Dear Intelligent Advice: Is this the real life?

Dear Adviser,

What with summer coming up, I’ve been dropping a fair bit of acid recently. Whilst this is obviously super bomb, I feel like a lot of weird shit has been happening to me, like, my room sometimes shrinks like I’m in Alice in Wonderland, you know, when she has the EAT ME cake… and my clothes have been taking on a life of their own and dancing towards me. I’m starting to trip out when I’m doing other stuff too, like when I’m just walking in the park or at work, and it’s getting a big difficult to distinguish between what’s real and what’s not. Do you think I should stop with the LSD all the time or will these hallucinations eventually sort themselves out?


Is This The Real Life?

Response: [Adviser logged on MeditatingRené]

Dear Is This The Real Life,

Ah, it seems you have hit upon the fundamental question! How do we know what is real, and how do we know that we know for certain that the things that we know to be real are in fact things that we know to be real?

Aristotle claimed that fundamental and primary knowledge comes from the senses, but as you are experiencing right now our senses can quite easily deceive us. But equally, how can you even be sure that your clothes are nottaking on a life of their own and dancing towards you? Do you have any strong evidence to back up a claim either way? How do you know that your clothes, your room are real, that they are even there in the way that you see and perceive them?

What if, in fact, an evil demon has taken over your mind, and he has it in his power to deceive you in every aspect of your perception of the world around you. You might think you are seeing clothes dancing towards you because of your ingestion of hallucinogenic substances, but it could also be because you are just a brain in a vat, receiving signals from an higher being who is creating a construct of a ‘room’ and ‘clothes’ and feeding them into your brain.

So what can we possibly know? Mathematics is  fundamental, surely. But do we know that 1 + 1 is 2 or do we only know that we are currently having the experience of a world in which physical principles are held up by the axiom of 1 + 1 making 2?

To find the basis of knowledge, we must withdraw our mind from the senses. What you perceive around you cannot be proven or disproven to be real – the only thing that you can know for certain is that there is a you who is doing the thinking and perceiving and therefore, in some incarnation you exist. The rest is to be built up from there.

Hope this has helped,


Thinking Being


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