I have been hooked to a movie series for the past two days in such a way that I ended up watching all the three parts over this period. After such an experience, it so happens that it becomes really hard for us to believe that all what we see is in the movie, and that the people we feel are so real are just actors doing their job. It couldn’t be less true.
We get involved in the experience in such a way that we forget everything else. We enter a world of fantasy and we become one with it. The movie becomes our real world. All the actors become real people we know and love so dearly. Their story becomes our story. Same is the case with books, plays, music and even art for that matter. It lets us escape into a fantasy world.
I called it an escape so casually! Why did that happen? Is it really an escape? If so then why do we feel the need to escape? And if that is an escape then what is a reality? Does reality even exist? I have found myself in this situation, asking the same questions every time I read an interesting book, watch and interesting movie or even listen to a melodious song. If reality is the current moment then why is it so disinteresting? And what really is bad about escaping it?
Honestly, I feel asking these questions just kills all the fun in it. Recently I had a thought. If reality is current moment and that we can shape it the way we want to, that includes looking at the world with our inner eyes and creating a whole new universe inside of us; does reality even exist? If I can visit places through my inner eyes and feel it all just as real as a real scenario then what is this reality we keep talking about?
Now some people might argue saying that this is totally impractical. I would deny it and say if it is really happening to me it is very much practical and possible. I have heard people saying you are a dreamer; you escape into a fantasy world to avoid facing the real world around you. To them I sometimes feel like saying, you do not dare to escape from this so called safe reality of yours because you don’t have the courage and heart to see beyond certain things and that it is all in fact very much real. For the sake of argument reality as a word can be twisted – that’s the way the English language is.
To someone the so called fantasy world can be the only source of happiness. To some it might be a source of livelihood. A question that has always bothered me is that the people who call themselves realists, what is it that they really achieve by not escaping into the fantasy world. What is it about this reality that they keep talking about that takes them further ahead in life than the rest of the people who find solace in a world much larger than what they see around them. It isn’t a dig. It isn’t anger. It is just a different point of view and an attempt at asking valid questions to know and understand the other perspective.
Towards the end of all this, the questions still persist. And the answer isn’t either of them. Neither reality nor fantasy is real. If there is something that is real then that is nothingness. Both reality and fantasy are paths that help us to get to this answer in the end. But do all of us reach the answer? No, we don’t. We get caught between reality and fantasy and get attached to either of them and consider it as a permanent scenario. We aren’t able to understand and realize that it is all an illusion and that it will all end.
“What is life? A madness. What is life? An illusion, a shadow, a story. And the greatest good is little enough; for all life is a dream, and dreams themselves are only dreams.”
– Pedro Calderon de la Barca