Our interpretation of reality is greatly in the hands of our nervous system. Since we are able to experience only that what our nervous system allows us to experience, the question of what reality actually is, is difficult to answer. The only reality that we know is that which results after being processed by the nervous system. Even if there is a greater reality beyond that what is detected by our nervous system, we are unable to experience it because of the limitations of our nervous system. In terms of vision and sight, what is to say that what we see is what is actually out there. A great example of how powerful the nervous system actually is in influencing our experiences is the phenomenon of hallucinations. It is not an uncommon phenomenon for people to hallucinate and "see" or not see things that the rest of us are unable/able to see. Furthermore, when in a hallucinatory state, it is possible not only to see things that are not seen by others, but also to smell, taste, and touch these things. According to the person having the hallucination, he/she is definitely experiencing the object(s) in question, and so the object(s) is a a part of his/her reality. However, according to the general public, the object(s) is not a part of reality. This raises another question-do we really have the right to judge/determine that what constitutes another person's reality, and deem it real or unreal by comparing it with the general experience?
Nice point, nice question. Maybe we should simply accept that there are personal "realities" and public "realities", without calling one "real", and the other (perjoratively) "not real"? Could that be done? What problems would it raise for individuals/societies? Are they soluble? Would things be better in some sense if one went that direction (which is indeed what understanding the brain suggests is the "right" direction)? PG