1. Have an Interesting Snippet to Share : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice

Is Perception Reality?

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Viswamitra, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    12,119
    Likes Received:
    21,628
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    Is perception reality? I ponder this question often due to change in the perception of how I see or believe or understand the people around me or the world when compared to others around me. Psychology defines perception as a single unified awareness derived from sensory processes while a stimulus is present where as reality is the state of things as they are or appear to be, rather than as one might wish them to be.

    The world around us is captured by our senses and processed by our mind and eventually we are provided an unified picture of what we perceive the world to be. Everything we have seen, heard, felt, smelt and tasted earlier, our belief system, upbringing, desires, attachments, etc. contribute to such a perception as well. Our condition of mind at a given time also determines our perception. Sometimes, even time becomes perception depending on whether the mind perceives it as a good or bad time.

    Valuable life is one that seeks the nature of reality. Many times, we end up thinking what we believe as reality and what we know as reality are one and the same. For a believer or a person of faith, when something sounds good, they will accept it without question, which prevents them from thinking about life or reality on their own. They have in fact given away their power to something that may not be the absolute truth. They place greater value on an outside authority rather than acquaint themselves with their inner realization from their own experience.

    Discrimination begins only when the perception ends. In fact, discriminating faculty is like having a judge driving his/her decision purely based on evidences to find the truth rather than justifying something he or she believes to be the truth. The mind assisted by senses will function both as plaintiff and defendant’s attorney to justify the respective perceptions as truth submitting the belief system, upbringing, desires, attachments, sensory perception, etc. supporting what it believes as truth. There is subtle difference between intellectual conceptualization vs inherent realization of truth. They are like circumstantial evidence Vs proven evidence.

    Knowing something deeply and intimately has the power to influence, transform, and enhance our lives. We don’t need affirmation from an outside authority to confirm the reality. Knowing something for sure itself is an affirmation and even if it is ridiculed by others, it never gets tainted. We all have inherent capacity to know or experience the truth, to engage with it directly and know it on a deeper level. Knowing operates beyond mind through direct experience unlike faith and belief. It may not conform to the standards set by the world but creates an indelible impression and a great sense of fulfillment. In fact, it transcends mental assertions caused by the influence of the senses.

    In a world obsessed with the capacity of the mind, it is often difficult to express that we know something invaluable. Sometimes, intuition and insight we derived out of our experiences might be quite profound and might directly reflect the truth, but it might be difficult to conceptualize and present coherently to others as truth. But is it necessary for someone to validate our assertions about the truth, if the need is for self-transformation? There is a subtle difference between constructing our life with concrete Vs mud, isn’t it? Concrete is like knowing something for sure Vs mud that is built from the perception that might destroy quickly under different circumstances. Let us not allow our wishful thinking, belief system, upbringing, desires, attachments, sensory perceptions to be obstacles from knowing the truth and peace derived from our self-transformation. Name, fame, pride, recognition, etc. are minuscule when compared to euphoria we experience when we find the reality through a fulfilling self-transformation. Freedom from the barriers of senses and construct of conditioned mind is very blissful.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
    Loading...

  2. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    5,184
    Likes Received:
    10,219
    Trophy Points:
    438
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear viswa,

    You have taken a wonderful topic for discussion and elaborated it in your own inimitable philosophical style,unintelligible to me at least.

    Our conscious perception of the world, though relatively stable, is not static. We are incapable of being fully objective, even in our most mundane observations and impressions. Our awareness of the objects around us is informed and fine-tuned by any number of transient factors—our strength and energy levels, our sense of confidence, our fears and desires. Being human means seeing the world through your own, constantly shifting, lens.

    Ultimately the discussion may end in the Advaitha philosophy( the core and only reality) of Sankara or Ramana.

    But for common man, the difference between 'objective' and'subjective' itself may not be very clear.To confuse further they talk of 'objective reality and subjective reality' and objective and subjective perceptions.
    I really don't understand how there can be two realities.

    Many authors ,psychologists, philosophers and Vedantins have written hundreds of articles on this issue , but till date nothing is crystal clear.
    A mother has real love to the child.But it can be expressed through hugs, cuddlings,replying in the kids' own language which the child can perceive as real and respond.Very often it is said that it is not enough if justice is made, but it should appear to have been made.Here comes the role of perceptions.

    I think it is sufficient if a human being knows to love, serve others ,be kind to all ( Satyam Bruyath, priyam bruyaath, na bruyath sathyam apriyam')-Speak the truth;Speak kindly;But never tell the truth if it has to be in unkind terms.
    These quotes themselves convey that it is not enough if it is truth or real but it should be coated with the honey of kindness. Otherwise it is better not to convey the truth if not couched in kindness'.
    That kindness somewhat resembles 'perception' though coated with sensations, emotions desires and perceptions.
    Very rarely,of course, perception and reality seem to coincide.
    Practically speaking, avoiding bombastic philosophical and psychological terminologies,it is an undeniable fact that
    reality cannot be experienced if not by a subject. For the experience to happen a subject must be there; if not, then reality can be either questioned.
    As far as we can logically know, reality can even not exist at all if we are not here to experience it.

    Objectivity is the opposite of subjectivity and we are the subjects.The subjects may not be able to realise the objectivity.


    The only case where a subject can experience objectivity is the case where the objectivity is hidden in the subject too. In this case, the subject must go behind its own subjectivity. It must disappear as such and what remain is pure objectivity. Can this happen at all? If so, when?It seems to be hypothetical only, though it gives great pleasure to have academic discussion.

    We are incapable of being fully objective, even in our most mundane observations and impressions. Our awareness of the objects around us is informed and fine-tuned by any number of transient factors—our strength and energy levels, our sense of confidence, our fears and desires. Being human means seeing the world through your own, constantly shifting, lens.
    Ultimately for ordinary man, perceptions based on his own thoughts, experiences and traditions alone may matter a lot, though reality is altogether different.
    Even People with some basic intelligence ,academic qualifications and who are stated to belong to the elitists, have so much of confusions reg 'perception' and 'reality' and not to talk of masses who can think of 'bread and butter' only

    Sometimes I feel that having deep analytical discussion about 'reality' itself is not realistic and pragmatic.What can go wrong if they rely on perceptions, as long as they are really kind hearted and are of some benefit to society? Can raptures of realising the'Reality' last long and what benefit will accrue to the society by such analytical thinking by a few heads?

    Dear Viswa,Do you think that there is at least a remote possibility of people realising the'Reality' not carried away by their perceptions which are deep rooted strengthened by theit faiths, cultures and beliefs?I believe that people should know to perceive things properly using their free will, though it may differ from actual 'reality'.That may be rewarding to the community.

    Jayasala 42
     
    lathadivakar, sindmani and Gauri03 like this.
  3. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    12,119
    Likes Received:
    21,628
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    I do. Again you have used the word "believe" before you expressed your opinion. Out of respect, I can accept your belief. Otherwise, your belief remain yours and not mine. You yourself is unable to say that with reasonable certainty. But how can I validate what is proper perception? How do I know what is reality? How do I find how much my perception differ from reality? How do I know for certain that proper perception realized through free will is rewarding when compared to knowing the reality? Finding the truth is the mission without which the life is fretted away in desires, attachments, belief system, etc. That is my humble view out of what I had experienced so far from a few exemplary souls.

    My apologies for my brevity.

    Viswa
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  4. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    5,184
    Likes Received:
    10,219
    Trophy Points:
    438
    Gender:
    Female
    Thank you Viswa.These are all after all academic discussions only and there is nothing to
    get agonized or thrusting one's belief on others.As per our scriptures 'not believing in something' itself is deemed to be a belief.I wrote what I felt as a lay person , as a common reader as I am not a veteran either in philosophy or psychology.That was never intended to hurt your scholarly views.Sorry for my second unsolicited intervention.

    jayasala42
     
  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    12,119
    Likes Received:
    21,628
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear Smt. Jayasala:

    There are no hard feelings and I know you have expressed your views with open heart to share your thoughts and so did I. I am not a scholar in any of these subjects either. Your responses are always solicited and welcomed.

    Viswa
     
  6. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    9,824
    Likes Received:
    11,018
    Trophy Points:
    438
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear V sir,

    I am sure you will not min if I say that this was a difficult read for me. Is perception reality? is reality even reality? I am assuming here by perception, you mean in a much deeper sense. Perception needless to say is defined by an individual based on their own experiences and may be even samskaras? You are right perception and even reality can be different for different people, unless we are talking of inanimate objects, even then t may vary.

    This can be applied to even experiences. It is one thing to agree/disagree and nod our heads bu totally different when we actually finally experience a situation.

    Forget about trying to explain to others, even to ourselves sometimes to perceive this as truth or reality is so hard.

    Amen to that! Constructs of the conditioned mind is the key I think....if that is taken care of, perceptions an change or reality can be accepted.

    PS: I am not at all confident of the response I have provided here. Like I said, it was very hard for me to go with your thought flow. I tried nevertheless.
     
    Viswamitra likes this.
  7. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    8,806
    Likes Received:
    9,459
    Trophy Points:
    490
    Gender:
    Male
    :hello:It might be as expressed by realised souls but for ordinary mortals.....it is a trillion dollar question.
    This is esoteric and beyond the power of ordinary man unless he turns like Lord Buddha.
    Mere reading difficult to imbibe the essence.
    Thanks .
    God Bless.
     
    Viswamitra likes this.
  8. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    2,430
    Likes Received:
    2,098
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    I did too, in fact, that very inquiry spurred me to dabble in philosophy last year. I hadn't known anything about philosophical trends till then but such inquiry is vital to overcome the angst we experience...what am I ...what is the world ...what is reality.

    First, you must be kidding. You have articulated about phenomenology, the pure aspect of phenomenology, the existential form of phenomenology, being and time, being and nothingness, dasein, das man, facticity, freedom, free-will, epoche, lifeworld, from intentionality of Husserl to sedimentation of Simone de Beauvoir, we are conscious of things and then we are self-conscious of our consciousness observing those things, densely in a single post, and yet claim that you are no scholar?

    _____________________________________

    Noema (consciousness) -> noesis (chairs, cars, pens, inanimate things)
    Husserl's Theory: Lifeworld (our perception) matters than the realworld (objective reality out there)
    My Inquiry: Does a car exist independent of my perception about the car?

    _____________________________________

    Being-for-itself (consciousness) -> Being-in-itself (chairs, cars, pens, inanimate things)
    Sartre's Theory: Existence precedes essence, first I am, then what I observe, if I change what I am then I would change how I observe.
    My Inquiry: Are there other forms of being-for-itself to explore reality if 'consciousness' is only one of them?
    _____________________________________

    The early 20th century was replete with forms and interpretations of phenomenology to attest that perception supersedes reality. You have articulated the same in a potted and digestible form. I liked your post.

    Ah, this is where the West splits form the East in the early 20th century.

    The West is philosophical happy with the mud (perception) without futilely probing the concrete (reality) because it thinks there is no way to gain higher insights into reality, as reality might not even exist, but only constructed in our observed mind. On the other hand, schools of Eastern philosophy labor to grasp that concrete (reality) to liberate from inauthentic mud (perception). The West has devised tricks for getting around this problem with 'existential school' that perception is all that defines us, so if we fine-tune your perception, we could still lead an authentic life even with no recourse to objective reality.

    Different paths to reduce our angst, that is, feel learned with perception or feel transformed with reality.

    Notwithstanding, which path the reader chooses, I commend the underpinning desire of your post to bring to the fore metaphysical examination of perception vs. reality. Why should we care? To progress in the hermeneutic cycle of living which can be achieved by (1) enhancing our interpretive perception or (2) by probing the objective reality.

    In my understanding, the preference is (1) achieved with populist aphorisms like "attitude matters", CBT, existential cafe and other practical transcendence in how we view the world through mental exercises rather than how the world is in itself through rigorous inquiry. That does not undermine earnest undertaking to achieve the same through (2). Different strokes to ascend as a spiral in that hermeneutic loop rather than get stuck in a vicious circle.

    (Image courtesy: Eric Dodson's tutorials)

    upload_2018-6-10_9-1-20.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
    Viswamitra likes this.
  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    12,119
    Likes Received:
    21,628
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear Sabitha,

    Definitely not. I am a big believer that good communication is one that is easy to understand. I don't think I did a good job of expressing well here.

    Are you kidding me? Your last line response clearly indicates the essence of what I was trying to communicate.

    I have defined perception in my own words in the second paragraph of my snippet to the best of my understanding. Like perception, even what is perception may vary from person to person.

    Only a person who thought about the difference between the two could say this confidently. Thank you for saying this.

    I couldn't agree more. Let the experience remain as is and we don't have to analyze ourselves or articulate for others.

    The evolution of the mind happens through various inputs and conditions the mind towards our perceptions. If we can free it up to evaluate each experience as an isolated event, the reality becomes visible. I am a believer, each experience is unique and different and it is the mind that connects all of them and converts into set of connected experience in one life.

    Viswa
     
    Srama likes this.
  10. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    12,119
    Likes Received:
    21,628
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear Sri Thyagarajan:

    Very well said, Sir.

    We have to remember here Buddha's starting point is self-inquiry about his perceptions. He didn't become Buddha overnight and enlightenment happened as the result of differentiating perception from reality.

    First one thousand blows may not break the rock but the next one might. Who knows? Let us keep trying.

    Viswa
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.

Share This Page