When something wakes me from a dream, sometimes in describing the dream at that point I'll say "I don't know what happened next". By saying that, I'm kind of
assuming that the dream is a separate entity
that continues regardless
of my involvement in it -- as if it's in one room and I walked
out of that room when I woke up.
Is that the case? I don't really
believe it is... the dream is an artifact created by my
involvement. When I cease to percieve it, it ceases to exist. However,
this style of thinking can be disturbing and lead to all sorts of sophomoric pseudophilosophical arguments. What does this apply to? If
I die, does the universe cease to exist? Some people would argue that
it wouldn't, because there are other sentient (does the observer have
to be sentient?) beings (i.e. the rest of the human race (is the human
race sentient? is a single human sentient? or just the entire race as
a whole? what about a termite versus a termite colony? what about
jello?)) still observing the universe.
But what if there was no life
in the universe? Would the universe cease to exist?
I guess that
depends on what definition is used for 'existance'. Would the universe would become a formless
blob without an observer to collapse the probability
waveform? Science fiction writers like to think so, but it's not in fact the case, according to Real Physicists.