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An Analysis on Inversion

Updated on June 30, 2019
Ali Dillender profile image

Lex is an Animal and Dairy Science major, Chemistry minor at Mississippi State University. She loves thinking on probing subjects.

Illusion vs Reality

If one asks the question:

what is the difference between reality and illusion?

One could safely answer that reality is what is real and going on right now and illusion is what is obviously improbable or made up by the mind.

What if illusion was able to become a reality? If someone truly believed for so long that their illusion was real, could it actually become true and irreversible for that person?


It is hard for children to realize that there are no monsters in the closet or under the bed


If we look at young children, they are often at work making up stories in their minds and playing them out. Many times, these fantasies in their minds are all too real, especially when it comes to imaginary friends or nighttime fears.

It is hard for children to realize that there are no monsters in the closet or under the bed. They often times can convince themselves so much that a dark shadow is a monster, that they are unable to distinguish that this is improbable and only in their mind.

Eventually, almost everyone grows out of this phase and can distinguish fact from fiction through learning and association. But, if we are able to analyze certain psychological disturbances, we can see that there are times where healthy adults can begin to confuse reality and illusion.



If you look at the science behind hallucinations, we can see that they are caused when the connection between the frontal lobe and the sensory cortex is temporarily disrupted, or when a certain sensory cortex is overactive as in people with schizophrenia or Parkinson’s disease.

According to ABC News:

“About 70 per cent of healthy people experience benign hallucinations when they are falling asleep”

If we look at the formation of false memories, we know that every time we recall a memory, the proteins are changed, therefore distorting the recollection. Often times we recall events that never took place. Maybe the whole event was real but small details have changed since we last remembered it.

If we are able to truly convince ourselves that something happened, when in reality it didn’t, couldn’t we also end up convincing ourselves that our dreams really did take place?


Taking a look into literature, if we dive into the 1592 Christopher Marlowe’s tragedy- The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus- the top idea is of predestination. However, if you really analyze the events in the play, we can see Doctor Faustus wants to believe his decision to sell his soul is right so he tries to invert the ideas of heaven and hell to convince himself.

Faustus’ self-delusion permeates through the aspects of his mind, body, and spirit. As the play progresses, Faustus continuously twists bible scripture to match the path he has chosen for himself. He deludes himself so much, however, that he has begun to believe that the scripture says he will never be able to repent.


Faustus’ desire to make himself feel as if he has not turned to evil, is what allows him to deceive himself on a bodily view. He does not want to physically see the embodiment of evil he has brought upon himself and therefore asks the demons to come to him in disguise.

Faustus also puts his spirit into a worldly vision where he deludes his own self to the point where he can no longer distinguish faith from evil. Consistent rejection of Faustus to face what he has done is what ultimately leads to the torture of a false reality and his own tragic fate.

Though this play is fiction, it does share probing ideas of how our mind can possibly work.


Maybe we really can twist reality enough to truly convince our minds that our dreams are true. Reality seems real but illusions seem real to those that have them. Maybe true reality is actually just a figment of our own imagination, we can never really know, can we? All we know is what our minds make us believe.

© 2019 Alexis Dillender


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