top of page

If time, Control, Consciousness, and Reality all could be illusion - what is real in our world?

Initially, I started thinking about this essay from the perspective of control (verb). I have been contemplating control for a while now, and even though I struggle to explain it, I think control is an illusion, especially when we consider the countless components that play their part in even a small activity in our world. But as I delved deeper, I started to question everything as an illusion - Time, Control, Consciousness, Reality, etc. The real question I ask myself is, if all these things could be illusions, what is real in our world? Do you have that answer?

As the attributes mentioned above are vast, we should start with just one: Control.

Let's consider my example of writing these words in the digital world of 0s and 1s. My ability to write in this digital world is made possible by a continuous stream of electricity and its countless touchpoints, from source to destination. It relies on the smooth operation of my Wi-Fi device, the numerous components and connections of my broadband provider, the hardware components of my laptop working in harmony, billions of lines of Microsoft code, and countless lines of developer code ensuring my text appears on the desktop screen. Google Docs and its components also play a vital role, not to mention the complex web browser, Firefox. Even my body's billions of components contribute to this process. This means I only have access to the visible interfaces I interact with, with no understanding of the myriad invisible, uncontrollable components. Therefore, claiming I am in control when writing in the digital world would be delusional, wouldn't it? Yet, many of us feel in control simply because we are able to perform actions or interact with interfaces.

So, if I have to define Control it would be - an illusion that gives humans a sense of determining the behaviour or supervising the running of. However, the problem is most of us consider Control as determining the behaviour or supervising the running of - we remove the key components from the definition of illusion. The real question is why? I might be wrong on this but I have a theory and in the past, I have written an essay on the same topic: Allegory of the Cave. As I have written an essay on the same topic, I would like to avoid writing it again. The conclusion of the Allegory of the Cave is that: a human chained to a wall in a way that they can’t rotate their head and considers the shadows of the objects as truth. However in reality those are the shadows, not the actual objects and only a few of them achieve freedom from the chain and experience the real object. And I think this could be one of the reasons - why humans feel a supervising the running of. This means only chained humans think control as real, a human independent from the clain would only consider control as an illusion, no?

But again even though control is an illusion if we try unchanging ourselves and try really hard to have control over just a few things what could that be? As I was thinking about control and illusion and felt sad for a while because having a sense that I have nothing in my control feels unbelievable. But as I kept thinking for a while, I probably had one thing in my control - my mind. The fact is not everyone has control over their mind. But I can write this with all confidence that I have full control over my mind or I am delusional (lol). But it took many many years to have control over my mind. But when I think about this control this could potentially be because I find some form of containment about my work, and it took a super long time.

And this could be the case that having control over my mind gives me some sense that I have control over rest - but then that is again an illusion.

Let’s come back to the rest that I mentioned above - Time, Consciousness, Reality etc. One of the reasons I have more faith in Science than religion is because there is no penalty for questioning the fundamentals. In that regard, thousands of great minds are working and questioning almost everything. Even though everything is just an opinion, I try connecting many of the current developments on a personal level. For example, We believe our Mind is responsible for our Consciousness but according to Donald D Hoffman, Consciousness is responsible for our Mind when I think about Donald’s statement - I find a connection because when I review my own progress from birth to today and try understanding why today my consciousness is much larger compared to just even the day, week, or year back. This means that the consciousness that I am experiencing today was always there but I was just limited by the capability of my mind. I am sure you will echo the same sentiment, no?

Also, I have doubted, in the past, about the difference between Consciousness, Subconsciousness, and Unconsciousness ultimately all these are just one, which functions according to our state and capacity of the mind. This reinforces the idea that consciousness is responsible for creating these illusions, or perhaps, the rest of the illusions that our human minds have yet to comprehend. For example, an infant and I sitting in the same café may perceive different states of consciousness, yet that consciousness is equal not only for me and the infant but for all humans in the café. This implies that consciousness is the only fundamental element, and as we continue to make progress, we will keep uncovering the fundamental nature of our world – Consciousness.

Every time I grapple with these concepts, my mind encounters moments of confusion and even discomfort. However, this discomfort is valuable as it allows me to question and doubt everything around me. As I wrote in one of my essays: Doubt could be the only truth hence at least I have an illusion that I am seeking the Truth (lol)!

Before concluding this essay, let's come back to Control. Let’s accept this - If Control (verb) is an illusion this means we humans have no control over anything including our mind in that case what is the purpose of taking ourselves so seriously or getting wrapped in complex emotions such as Status and Power? Of course, we should be sincere in our endeavours; I, for one, am passionate about my work and invest long hours. At this stage in my life, I see my work as a fiduciary duty, understanding that everything I use is thanks to the contributions of others. Therefore, it's my responsibility to improve the lives of future generations and existing humanity because I have gained a deeper understanding of consciousness compared to many others. This is the driving force behind my work.

As Donald D Hoffman says: We are the authors of “Space and Time” Let’s have this as a win (lol). Thanks for reading: if you find my essay interesting please share this in your network!

I shall see you all next week :)

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page