for even asking it: "What is the nature of reality?"

It is a question that has become so trite that we rarely stop to actually consider it, for fear of walking down blind alleys and unlit pavements. It has been relegated to a merely conceptual concern - something you only toy with when you have nothing else to do; something for the old and infirm to ponder over, or for the rich and entitled to dissect, knowing that thought can be spared for issues other than pure survival.

I think the problem lies within us: we can't grasp the meaning of this statement purely because we don't see the (often hazy) distinction between undeniable reality and pure fiction. The problem lies within our inability to see that if you don't see the edges, you don't really know where you are. If all you see is sand and no water, what's to say that you're not on a vast desert? No, a body is only as good as its edges.

And of what use is this consciousness if you don't understand where it ends, or merges into something else? And what then is a conception of consciousness if I don't understand why I need it? Maybe I don't need to know the necessity of it as much as the truth of its existence. Maybe it's like the early man not understanding where his urges came from, turning to celestial beings to explain away his fears and hopes and aspirations.

What, then, is the nature of reality? Is my reality the same as yours? What about your dog's? Is that even a reality I can comprehend? What can I really comprehend, that I haven't made up as ad-hoc rules to explain my experience, to suit my circumstances? Is any experience ever truly new? What does it mean to be asking myself all this? If my consciousness is an entity by itself, what is the mirror? And what is the consciousness seeing when it sees itself?

What is the nature of my reality? I don't know, but it would be a shame to not try to find out.

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