I don’t know what “reality” is. As a Kantian, I am only allowed to think that its full comprehension is impossible to my intellect and reason. However, as Kant recognized, nobody can really live without wondering on what reality is. In this respect, I am a neo-spinozist. I believe in an indefinite/infinite universe in which everything happens because a set of causes made it the case. However, this universe is a mechanism with an important feature: there is no organizing principle. There is no purpose in what it creates. Statistically, it allows some particular “creations” which we use to call “men” and “women”. As part of a universal mechanism without specific project, they act as if they are under control of their portion of universe because they see only a very limited portion of reality and then they see, by feedback, that some causal principles allow them to act as they wish (in a certain extent but for them is enough). But this is 90% untrue. Everything outside their direct control – and partially even it – it is a creation which is orchestrated far, very far from them.
For instance, think about a class in University and how unlikely and unplanned it was! First, a country, a city and maybe the EU should be there. The university must exist. Second, the programme. Third, the lecturers the students. We could have met because I was born in Sardinia etc. etc. and you in S etc etc and X in Y etc etc.. We don’t think that this is not something usual in the universe. We think that it follows from a straight, clear path in which I was in charge of my course because I was selected for that position because I had a Ph.D. and intelligence knowledge: this is only what I could see because I can see only the very few causes under my control. To explain the course would require so much more that nobody could do it! Then, if there is something true, it is that our life is so little under our control that we cannot accept it even in the misfortune, when we search our misconduct or personal mistakes to cut off all the previous, concurrent history of the universe in which your weight could be approximate to 0 . Instead, the reality is simply that all your life is inside a mechanism without a clear purpose in which only specific portions of it has a goal (institutions, rational beings etc), even though this just means that that portions of reality tend to work looking with a certain attitude toward the future. Sometimes we delude our self to be under control of our life or, that is the same, it is sufficient to live according with our expectations that everything will be fine. Instead, this condition is only an illusion even when the history of the universe gives the opportunity to believe as if it was really the case! And then, few lucky people tend to believe that everything is under control only because statistically the laws of the infinite universe allow it to happen. Maybe they live just inside a stricter mechanism such as an industry (a mechanism in the mechanism). But there is nothing really better or good in them. And when something bad happens, people think that something wrong happened, something unexpected and, maybe, avoidable. It could be, but in a negligible percentage.
In this respect, I don’t think there is no component of the universe under our control. We, legitimately, can claim to do our part inside something which is so big that we don’t even know if it is actually infinite or only potentially! In this sense, I still strongly believe that we can make a difference in the sense that we can be the best of all the possible versions of our selves: we can be many things, many persons, many entities. The only reasonable thing to ask to our self is to be as we would like to be without any further compensation. Indeed, all the other things, positions, people, payments, awards, marriage, friendship… they do not depend on us and they instead depend on the arrangements of the infinite universe that sometimes “conspires” in your favor and sometimes it does not. In fact, I believe that I am just an instrument of the universe when I write and think: if I am good in it but I would take for myself little credit because, in my own vision, it is just the universe creating something unusual through me as it does with other people. Some of them do surgical operations or silly things. I write and think! And, after all, this is still something I consider not simply important but vital.