The Real World
It is not unusual for a father to tell his son, "Just wait until you have to deal with the real world". This is usually intended to mean that when the child moves from his carefree childhood world into the larger social world and has to earn a living he will find that he will be forced to be more responsible.
Consider the following "worlds"
1. Natural world. Here we find tornadoes, weeds, and disease.
2. Childhood world. Here we see play and the unappreciated manifestation of all we need.
3. Social world. Here we find family, classmates, coworkers, bosses, and government.
4. Entertainment world. Here we find a story or movie that takes us away briefly from our world.
5. Ideal world. Here we find an constructed environment in which we would prefer to live or make manifest in the social world.
6. Alternative world. Technology has provided things like the Sims and Second life so that we have the opportunity to combine 2-5 in such a way that we can be drawn into a world that is imaginary, yet is so attractive that it has a narcotic effect.
7. Spiritual world. Here we can find both fallen and ministering angels.
It is interesting the number of college students who abruptly come to the end of their childhood world when they first experience that the small refrigerator they have in their dorm room becomes empty. This can be a shattering experience and cause many to become communist in response to the flagrant injustice that an empty refrigerator represents.
Since we are all born into families of one sort or another, we all experience the social world. As our world approaches global collectivism, the character of the social world is changing. The significance of family decreases while our position in the collective becomes more significant. Wealth, fame, power, and status are all derived from the ability to influence or exploit others. As everyone pursues the opportunity to exploit others, we are all dragged into increasingly greater collectivism. Like a tightening noose, we are being herded by our own ambitions.
The ideal world is a little like the occultists who attempt to materialize their desires by force of will through the etheric plane to be manifest in the physical realm. College students who sat on the floor of their dorm rooms in the 60s with their arms linked together singing songs like "Kumbaya", "Puff the magic dragon", and "I'd like to teach the world to sing", created for themselves an idealized reality where social justice, socialism, recycling, and vegetarianism were transcendent. Like Islam, adherents of this religion can be zealous to make the social world conform to their idealized "perfect" world. There are variations in the use of coercive force. Some Christians would scold everyone into complying with their ideals. Most liberals seek to bring their world into reality via the power of legislation. Many Muslims will kill anyone who objects except where they are in the minority and then they declare that Islam is a religion of peace.
The alternative world used to be a more rare phenomena. Many people step into the entertainment world briefly and experience for the length of a book or a movie an alternative existence. Someone might occasionally become convinced that he lived in Middle Earth because he became obsessed with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, now, with technology, many more people can shut themselves up in their room and play the Sims or Second Life and be whatever they want to be. Many of these people later emerge from their artifical world to discover that the life they have neglected for so long has become impoverished both in material and relational terms.
The spiritual world is the least understood. Some people play around with gateway activities such as Ouija boards, tarot cards, automatic writing, even some yoga and meditation opens doors through which people can come in contact with and become subservient to demonic forces. There are also ministering angels that can protect and encourage Christians. Christians also have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to aid in recognizing truth.
For most of the history of the world we have lived in worlds 1,3, and 7. It has been the intention of Satan to create and advance artifical worlds and perpetuate the childhood world for his purposes. These artifical worlds exist to blind us to truth.
We can see a little of the difference between the real world and the unreal world.
Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
In our blindness, we can be taken and enslaved. We should all hear the words that were spoken to Jonah, "O sleeper, arise, call upon thy God".