Base reality is defined as the objective and fundamental reality that exists independently of any subjective experience or perception. It is the highest and ultimate level of reality in everythingness. When we refer to everything that exists, we usually use the word “universe”, “cosmos”, or “world”, but, the leading theory in quantum cosmology (Many-worlds Interpretation) states that there are many universes in a multiverse that we live in, and our universe is just yet another universe part of a multiverse containing infinite (or at least many) other universes. So, when you say “the universe” you’re just referring to the one we live in. There are more.
Assuming extraterrestrial life exists (which is pretty much a certainty given the vastness of our universe), it is fair to say that we live in a pretty ordinary solar system, in a pretty ordinary galaxy, in a pretty ordinary galactic cluster. Why should our universe be special? At one point in history, humans believed that Earth was the only planet in existence, until we discovered the existence of many other planets. Similarly, we were once unaware of the existence of multiple solar systems, until we discovered them. Later on, we thought that the Milky Way was the only galaxy in the universe, but we have since discovered the existence of countless others. Given these discoveries, it seems logical that there is a high probability that we live in one of many universes. Then comes the question of what is beyond those universes.
Is any of this even real? It depends on what you define reality is. If your definition matches ours, which was mentioned at the beginning of this post, then we, more than likely, do not live anywhere even near base reality. It’s of course a possibility that we live in some sort of container equivalent to a computer simulation on Earth, and none of this supercluster stuff is even “real.”
The Founder, Owner, and Chief Executive Offer of SpaceX, known as Elon Musk, said himself that there is a one in billions chance that the reality we are living in is base reality, implying that we probably live in some sort of “simulation”. Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, a well-known astrophysicist and science communicator, also expressed his thoughts, saying that there is a 50% that we’re living in a computer simulation. You can watch the videos of Elon Musk and Neil DeGrasse Tyson below.
The problem with Mr. Musk’s statement is that he believes there cannot be a “master intelligence” that designed the universe because we would then have to ask who created this “master intelligence.” However, it is possible and probably certain that this “master intelligence” exists outside of our laws of physics and reality and therefore may not have been created in the same way that we understand creation. It is also possible that the concept of creation itself is a construct of the “master intelligence.” Because of the limitations of our universe and cognitive abilities, it is not possible for us to imagine the reality in which this “master intelligence” might exist.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson says that there is a 50/50 chance that we are in a simulated reality. There is a chance that we are either the beginning of a chain of realities based on one single reality (as we are headed towards developing the necessary computing power and technology to create a simulation that is indistinguishable from our reality), or we are just a part of an already-existing chain, and we are at the end of the chain as we have not yet advanced enough from a technological perspective to create simulations with consciousness that are indistinguishable from our natural reality. This idea seems more logical than Mr. Musk’s.
We can also take into account how astonishingly accurate some religious texts were about predicting advanced aspects of the future, far in the past, when we did not have sufficient technology or information to make such accurate and precise predictions. But there is also a non-zero chance that these predictions were made by using logic, with the logic of each prediction being studied extensively for long periods of time. However, regardless, this potentially boosts the probability of us living in a simulation, as all future events may be already determined by the owners of the simulation we’re in, and free will is just an illusion to us, so they are able to give us clues as to what will happen in the future.
Another thing to think about is, every year, about 98% of the atoms in my body are replaced with new atoms. This includes the atoms that make up my brain, including the neurons and other cells in my brain. If all of my atoms are being replaced, including the ones that make up my brain memory, etc, how am I still conscious in this body? Compared to 2 years ago, I am essentially, from an “atom” point of view, a completely different person with no trace of my past self, yet I’ve been conscious in this body the whole time. Even though my physical and mental makeup is technically unchanged even after all of my atoms become replaced, it (potentially) means there is something else keeping my consciousness in my body. However, one would think that this is only possible in a simulated reality where our programmers have designed “souls” for us. These programmers could be thinking about similar problems and unsolved mysteries about their own reality while designing our reality which is fundamentally different from theirs, and we in the future will also develop a simulated reality where its people will be pondering the same things. But we don’t really know any of this for sure, it’s all theoretical.
So, how far is humanity from base reality? Well, there is a chance that we either are currently in base reality, or we are deep inside of a chain of realities where we’re working towards developing a simulated reality for the beings in that simulated reality to develop their own simulated reality, and so on. Whether or not it’s true that there is a 50/50 chance of us being in base reality or a chain of realities, we don’t know. One would think that it’s more likely that someone beat us to it and we’re deep inside of a chain of fake realities, but there is no evidence of this, just as there is no evidence of us living in base reality. If we want to get closer to discovering the truth, we can perhaps focus on research in areas of the fundamentals of the universe, which would be physics, philosophy, and similar things, and we can work towards climbing the Kardashev scale. As we get closer to the base reality of our simulated reality (escaping our current universe, to the multiverse, and beyond), which is still all a part of our potentially-simulated reality, we can get potentially get “closer” to true base reality, and this could potentially help us to eventually reach the truth.
On a closing note, life is short. These things will happen across a very long timeline. So, after reading this, you should know that you are acting like a lunatic when you get infuriated and angry over a stupid sports game, a friend, or something else that is very insignificant. You are an inconceivably small grain of sand on an infinitely large beach, and you let another meaningless grain of sand ruin your whole day. Do better.