Dominant Perceptions

Go to a park. Sit down and hold a blade of grass. Try to see it as it appears to you and simultaneously as a collection of atoms. Can you see those atoms? Obviously you can’t actually see them, but you could picture something in your head that you’d call atoms. The thing you ‘saw’, that’s not the real ‘look’ of an atom. It’s not like it’s your eyes failing you, no creature can see see that. Atoms are small enough that they can’t interact with photons in a way to make sight (as we describe it).

When we talk about understanding things we often use synonyms for sight (“Oh, I see the point you’re making”). This shows an implicit bias. Sight evolved as our dominant sense and therefore we ‘see’ the world.

Science has shown that sight is simply a way of perceiving light-waves/particles. It is therefore impossible to see individual photons or anything smaller than them. Most people would agree that they nonetheless exist, meaning sight can’t be used to define everything in existence. So we get other forces/particles to interact with things too small for sight. We replace sight as our benchmark with something else. Trying to find a benchmark to check everything ultimately leads to failure because how can you then check your benchmark? You’ll always have that photon problem.

The human mind is inherently biased towards the concept of the outside observer. We need to exist but also be independent of the thing being observed. We’re always within our own measurements. It is impossible for any one thing to fulfill this role since it must also exist in the universe.

Many older spiritual systems knew of this problem. Koan’s were questions that defied the human mental biases. The Buddhist idea of losing oneself is an attempt to remove the observer, hence becoming ‘one with the world’. When there is only one thing in the universe, the viewer is never removed.

I prefer the Discordian route: do not lose oneself, instead accept a multiplicity of truths. There are many benchmarks which can be used and measured against each other. Each benchmark is it’s own version of reality. All the these realities are all layered on top of each other and all of them true. Some are more useful than others, but that all depends on the circumstances of the question and the observer.

So do you see?



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