We see the faces of strangers everywhere we go. We see them in the supermarket migrating from one isle to the next checking their shopping lists and filling their carts. You see them on the busy streets rushing to get their appointments. And in their cars on the highway speeding past you. Their names and personal identities are a mystery. You do not know their connections or history. These unnamed beings simply blend into the background as you go about your day. You are too busy to take notice of them. It would be appropriate to call these strangers zombies, but since that term brings up images of the walking undead, I’ll just call them “extras.” |
The extra theory asserts that these entities are inserted into our experience in order to fill in the background. They are almost like props in a movie. Life would seem strange without extras. If you tune in to virtually any sitcom, you will see movie extras. When the main characters are in a public place, extras can be seen moving about. Since we focus on the main characters, our attention is taken away from the extras. This is also true of our personal reality. Extras join our reality constantly. We all but ignore them as if they are a part of the background. Extras become much like building structures, vehicles, trees, and signs. The scenery is almost invisible. It has no meaning to us.
Humans have relationships with one another in the “common reality.” A common reality is created when personal realities merge for the sake of the human experience. Common reality is one in which the majority has agreed upon. The common reality sets down rules of living. Certain items must be accounted for in order maintain a common reality. All parties must agree on the mundane aspects of this universal agreement, such as names of objects. Everyone must be able to agree that an orange is an orange and an apple is an apple. If someone calls an apple an orange, the common reality is disturbed. Extras exist within the common reality, but are not a part of it. Extras are merely a part of the back drop.
The difference between a human and an extra is the level of consciousness. Extras are but a shell of a human. They possess limited consciousness. A human, on the other hand, possesses the level of consciousness with which we are all familiar. You could compare an extra’s consciousness to that of an insect. Extras are given enough awareness and intelligence to complete their tasks before they are removed from the transitory event that summoned them.
How does one tell an extra from a human? True humans can be distinguished from extras when a meaningful exchange occurs. The event must have meaning to you. Significant events occur in people’s lives that have no meaning to them. If you are in a grocery store and a complete stranger strikes up a spirited conversation with you, that person is most likely human.
If you think you have identified an extra, you are probably wrong. When you focus on a specific person in your environment, that person begins to take on meaning for you. That creates a bit of a paradox doesn’t it.
I understand the extra theory is very unusual, but it is certainly plausible. It has a place among the many theories that our society holds about the nature of reality.
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