The Wilkinson microwave anisotropy probe, aka WMAP, was launched in 2001. The larger mission of the probe was to retrieve residual data from “the big bang” and thus allow us to gain a greater understanding of our universe and its origins. What it actually accomplished was to change our understanding of what makes up reality.
Data from the WMAP has shown that the vast majority of our universe is composed of unknown matter and energy. This undefined dark matter makes up approximately 23% of the universe, while undefined dark energy makes up approximately 73%. That means that what has been conventionally understood to make up reality is just 4% of the actual universe. Further, the vast majority of that 4% is made up of hydrogen and helium (the stars), while the heavier elements (what we consider solid matter) is only approximately 0.03%.
So 96% of reality is not understood, not really quantifiable and apparently can’t be directly perceived. Whereas everything with which we interact and what we believe that we understand only makes up between 0.03 and 4% of actual reality. The entire tangible and intangible world as we conventionally experience it, relate to it and interact with it is a statistically insignificant fraction of actuality.
So what is really real? Or more precisely, what is really significant? Are the things that we can hold more real or more significant than our thoughts and ideals? Are our emotions any less real or less significant than our actions? Are our perceived abilities more real and more significant than our unacknowledged limitations? Is our shared concept of reality any more real or more significant than own individual realities? Are the questions we ask any less real or less significant than the answers that we are given?