Go outside on a clear night far away from cities and stare up at the stars.

Go solve a mystery.

Go laugh and bond with friends.

Go fall in love.

All of those feelings are real.

All of those feelings can be traced back to electrochemical signals in your brain. They are the result of neurons firing.

But they are not just the result of neurons firing. They are not merely the firing neurons. Your awareness is the result of neurons firing. It is extraordinary, awe-inspiring, and beautiful. And it is neurons firing.

Your consciousness, your awareness, is founded in the laws of physics – and that does not detract from your experiences. If anything, it makes them more beautiful. The fact that your awareness can be understood does not make it worse. You’ve got to learn to live in a lawful universe, because you do.

Reality is all there is. Anything that is real, is part of reality. Everything that is not a part of reality, is not real. Reality can be understood. That does not make reality mere.

Rainbows are no less beautiful for your understanding of raindrops. Stars are no less beautiful now that you know they are other suns. And your brain – your thoughts, your feelings, your love – are no less beautiful for being forged by evolution in a neural medium.

The beauty of art is in your mind, but that does not detract from the beauty of the art. If anything, it adds to the wonder of your mind.

Venus at her Mirror

Mystery is not power. Explanations do not rob the truth. Reality is ordered, and that is something to be thankful for.

All those beautiful thoughts, all those beautiful sights, all those beautiful feelings, are real. They are in reality, and you are feeling them. Science can never take them from you. Rationality would never try to wrest them from your hands.

Science can explain them, but explaining something does not take it away.

You do not have to understand your mind. Understanding gives you super powers. Those who come to understand their own selves are better able to steer the future. But the road to understanding is not an easy one, and there is no dishonor in choosing a different path.

That said, you must know that the mind can be understood, even if you choose not to understand it. It can be understood, even if no one understands it yet. Even if you decide not to seek understanding, please promise me that you will not feel betrayed when somebody else attains it.

Please don’t be among the people who mistake the purview of knowledge. If you feel jaded when somebody else understands then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

The world is real. All that is, is real. If you cannot be satisfied with “mere” reality then you will find your life empty indeed.

Nothing is mere.