Is reality real? Do I have a free will? Do I exist? Does existence exist? What’s the meaning of life?
Do you have problems with these questions? Are they keeping you up at night? Well I have the solution free of charge (but it’ll cost you).
Okay, I don’t have THE solution, but I have what works for me.
Pragmatism (a la William James) says that truth is what works. The Zen part of me likes that because it’s fairly Zen. I find more meaning in feeding my dogs than wondering whether there is one Dog, one Doggess or many dogs and doggesses. There are three doggesses and they are hungry! The One True Dog that I can’t see nor touch will just have to wait its turn.
I read a book called the Physics of Consciousness that talked about making decisicions being “collapsing quantum waves”. I didn’t understand all of it but basically I took it as a metaphor saying that when you apply will to make a decision then any state of doubt, uncertainty and generally “neither this nor that” sort of feelings (quantum wave states) collapse like those quantum waves. And that’s pretty Zen too.
So instead of uselessly chasing my tail in endless speculations about stuff that doesn’t go anywhere and doesn’t do anything, I just go round collapsing quantum waves, saying things like “the gods are imaginary”, “the meaning of life is what I make of it” and “yes, I do exist, even if I turn out to be an illusion”.
If I’m wrong I trust reality will come along and set me straight (hopefully not painfully). In the meanwhile I still can’t make out the difference between an illusory slap in the face and a real slap in the face; they are equally painful as each other, so I’d prefer to believe that any and all slaps in the face are real. Pain works, whether it’s real or not.