We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It must be Ash Wednesday. None of us have a doctorate in metaphysics nowadays (I think), but is life just a dream?
I like to imagine that my life has my own steering wheel, but I am not sure about that. I do know that all lives have or need some sort of anchorage, centering, lodestar - whatever. Do we live in a God's simulation? Is that Judeo-Christian view?
Best if I shut up before writing more. Not qualified.
I am pleased that you have posed this question. It is nice to know there is someone out there other than I who has contemplated this question. Though I am a vary rational logical person, from time to time it seems to me that I have simply conjured up a solution to a problem I have had. All vary minor and not when intentionally trying. That never seems to works.
When looking into space, it seems that we are in a video game, where the creator has not bothered to fill in the additional back ground. Try driving off track in a video racing game and you will soon hit the abyss. The creator never bothered to add the background more than several feet from the track on ether side.
I wish we knew the answers to these questions. It would greatly help in planning ones future.
Thinking of life as a simulation cheapens its meaning and liquidates its joy. Lighten up, Francis. Have a glass of wine or a cold beer and indulge some quiet contemplation, ruminate on the most beautiful visions, the most fulfilling experiences, the most memorable and compelling sensations, and the strongest emotions, unpleasant and pleasant, that have ever coursed through the fiber of your earthly being. Then have the grace to give thanks and say a prayer for those that have not been as fortunate as you to have these gifts.
Like a fish not realizing it lives in water, we can't know. God loves the universe into existence. If that's a "simulation" or not, I'm not certain it matters one way or the other. He created the universe, set up the rules, and does directly interact with His creation. But, we do have agency, so I think it's not a simulation.
I have always thought that the "we live in a simulation" idea is very sophomoric and silly. It is non-falsifiable, and answers no questions, makes no predictions-- so in what sense is it meaningful? It is a case of syntax without semantics.
Similarly I tend to view metaphysics as content-free. Nature (broadly defined as everything that exists and happens) seems itself to be incredibly subtle and mysterious--and that's just plain "physics", no meta- needed.
If you find yourself mooning that you've seen it all, there has to be more than this, etc, just ponder the double-slit experiment for a while, and you'll quickly find that the feeling goes away. Or, just go for a walk in the woods and pay attention to your senses.
If that still leaves you hungry for "meaning", go do something kind for someone else, and repeat as necessary.