Reality Tunnels

This is another idea that I will claim no ownership over. Robert Anton Wilson introduced me to it, but it’s not unique to him either. It’s a foundational philosophic concept; a way to understand your own perceptions. Simply put everyone views the world through their own reality tunnel. This tunnel shapes what you see and how you understand things. The tunnel in turn is shaped by your past life experiences, most prominently by what you learned in your foundational years (birth till midteens). Really it harkens back to ancient philosophy, it’s reminiscent of Plato’s cave.

The variant that I prefer is to see it not as a tunnel, but as a stone walled tower. A single room, no door, with a glass window all the way around it. The window can’t be opened, so you have to see the world through the glass. Distortions, imperfections, and tint will all obscure how you see the world. You can never be absolutely sure about what you see outside, how much of it is affected by the glass. All of our windows are marred in different ways. Some people make no attempt to clean their windows, some continue to use the ones their parents told them to use.

Using Natural Philosophy will help bring more clarity. Looking through other peoples windows will help you understand them (but you have to remember that you’re still seeing their window through your own, it’s still coloured by your own perceptions). R.A.W. recommends honestly trying to believe something you disagree with, but just temporarily. The idea being that it gives you greater knowledge as to why other people believe what they believe. It’s truly challenging to do properly, it’s not very effective if you simply go through the motions without truly believing it.


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