Home Articles Logic Brains and Branes – Is reality for real?

Brains and Branes – Is reality for real?

Are our brains sophisticated enough to understand branes? Wait, but what on earth are branes?

Branes are a speculation of the string theory (the theory that is expected to describe every physical aspect of our universe).

It is another interesting fact to note that the string theory which was expected to describe our universe has now ended up speculating multiple co existing universes like ours!)

Coming back to Branes, they are membranes that exist in higher dimensions of space. So our 2D Universe is actually a brane moving in higher dimensions. Imagine a newspaper that can move about in 9 or 10 spatial dimensions. Well, yes, string theory requires that the universe have many more spatial dimensions for it to explain everything about the universe, sorry multiverse!!

So Branes are these complex multi-dimensional stuff and we are talking about not just one Universe but a vast multiverse or unknown number of Universes!

What is reality?

Coming back to the brains, are our brains well equipped to understand the functioning of this universe? Well, that is not the question here.

The real question is an even more fundamental one.

The mental picture of the universe created in our brain with the help of our sense organs, does it correspond to reality?

In other words, is the universe we feel the same as the universe we live in? Are we getting an incomplete partial picture due to the limitations of our sense organs? Or is it just a mere mapping of the universe into our brains and it has nothing do with the real picture at all?

Consider the example of what we see through our eyes. Our eyes recognize light rays that enter it and send the information to the brain, which then maps it to our visual information in the visual cortex.

Do we see or sense everything around us?

Answer is an obvious No. Our eyes can identify only a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum i.e. the light whose wavelength is between 400 to 800 nano meters. We DO NOT SEE light that falls below or above this so-called visible range!! In other words we are blind outside the visible range.

Yes, we have developed instruments that can identify light outside the visible range. For instance radio telescopes, X-ray telescopes, Infrared goggles etc.

But when we see the images from these instruments, we map the contours to some color that falls in the visible range! In other words, we can never see how that real world looks like! For instance, if we assume that our eyes were capable of also seeing light waves between 1000-1500 nano meters, how would it look like?

Now being convinced that we do not see everything, let us discuss about whether at least what we see really corresponds to reality or not!

Is what we see the only version of reality?

We see a red rose. We identify its color as red. Now what is this red? Is the rose really red, or is it just a visual interpretation given to it by our brain?

Let us talk about the primary colors: red, green and blue. We call them primary colors !! Why? Because the cones (cells that identify colors) in our eyes identify only these three colors (to be more precise, only these three wavelengths!) Any other color we perceive is a combination of two or more of these colors.

In other words, primary colors are primary ONLY for human eyes. Not necessarily for every other species on this planet, or elsewhere! So even what we are able to see is just a mapping done based on the light information received by our eyes. Then what does the world really look like? Or does it have something called a real look at all?

Probably any audio/video or other information that we receive is perceived depending on the ability of our sense organs and this perceived information mapped by the brain’s imagination.

If this is the case, then what about the scientific theories, facts, etc that we build based on our observations of this universe? Do they correspond to reality at least?? Well as long as the observation maps the expectations, we can say yes. But we cannot say that it is the only way the universe is functioning.

This is something similar to what Einstein had to say about theories. It is like we are given a wristwatch that shows time accurately and then we are asked to find out how the watch actually works and we have to do that without opening the watch !!

lies in the universe that we feel. Probably that is the reason why ancient Indian seers (scientists of those days) attempted to observe the reality not by opening their eyes, but by closing them and investigating inwards, where in the real truth lies!! Observing from within does not have any limitations imposed by the sense organs, and that is simply because when we observe reality there are no limitations for that observation.Now, we might come up with an explanation as to how the watch is working and it may perfectly fit the observation. Somebody else might come up with another explanation and even that might fit the observation!! But what is the real mechanism based on which the watch is working? Based on our earlier discussion on reality, here we are not even sure that we are observing everything about the watch, let alone explain how it works!

Isn’t there any thing called real reality at all?

Well, I think there is. The quantum entanglement! Particles sharing information in spite of being physically light-years apart!! The physical universe that we see may not be a direct mapping between reality and observation. We continuously try to refine and redefine our understanding, but as we saw earlier we can never be sure that it is the reality, because there is nothing called reality in the physical universe we observe!! It is only a interpretation of our brain of the information it receives from our sensory organs which are again limited by their own range based limitations!

The world we feel is just a direct projection of the interpretation done by our brain. So each of us have our own version of this world. So we are very creative in that aspect, and every individual thinks about the world differently based on their experiences.

In other words, our brains don’t live in those multi dimensional branes. Instead, those branes live inside our brains!

The world we experience is a mapping done by our brains so that it can detect patterns of useful information and find relations between them and accordingly initiate any necessary reactions.

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Gurudev is the developer of Gurunudi AI Platform. This is his official website where he pens his thoughts on a wide range of topics, answers queries, shares resources and tools developed by him.


  1. I am very much impressed by your last paragraph as a conclusion.Yes with open eyes you see few things which may or may not be real as you would interpret and make your decisions whether it is right or wrong. View it by closing your eyes without any limitations and you will definitely find the reality in every being and every thing.


  2. @Steve
    Nice links steve, interesting thoughts!

    Yeah, interesting that your thoughts about self aware universe match that of hinduism! As per vedic teachings which are at the core of hinduism, universe itself is the God and God doesnt live outside the universe! Which is why hindus worship every possible form of universe as God – rivers, water, air, sun, moon, stars, planets, sky, elephants, snakes, cow and what not, even humans are worshipped!! Because everything within the universe is a manifestation of the universe itself!

    Yeah, binding problem I think arises from the fact that we assume that inside the brain somewhere there has to be a controlling location, which causes us to search for such a location. Who knows, the whole brain itself might be like a central location!! Probably the entire cerebral cortex, along with the repltilian feelings near the brain stem!

    Ancient hindu texts say that there is an arrogant, wild, violent, daemon in every human and we should always overcome that daemon with our wise thinking process!! Well, only after I read about brain did I realise that they were really talking about some science here!! Our brain has the repltilian part at the brain stem which probably has its roots in the reptiles which causes the violent behaviour and then on top of this is the cerebral cortex, the part of human brain that makes us “”human(!)”” with the controlled logical and creative thought process!!

    Life is interesting…

  3. Me again, I forgot to mention that the one aspect your post doesn’t mention is the so-called binding problem which arises from the neuroscience perspective on how reality is perceived, and the limitations of that science re understanding consciousness.

    By for now

  4. Hi gurudev, very interesting site. I’ve been wrapping my brains around branes for a while, personally I think the theory is off track—too complex and too abstract to prove or disprove. I go for a panentheistic model of a multiverse (“”Everything That Is””)that is alive, aware, intelligent, (well it would be seeing as it contains all the intelligence there is), values free and context independent.

    I’ve added your site to my blogroll on mumbo jumbo. HOpe you will link back to me as well. Check out my portal to the multiverse site in particular–it has many wormholes to compactified 11-dimensional superstringy quantum blogs.



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