I think the real is pattern in nature that goes unnoticed because it is uniform, while the unreal– the categorical or conceptual– is everything else that is noticed, in mind, and in the objects of perception. The real is not the feeling of realness, which is the affective residue that accompanies the outgoing stream of perception.
What is ultimately real is what exists. A hallucination exists. It corresponds to a brain process. A perceptual object also corresponds to a brain process. The feeling of realness does not necessarily depend on how real the object is or in the correspondence to something in the external world.
Every act of cognition, every mental state, is a valuation made real. A valuation results from the constraints on drive that shape the desires into the affective tonalities of objects of interest. Realness penetrates intrinsic value and is heightened by interest to worth, which is object-centered valuation. When feeling remains intrapsychic, valuation is centered in the subject as desire. Every object has an affective quality.
I did not begin my work as a religious man, nor would I call myself religious today, but when seized with the realization that everything in the mind reflects this pattern, and observing that all things in nature are similarly infused, … all appearing to be outcomes of the same process and driven by the same creative force, how could one fail to be inspired by the unity, the grandeur and the sublimity of it all.