Persisting in Delusion

“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” — Carl Sagan

Is this true? When it comes to the cosmic universe, perhaps. When it comes to our personal universe, is it better to persist in delusion? Isn’t that what a dream is, a delusion? The dream might be attainable with luck and hard work, in which case it’s not a delusion. If it is not attainable, is it better to hold on to the dream or is it better to persist in delusion?

I used to think reality was important — I spent my life trying to get down to the rock bottom of “what is” (as opposed to what we think is). I studied particle physics and quantum mechanics (for fun, can you imagine that?) and discovered that every particle can be divided into smaller particles and those particles can be divided, until what you end up is nothing. Or a wave. Or a thought. Or something that changes every time you look at it.

Now I don’t know if reality is all it’s cracked up to be. If our perceptions can change “what is” at the quantum level, perhaps it can change life at the macro level where we live. If so, it might be better to persist in delusion.

I explore this theme of delusion (or illusion, which perhaps comes down to the same thing) in all of my books: What is truth? What is reality? Who are we, really — are we our memories, our experiences, our dreams? And I still don’t have an answer.

So what does this have to do with my Daughter Am I blog tour? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps I am deluding myself that what I am doing will increase sales, increase name recognition, increase my network of friends. (The last is not a delusion — I am making new contacts.) And if this tour turns out to be some cosmic illusion, is it still worth persisting? Of course it is. It’s the doing that’s important — the quest.

Very strange — these are the thoughts that usually strike me late at night, and here it is early afternoon. Must have something to do with all those late nights. Or maybe it’s just an illusion.

Today I am guesting at Alan Baxter’s blog, talking about writing tools. You know the ones I mean — hammers and chisels. Please stop by and say hi. At least there, the talk is much more concrete.  You can find me here — Alan Baxter: The Word.

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