Seeing The World Through Your Own, Constantly Shifting, Lens

Is it possible for the world to be an illusion and at the same time to be a relative reality?

Image courtesy of Unsplash

How real is the world one sees? How far an individual’s perceptions give an idea of reality? Since people are limited and dependent on their perceptions and the interpretations of their mind, perhaps the world one interprets is only in one’s mind?

Is it possible for the world to be an illusion and at the same time to be a relative reality? Relative reality being the claim that one’s reality is relative to a person’s nature and situations.

You’ve heard the saying, “I don’t believe it until I see it.” Yet, is what one sees an absolute reality? Absolute reality being an existence with no perceptions. For instance, a color-blind individual sees black and white and in most cases this individual cannot distinguish green and red colors.

Research shows that at the expense of red and green color deficiency, the color-blind person distinguishes the shades of colors that look alike.

With this said, why do people think that what one sees is reality and what the color-blind person does isn’t?

What about people who are mentally ill? They see the world through hallucinations, this would be the world that people see only if they were to take substance. Why is this world more unreal than what people who are not mentally see?

In his book, “DMT: The Spirit Molecule,” the author Rick Strassman describes his studies with 60 volunteers who were injected DMT (dimethyltryptamine), one of the most potent psychedelics. DMT is inherent to the human organism as it is released from the brain.

In most of the volunteers, the drug caused pre-death and mystical experiences, as well as encounters with alien forms of intellect. The results obtained by Dr. Strassman linked the mysterious substance to the pineal gland, which, according to modern literature from both the Western and Eastern cultures highlights that this is the seventh chakra, which regulates biological cycles.

Do you think that what volunteers were experiencing is just as “real” as what we experience?

Don’t you think that perhaps the only change is one’s perception?

People say that everything that happens to mentally ill people is in their “minds.” What if everything that happens to everyone is simply in one’s own mind?

Everyone perceives the world through his or her own perceptions, through one’s own lens, by being limited by one’s own senses — for instance you think of a particular place, the location might be bright and sunny, or dark and cold, yet you still would describe it based on your own interpretations. It might as well have other indicators — other than color, and temperature.

Without senses, people would be unable to experience the world.

There’s a myth story told about blind men examining different parts of an elephant’s body and then explaining what an elephant is. One examined the tail, another one the ears, the third one the trunk. Finally, each of them spoke very differently about what an elephant looks like and each answer was considered to be true.

Thus, when one describes the world, he or she describes it in terms of his or her own perceptions and the parts one sees, as every person is blind to see the “whole.”

Perhaps the world is like a white light that reflects all colors. There’s nothing that reflect everything, it’s a substance that contains the potential of everything and reflects what is “illuminated” by perceptions.

When perceptions change, the world is changing for every individual. If, in the course of evolution one acquires other senses, he or she will see the world differently. Yet, the world is not changing, the world is the same now and then, the only thing that changes is one’s perceptions.

Philosopher G. Berkeley writes:

We believe in the existence of the objects only because we see them and touch them and they are seen through our perceptions. Our perceptions, however, are only imagery in our brains. Thus, the objects we perceive through our perceptions are nothing but some ideas that are not anywhere else, but in our brains. Since all of this exists only in the brain, it means that we are mistaken as we are; we think that the Universe and the objects have existence outside of our brain. Therefore, none of our surroundings exist outside our brain.

And to add to this, some people assume that images are formed in the brain, but claim that their origin is outside. However, they can never prove this because nobody is able to go beyond the perceptions of the brain.

Everyone lives in a cell lying in the brain and no one can experience anything other than what is shown through one’s own perceptions. Hence, one can never understand what is happening outside his or her perceptions.

So to say, “the outer world is a source,” it would actually be an unjustified assumption because there is nothing to be presented as evidence. Moreover, even if there are “origins” on the outside, these “origins” will again be seen in the brain, which means that the observer will refer to the images formed in his or her brain.

Such claims are therefore precluded because people are not able to reach the “material equivalents” that they suggest exist.

I think the world we see exists and does not exist at the same time. For us, it’s real because it’s our world and we do not know another. It’s like our own movie we’re watching.

But when the perceptions change, one sees something else, and it is also quite real to him or her.

For example, we take note that when we look at someone, his or her image is actually on the surface of our retina. Yet we do not perceive this person as existing on the retina. We perceive it as existing in the “outside world.” Likewise, when we hit our toe, we feel the pain in it. But it’s not really there.

In fact, pain is a neurophysiological process that runs somewhere in our brain. How is then our brain able to convey the many neurophysiological processes that manifest as our experience that are still inward, and to trick us into thinking that some are internal and others are located beyond the boundaries of our gray matter?

For centuries, people have asked themselves, “Am I restricted within my physical body? What is the nature of things?”

Modern science begins to ask the same questions. One of the interesting discoveries is that what we call the perception we see, hear, touch, taste and smell is the most unreliable proof of the nature of things.

We cannot trust our senses. They tell us that the ground is flat, that it is at rest that things have a certain taste, smell, size and structure.

There are no colors, textures or odors in the real world. No beauty, no ugly. In a literal sense. We perceive all this, and somewhere within us we create a world. Everything happens somewhere within us.

This writing was some different food for thought for you.

Enjoyed reading? Please share. We are in this world to help one another. All of us grow faster when we support each other. I encourage others to add value to the world, so we can make compounding ripples of improvement for everyone. 

About The Author

Dr. Mila is an internationally known Change Catalyst. She teaches individuals and organizations about awareness, connection, and the need for change – personally, socially, and professionally. 

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