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Fly's avatar

Do you ever ask yourself "Am I really here?"?

Asked by Fly (8682 points ) April 24th, 2010

You know, that strange moment when you don’t seem to be sure that this is all real?

I often find myself mentally pondering such things, but I never seem to answer myself. Being agnostic, I often wonder if there is a higher power or if life has come to be in some other manner…I just go in circles that seem to get bigger and bigger (If some god didn’t create us and it was all the “big bang,” where did space come from? If there is a god, where did it come from? etc.).

Do you ever ask yourself “Am I really here?” “How did life get here?” “Why isn’t there life elsewhere (that we know of)?” etc.? What conclusions do you come to/what are your thoughts?

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57 Answers

desiree333's avatar

Well..there could be life elsewhere.

frdelrosario's avatar

No, but I often ask “Why am I here?”.

Fly's avatar

edit: life elsewhere that we know of

dpworkin's avatar

I might ask myself, “Is this my beautiful wife?”

absalom's avatar

How did I get here?
How did I get here?

Guy123123's avatar

I constantly think why are we here and if were real. I think of how earth is a 1 in trillion thing and that i dont want to mess it up. I wonder if my dreams are the real things, and this life right now is just a recurring dream that gets a little different every time i dream it. I wonder if I’m the only real thing, and everyone else is fake. I wonder if i’m living a lie, and my perception filter is wrong. I wonder if i see things differently. I wonder why the stars are there and how there are so many amazing things we have discovered and the infinite incredible things we haven’t discovered. I wonder why i’m here, if my life has no effect on the rest of the earth and universe. I wonder…

janbb's avatar

@dpworkin Is this my beautiful house?

rangerr's avatar

I think like this all the time.
Sometimes everything seems so surreal.
Look around. None of this was here at one point. We created it. We created everything that we know.
Hell, if you’re into evolution, technically, we created ourselves to be humans.
It’s so strange. There is only one Earth. And we are in charge of it. That seems a bit strange to me.
Sometimes I play out the fantasy in my head that my life is someone else’s dream.
Like the entire universe is an imaginary world in some being’s mind. Somewhere.
I assume I’m real. But I have no idea.

J0E's avatar

We’re all just characters in some giant simulation. If you look hard enough you can see glowing green diamonds over our heads.

Coloma's avatar

It is al la dream…we are actors on a stage…and truth IS stranger than fiction!

Coloma's avatar

Ala dream….hmmm….can I have some cake with that dream?

Draconess25's avatar

I feel like I’m in a video game with Life & Death fighting over the controller.

janbb's avatar

I feel like I’m playing chess with Death.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

@janbb The Seventh Seal?

eden2eve's avatar

I believe that I’m on a Earth created by a higher power, and I have a very specific reason for being here. I am not confused.

We don’t know if there is life elsewhere, but it seems logical that, given all the immensity of space, there will be other worlds that are suitable for life. But that has no bearing to me on my existence here, nor my purpose.

To me it’s simple and very fundamental. I think that sometimes we can think circles around ourselves, and confusion is the result.

anartist's avatar

When I was a kid and my grandmother took me to visit Boston and we stayed at the Statler and I looked out the window at the people so many floors below I used to ask myself “Am I really here?” — it wasn’t until I got back home to my ordinary [but oh so nice if I only knew] world that I believed I had been to Boston.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

Well then, I suggest seeing the movie, “Passengers”

That will really twist up your knickers into another dimension!

I’m still questioning reality!!!

mcbealer's avatar

This question reminds me so much of certain movies like The Matrix and The Truman Show.

buster's avatar

I stayed in jail for a while. Everytime I went to sleep I woke up from strange dreams to realizing “Oh Im still really here!” “Why am I here?” “How am I going to let this experience shape me?” Cursing God. Denying God. Praying to God. God hates us all. God, please please, I hope she comes to visitation! I have been in heaven and I have been hell on this earth. I am my own worst enemy. I fight this enemy. Im a fighter. I get stronger. I leave weakness behind. Im in control now. I am God!

My beliefs fluctuate daily. Some days I think I might be a closet christian. Some days I think Satanic imagery is so much cooler than nativity scenes. Im aware of energies of all sorts around me. It doesnt matter. I just want to smile forever.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I do sometimes question my status in the construct. That guy Morpheus might be on to something after all.

Coloma's avatar

Flying is always so bizzarre…to think that one can get all the way around the world in 14 hours or less.

Looking down on the coastline of Japan last month felt so unreal.

One minute you are here, the next you are a world away, a world that would have taken someone from the last century months to navigate.

Flying always makes me think in really abstract ways. lol

loser's avatar

No. Should I?

thriftymaid's avatar

I’ve been there before; I think I’ll be there again.

filmfann's avatar

I’m not here right now. Leave a message, and I might not be here later.

@janbb Seventh Seal references always recieve lurve.

Coloma's avatar

Never not here.

ETpro's avatar

You are banging into the necessary, but absurd concept of infinity. Careful how hard you bang. I have suffered brain damage from it. :-) And be encouraged that none less a thinker than Albert Einstein was mystified by the same set of question.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

This question turned my brain off for a minute. Wow.

I think this is like wanting to know what the ultimate question to life, the universe, and everything. I believe what gives me comfort and sense to get through it all. I’m here. I have to find a reason. That’s my job.

BTW, the answer’s 42.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Yes, and very often I ask myself, “When am I going to get out of here?!”

YARNLADY's avatar

Poll question! Answer – yes; no, maybe.

mass_pike4's avatar

I can remember when I first realized who I was….I was 12 years old and I looked in the mirror. I came to a realization that I was ME and nothing else. I was fascinated and told my mom, “Wow! I am ME! I could have been anything else in this world that we know of, but no, I am this right here.” I think @eden2eve: has it right.

I have the power to make a difference. I have the power. So yes, I am here right now and whatever the future holds for me, I will be there then too.

ETpro's avatar

@mass_pike4 That’s a fascinating illusion that hits us all. Consider this thought experiment. Let us say that science has developed a transporter somewhat like the one on Star Trek, and you decide to use it to be beamed to mars for a vacation. It works by disassembline you here on earth and faithfully scanning every single detail of you, then beaming that information across interstellar space to a receiving station where you are reconstructed in exact detail, with every atom, electron and quark right where it belongs.

The process begins, and your body slowly seems to evaporate in a sparkling array on earth. Unfortunately, just as your signal heads out to Mars, a huge solar flare erupts on the sun. The solar radiation from it cause an error in the signal You do arrive on Mars just as intented, and are perfectly assembled in exact detail. Even the hangnail you noticed just before stepping into the transporter is still there. All your memories are intact. You don’t feel as if you have traveled anywhere, but you are in new Martian surroundings.

But due to the solar flare, another perfect copy of you is assembled in the receiving station on Venus. It too has that hangnail, and all your memories and thoughts and fears. It is sure it is you. And the you on Venus actually materialized beofre the one on Mars owning to that planet’s closer proximity to earth.

So, which @mass_pike4 is really you? Are they both? Is neither one?

DarkScribe's avatar

No, if I am unsure about where I am I just pull out my BlackBerry and check with its GPS. That way I don’t have to interrupt myself with silly questions.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

No, I’m not really here. This is all a nightmare and I want it to end.

OneMoreMinute's avatar

@ETpro GA! that was a refreshing thought experiment. Now can you explain where this handful of reddish-brown dust come from that I am now holding in my hand, huh?

mass_pike4's avatar

@ETpro: hahaha. Well done. Well, I do not think that could be possible, but if it was possible, I would say that only one would be able to “live” from “your” perspective. What I mean by this is only one of them would have the same thoughts, perspectives, way of living, etc. This is because the differing environments will change the way one thinks and acts and goes about living. I understand what you’re thinking now…“well they are the same person so they would have the same perspectives, etc. because it is you.” Yes, perhaps. But, only ONE specimen would be with you. In other words, ONE soul. The soul is everything and once you make “clones” the soul will only stay in one body. You cannot be in two places at the same time…

Unless of course you straddle a bordering line…

And thank you @ETpro: for making me explain that lol. I can’t believe I just thought about that in that way.

ETpro's avatar

@OneMoreMinute Wow. Redish-brown dust, hey? That thought experiment worked far better than I had hoped. :-) BTW, it was late last night, and I failed to give credit for where the idea of this came from. It is a twist on a thought experiment originated, or more properly perfected by Derek Parfit.

@mass_pike4 That viewpoint would mean you are a dualist. You believe that what is uniquely “you” is a supernatural, undetectable essence or soul that is separate from the body and indeed the entire physical universe, but far more important than all the things in the universe combined. Maybe so, but this seems unlikely to me. It is, in any case, unprovable and unsupported by any evidence of any kind.

My guess is that at the moment of transport, there would be two of you, both believing themselves to be you, both unaware until told of the other. From that moment on, both would continue through life following different paths, experiencing separate events and collecting new associations, feelings, loves, heartbreaks, etc. So they would diverge, having very much in common at the start and less as each passing day went by.

Symbeline's avatar

I get bothered by those whole reality might be an illusion scenarios. Just the fact that it’s an illusion, I mean, hypothetically, makes it real in that way, if I follow logic. I don’t ask myself this shit much, especially not when when I stub my little toe or am plastered to the inside of my couch when my time of the month decides it wants to be a dick.

As I say, even if I’m actually a butterfly dreaming that I’m the sky, that thought itself makes it as real as it’s gonna get, even if something like me, which is not actually real, is not actually thinking it.

I don’t ask myself this much also because the lack of certain things making room for self pity and sorrow actually seem to define my own existence much more than I sometimes like, you know, like how not saying anything can mean a whole lot and a buncha words can often be meaningless.

Like this very post. :D

As for gods and shit, well this is something man has pondered ever since he was able to ponder. I don’t know any more about that than anyone else.

Love_or_Like's avatar

Yes, one day I was outside. I live close to the woods. I ask asking myself ” who made all this or what really made it” Also I was think Am I really here or it’s it just a dream. I have asked myself some many questions about it. Also I ask myself if we are here on Earth is there any other thing in the galaxy

mass_pike4's avatar

@ETpro: Well played…

Asdfcat's avatar

I’d start reading philosophy as well as scientific literature. I ask myself the same “do I exist?” question constantly as well. Ken Wilber is a good place to start philosophically wise.

mattbrowne's avatar

All thinkers ask deep metaphysical questions from time to time. All thinkers enjoy contemplating answers to the ultimate why questions.

Response moderated
KeithWilson's avatar

The fact that we are here and conscious implies that we are actually real is some sense or another. Whether or not we are a dream of someone or something else is a moot point. Dreams are just as real as reality in that they have a substance that we can experience first hand.

Guy123123's avatar

I already posted this, but i just submitted this to my english teacher as a poem after correcting things a little bit. How do you think i will do?
I constantly think why are we here and if were real. I think of how earth is a 1 in trillion thing and that i dont want to mess it up. I wonder if my dreams are the real things, and this life right now is just a recurring dream that gets a little different every time i dream it. I wonder if I’m the only real thing, and everyone else is fake. I wonder if i’m living a lie, and my perception filter is wrong. I wonder if i see things differently. I wonder why the stars are there and how there are so many amazing things we have discovered and the infinite incredible things we haven’t discovered. I wonder why i’m here, if my life has no effect on the rest of the earth and universe. I wonder…

ETpro's avatar

@Guy123123 Unless your English teacher is incredibly lenient, you are going to get marked down for a number of grammar errors. I can edit it if you’d like to see how it might be corrected for grammar and syntax.

Guy123123's avatar

Wow, that would be great! Thank you!

YARNLADY's avatar

No, after reading all the philosophical “I think, therefore…..” nonsense – I never felt the need.

ETpro's avatar

@Guy123123 Here you go: By the way, the thought behind what you wrote is great. Well done.

“I constantly think why are we here and if were we’re real. I think of how earth Earth is a 1 one in trillion thing and that i dont I don’t want to mess it up. I wonder if my dreams are the real things, and this life right now is just a recurring dream that gets a little different every time i I dream it. I wonder if I’m the only real thing, and everyone else is fake. I wonder if i’m I’m living a lie, and my perception filter is wrong. I wonder if i I see things differently. I wonder why the stars are there and how there are so many amazing things we have discovered and I wonder about the infinite incredible things we haven’t discovered. I wonder why i’m I’m here, if my life has no effect on the rest of the earth Earth and universe Universe. I wonder…”

In very formal writing, you would limit the use of contractions, but I doubt your te4acher would grade you down on using don’t. However, I would expect a X mark for dont. Also, while numerals that can be written in a single world, like one, are preferably spelled out, your teacher may not grade down for using the actual numeral instead. It’s just an element of style that will, if you move on to writing papers in a university, get you penalized.

Guy123123's avatar

Ok, thank you so much! this is really helpful :)

ETpro's avatar

@Guy123123 Hope you get a killer grade on it.

flutherother's avatar

Mmmm sometimes at night I half waken and lie in the dark for a moment or two unaware of my own identity. That is quite a strange feeling.
What we think of as ‘reality’ is simply a construction of our minds, a weaving together of all the strands of sensory input and memory into a more or less a coherent whole. We don’t know any reality other than this artificial one. Have you read any Philip K Dick? He was obsessed with this question all his life and dealt with it in one way or another in most of his writing. Great question!

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

YES! Now i know I’m not alone. Sometimes when I’m walking up the stairs, i’ll just think to myself, “Is this really me? Am I really doing this? did I just go get a glass of water?”

SABOTEUR's avatar

Not anymore.

EverRose11's avatar

Look up DMT…once you have tried it , at least you’ll know there is a place after here and it is full of LOVE and smiles….seriously… have I no….But I have been around many people in the ast few months who have and WOW is all I can say I have even watched over them as they tok their 7 to 10 min trip . http://www.thespiritmolecule.com/

EverRose11's avatar

I ask myself “Am I really here?” Nearly every freaking day “How did life get here?” <—- I always seem to blame myself for that. “Why isn’t there life elsewhere< I know there is life elsewhere , we cannot possible thing we in all this universes be the only living beings! (that we know of)?” I come up with different conclusions depending on different situations through the course of a day sometimes.

ETpro's avatar

@EverRose11 Number 1 on my bucket list is to meet the machine elves at least one time before I give up the ghost.

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