Philosophical Dreaming

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How do you know you are not dreaming right now? What reasons might you have for thinking you are or are not dreaming? What if you woke up and realized all that had come before that moment was just a dream?

While considering week three's thought experiment I am lead to think about perception, perspective, the concept of reality. I feel that this thought experiment really touches on an individuals personal perspective of reality. That is to say it is possible that what is reality to one person may not be reality to another. A person who has "lost touch with reality" is referenced, more often than not a "crazy" person, a person with mental and/or psychological problems does not know that they are "crazy" or out of touch with what a "normal" or stable person considers reality. So, although their perceived reality is not reality to you or I this doesn't mean that it is not reality to them. I suppose then the question is which reality is real, and what is the determining factor? I remember watching "The Matrix" and being fascinated by the concept of an assumed reality that wasn't real at all, but that was engineered in our minds by one common source that links us all. The charecter's in the movie basically lived out their lives in a constant dream state when "plugged in" to the matrix and only experienced actual reality when "unplugged". Although the movie was purely science fiction, when I really think the concept through it leads me to consider the possible logic behind a "dream life". As I have discussed before, I am a very analytical thinker. My mind wanders through endless possibilities when I ponder such topics. What if what we all assume to be reality were a dream? If we were to eliminate the assumed impossibleness of this, how would we be able to absolutely know what is reality and what is dream? Again eliminating the impossibilities, are each of our "dream lives" connected, or is everyone's "dream reality" different? I am lead to consider...
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