How Real is Reality / Perception
Buddhism is teaching us how wrong perception must be abandoned and addressed. It is the understanding of object and subject, the perceived and the perceiver. We have the strong habit of staying in the dependent world, it is important to notice what is the material world and what is the mind. To see the clear difference between the material world and the minds perception will become more apparent through deep mediation achieving a greater realisation of things.
Material things have the characteristics of not living but having substances. Mind has the characteristic to be conscious and clear. The mind has the capacity to perceive between the two and realise without mixing them, but with no colour, weight, identifiable size, or anything that can be measured it has no substance and is clearly identifiable as not being material. On the general level of convention you have to define between the living and the non living world. Here this topic becomes something that Buddhism can discuss, take the non living world for example.
Plants & Stones = Not Living = No own consciousness or perception. Plants react on electrical and chemical signals, many would argue that so does the human body however this is not living in terms of sense and consciousness. At first this point does not seem very strong in validating the term ‘Not living’ however continue reading and you will see it explained in greater detail through another topic below.
The Buddha explained that the material world is always depending on multiple factors both primary and secondary for things to grow, progress, come to fruition. Take a seed for example. You give a seed soil and nothing else it will not grow, however include then some secondary factors such as sun, water, nutrients, and it will grow, this is equally as relevant for humans.
The awareness/consciousness penetrates our body and with that it creates name and form, mind and body. If you examine any part of the body closely you will notice unique details that create our structure, D.N.A, brain cells, neurological paths, this is all within the material world. This should not be confused for the conscious clear mind we have. Not to deny these complex organs and cells are crucial to our existence of controlling and working the body, these are the conditions for us to exist but not the cause of the existence.
The mind and material signs are totally different when observed, cause and effect for example. They simply cannot be the same. For example take a single rice corn, through cause and effect it can only possibly become something material. However, there is no independent existence. IT is our mind that creates our world, and not the world that creates our mind as we define and perceive what things (Material) are, and not the other way around. The object (Perceived) and subject (Perceiver) may seem without close attention to be separate existences, but this is not true. There is not one without the other. The illusion of independent existence was taught by the Buddha as two factors;
The illusion of me (The ego) and the illusion that the rest of the world would exist independently.
For example look at the object of perception.
There is no independent existing outside world that is independent of the mind because nobody would know about it. The object is real in the moment of perceiving, but only in the exact moment. When the object is not observed then it is not a true perception or reality.
Now lets look at the subject of perception (2 factors).
The mind is an uninterrupted stream of conscious moments. We differentiate between the subject and objects. We get the illusion of existence of one existing without the other. This subject of perception is split into 2 parts, the part that can isolate and focus on a single thing and the other part which knows what the object is for and associates it.