While websurfing the other night, my memory was stirred by something I came across. Something I had studied in a philosophy course in college long ago, but had afterwards more or less forgotten.
It is Descartes' Dream Argument, from his Meditations on First Philosophy.
In sum, Descartes is asking: How can we know that we are not now dreaming, though we are certain we are awake?
He claims that the experience of a dream can be indistinguishable from waking life. So that whatever apparent subjective differences there seem to be between waking life and dreaming, they are insufficient differences to gain certainty
that one is not now dreaming, though we feel
for certain that we are awake.
Descartes is left unsure whether the objects in front of him are real, whether he is dreaming of their existence, or whether they really are there.
we are awake, but how can we really know
In modern times, a dramatic exposition of this possibility is expressed by Morpheus in his encounter with Neo:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n0hktizfwy
So was Descartes right?And what if, to draw out this kind of thinking to its ultimate conclusion, what if everything that has happened to us, beginning with the day of diagnosis, putting us on this PCa journey, through all those doctor appointments, all those treatments, all those steps to recovery, all of those things, have just been parts of one overwhelming, bewildering dream that we have been having, and still are, that has taken us over, and which now seems totally real, but from which we will eventually awake, to find that it really has all along just been only a dream, and that we now are fine, and we can now dismiss this strange world we think we are in now for what it really was: only a strange dream.