warning - mental wandering, without purpose.
Is the question real or imaginary? That might be more exactingly way to put the question than physical or has to do with the physical world, real processes vs does the question have to do with the conceptual world where real and imaginary merge into one continuum?
What am I on about? Well, this come back to our purpose in life, philosophy, theology, meaning of life and the like. Does the issue deal with the real world or what drives humans? There is no real instinctual purpose of human life beyond reproduction and support of our genes. We can apply on the real background any number of beliefs, that if locked in our mind, can drive we humans to do all sorts of wonderful things. What human, since there is nothing else, came up with the idea that humans should use there highest skill, reason, to extend our influence over everything anyway? It may be a concept that I have subscribed to, and I have come from a long line of such driven people, but does that drive to do things make any sense? We humans are driven by our individual ideology. We can choose that ideology. We are therefore self directed if we can install that suitable ideology into ourselves.
It makes no sense until we realize that the selfish gene wants to prosper it's line first, associated lines second, and the human line third because this line will needed for mates. It is not concerned with far distant humans, other than to be able to beat then back if they should prosper more and decide to invade. Is that the answer to what would the gene want it the gene could want. So man created concepts, took ideas of others, and ran with that, until we find ourselves at this state. Some of the ideas prosper a few at the top, only. Others have benefits and drawbacks which must be balanced. The only constant is change, but soon it will be the next generations issue. So what is the proper criteria for selection of our ideology?
We older people have the time to sit back and reflect, and project forward in time. We fight over which concept is better, which direction to go, and in the end who knows. Any direction will get us to some future point in time. Who is to judge what is best. When we venture into the non-warring regions of the third world, the people are generally happy, and I would guess from facial expression, more happy than the industrial world. More of their days are spent in a happy state of mind... I would guess. In the end, we live our life and expire. What we believed has no physical impact, but may have influenced what we do. So our thinking influences our behaviors, not the conditions. Our ideology governs our choices, our attitudes, our opinions, our behaviors.
So there are many people who would like to tell us how to think or provide us with there ideology. We can explore, and lay out methods, concepts, and decide for ourselves which to pick up and which to leave. We can compare and upgrade, degrade or just lateral at any time. We can implement, stop, change at any time we choose. It is our choice. But then we need to build it into the mind and body to react to all the crap and ignorance. We need to deal with the young and unlearned, of even the most basics of issues of life, to the young which have mastered one skill, but sadly lack in others, like the talker who has nothing well thought out to say on many subject anyway. Oh well, in the end we all just die anyway.
Humans are ultimately driven by any idea that happens to stick in there head. It is that simple. The ideas of some are fixed over a lifetime, and other less so. Some of us struggle with skill deficits, and other with other personality issues, memory, or other mental issues. Some of us are just not driven, and would like to be. Oh well. Some of us are troubled with the why, what next, and how of things like relationships, dealing with other people, and similar abstract issues. Others are just so busy doing. So there is no purpose or meaning until we paint one on and apply it.
The religious like to talk to there imaginary friend(s) for advise, and think about eternal life, while some of us are content with the here and now, and life the way it is. If we want life or something strongly enough we may get it, and we may get it if we do not really even want it much. It is just a serious of random like events, not all random but we are unable to see the cause often. When we are dealing with other people, there may be no cause, but just whatever thoughts come into the minds of other, past or present. We live it a strange over populated world for sures, just for the grammar police.