Thursday, December 12, 2013

Perception and Reality

Please watch the brief video before reading this blog—it makes my point far more convincingly than any argument could.

You’ve watched it? Good. Because the point I want to make is that people see what they want to see or are expecting to see. Our preconceived ideas shape how we interpret reality. Listen to any Republican talk show after a presidential debate and you will hear them say how their man trounced his Democratic opponent. Invariably, the same statements will also be made on the other side. The fact is that our paradigms determine how we perceive reality. If things don’t fit into our established norms, we don’t just fail to make the connections, we can be quite unaware of their existence.

The ramifications of this fact are immense. The most obvious implication is that we are only dimly aware of the world in which we live. Of course our accepted paradigm tells us that we are creatures of intelligence, able to reason our way to the truth of any matter. It’s a little lie we tell ourselves to make us sleep better at night.

The solution to this disturbing lack of awareness, or at least the closest we can come to fixing the situation, is to develop as many paradigms as possible through which to see the world. Any one paradigm has us looking at life from a single angle, which does not give us an accurate view of reality. It is only when we can develop different approaches to viewing the world and layer them on top of each other that we can have a sophisticated view of things. It is the story of the blind men and the elephant. Each of them separately experiences something different, but together they can get a fair representation of what is in front of them.

The world of The Amazing Morse deals with such issues. It examines many of the prominent paradigms of the day and points out the non-reality of things we so often mistake to be the undeniable, solid as the earth beneath our feet truth. It is important to constantly question the assumptions that we make about the world we live in, perhaps most importantly because the assumptions we have are so often made by others, others who do not have our best interests at heart. The paradigms of our age were the better part created by political spinmeisters, advertising agencies, and monied interests. We don't like to believe that our opinions are anyone’s but our own, but as the video shows, it is sometimes quite easy to miss the obvious.

In an upcoming blog, I shall discuss the paradigms of our day, those "truths" that are so obvious as to be not worthy of debate or discussion.

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