I will tell you that the universe is a simulacrum, that as there is no shared basis for a common reality, our world itself is merely a representation of something that doesn't exist. This, however doesn't mean that our existence is only made up of meaningless semblances of falsehoods, but that meaning is inherent in everything, and that the surface is barely more than a shadow of a multidimensional idea. In our world, neither is anything ever as it seems nor does anything mean anything more than it appears to. Reality, it would seem is made up nothing but the barest reflections of what it could be.
You will look at me like I am psychotic, and I will smile, knowing what you are thinking, and continue, confirming your fears. My continuation will tell you that for all anyone knows, the grand simulacra, or our universe, could in fact be nothing more than the shunting of bits in an enormous computer system, a simulation, if you will, for some process. You might comment that any simulation of a universe would either be simplified, and inaccurate, or terribly cumbersome and unserviceable. In response, I will tell you that we wouldn't be able to know, there wouldn't be an 'accurate' to base it off of and that even if a gross contradiction arose, we would attempt to find some way to explain it, rather than reject our universe as something that is only held in a computer simulation.
Your intellect has awoken, instead of just ignoring me as a nutjob, you are interested in what I have to say as it causes a number of interesting considerations to arise, playing the devil's advocate, you ask what this would mean for us. I will tell you that it means nothing, that we should conduct our lives exactly the same as if we had no sense that this world is a simulation, as it is still, for us, reality. Even if that reality is still nothing more than a representation of nonexistence. Even if it is true, and our universe is a simulation, there is nothing that we can do to leave the simulation, and exist on a meta level, seeing our reality as an outside observer, in another universe, the one conducting the study. This is merely an intellectual foray into something that seems interesting, not something that must be true, or even something that is probably true. Assume or believe whatever you want, but remember that this is our reality, not some theoretical one which may or may not be simulating this one.
Your suspicions of my insanity will return, and you will start to doubt yours, for entertaining, even for a moment that this could, theoretically be the basis of our existence. However, your intellectual curiosity will overcome the sense of dread that is arising in your common sense and you will ask a further question, "What if the universe, being part of a simulation, crashes?" I will tell you that we will cease to exist, and for the purposes of our existence, our consciousnesses had never been anywhere close to existing. If, however, the simulation were to be restarted at the same point as it had crashed at, assuming the data had been saved somewhere, we would begin to exist again and, to us, nothing would have seemed to happen.
You might be reaching your aspirin, or otherwise reacting to the headache that has rooted itself in your mind, at once fully comprehending the implications of what I am saying, and trying to repress them into your unconscious. I will reveal to you one more tidbit that will finally make your decision on my mental health. I will tell you that, as it becomes more probable that we, ourselves will eventually begin to simulate a universe capable of holding consciousness, the more probable it becomes that we are, ourselves in a simulated universe. I will clarify by saying that it would mean that the probability that the technology to simulate a universe could possibly exist is greater, not that our universe, in particular, has a higher probability of being simulated. However, if one were to back in time, the probability of our universe being simulated would not change to an observer from a certain time, it would only appear to be different to the people living in that time.
In a universe, I will tell you, that simulation of the complexity necessary is almost commonplace, the apparent probability that this hypothetical reality is a simulation of its own is nearly one-hundred per cent. However, no one in this universe would be aware that their reality is only a reflection of whichever one is simulating it. Thus, even if any universe is a simulation, there would be no way to prove that it is one. Our reality is our reality, be it a simulation, or figment of each of its inhabitants imaginations.
You, still maintaining your belief of my insanity, be it correct or incorrect, will ask me if my viewing the world this way has affected me in some way. I will tell you that it is me. I will tell you that my worldview makes up my reality and, by extension, it has created my identity. I have thought extensively about the nature of the universe, and about the philosophical implications of a number of possibilities, and they intrigue me. I hunger for knowledge, and wish to learn as much as I can about the simulacra that I live in. Simulacra, being the building blocks of the universe, are full of meaning, and I am a simulacrum.