I sat at the table earlier tonight
looking out the open sliding glass door.
A light outside lined up with the door frame
so that when I leaned a certain way,
it appeared to shine on both sides of the frame.
They call this an optical illusion because
the perception of two lights
when there is really only one depends upon
the way your brain-box processes the information
it receives from your two eyes.
Yet, to you the light appears to split into two beams.
For the same reason they say
rainbows are optical illusions because
they aren’t really there and you see them only because
your brain-box processes the refraction of light
off of raindrops in a certain way so there appears
to be a beautiful curve of colors off in the distant sky.
The secret my friends is that everything you see around you
all day long every day, are a series of illusions.
Cars and trucks appear to you to be what they are only because
your brain-box perceives them
to have a certain function and do certain things.
Houses appear to be what they are only because we all have
a certain perception that those rectangular enclosures
exist to shelter us and we all agree upon the illusion
that we owe the bank a great deal of money that we must pay
in order to use the house where we live and we each participate
in the further of illusion of pretending the house is ours.
Our physics teaches us that all matter and energy obey
a strange set of laws they call ‘quantum mechanics’
and our perception of these quantum events
as well as the perceptions of our measuring instruments
depend on the interaction between the objects being observed
and the brain-boxes of the folks doing the observing.
So, the entirety of the world around us that we inadvertently
think of as ‘real’ depends on our perceptions in the same way
as the illusions of rainbows
and two beams shining when there is only one light.
Rainbows, lights shining outside your back door,
your car, the mortgage on your house, and everything else
that seems real to your brain-box
are all daydreams we each idly dream
deep within an great illusion,
floating gently in a grand enigma.