When we are born, we are not alone or isolated. We live in families, and no family is by itself either. We are embedded in larger social communities, and a long, long time ago, not in a galaxy far away but all over our planet, these communities have started to develop concepts and rules to make life and living together easier. Kings and queens, governments, law, nationalities, borders, religion, armies, corporations, employment, trade, schools, universities, marriage, restaurants, tv shows and cocktail parties are just a few examples of the invisible social concepts or “illusions” we have created that are independent of physical reality. Another one is the illusion that we have to answer our phone every time it rings and that we have to answer all emails immediately.
These social constructs are only “real” because enough people accept them, believe in them and thus give them validity. “Consensus reality” is a term that refers to this phenomenon. Everyone who agrees and lives within what their community as a whole regards as “real” and “true” is a functioning member of society. If you disregard any of these established concepts you may be seen as “living in a different world” or at least as somewhat unconventional, or, if you violate the laws of the country you live in, you are a criminal and have to face prosecution. Depending on where you live, the individual parameters of these concepts might be different. Not all countries are governed under the same political ideology, some countries have a liberal, other an authoritarian regime, in some areas of the world some religions are predominant and others are hardly found at all and vice versa. The society you grow up in shapes your views and beliefs about what is real, true or false and right or wrong.