"Is reality real?"
Remember the age old philosophical question? If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it fall does it make a sound? One can extend the question to does the tree exist, does sound exist if no one hears it no one sees it.
Well if no one is around to hear it then no one hears it. But that does not mean it doesn’t make a sound. It is an objective fact that the tree makes a sound. Just as it is a fact that just because no one sees it it still exists. It is real. A tree is a tree, a sound is a sound.
I believe that reality does exist within our perceptions. We can’t make sound anything other than sound, we can’t make an object anything other than an object. A tree is a tree. A sound is a sound.
But we can create other things that we can identify as a tree, a sound. We can make purple trees for example. And sounds that sound like a falling tree but it isn’t the sound of a real tree falling.
We allow creativity, and we identify with things that we create because of their relationships to some reality. Something real. We create ourselves, self. If a collective: a group say a gang, a political party, creates a notion of self, example all the individuals who belong or identify with the political party or gang, then the self does not exist for the party is just taking relating the elements of the party to a real self. Good examples, a rich self, a poor self, a flamboyant self. The real self can only be “you” your foundations, your personal contexts. They are like no other reality. Just like no two trees are alike and no two sounds are alike.
Self is an original, unique one of a kind. Art is also unique, original and one of a kind. We create art not to give it’s power to identity and others to use but so one can identify with being a thing in itself, not a thing of a collective. The power of a collective destroys self. The power of a collective label destroys art.
The collective cannot exist in a vacuum cannot exist without a concept of the self and without the context of the self a collective power cannot exist. If we had all individual, independent selves and no social collective there would be no need for an individual independent self. Same is true for a social collective. We need a binary, opposites, differences to create values for the self and the collective. Omit the binary and just have harmony and you end up with nothing.
The self changes, as self changes collectives change. It should not be the other way around.