The history books will always tell you that the map is the territory or the painted image is the thing. But the representation is all illusory.
What makes reality is code of the brain, the neural pathways that convert the external world into something it can interpret.
It just so happens that all humans see things roughly the same. Our Who-What-Where-Why is replicable.
It’s the stories we tell ourselves and pass on that help us unstick from the prison of biology. Reflection and time perpetuate beliefs and traditions pass on, more so as they exaggerate reality. And the best part is that it's all made up.