Caring too much about the truth can lead to a pathological obsession with the infrastructure, the workings of the “deception” which lies beneath every event. Care too little, and you gradually surrender to a complacent fantasy in which life goes on as normal, and everything which contradicts the illusion of ordinary existence is either avoided or explained away.Greg Egan (Permutation City)
Greg Egan was talking about the dilemma of a self conscious avatars when he wrote these words.
But I feel like they are true, on a much wider level, for us real-world humans also. For what is the world but maya, an illusion, a distraction full of ecstacy and depression which hides away the truth? Hinduism, Buddhism and countless other eastern religions have espoused thia truth since millenias.
The realisation could however turn into a burden quite soon, rendering you unable to perform even the simplest of tasks necessary to fulfill the basic needs. The protagonist of Greg Egan’s seminal scifi work finds that there is no harder tightrope to walk – to know that the world is an illusion and still play by its rules, ride the highs and suffer through the lows – knowing that you’ll never know the truth.