Reality through stained glass
All people see their reality through metaphorical
stained glass windows. Those fragmented windows are cobbled together over
a life time, and the various pieces of glass contain a multitude of optical
impurities, distortions and colors. Therefore, distortions in our perceived
realities are artifacts of our perceptual systems.
Any two people will look at the same subject
matter, and see that conceptual object differently. What I strive for, is
perceptual clarity... a single pane of optically clear glass, undistorted across
the entire field of view. This sure is difficult-- perceptual clarity
takes years of time, experience, knowledge, and self-awareness.
All of us have impurities in our perceptions, and
we need to be aware of the colors and distortions we are looking through!
Usually we need to shift our viewing angle several times before a coherent
picture is built up. Virtually all conceptual objects are 3D - they look
different from different angles. You can't look at something through a
single fragmented and distorted window and expect to see it clearly! The
more windows and angles you look through, the better the picture!
This brings me to the type of glass to have in
your perceptual windows.
I prefer one large pane, clear and undistorted.
Stark, unbiased reality is my favored view. Some people like fragmented
collages of small pieces-- with many colors and distortions to color their
existence. Or perhaps, having spent their entire lives with those windows,
they have grown accustomed to that view. Or more likely, they are unaware
of other choices!
As I tried to express in in rational
thinking, you can learn to see clearly, to purposely and selectively
build a clearer perceptual window. The main tool I use to build that
large, clear window is science and the scientific method. The scientific
method takes much longer to piece together a window, but that beautifully clear
window is worth it to me! I admit I've always been a perfectionist, and happen
to be patient enough to wait for better results.
I think many (most?) people are too impatient to
embark on a long-term project, and are especially reticent when it requires a
large change in perception! Most people never learn science anyway... so how
could they even begin?
Ok, let's not flame me for trying to explain my
world view... I know everybody thinks their own view of the world
is the right one... yadda, yadda. Remember that we all share the planet
with six billion other brains, and each one sees the world differently...
The idea I want to get across is-- science is the
superset of all perceptions-- it includes all others! (Yes, even your particular
favorite...) Every subject known to humanity has been examined by science,
though of course-- there are still more questions than answers. Hell, we
1/2 evolved humans have barely climbed down outta the trees, so did you expect
us to have all the answers already?
But that doesn't mean we don't have some
of the answers... and know some things beyond a doubt. Once you
realize that scientific examination is the only way to see undistorted
reality, can you begin to build your own bright, clear picture window into the
I may be unclear with my terms here... so let's
I use the term 'science' as a single word to
describe multiple concepts. The basic premise of science is to use
systematic deductive reasoning as a tool to analyze a concept-- this is the
foundation of all rational thought. The results of a particular line of
deductive reasoning is 2-dimensional-- merely a layer in a 3-dimensional
structure of logic. Any structure of logic will collapse (under
examination) if not assembled with deductive reason, and based on a solid
foundation of knowledge.
A logic structure must be built on previously proven
knowledge... no jumping to unsupported conclusions-- or your new house of cards
will collapse! All the time, people have brain farts that make sense to
them, but they never examine the new logic under the light of deductive
reasoning-- to see how it fits into a logic structure. Then they spend a
lifetime adding more weak fabrications to these already fragile logic
structures... and you get some pretty massive and wildly unstable thought
processes! Even if one were to successfully build several correct
layers of logic, the whole line of reasoning will collapse if not placed on a
This is what I mean by 'science'--
Once you realize what you're seeing, you can
watch people trying to maintain balance by jumping from one frame of reference
to another, as their house of logic shakes and tilts when buffeted by dissonant
points of view. It would be laughable, if the implications weren't so serious!
Sometimes, people's entire intellectual structure
collapses --under examination-- but they never even feel it, because they
don't know it happened! I firmly believe this is one reason people reject
new ideas-- they intuitively know that, no matter how logical and supported a
new idea, they know it could implode their reality! Not many seem to have
the courage to risk that!
But of course, there is no growth without pain,
is there? Be brave... examine your most intimately treasured realities...
you might find something far better... I did!
kind of glass is in your windows?