This may be the realest thing I ever say. The Universe maybe someone's dream.
Consider pictures on your computer screen. There is no man or woman inside the monitor. They are merely light sources lit in a pattern that your brain interprets as images, much like Christmas lights that resemble a deer. The display is fed those patterns via digital signals. The signals are produced by your video driver when you run a program.
Input to a program is provided by a human (coder) and then converted into machine language via a compiler. The coder could be inspired by anything, from things in the physical realm (trees, birds, etc) to those in the non-physical realm.
What makes you think that real-life is any more real? Everything we perceive might be that way because we perceive it that way. Why are shapes in clouds mere illusions? Can’t they be peer-reviewed? Everyone would see the same illusion. Perhaps, matter is matter because we define it that way. And air is air because we define it that way. A desk is a desk. Right next to it is empty air. Why? Just because we can put our hands through empty air, not through the desk? Perhaps, it is the property of your hand and not of air and wood. X-rays can probably go through both.
The physical world is likely an illusion, no more real than a simulator game in which you pick a character. All physicality in the game is nothing but patterns of light bulbs. Real alone is the source code, which is just a dream of the coder. You enjoy the game so long you think the simulation is real. Things change when you see it for what it is-- lines of code.
Consider how the brain processes music. The source code is a set of frequencies. The ear acts as a compiler. It converts the frequencies into electrical signals (machine-readable code). The brain then projects the signals onto a screen. We find a pattern in it and call it music, no different from finding shapes in clouds. The physical universe is, thus, a projection of the brain. The reality is the source code or that which is reduced to it when a coder molds into a form the unstructured, the unbound, the abstract.
The good news is the source code is decentralized. Not only can you process the source code to perceive the dream of physicality, but you can also generate the source code. You can contribute to it. You can make a sound, a song, a painting. You, too, can be the coder. You, too, can externalize the unbound, the unstructured, and the unknown.