Welcome to reality!
Take a look around. Gaze up at the stars. Appreciate some sunshine. This place is pretty nice, don’t you think?
I mean, it has it’s ups and downs, but in the end, it’s all there is. This place, reality, contains everything.
I have some good news for you: reality can be understood. It may seem a mysterious place, but that mystery can be dispelled. Even the sacred mysteries, even the things that we don’t yet understand (such as human consciousness), can be understood. Don’t panic! That’s not a bad thing. It’s a cause for celebration. Understanding does not detract from beauty.
People get offended sometimes when they learn that we can understand the world. People get claustrophobic when they find out that they are made of only atoms. People who learn that there are rules start to fear for their free will.
But there’s no need to be afraid.
Take a deep breath. Listen to your heartbeat, and feel the thoughts in your head. Feel like you’re alive. That feeling is real, and no logical argument can take it from you.
This set of articles is about learning that reality does have rules that humans can understand. It’s about learning that we can turn over all the rocks and decode all the great mysteries without stealing anything from the universe. It’s about ensuring that you’re able to enjoy reality, even though everything is “just” real.
It’s popular today to feel existential panic because “nothing has meaning”. If everything is made of mere atoms, and atoms can’t feel, then our feelings must be meaningless. Right?
Wrong. Everything is made of something, but nothing is mere. You are made of atoms, but that does not make your feelings any less real.
The fact that your feelings are real things founded in real physics does not make them unfelt.
This sequence isn’t essential to understanding the nature of the universe, but it might help to prevent existential crises. Yes, we’re going to describe existence with equations – but that’s not a loss. It’s a victory.