“I Don’t Think I Exist” Would be a Great Title for a Book

If you like contemplating your existence, and you also want to experience the mind-confusion I had earlier, then you should read this post. Hey, I NEED someone to share in the ohmygod-do-i-exist thoughts I have!

We had a feature lecture today, which meant that we had to sit on the floor for 45 minutes whilst a teacher spoke to us. I thought that it would be seriously boring, because I was tired anyhow and I was in a shit mood, but let’s not even go there.

Don’t ask me what the lecture was about; I couldn’t tell you. Red probably could – he was sitting on a chair next to me – and Wren, who sat next to me on the other side and kept on ripping up bits of paper and putting them on my lap, experienced the same mind-fuckery as I did.

There was something that the teacher said to us, near the beginning, that RATHER screwed with my mind.

“How do we know what’s real? How do we know if WE’re real?”

It’s true. As he spoke more, I felt myself go cold and get this weird and slightly horrific feeling, like everything was bigger than me. That’s because it’s true, and I’ll tell you what he said. I want you to think about it, because it’s been cycling through my head, and I want you to REALLY think, if you can.

Think about the technology we have now. 200 years ago, we didn’t have phones, television, radio; the first recordings hadn’t been made. Think about what it would be like 200 years in the future. 500. 1000. How much will we have progressed? Have that in your mind.

500 years from now, people will probably have the technology to create simulations of history that are so complex that they reinact events. They would be used to see how things would have played out if an event hadn’t happened, or had – a characteristic would be programmed into the “people”, and they wouldn’t know they weren’t real. It’s a weird concept to wrap your head around – it was for me. These futuristic people would observe their creations, from any time or place or area. Think of it like a computer game, any you play; you see characters on the screen and apply that to what it MIGHT be like in the future.

There’s a theory that suggests we’re simulations. Imagine this , the teacher said: somebody creates as many students as there are in your school, gives you a personality, appearance, and watches you all interact. Are you real, or are they the real ones?

We watched a video. It said that the chance of us being the “real” universe is approximately one in a million. That wasn’t necessarily what freaked me out so much.

“So, the future people might create these universes. In 200 years, they have the capacity to create 10. In 500, it’s 100. In 1000 years, it could be 10000 and in 10000 years? There could be a million simulations. Thousands of versions of you, or someone like you, all through time and space. Which one of you is real, if any? Are you ALL real?”

Yeah, that scared me a little, I started to think: imagine this huge society, in the future or one outside of our understanding, who have created us for whatever reason. It sounds a little like God, or different Gods, and the video – which I didn’t take entirely as truth because it’s just one source of information – says that the people who believe the simulation theory think that there IS a higher power, but it’s only higher because it’s in the future. So, who knows?

Then again, all of this could be bullshit. How would you know, though? You don’t know if you’re real or not – someone in a box with opaque walls wouldn’t know there was life outside the box. That’s a rubbish example, but you know what I mean.

People live their lives, not thinking about how they exist. You could think that you were just born BECAUSE, or that you were created by God, science or anything in between; you could believe that you were reborn from another life. But think about the simulation theory for a second. Because anything could be true – God or futuristic people or science., and my mind’s been whirling through everything we’re told.

Our teacher said something else: “You don’t know that what you’re being told is TRUE. 2000 years ago, most people thought the Earth was the centre of the universe and that the Earth was flat.” This simulation thing could be yet another thing that isn’t true, but at the same time, what if it IS? I’m trying not to think about it so my mind doesn’t get overwhelmed.

What if, say, a future society DID simulate us (actually then what time would we be in UGH), and they were simulated themselves? Layers upon layers of stuff we couldn’t understand, that I won’t even hope for. My brain is imploding.

There was this time that Ivy and I got really scared over the idea of reincarnation. I was brought up in a Christian school – I’m an Atheist – but I partly believe in reincarnation, and also I entertain the possibility of alternate universes, dimensions, of aliens existing that will literally not be understood by us. Of Heaven and Hell, and magic and everything. I might not believe it, but I think about it.

The simulation theory – it’s not even called that but we’ll go with it – reminded me that there are infinite possibilities for existence. No matter what you believe, whether that’s the same to those around you or vastly different, you don’t have to hide how you thought you came about. Because really, how are we going to know about all of it? People believe different things and that’s fine, because you can’t prove them wrong, and I love learning about people’s different beliefs anyhow.

Ahhh, I love thinking. It makes me happy, though it does mess up my mind.

Hopefully, you understand a bit more about how some people think. If I haven’t laid it out clearly enough, and it’s too jumbled from my erratic existence screaming, do let me know. I wanted to tell you guys about this as SOON as my thoughts started racing, because I think it’s so interesting.

Also, I don’t want to offend anyone with this post. Whatever you believe, WHOEVER you believe in, I’m not undermining it at all.

How do you think we came into existence? I’m really interested to know.

From Elm πŸ™‚

48 thoughts on ““I Don’t Think I Exist” Would be a Great Title for a Book

    • Scary, but also fascinating! I’m glad we’ve been having the same thoughts; it’s still been playing on my mind. What’s real, and what are we here for, and who are we here for?

  1. Is it weird that I think this is actually super exiting? To even consider that something like that is possible is amazing! Even though we might be in a simulation (not that I do believe that), would it really matter? We are living our lives the way we are living them right now, knowing such a thing would not change a thing.
    I am really a science person, so I believe in the big bang theory and evolution and things like that. I would want to believe in multiple dimensions but I simply don’t understand it, so how could I believe it?
    Great post!

    • YEAH I get you! Thing is, I’m a BIG Bang person too, but there’s part of me that’s ALWAYS curious about new theories, new ideas. I’ve never really believed in God, apart from when I was 5 because I was brought up in a Christian school. I COULD believe in alternate dimensions, if there was more proof. Then again, how COULD their be proof? There’s so much that’s COMPLETELY beyond our understanding. Like aliens.
      Thanks for commenting!

  2. OK THIS WHOLE POST IS AMAZING AND IS ESSENTIALLY A SMUSH OF EPISTEMOLOGY, METAPHYSICS, AND QUANTUM PHYSICS ALL OF WHICH I LOVE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ok so essentially at the beginning when youre talking about ‘what do we know?’ its epistemology which (if you dont know, i dont think most people do.) is an offshoot of philosophy about theory of knowledge. its essentially studiesthe rationality of belief and justification, as well as the problem of skepticism and how we know things. ITS SO INTERESTING so in asking ‘how do we know whats real’, consulting the study of epistemology is a good start.

    secondly!!! metaphysics!! ok this isnt even physics, its another branch of philosophy concerned about /being/ and the world/universe. its basically investigating objects + properties, existence and space and time. (and some other stuff.) metaphysics is suuuuuper broad so if youre actually serious about this then you should look up metaphysical cosmology! this is less scientific proof and more a philosophical approach to how/why we’re here, and the nature of our universe/being.

    however for actual scientific proof (this isnt my field tbh but my best friend knows a lot about quantum mechanics and scientific proofs for parallel universes etc, so i can get some info from her if you want) the answers will be in the field of quantum physics but im not even going to go into that haha.

    btw what you were talking about is called simulated reality, and for more info you should look into the work of Hans Moravec and Nick Bostrom bc theyre the real pioneers of the subject!!

    (also i love this kinda stuff can i make a response post???)

    • OMG LEO IM SORRY FOR NOT REPLYING SOONER! Of COURSE you can make a response post!!! πŸ™‚
      Ahh, THIS is so interesting. I love the idea of metaphysics honestly; I just like the idea of thinking about our universe or OTHER universes. Because anything could be out there. Anything, anywhere, any time – what if time’s just a loop? So the universe will always start and end, start and end over and over again. My brain’s not scientific though, so I could never go about ploving it. It’s an existing theory, anyhow.

  3. i have these kind of thoughts all the dang time. sometimes i think how WEIRD it is to be me/to be alive. i sometimes think we might be in a book or something, not a simulation…
    and my brain hurts now from thinking about this.

      • that would actually be pretty cool! and imagine if characters in books were real, it’s just the authors are the only ones who can see them?! pardon me while i beg rick riordan to tell me where leo is.
        adding on to the whole “what will happen in the future” thing, i remember once getting time-induced vertigo when we were learning about geology because everything was so, so, so l o n g ago

  4. Oh wow okay
    Good theory
    BUT.
    Why do they have to come and spend time asking you if you’re real? Just fuck your mind and say, “keep wondering for your whole life if you’re real, bye”
    Living our life normally is hard enough with a lot of things in our mind. We keep having existential crisis. They just fed that -_-
    If I was there, I would just be very annoyed at the end

    • My head was still SO confused after it so I had no space to be annoyed. But yeah, I’d rather just live my life rather than contemplating my existence.

  5. I love THINKING! SO, this was a great post ❀
    I have so many theories? What if life is just a dream and we are babies having that dream of life and then we wake up, we don't remember and we keep on living life? What if when we die that is when our baby self-wakes up? What if we are a simulation. With things like VR, it could be possible. Imagine if our life is actually just virtual reality and we got so sucked in, we carried on wearing the headset? What if we are in a simulation? What IF? Things just blow my brain sometimes…

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