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Our Fantasies Can Be More Powerful than the Universally Accepted Version of Reality

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Whether fantasy can be more powerful than the universally accepted version of ‘reality’ is debatable. Phillip Dick had once claimed, ‘reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away,’ suggesting the existence of things that are fundamentally and inevitably real. Conversely, Albert Einstein’s proposal that reality itself is ‘merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one,’ also seems valid. Perhaps then, the extent to which fantasy can take precedence over any objective truth depends on one’s willingness to self-delude and construct their ideal world. And only when accepted by others or the need to feel in control of our lives is prominent, can it become almost real and conquer.
It is true that the world we inhabit presents to us many situations from which there is no physical escape. Where these lie on the scale of ‘bad to good’ depends on our unique circumstances and of course, how we perceive it to be. Our initial reality is set out for us, the time-frame and place of upbringing, culture, social class and gender being unchangeable factors. Similarly, there is a common acknowledgement of things that are essentially ‘real,’ those we can objectively sense. In a Streetcar Named Desire, Stella has assumed the submissive role as Stanley’s wife, required to constantly tolerate his volatile nature, cater for his sexual needs and support his every decision. This is her unusual reality. Although at times she appears to get by through optimism, ‘he was as good
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