Consciousness is, quite literally, a simulation.
Your conscious experience is not reflective of an actual reality, just a simulation manufactured by your neurons, pulsing energy in rhythmic patterns. What you think is reality, or truth, is simply a subjective perception. We perceive things, and these perceptions exist in our mind, not in the world.
They exist in the minds of the collective imagination, as a social simulation. Rather than a silicon simulation, we live in an organic simulation, made of meat rather than metal.
There is no objective reality. There is no absolute truth. Truth is whatever we collectively agree upon. It’s a sociological fabrication by consensus.
Everything happening outside us, our mind, beyond the narrow sliver of senses, is a soup of empty space and vibrations, much like a computer is simply 1’s and 0’s and analog wave forms.
Everything is relative. Hardness, softness, redness, blueness, pain and pleasure, good and bad.
It’s all relative to how it suits this fleshy vehicle in its quest for survival, of self preservation and procreation, via collaboration with other fleshy vehicles.
Everything is energy, distributed in varying concentrations throughout the universe, with each knotted ball of energy-strings vibrating to specific wavelengths, allowing it to knot with complementary knots of vibrating energy, which accumulate into increasingly larger bits of unique particles, which eventually comprise larger bits, gaining even more mass, until the vibrating field surrounding this ball of energy is so resonate in its synchronous vibrations, that it produces a force that gives the appearance of substance, of elemental matter.
So you ask: are we living in a simulation? I think we’re living in a simulation. Read Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.
But it’s not a simulation we can escape. Just one we have to accept as illusory. And I think through the acceptance lies the portal into the true nature of reality.