How can anything be real if everything is relative ? I’ve been asking myself this question for some time.
In the physics of general relativity, Einstein proved that time is relative to the observer. And in quantum mechanics, we're dealing with matters like this:
“One of the most bizarre premises of quantum theory, which has long fascinated philosophers and physicists alike, states that by the very act of watching, the observer affects the observed reality.”
Black holes are also interesting. At the edge of a black hole, the ‘event horizon’, space and time are warped, and within a black hole, space and time collapse. Black holes also collide, and the big ones swallow the little ones and grow larger in mass. And in the middle of every galaxy, there’s a supermassive black hole that keeps the galaxy running and in order. Blackhole's are like gravity controllers, but also, gravity destroyers.
Finally, 95% of the universe is made of stuff we don't yet understand. 75% is made of dark energy, and 20% of dark matter. Only 5% of the universe is made of the matter we're familiar with, matter as in stardust, stars, planets and moons. We're clueless.
So, if as mentioned above, space and time are relative, and sometimes they even collapse, why don't we question their reality more often ? As in, how real are space and time ? We can argue that at extremes things become tricky, but to be honest, I don’t think that matters, what matters is what we think of as absolute and fixed, is not. Nature, or reality, is as illusive as it gets.
Einstein put it nicely: 'As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.'
Let's forget science for a moment, and explore human nature.
The mind functions within a relative reality. The way we view our thoughts, emotions, and perceptions is always relative to our state of mind. If we’re happy, the world is beautiful, and if we’re sad, the world is harsh.
Different people have different minds/conditioning and therefore different realities. The bodymind is a machine that can only exist in a space where all things are relative, and because of this, we're usually caught in a tension of opposites. What distorts reality, is this tension of opposites.
With that in mind, it seems that anything absolute is most probably beyond us, and maybe even beyond nature.
But that's not necessarily right. There is one thing that is often considered absolute, and that's the awareness observing all things relative. I'm talking about the awareness that is present at this very moment.
As you read these words, you are aware, and now you're aware of being aware. If you truly are aware of being aware, if you focus or relax into your own awareness, you'll notice a moment of absolute stillness and silence, and it actually can't be any other way. Imagine both mind, and the consciousness observing mind were active, what would happen ? We'd most probably go crazy. It's because consciousness is always silent, absolutely silent, the mind gets to function as it does. What happens with mind is while consciousness silently observes, the second thought judges the first thought, and the existential narrative takes place.
Whats funny is the fact that although the mind and world are relative, if we focus enough on what observes the mind and world, we'd realize the absolute nature of reality. This game is most definitely rigged.