The Question

I won’t say I had a childhood philosophy, or even an idea, it was a question more of. A question which seemed ridiculous even to my own 8 year mind but at the same time the nagging doubt it arouse in my mind was difficult to bury. It was a stupid question I knew. A question which probably entered only my mind. What if everything that had happened to me till date was a dream? What if I woke up one fine day to discover I was still a 5 year old? That nothing I believed to be true had ever happened to me. Imagine the horror of not being a grown up. (I did consider myself to be pretty grown up when I was 8). I could still be in pre-school.

Time passed and the question was forgotten. Though the question still entered my mind it was easier for me to dismiss it. Little did I know the question would haunt me once again. And this time burying it would be far more difficult.

When I decided to do my under graduation in Philosophy the question returned. The first thing one of my teachers ever asked us was “how do you know what we experience is real? What if everything is a construct of our mind? What if my mind operates everything like in a video game?” The question was bizarre yes, but it once again reminded me of what I had always wondered. Is it all a dream?

And this time it was not easy to dismiss the question trivially. Now I had a teacher in front of me asking me to defend the ‘real’ and I couldn’t, no one could. This time however the need to bury the question wasn’t felt. The fact that other people also thought about the same thing was strangely comforting. So what it was all a dream? As long as I was in it, I might as well enjoy it.

-Shruti Slaria

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