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Existence As Multi-Layered -- How To Understand the Intricacy of Reality

Updated: Apr 22

A multi-layered colorful platform.


Introduction: The Existence-Truth Relations

The relationship between existence and truth is surprisingly complex. While something being true often implies it exists in some way, simply thinking of something doesn't necessarily make it true... Or is it, to an extent? Allow me to delve deeper into this complexity, which builds reality and our perception of it:

The Realm of Existence: Physical and Mental Constructs

We can categorize things we think of into two broad categories:

  1. Physical/Scientific World: This encompasses objects and phenomena that exist independently of our experience. This includes stars, planets, subatomic particles, and the laws of physics that govern them. That is known as the world beyond the mind. Should all minds die, that aspect of reality will stay regardless. In fact, when we die, we truly become a part of it, like any silent object.

  2. Mental Constructs: These are creations of our minds, including thoughts, feelings, abstract concepts like mathematics and ethics (AKA abstract models for reality), and even representations of the physical world, such as scientific theories. That aspect of reality, likely to be unique to all sentient beings, is known as the mental dimension.

The Trouble with Mental Constructs: Illusions and Delusions

Mental constructs are powerful tools for understanding the world, but they can also lead us astray, in the absence of reasoning to keep them in check. Here's why:

  • Illusions, Hallucinations, and Delusional Thinking: These are mental constructs that we mistake for reality, due to biases and fallacies which compromise the optimal output of our understanding. They can range from fanciful creatures like unicorns, that we may think are there, but do not, to sincerely held false beliefs.

  • Misrepresentations:  Even our best attempts to represent the physical world, like scientific theories, can be incomplete or inaccurate. Due to the universal functionality of innovation, we always have a lot more to learn, meaning that we are not as knowledgeable about reality like we may mislead ourselves to believe.

In essence, just because we can think of something doesn't mean it reflects reality accurately. This is why critical thinking and seeking evidence are crucial in our pursuit of truth.

Navigating the Landscape of Existence

Our grasp of reality is far richer than just the physical world. While the chair you're sitting on undeniably exists, so do our thoughts, ideologies, and even fantastical creatures like orcs -- even if they exist fictionally, and fictional media is its own type of existence, also capable having a grip on this reality. As such, their existence is of a different nature. Let's delve into these various facets of existence and how they interact.

The Duality of Existence: Direct and Represented

We can categorize existence into two main aspects:

  • Direct Existence: This encompasses physical objects and phenomena that exist independently of our experience. This includes chairs, stars, and the fundamental laws of physics.

  • Represented Existence: This refers to entities that exist through their representation in the physical world. Fiction, for that matter, exists through the media which represents it. And indeed, in etymology, media stems from medium, or "intervening substance through which a force or quality is conveyed".

The Power of Representations

Represented existence, though not physically tangible, can have significant real-world effects. Ideologies can motivate people to take action, transforming societies and the world at large. The fear of mythical creatures can alter behavior, by the mere thought that they exist. Even illusions, though not physically real, can shape our understanding of the world. And of course, hallucinations can also alter our behavior by meddling with our sensory experience.

The Illusion Chain: From The Mind to Collective Consciousness

Mythical creatures, for example, exist as illusions. They are born as ideas in individual minds, then gain representation through stories, art, and shared communication. The role of culture, is, therefore, a practical one: Build a "collective consciousness" around the illusion, thus gathering types of organizations such as fanbases, worshippers, cults and nationstates around them.

People are likelier to cooperate with one another when they have things in common in which they can relate to. The same is true even in love.

We may often find that, the presrvation of social harmony is more important than people rebelling against your government. As such, as ruler, you might feel compelled to actively mislead your populace, under the ulterior motive of keeping them in line.

The Blur Between Illusion and Reality: Ignorance and Belief

The line between illusion and reality can blur due to ignorance. When we lack knowledge, we fill the void with either belief or faith. However, belief is inherently uncertain, while true knowledge is based on evidence.

This is why faith in gods or mythical creatures, no matter how strong, can never be as certain as scientific fact, unless it becomes factual, using logic, information and evidence.

In their name, they deserve to be determined if they exist in the first place, by developing our rationale, and examining all relevant data. That includes the data of the opposing sides who may argue against our beliefs.

Either way, we are all ignorant to an extent. Developing our minds and adopting a mindset of lifelong learning, is how we can become the least ignorant. The practical purpose of all learning is the ability to synthesize insights from it, which would allow us to better change our lives -- and the world in part -- to what we want ourselves and the world to become.

Understanding existence, under all of its facets, is how we can earn the power necessary to solve our problems, help ourselves and others, and work towards better lives.


As intelligent beings, our understanding of existence goes beyond just the mere physical world. Represented existence, through mental constructs, ideologies, and even illusions, plays a significant role in shaping our reality. Recognizing the different facets of existence allows us to navigate our world with greater clarity, avoiding the pitfalls of ignorance, and the biases which hinder our thought process.

While ideas may not exist in the same way as your chair, their existence as an illusion within our collective consciousness holds power nonetheless... power greater than a mere chair. Hence why some constructs are not to be underestimated, despite being less "real" than a physical chair, which requires no representation.

241 views2 comments


You've hit several cogent points of which most reasonable people can agree are credible lines of thought.

I'm not disagreeing per se with what you've laid out, I'm merely trying to consume your thoughts, but the way it's been presented does leave some room for a more concise means of articulation.

Life is a mental construct.

Truth is subjective, but there are elements of verification depending on the individuals ability to seperate fantasy from non-fiction.

The glaring problem for most humans is we tend to perceive our present environment in similar, but diametrically different levels of awareness.

Economic advantages do tend to allow for such naval-gazing and most people who are not afforded the same level of random moments of…

Replying to

Thanks for commenting and providing your feedback.

I do agree that such subjects take time to analyze and process, and free time is something not everyone has. Also, I don't mind disagreements if there will be in the future.

In certain sects of Judaism, some believe that studying sacred documents are the key to saving the world from damnation. Many male Haredi don't work and get subsidized by Israel for that.purpose -- a life of Jewish study. In such households the wives are the providers.

This is why some religious Jews are given the ability to study for so much time -- subsidizing. It is actually quite controversial among many of those who do work here.


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.

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