“Perception is reality”, so the saying goes. In a way it is true. Everything we know about what’s going on are merely signals from our senses interpreted by our brains and then jumbled up by all sorts of cognitive flaws. Our perception is our reality but it is not the real reality.
The real reality is what happens outside of our heads, outside of our little bubbles. We may interpret and perceive through our senses and minds but that doesn’t change the fact that what’s real is real.
The only thing we can know is that we know nothing.
Life is kind of like walking around in a dark room with a dimly lit flashlight. You can’t see anything outside the beam of light and the things you do see aren’t that clear either. Fumbling around in the dark you keep bumping into things and hurting yourself. Just because you don’t see the hazards it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
It is the same with other perceptions too. We are constantly bumping into reality because all we have are our perceptions which are limited to where we shine our crappy little light of attention.
Since everything we know is merely a perception that means we can never know the true reality for sure. So we must constantly test our perceptions to keep them in check and work to make our best guess of reality.
Getting closer to the real reality.
As I see it, there are two things we can do:
Be flexible – We must accept that we know nothing and that everything we think is merely a perception. This opens us up to correcting our perceptions when they are challenged. We will then have a more flexible approach to our opinions and beliefs.
Engage and question – We need to engage with the world more outwardly. We must discuss and listen to alternative perceptions and compare them to ours and then decide whether or not to adopt them.
Once these two principles are adopted as habits of thinking and behaving then we have equipped ourselves with the ability to constantly refine our perceptions and align them closer to reality.
This is the difference between people who learn from experience and those who do not.