Reality is only what you perceive it to be. In other words, your senses detect information and you translate that into your perception of reality. It may not even be close to another person’s reality, but it is your reality.
If you were deprived of all your senses, you would still be thinking and would be conscious, but you would have no sight or sound or smell or taste or touch to provide you information on your reality. So reality might become something altogether different with sensory deprivation. Reality might become a surrealistic landscape with giant insects crawling toward you. Or it might be a hellish environment with molten rock pulling you down into a volcanic lava flow. It could be anything your imagination creates or anything you cannot stop from creating.
Reality then is fleeting and determined by our perceptions. If our brains are dysfunctional, then reality will suffer because our perceptions will be distorted. If you are schizophrenic, you may hear voices telling you to do things, so your reality will be very different from those who don’t hear those voices. Even if these voices cannot be heard by others, the voices are very real to those who hear them. One person’s reality may be another person’s perception of somebody who is out of touch with reality. My reality may not be your reality and vice versa.
So if reality can vary from individual to individual and depends on a variety of sensory data, how can society judge which reality is correct? Is it based on what the majority of people think reality is or is it based on what the government dictates what reality is? And if your perception of reality differs from what the society or government dictates, are you wrong? Should you conform to the reality that others describe and proscribe?
One argument is that an individual’s reality should not be allowed to interfere with the reality provided to a society by a government. The common good for the masses would outweigh the good for the individuals. But is that really true? If reality is superimposed on a society by a totalitarian government, is it always good for the masses? Let’s take the Nazis effort to exterminate the Jewish race as an example. The reality of a superior race, eliminating the Jews as a form of ethnic cleansing was not good either for individuals or the masses. It was only good for a short period of time for the leaders of the Nazi party.
True, there are some who have mental conditions that make them dangerous. Their perceptions of reality are distorted by those conditions. However, it may be difficult diagnosing and categorizing these conditions, since there are world leaders like Hitler and Stalin who probably had mental conditions that changed the reality for the German and Russian citizens for many years. If you live in a totalitarian regime, your reality becomes that of the mentally challenged leaders. If you don’t conform to that reality, you will be tortured and murdered. This is a reality that I hope you don’t encounter during your life.
The biggest issue with reality occurs after you die. If you die and you are no longer aware of anything, then you are “dead” dead. There is nothing more and there is no reality after death. But the problem occurs if you are conscious after you die. What does your reality become at that point? Is it like the totalitarian rule where a power dictates your new reality? Or is it your individual spirit that will create your new reality?
The dilemma is how you will respond to this new environment. Some people need guidance and prefer being told what to do, so that a totalitarian ruler would be able to control their after-death reality. But others may think that they are independent enough to handle the after-death experience by themselves. This would be like traveling past the event horizon into a black hole, attempting to dictate what happens next.
Your reality in this new universe is an unknown. You may or may not have your senses to assist you. Without your senses, your imagination may be your worst enemy. You may think about being buried alive in a very confining coffin. Your mind may create a most hellish environment that becomes your new reality. In that case, having a guide, perhaps even a totalitarian guide, might create a better reality.
Our perception of reality that is most comfortable to us is found in a moderate, comfortable, balanced, and controlled environment. A chaotic quantum world would be a nightmare for us. We are comfortable in a controlled solar system around us, yet we have a quantum universe inside us. In other words, our reality is steeped in what we see outside us, but if we die, it is possible that we may collapse and fall into the chaos of quantum mechanics.
What would our perception be if we were in several different locations at the same time? What if we were riding on a quark without any clocks or calendars? What would we think if we had nothing to hold onto? How devastating would it be to our thoughts if we had no distractions of sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch? My best guess is that most people would lapse into a psychotic state, hallucinating most of the time without any end in sight.
So what is our perception of God? Is God reality? Many have faith that there is a God, but I suppose we will not really know until we die. After death if we are still thinking, then four main realities may be perceived: (1) you may have no belief in God, thus God will not be in your reality, leaving you to your own devise without anything to hold onto; (2) you may consider yourself as being godlike, being in charge of everything that happens in the afterlife; (3) you may perceive God as a totalitarian authority who controls everything, leaving you to God’s providence; or (4) you may perceive God as being inside you, uniting you and God as one in the afterlife.
Of these four, I prefer number four. Why? I have heard stories about tough prisoners who were placed in solitary confinement and captured soldiers who were tortured with sensory deprivation and how they broke down after a short period of time. Many hallucinated and suffered greatly. Without anything to hold onto, these hardened prisoners and soldiers went through complete meltdowns. They were reduced to being emotional wrecks, out of control. That is why I have no confidence in our species dealing with the afterlife by itself. If we are still thinking upon death, we must have a powerful belief that we can latch onto like a life preserver in the storm.
Many religions emphasize number three. Why isn’t that a good option? Well, it is certainly better than the first two, but it fails to deal with entity that is thinking. If you surrender yourself to a God who is not within you, then that God is outside of you. You give up all control to a God that may become something created by your imagination or something that morphs into just the opposite of what you expected. If you are thinking after death, then you must deal with that entity that is still thinking.
It really does not matter what religion you carry into the afterlife. But you must have a solid faith in God. However, it must be a God that is inside you at death. You must be fully united with God. You must be one with God. I selected Christianity as my personal religion because it is the only religion I know that eliminates all your sins before death. This is important because you must not carry any guilt into the afterlife. If you are thinking about bad things that you did during your life, you will punish yourself more than any Devil ever could. If you are claustrophobic, you will stuff yourself deep inside a shrinking shaft for eternity. You get the picture?
But no one knows exactly what will happen until we reach the point of departure. I do have faith in God during this life because I believe that you cannot just select one of these realities at the last second. If you want to have God inside you, you need to prepare in advance and let Him inside you long before you die. After you die, it may be too late to be one with God. Living with yourself for an eternity would be hell.