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A pragmatic approach: What is "real", and when is it actually useful to ask this? Options
 
gibran2
#41 Posted : 4/14/2010 6:37:21 PM

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Thanks for the information.

burnt wrote:
...I don't think the laws of physics will need to be rewritten because of dark matter.

The re-writing of physical laws isn’t something I’m suggesting. It’s something that was suggested by a physicist in the NOVA video I linked to.


@ ismokecrystals:

Thanks for the link. The paper is 22 pages long, so I haven't had a chance to read through it yet, but it looks interesting.

(Is this the paper suggesting that we ask entities to factor large primes? I think so. I'm not sure if I'd be able to ask, and I'm not sure they'd oblige. Very happy )

Edit:

Another nice article, suggesting that our universe is “inside” a black hole contained in a larger universe: Our universe at home within a larger universe?

Edit2:

Another good article to show how strange reality is and how little we actually know. Plants take advantage of quantum mechanical properties: Shining a Light on Plants' Quantum Secret to Boost Photosynthesis

If plants do it, why not us?
gibran2 is a fictional character. Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental.
 

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Chalchiuhtlicue
#42 Posted : 5/1/2010 8:42:08 AM

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I'd like to suggest that reality is based on infinity rather than logic.

The problems we have in dealing with reality come from trying to put a box around our comfort zone when in actuality, that space we are trying to maintain has no walls or floor or ceiling.
Perceptions lie to us all the time, resulting in unsupportible constructs that we either have to take on faith (accept the lie) or continually reconstruct in order to feel "sane". We're just not put together strong enough to hold on to infinity, and those of us who try generally crash and burn. It's simply more practical to ignore what we can't get a grip on than to accept the whole picture for what it is.
"Hang in there. The light only comes at the END of the tunnel." [i]Letters to Oso, 2010
 
clouds
#43 Posted : 6/15/2010 12:30:59 AM

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Something that needs to be pondered is that the psychedelic phenomena (in general) and the DMT phenomena (in particular) is relatively new to the western scientific point of view. You can go ask 'shamans' in Africa and South America if their visions are real... they will tell you that it is real indeed. They have experienced it extensively, and their ancestors have experienced these realms extensively too. The 'visions' and the 'trance' is not something new. But for us it is (I'm talking about our culture).

Another thing that is worth mentioning is that shamans believe (by direct experience) that these realms are true and also that believing that these realms are true has benefits. It has utility to them: for healing, for seeing the future, for communicating with dead ancestors and with God. Of course they could be wrong, but it has benefit for them. So what am I saying? That believing hyperspace is real can have utility, specifically if you are a shaman (or neo-shaman). Or if you have a 'purpose' to put it differently.

Maria Sabina (the mushroom shaman) believed her visions were real... and it helped her in her social-context. She had a purpose.
Pablo Amaringo (the ayahuasca shaman) believed his visions were real... and it helped him in his social-context. He had a purpose.

So, DMT is a natural substance. And the brain is a natural organ. Why should the phenomena of smoking DMT be 'supernatural' if what you are doing is something as natural as possible. I mean, DMT is not even a synthetic drug! Maybe hyperspace is something as real as this reality and there is nothing 'supernatural' or 'mystic' about it. Unless, of course that this life we are experiencing is something supernatural or mystic itself (which is a possibility of course).

So in shorter words, if you have a purpose when you smoke DMT or take Ayahuasca, believing if your visions are real or not, is something really important. And if you want to trip hard and be amused, then it really really doesn't matter if the visions are real or not. Personally, I don't care if it is real or not... and that's because I am not a shaman and I don't want to be one. But if someone is an aspiring shaman (that takes psychedelics with a purpose/higher purpose) then tying to know if the visions are real is very useful.
 
jamie
#44 Posted : 6/15/2010 12:38:35 AM

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There is a place.

Its somewhere between what we call "real" and "unreal"..and thats were anything even worth talking about seems to go down.
 
clouds
#45 Posted : 6/15/2010 1:05:05 AM

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fractal enchantment wrote:
There is a place.

Its somewhere between what we call "real" and "unreal"..and thats were anything even worth talking about seems to go down.


Probably.

But some people that are from another cultures different from the western (like the Mazatec or the Amazonian etc) do talk about those places. And they talk about those places like they were talking about a voyage and not like if they were talking about a dream. They can do it using logical arguments. And the benefits can be measured.

Mazatec shamans that use Salvia and mushrooms do not have the slightest doubt that their visions are 100% real. And they 'need' to believe that the visions are real, otherwise the other person wouldn't be healed or cured. There is no such thing as a skeptic shaman. There is no such thing as a careless shaman. (Regarding the nature of the visions, of course).
 
joebono
#46 Posted : 6/15/2010 4:29:29 AM

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clouds wrote:
Something that needs to be pondered is that the psychedelic phenomena (in general) and the DMT phenomena (in particular) is relatively new to the western scientific point of view. You can go ask 'shamans' in Africa and South America if their visions are real... they will tell you that it is real indeed. They have experienced it extensively, and their ancestors have experienced these realms extensively too. The 'visions' and the 'trance' is not something new. But for us it is (I'm talking about our culture).

Another thing that is worth mentioning is that shamans believe (by direct experience) that these realms are true and also that believing that these realms are true has benefits. It has utility to them: for healing, for seeing the future, for communicating with dead ancestors and with God. Of course they could be wrong, but it has benefit for them. So what am I saying? That believing hyperspace is real can have utility, specifically if you are a shaman (or neo-shaman). Or if you have a 'purpose' to put it differently.

Maria Sabina (the mushroom shaman) believed her visions were real... and it helped her in her social-context. She had a purpose.
Pablo Amaringo (the ayahuasca shaman) believed his visions were real... and it helped him in his social-context. He had a purpose.

So, DMT is a natural substance. And the brain is a natural organ. Why should the phenomena of smoking DMT be 'supernatural' if what you are doing is something as natural as possible. I mean, DMT is not even a synthetic drug! Maybe hyperspace is something as real as this reality and there is nothing 'supernatural' or 'mystic' about it. Unless, of course that this life we are experiencing is something supernatural or mystic itself (which is a possibility of course).

So in shorter words, if you have a purpose when you smoke DMT or take Ayahuasca, believing if your visions are real or not, is something really important. And if you want to trip hard and be amused, then it really really doesn't matter if the visions are real or not. Personally, I don't care if it is real or not... and that's because I am not a shaman and I don't want to be one. But if someone is an aspiring shaman (that takes psychedelics with a purpose/higher purpose) then tying to know if the visions are real is very useful.



Great post, Clouds. You're right, people's perceptions of hyperspace have a dramatic impact on their usage and its utility in their lives. DMT is kind of like a magic, it can be used to greatly improve and enhance one's sense of self and place in the world, but it can also be misused and present the user with damage all within a supernatural framework. Likewise those who do not subscribe to the magical effects and see the experience as wholly within the rational, logical scientific realm also have their trips shaped by these perceptions. When the trips are good, it's more fun to imagine or believe the otherwordly hypothesis.
 
jamie
#47 Posted : 6/15/2010 5:42:53 AM

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I figured this out a few yars back one day while sitting in my room on mushrooms listening to bedouin soundclash..I realized i could be ANYTHING I wanted to be..I realiz I didnt care what othere people thought becasue it didnt matter, they werent me. I could be a wizard if I wanted to, literally. Who's gunna say I cant?..who is anyone to tell me what is "real" and what is "unreal"..those kind of definitions are so lower dimensional, soo dualistic, black and white..while they are useful within a certain context, it's never something set in stone.

So I decided to be a wizard because for me that was a very much real and valid reality I could enter..After that trip and one other mushroom trip in particular I began to become facinated with mythology and other cultural modalitites and went to study anthropology and philosophy.

There really is no "real", and there really is no "unreal"..there just is, you make of it whatever you like.
 
Ginkgo
#48 Posted : 6/15/2010 5:59:35 AM

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Beautifully said, fractal enchantment! I agree wholeheartedly. Your message goes great with my signature too. Pleased
 
clouds
#49 Posted : 6/16/2010 12:47:06 AM

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fractal enchantment wrote:
There really is no "real", and there really is no "unreal"..there just is, you make of it whatever you like.


Well, I have to accept that things are not 'black' or 'white'. I also think everything depends on much factors and that details are extremely important. Now, under the laws of Logic (as you know) something is either real or unreal. So basically, what you are suggesting is not possible under a rational view.

However... many people that use psychedelics suggest that there are paradoxical realms where Logic fails. So you may be right when you suggest that there is no 'real' and no 'unreal' IF traditional logic is somehow flawed (which may be a remote possibility of course).

I've had experiences with psychedelics that seem to defy Logic of this reality (for example, some experiences seem to affect my PAST) Yeah, you read right. My past. Other experiences seem to affect other people that I don't know until I finally meet them. Those types of things defy Logic and one would say that I am deluded. However, psychedelics have taught that I don't know shit about objective reality and I am nowhere near to be completely sure of anything.

So yeah, what I'm trying to say is:

a) Logic may be flawed, therefore it is possible that the Principle of Contradiction is somehow wrong.
a.1) But shamans that say the 'visions' are real are using a rational point of view, since they don't logically contradict themselves.

b) It is important whether you believe if your 'visions' are real or not, because that effects your life, and apparently it also effects objective reality.


So clarifying:

• A scientist that says the Visions are not real is a logical person, which may be right.
• A shaman that says that the Visions are real is a logical person, which may be right.
• A person that says the Visions are real and unreal is not a logical person, which may be right.

edit:
And if anyone cares... I do believe hyperspace is real and independent, even before smoking DMT. And I also believe iboga, mushrooms and several other visions produced by the brain with the help of psychedelics are real. The two things I don't believe is that the substances are sacred and that the visionary realms are supernatural.
 
jamie
#50 Posted : 6/16/2010 1:55:44 AM

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hmmm, i see what you are saying, but I wouldnt really say it that way.

To me it isnt a question as to weather or not logic is flawed..becasue to me it isnt. Logic is perfectly in its place where it is..it has a purpose and it serves it well. BUT, logic isnt the whole picture..For anything to even qualify as "rational", it implis that the exact opposite is possible as well(becasue when you say something is either this or that, you are automatically entering into dualistic thought, which requires polarities..but that could really be a thread of its own)..so in that sense rationality and logic are only PART of the picture, but that part of the picture is a big part of what makes the current western paradigm stay intact. Logic and rationality are inportant to keep the systems we have put in place intact.

It's not weather or not something makes "sense"..but to what degree it makes sense. Everything is a lie from some angle. Everything is truth from another. Its all about where you choose to stand and if you have the eyes to see it.
 
endlessness
#51 Posted : 6/16/2010 1:59:22 AM

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"All affirmations are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense " Razz
 
clouds
#52 Posted : 6/16/2010 2:13:58 AM

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Yep, I think I also understand what you are saying... but...

fractal enchantement wrote:
For anything to even qualify as "rational", it implies that the exact opposite is possible as well


It may be possible, but not at the same time. So under a logical point of view, hyperspace is real or it isn't.
However, in some sense, hyperspace may be real at some point and not real at some other point in time.

i.e. Maria Sabina thought that her visions were real and powerful before the 'white man' came to use it... then she said that the mushrooms now spoke English and that the mushrooms lost the power (she didn't say anything about the 'new' nature of the reality of the visions, but one can speculate...)

So... is hyperspace real or not?

• Logically speaking, it can be real and unreal, but not at the same time.
• Not logically speaking, anything is possible. Anything. Even logical contradictions, of course.

 
jamie
#53 Posted : 6/16/2010 3:24:48 AM

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Well see I agree with you, to an extent..you are basically using logic to explain the whole thing, and its undertandable because that is really the only framework we can put it into without sounding too metaphorical etc..

Both "real" and "unreal" are subjective becasue they are temporal. I might argue that magic and shamanism IS real, and from where I stand, under my definition it very well would be, while someone else might argue that its not real, and that assumption might be supported relative to their definition of magic and shamansim. Both can be true at the same time relative to the angle at which the subject is approached.

You see, what we are doing, what ALL of this is about, history, science, culture etc..what we are doing is telling a story. The way the story is told influences the way it continues to unfold..but there are many stories all within this one story, the story of the stories...

Language is a funny thing..it can be tricky. You can build a mountain or you can dig out a valley depending simply on how you say something. Entire worlds rotate in the palm of a single hand, painted into existance endlessly at the mercy of the speaker..worlds are born with a single slip of the tounge.

This is something that I find is not adressed too often on this forum when topics like this come up..the discussion are always very black and white, this or that..its either rational or its not..noone seems to acknowledge that its both and neither at the same time. Nothing is ever really that concrete, the story is always fluctuating..

If you have one but not the other something will always be missing..that whch can be said will always be naked and stand alone, incomplete without its other significant unspeakable half..worlds exist within a single thought that men desperatily attempt to language their entire lives without ever finding an ounce of satisfaction.

But hey, if its not getting into paradox, its prob not on the money anywayVery happy

 
clouds
#54 Posted : 6/16/2010 3:56:59 AM

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fractal enchantment wrote:
But hey, if its not getting into paradox, its prob not on the money anywayVery happy


I like that phrase Smile
 
eagleeyes
#55 Posted : 7/9/2010 4:19:44 AM

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Electric.Sight
#56 Posted : 12/31/2010 6:40:26 PM
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I don't think that just because a question can't be answered yet we should stop asking it entirely. IMO it does make a difference in the end. It's the difference between taking the bible literally or simply as a source of moral based stories. (I've never read the bible, don't get the wrong ideas).
In the sense of "real" being objective reality which affects all things, some believe hyperspace is real, and others a subjective mirror of the mind. One side has to be incorrect when faced with two polar opposite views.

Look at what has arisen from people reading too much into the bible and taking it literally, holy wars and preachers telling everyone to be like them.
I wonder what will arise from taking DMT too literally, or perhaps not literally enough?

edit: I suppose both sides can be correct in a sense too, but that's not my point the point is what we believe affects our actions quite a bit.
Disclaimer: All Entheogens and other research materials are not for Human consumption! I have researched by text the effects of consuming such things in case of accidental consumption. I have never actually consumed any of the materials I speak about and it should be assumed I'm speaking hypothetically. I have a wild imagination.
 
joedirt
#57 Posted : 3/4/2011 1:23:31 AM

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Entropymancer wrote:
[Is there any functional value in regarding hyperspace as "real"? Is there any benefit from it that is predicated on the notion that it has a true autonomous existence? Certainly it has aesthetic value; regarding it as "aesthetically real" (aka beautiful) can inspire awe and wonder. It has the value of allowing for creative thought and self-examination... but the functional benefits of this (what is frequently regarded as the "healing benefits" of psychedelics) are not necessarily predicated on the notion that there is an autonomous reality to the experience... the functional value comes only through reconciling the thoughts/ideas/reflections with our thoughts, behaviors, and interactions. Put another way, the functional value is the same whether you regard the hyperspace realm as literally real having an existence autonomous of your mind, or whether you regard it as a chemically-induced distortion of perception in your neural circuitry. From a pragmatic perspective, there is no functional benefit to regarding hyperspace as "functionally real" instead of "aesthet


There is so much in this thread that there is no sense in me stating how I believe one way or another.

However what I'd like to say is some people have the ability to expand their minds well beyond current thinking and understanding and some people don't.

The majority of people in this world fall into the camp of having a religion....whether they know it or not. I'll give everyone three guesses as to what the fastest growing world religion is.... Science..and for good reason. It works better in the physical world than so called 'true' religions.

...but many scientists literally treat science as though it is real and everything else is not. We can use science to make accurate predictions about the world so that excludes the possibility of a divine force driving it. There is really no difference form this view than Christians believing the all powerful God had to sacrifice his only begotten son on a human cross so he could allow our pathetic souls into his heaven. What they both have in common is a very strong power of 'belief'. neither can be proven right. The scientist can only prove what he can measure and quantify. Thus when he tries to apply scientific reasoning to matters of spiritual nature is ill equipped to make rational comment because the tools he's trying to apply simply don't work. The fundamentalist christian based approach to science is to assume aspects of science are wrong because the bible say's so. They are
likewise ill equipped to comment on matters of science because they don't have the tools.

Everyone needs to determine their own reality. To many times in history has the prevailing religion of the day been forced on the world.

Personally I think the experience is just as real as any other experience. We can only experience what our brains are programmed to allow. But that's a far cry from saying that just because mystical experiences can be shown to happen in the brain would disprove ALL religion. Why couldn't God simply use the human brain that was pre programmed to induce the mystical experience just as the humans themselves did?

There is no right answer about this. For some people it is clearly better to believe the experience is not real. For others it works better to believe that it does have real elements to it. Personally I think there is some truth to both, but I also very much believe that how the substances are consumed is just as important as the substance themselves. Obviously the college kid that drops acid a party is not going to have the same level of experience as the person that has meditated for years and then learns to sit in deep meditation while on it. BTW This is not something that can be argued by someone that doesn't know how to meditate because you have no tools to test the integrity of your statements.

These conversations are always interesting and ultimately I also agree with having a pragmatic view. If the experiences are not having direct positive relevance in my life then I'd need to question why I use them. But when the experience leads me to have greater wonder and respect for the universe around me well that's a real use. It also leads me to interact with people completely different. I largely try to see people as living in different states of awareness or 'awakeness'. This allows me to have more patience with both them and myself.


Why is it I have to post the message before I realize my grammer looks like a 5 year old?
If your religion, faith, devotion, or self proclaimed spirituality is not directly leading to an increase in kindness, empathy, compassion and tolerance for others then you have been misled.
 
Hyperspace Fool
#58 Posted : 10/3/2011 4:15:10 PM

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I really wish that students of hard science would have to take some rudimentary classes in Logic & Philosophy. As it is, most have no respect for these longstanding and very deep sciences. Thus, they assume that these fields are easy, and engage in them without any thought for proper terminology or the history of knowledge and thought in them. There are some very bright folks who dedicated their lives to thinking through these things.

Just as it is with Chemistry or Physics, the opinions of people who haven't studied at least to a certain point are regarded by those who have studied the subject with a vaguely tolerant condescension. If someone came to you arguing about a complex chemical reaction or an engineering problem, but had not even studied the periodic table, or was ignorant of the basic laws of physics... you know how you would react.

Yet, it is very common for such hard scientists to wax philosophic in fairly amateurish terms, or speak on matters of logic as if they were authorities. Sadly, most of them know almost nothing about either subject.

I think most scientific materialists assume that their beliefs are logical. Many go even further, and guess that due to their heavy involvement in one branch of science, that they are qualified to speak about logic, knowledge, reality and the like without having even cracked a single book. The idea is that science is founded in logic and reason, and the scientific method is the height of logical, rational inquiry.

Unfortunately, this is simply not true.

According to Logic & basic Philosophy, SCIENCE is irrational and most of its conclusions illogical.

This is primarily due to the use of inductive reasoning in science. Logic has this well argued idea that induction is not reliable as a proof in an argument because it is the basis of a good many of the known logical fallacies. It is called The Problem Of Induction and in Epistemology (the study of what is knowable), the best such reasoning can achieve is some kind of probability conception based on the past.

And, as we all know... just because you see a woman walk her dog at 8am every Monday for 3 years, this is not any kind of proof that she will walk her dog NEXT Monday. (Dog could have died, she could have moved, could be ill... on vacation.) In actuality, the longer the streak goes where she does walk her dog on Monday, at some point, the likelihood actually becomes GREATER with every instance that she will not be seen to walk her dog on the next Monday. [analogy shamelessly borrowed from Wikipedia]

As much as we would like to believe differently, most of science is actually on ground nearly this shaky... logically speaking.

In fact, this solipsism that you all seem to despise so much is actually much more solid a belief system than anything scientific materialism has to offer. It can not be disproven. Scientific theories (even quite useful working ones) get disproven all the time. Ptolemy, Copernicus, Newton, Einstein... all of them have had things they stated as fact turn out to be false.

Also, there is no reason a solipsist can not be as moral or ethical as a materialist. I would even venture to say that most of the so-called evil acts of the world have been perpetrated by materialists. I can't even think of any sociopaths who were truly solipsists. Scientific Materialism does not lead to philanthropy more often than it does to misanthropy IME.

There is a type of solipsism that is agnostic rather than metaphysical. This Epistemological Solipsism is actually a very logical stance to take. It states simply that one can not say for sure anything is real other than that one seems to be experiencing something, and in fact... the existence of anything other than oneself is impossible to prove. As is the idea that you are not dreaming.

Materialists just shrug this off, and brusquely skip past it.

But in the study of Philosophy, Materialism is not the only game in town... nor is it even the most widely accepted philosophic stance. Idealism and Rationalism (yes, rationalism is a philosophy that is opposed to materialism) have plenty of adherents because they stand on more logical footing. As do a half dozen other reasonable conceptions of existence and knowledge.

Anyway, I am not trying to burst any bubbles here. It just seems that the Nexus should be a place where the level of debate is higher than most. People here at least aspire to maintain a high level. Hard scientists tend to appropriate terms that have historically agreed upon definitions and reams of books written about them, and use them in ways that don't coincide with the accepted definitions. Since people on this thread are discussing some of the central issues of Epistemology (Descartes called it First Philosophy), it seems that we should at least recognize the Philosophy 101 stuff that goes with it.

Personally, I am extremely pragmatic. Whatever works best is the method of choice, AFAIC.

Reality is mostly a moot point. Believing in any reality too strongly is likely to lead you astray. But this is true for Quantum Mechanics as much as it is for Hyperspace being real. Maybe even moreso. Nobody ever built billion dollar machines that could annihilate a city the size of Geneva just to prove the existence of machine elves.

"Curiouser and curiouser..." ~ Alice

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." ~ Buddha
 
Digi123
#59 Posted : 10/3/2011 6:22:47 PM

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Wow, that was a very interesting read!

Thank you very much for posting Smile
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fractalic
#60 Posted : 11/28/2011 12:43:28 PM

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just a modest intuitive subjective thought about reality-

as a painter which have a never ending interest in observing the world, i believe the concept of perspective is very important to the question of reality. as 2 people look at the same thing while standing in different points in the time and space- they might get very different observation experience out of it.

now,let us imagine these 2 people standing inside an endless 3d fractal which is infinite big and complex.

if they are standing very close to each other, they might see very similar things, as when they decide to walk in different direction, each one of them will observe the fractal from a bit different perspective, and therefor will have a bit different view over "reality".

now , if one of these people would use a molecule that can take him for a 10 minute travel in a very distant outer part of this fractal,as to make a very quick zoom out of his prior reality, just to take a glimpse of a very different part of reality. of course as it is a fractal, there will be allot of self similarities to the reality he used to know, but then again- it would feel very very different...

when he comes back after his 10 minutes voyage into the same place he was before, just to observe again through the ordinary perspective as he used to, he might get a bit confused...and probably will have very few words to explain what he saw.Embarrased

well, it came out a bit like a postmodern interpretation of Plato's cave allegory...
only with a slight difference, as in this story there is no internal sun out of the cave, just the continuance of the everlasting fractal, showing more of the same in veritable different ways, and from another perspective...Shocked
`I can't explain MYSELF, I'm afraid, sir' said Alice, `because I'm not myself, you see.'
 
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