The world we see out there is real as an experience for each of us but it doesn’t exist apart from our experience in the way that we imagine it does. Brains have not evolved to see true reality. In other words, Darwinian fitness doesn’t build a brain that sees true reality. Rather it builds a brain to help us survive and reproduce. It's about survival strategy—not truth.
Given this, our believed true perceptions of a world out there are actually non-veridical, i.e., they don’t coincide with true reality which, by the way, is an important part of the Buddha’s teaching—the conditioned world is not true reality. Neither the table nor chairs we see in front of us are true reality nor is our experience of them in anyway absolutely true. And that goes for the house we just bought and the SUV we drive to work.
Our belief in a space-time Darwinian world with its objects is a useful fiction as are the bodies we inhabit and use to survive and reproduce in this world. Our normal, everyday perceptions of the world are non-veridical which again, the Buddha is trying to teach us is the fact of conditioned existence, i.e., samsara. Material shape is not who we are, nor is feeling, perception, volitional formations and even sensory consciousness. Who we really are needs no name but we can use names like Buddha-nature, atman, pure Mind, unconditioned Mind, and even Dr. Donald Hoffman’s excellent term “conscious agents” which is a guy worth studying. Hoffman, in my estimation, is as close to the vision of the Lankavatara as science can get. As with the Lanka, he takes away the rule of object permanence. It is a construct of conscious agents which come first.
So, your reading assignment is:
And YouTube if your prefer:
Feel free to explore Donald Hoffman on YouTube. There is a lot there. What I see in Donald Hoffman is a way to give Buddhism the scientific credibility it needs. Buddhism doesn’t have to change anything. If it all works out the way I think it will, we are ready for a quantum leap into a new reality. To use Hoffman’s term, higher conscious agents are about to absorb our world.