Santa Monica, California, USA
There are two questions being asked here:
1. Is reality real?
Presumably you mean do our descriptions of the world accurately descripe that world. Yes for the most part.
1.a Nope, for the most part. This assertion brings to mind the oxymoron "common sense."
When we look at a brick wall, we describe it as solid, while in a closer version of reality, what we are looking at is a whole lot of empty space surrounded by bits of "brick-stuff."
When we talk about "descriptions" of the world, we are dealing with the enormous limits of our ability to see what we are seeing. Many corals, viewed under ultraviolet light, glow in vivid flourescent colors. What is more real, the the bland colors we can see, or the colors that are there in a spectrum we do not have unaided access to?
The whole of the discourse around the Veil of Perception (entirely different from the Sufi Veil of Illusion) argues aginst an ability to perceive reality, let alone a common reality.
When we look at a red rose, we don't "see" a red rose. What we see is a reflection of light filtered through an optic system that responds in a specific way to a specific bit of the color spectrum. A rose is red only because we say so. It has nothing to do with the color of the rose. A cat's observation that a rose is olive green might be equally valid, but then, cat's don't talk much.
Rather stupidly, most people insist that the world is round, when it is an oblate spheroid.
Commonly, folks describe the universe as being three dimensional. Some grudgingly throw in "time" and perceive it as being four dimensional. Physicists are suggesting that the universe contains at least 14 dimensions. Beats the hell out of me, and it doesn't turn up in the average Joe's description of reality.
When we "taste" an apple, we're not tasting an apple at all. We're only tasting that part of apple-ness of which we are capable of tasting.
2. Is the experience that I have of the world the same as the experience that you have?
Again, for the most part, yes.
2a. Nope. For the most part, we don't even experience our experiences, let alone experience them with commonality. But that's another ball of wax.
There is a tremendous cultural bias at work here. The first part is the assumption that that human experience of the world is more valid that say, a rat's. The second part is the assumption that the average Western Joe sets the standards for experience.
Does, for example, a blowgun hunter after monkeys in Borneo experience the world in the same way as a factory worker in Cleveland? I think not.
Does a poet like Thomas Merton who took a vow of silence and lived a hermit's life present a commonality of experience "we" all share? Nah.
"And the kicker is this one:"
Kicker a: I think we Westerners can accept that everything is made up of atoms in motion, and that there is space between those atoms. Now, its just possible that the spaces between the atoms in our old brick wall might line up with the spaces in you, and you could walk right through it.
I just wouldn't bet the farm on it.
If all this sounds a little odd, the best I can say is that you think I'm like you, but I'm not.