top of page

Distinguishing Truth from Illusion (Also, Philosocom's Directory on Illusions )

Updated: Nov 23

Articles on illusions: ( )


How can we distinguish between truth and illusion? How do you know, for example, that food is real? You may know that food is real when you become hungry. When you are hungry, you need food. After the food is eaten by you, the hunger stops, or at least its power of sensation is lowered.

In this way, you may know that food exists - you need food to survive, and therefore you have to accept the existence of food in order to survive in the first place. You cannot eat and digest illusions, and that is how you can distinguish between nutrition and illusions.

How do you know the music you may be listening to right now is real? At the same time, you could simply create an illusion of a melody or a song, and then, allegedly, there may be no difference. However, you may know to distinguish actual music from illusionary music because the first type of music is external to you, and whatever you may be thinking, you cannot alter it simply by thinking about something else. This is when you may know that a piece of music has an existence which does not rely entirely on you, and thus that music is actual.

How do you know people are existent, and not mere illusions of what the consciousness presents to you? The figures you may be watching on TV may be nothing more than puppets or digital characters, portrayed so well that they seem to be real.

How is it possible to know that your consciousness does not deceive you like a TV screen can? You ought to find the various differences between “illusionary” people and “real” people. Just like one is able to distinguish food from illusion and music from illusion, it is possible to distinguish between people and illusion.

But how can one do it? I will not answer that question. Instead, I will write some tips that can be applied to anything that is possible, whether it exists or not. With these tips, I have managed to disprove the physical existence of togetherness and society.

What Makes something Real?

For something to be physically real, it must be subject to the laws of science and physics, which illusions are independent of. All real things are not only subject to science (because they are scientific in the first place), but can be mathematically measured, whether by size, development, or amount. They must be in a certain state of physics: solid, fluid, or gas. They must be constructed from particles, and they must not break the laws of physics. This is how you can know, for example, that the environment of video games is not real, because it can be so glitchy that it does not make sense.

What Makes an Illusion?

Illusions do not exist out of thin air. For an illusion to "exist," it must be created by a biological being or any other being that possesses consciousness. Illusions do not obey any laws of physics, are not subject to scientific study, and are neither solid, fluid, gas, nor anything in between. When an illusion is not taught or thought about by anyone, it disappears. When it is thought about again, it is "revived" from the subconscious and "exists."

The only way for an illusion to physically exist is to be transported from the consciousness onto reality. Writing and art are prime examples of this, as they represent the illusion that they previously were (or still are). Any social interaction, in my opinion, may also be an example of this.

Physical/Biological/Mechanical Chain Reactions

Consciousness may create illusions and representations of illusions, but it cannot create biological beings. You are a biological being (I assume). Every biological being is created by a previous biological being (aside from the assembly of atoms by a specific environment with specific conditions into an organic entity, as in evolution). You, as a biological being, were created as a result of reproduction or any other scientific process that led to your existence.

This process did not involve illusionary beings; it involved actual people, whether they were your parents or scientists. If we assume that you were born as a result of non-organic machines, then the machines themselves were created by people.

Without the existence of actual people before you, you would not exist. You cannot be a result of illusion alone, because independent illusions do not manifest themselves into physicality. Illusions are not independent in the first place. Therefore, you must have been created from an entity or entities that are not essentially illusional. Therefore, you can prove the existence of at least your parents and your entire heritage.

The Genealogical Claim

Humans, in one way or another, share a universal heritage, from our most primal ancestors. Every person is related to you, at least in some small way. Genghis Khan, the ancient Mongolian ruler, is responsible for at least a few percent of the current population. Since many other people lived in his generation, at least some of them must also be ancestors to some of the current population, and even they may be related to very historic and primal ancestors. Because anyone can be related to you, even in the slightest way, all actual people exist.

I call this claim the Genealogical Claim, which argues that everyone exists because they are genealogically related to you to some extent. Just like the food you ate, people are responsible for your own birth. And just like the music you have been listening to, these people have an external existence that does not rely on you.

44 views0 comments

Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

צילום מסך 2023-11-02 202752.png
bottom of page