Do we perceive reality or do we make it up?

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Offline Alan McDougall

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Do we perceive reality or do we make it up?
« on: 27/05/2016 04:02:14 »
Author Alan McDougall

Until now, neuroscientists assumed that the processes leading up to conscious perception were rather rigid and that their timing did not vary .This flexibility and dynamism of the human brain and the variations between the brains of different individuals as well as the non psychical part namely the mind or soul; I believe exists, has led my to explore ways of overcoming the barriers of human sensory perception.

The aim of my research and experiments using myself as the subject, is/was to find ways and means to re-energize and restore lost sensory perception and hugely enhance normal healthy human sensory perception.

This might be achieved by substitution between senses using synaesthesia, an ability I believe some people could develop?.

What is reality?

The capacity of human sensory organs such as, the eye for sight, ear for sound, nose for smell, skin for touch, tongue pallet/nose for taste, are very limited and can easily be fooled. It is true that we humans are the most highly intelligent sentient beings on our planet and due of our relatively huge brains, were able to invent and perfect many artificial means and methods of increasing the range and sensitivity of our five senses, far beyond the barriers of the average capacity.

What we perceive is not a true reflection of reality. In fact, the brain makes best guesses about the outside world from surprisingly limited source of information. Research shows the brain reconstructs the rich tapestry but not correct of what we sense and experience from bits of scattered input data.

The reality we perceive us is a but a tiny fraction of the entire environment surrounding us, because The Universe or evolution has designed us to only react or act only to very specific impulses, which are essential to sustain us as a viable and successful species on planet earth. In this we are not special and these limitations of evolution effect other animal species as well.

We are internally programmed to perceive only within a narrow band and very limited range what truly surrounds us. Due to these embedded limiting sensory capacities and ingrained factors, we only respond to sensory signals, that are essential for our continued survival, as a viable sentient species on planet earth.

The Frog

As an comparison with the above paragraph. Lets examine the life of a frog, although its eye sends host of visual messages to the cortex of its brain, its brain ignores most of them as redundant, because just in the manner of humans, it is likewise programmed to react only to the movement or vibration of its food source, which is mostly insects. The frog is not concerned with the detail of stationary objects of the world around it. He will starve to death surrounded by food if it is not moving. His choice of food is determined only by size and movement.

Another example of this is the security metal detector gate found in most airports, it will only beep when it senses metal and let any other object pass through.

“Reality” is often defined by differentiating the physical state of things (as they “actually exist”) from the concept of those things (as they exist in our minds). Consciousness is thus viewed with mistrust in judging reality. But can reality be judged without consciousness?

Another dimensional plane may be the true reality, whereas this three-dimensional world we observe may be a projection, like a holograph, from that “real” dimension, according to a theory proposed by some physicists today.

Something We All Agree to Be Real?

In the fictional, totalitarian society of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” if the political powers that be say 2+2=5, then that’s reality. Anyone who says 2+2=4 is wrong.

While this may seem like a clear violation of an irrefutable truth, that 2+2=4, to what extent do we do this as a society in more subtle ways?

Humans collectively engage in fiction. The value ascribed to a piece of paper—a dollar bill, for example—is not a hard, fast reality. But it is our daily reality.

“The illusion comes when we confuse the reality we experience with the physical reality, the thing-in-itself.”

— Peter Russell

Peter Russell—who studied mathematics and theoretical physics at Cambridge University before switching his focus to experimental psychology and is now a faculty member of the Institute of It is sometimes said that our image of reality is an illusion, but that is misleading. It may all be an appearance in the mind, but it is nonetheless real—the only reality we ever know. The illusion comes when we confuse the reality we experience with the physical reality, the thing-in-itself.”

Reality Inseparable From Consciousness?

Our concept of reality will always be filtered through consciousness, so we may as well face the fact, according to some of the most prominent scientists of our time.
Professor of aerospace science and Dean Emeritus of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at

Princeton University Robert G. Jahn lists the following quotes related to consciousness and reality in his book, “Margins of Reality.”

Albert Einstein said: “All concepts, even those which are closest to experience, are from the point of view of logic, freely chosen conventions, just as is the case with the concept of causality.”

Werner Heisenberg, a pioneer of quantum physics, said: “The same organizing forces that have shaped nature in all her forms are also responsible for the structure of our minds.”
Astrophysicist Sir James Jean (1877–1946) said: “The concepts which now prove to be fundamental to our understanding of nature … seem to my mind to be structures of pure thought, … the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine.”

My writing Alan McDougall

The normal human sensory system

It is thought that this organizing ability is partly genetically determined and activated by an individual’s early visual experience. Two special abilities of humans, which appear to be tied to our social evolution, are good face recognition and an ability to read the emotions of others.

The human nervous system has evolved to receive only a fraction of the possible stimuli that exist, and it differs from those of other animals in several respects. Thanks to our evolutionary history of living in trees, for instance, we have stereoscopic colour vision.

Yet compared with that of dogs and other animals, our perception of odours and sounds is very poor. Even more removed from human experience, bats find their way about by echoes, and some fish use electric fields, although all of them lack some of our perceptual abilities.

Our dominant sense is that of sight, that is why a human male , unlike most other animals can get sexually excited just by a picture of a strange beautiful human woman. Woman are likewise very visual beings and can fantasize a romance with a handsome man , she has only observed in a photo. Of course the terms I used handsome and beautiful are subjective, what is attractive to one person might not be attractive to another.

To overcome the limitations of our sensory perception, we are the only entities known to have successfully, invented tools or aids to increase our abilities to absorb impulses and to perceive more of reality both from a distance and down into the infinitesimal. By use of these inventions and many other truly amazing tools and resources, we can now perceive objects far out in the boundless cosmos and look down into the depths into the minute and infinitesimal quantum world, which are the fundamental building blocks of our entire universe.

Our memories especially our short term memory are extremely limited and it became imperative for us to invent external means, to record, store and recall our memories, especially our long term memories for future reference. Namely, by means of writing, on pen and paper, print media, tape storage and now the colossal capacity of the computer that has given us an almost infinite place to store our memories.

Of course the ability to read what we wrote or interpret what we have stored in different media became an essential factor in our survival and this led to the schooling of children as we now see it all over the world.

If we observe a series of what we perceive visually as normal events and observe something unusual or abnormal, it always seems to remain in our visual field and memory longer, even though it might have happened at exactly the same amount of time or even faster. This is called the "Odd Visual Effect".

Ultimately tools like the internet might contain a complete copy and easy method of access to that knowledge, of all human activities and history down through the ages. This will allowed us to immensely free our minds for other tasks to create a new human species of highly advances superhuman or homo-sapient-superiors beings, that will have the ability to leave earth and explore the universe.

Attention blindness, is a memory and storage limitation of the human brain. Something we all are subjected to, but are mostly unaware of, until we are asked as an example, witness in court, for a crime committed and the necessity to recall exactly how that event played out before us that day.

Many accused persons have been wrongly jailed for life or even executed for this lack of accurate perception. Most witnesses do not lie, they report what they thought they had observed, which at times are far off of what actually happened on the scene of the crime.

Within the huge electromagnetic spectrum, we humans are only able to only use a tiny slit minute part of it, with our very limited visual sensory perception capacities. The same goes for our other sensory organs such as auditory vibration used by us for hearing, etc. I could go on but leave it at that for now.

I am well aware of the limitation and variation of "normal" human sensory perception from one person to the other, for instance one person might be hard at hearing another have poor eyesight another suffer from a spinal injury leading to extreme loss of sensation in the body. Age makes a difference, with an 80 year of age person having a much less sensitivity to stimuli than a young person. A young child can hear sounds far outside the octave range of adults, even young adults.

We know by scientific experiment that the human brain works incredibly fast. However, visual impressions are so complex that their processing takes several hundred milliseconds before they enter our consciousness. Scientists have now shown that this delay may vary in length. When the brain possesses some prior information, that is, when it already knows what it is about to see (A sort of precognition).

The traditional five senses model , namely sight, sound, smell and taste is credited to Aristotle, but is very limiting and not at all accurate or complete.

What is called the five human senses can really be subdivided down further, into fields such as pressure sensitive, intensity of pain,, the ability to balance,, thirst, hunger,

Perception of time?

A case in point is the highly improved sensory ability of the world champion boxer Floyd May weather, he is able to slow down time, or observe, relative to his clumsier opponent,   in slow motion, and react before he has even become aware of the coming punch. Sadly time and age reduces his advantages and this is why he should retire from boxing and be remembers for all time as one of the greatest boxers of all time, maybe even the greatest.

In one of his experiments the scientist, Eagleman had volunteers perform a backwards bungee jump freefall while he transmitted a rapid succession of numbers to an LED on their wrists. He found that during the fall they were successfully able to read the numbers, which under normal conditions would have appeared too fast. I have to say, that is one of the most interesting and original experiments I've heard of lately and seems to conform that times slows down in a crises.


The sense of smell is closely connected to or memory portals as well as fragrances are to our emotions. Think of the fragrance of a beloved person and you will know what I mean.

There is now real evidence that people missing one sense don't just learn to use the others better. The brain adapts to the loss by giving itself a makeover. If one sense is lost, the areas of the brain normally devoted to handling that sensory information do not go unused they get rewired and put to work processing other senses. This is called cross modality by the sciences who study this phenomena.

Of course the question of what is a normal state of consciousness, is open to speculation. The best definition I can give is a state of normal awakeness and full awareness of daily situations.

An exception to augmenting human sensory perception is the case of autistic people, their problem is too many confusing sensory inputs, which leads to extreme agitation in these people.

Within the human mind rests the untapped ability to explore as of yet, countless possible alternate, planes, realms and dimensions of reality, that do or that might exist outside of the present range, knowledge and understanding of the material human organism, even with the help of humanities advanced complex tools to assist them.

Each entity/person view their aspect of reality in a unique way and try to describe what they have experience in  the best manner they can, given the limitation of various tools of communication , such as speech, hearing, taste, feel and smell. Then of course we must be sufficiently open minded to consider that there are sensory perceptions beyond the normal five, already indicated in the previous paragraph.

The human body, in my opinion could in some ways can be equated to the world wide web or internet, where all sorts of impulses messages are constantly been sent back and forth via its own internal huge network of neurons and hormones for it to react and take action in the correct way to specific stimulus. This in turn becomes the information base to the brain, organs and other structures both external and internal to maintain it in a stable harmonious state of health, safe from outside interference or danger to for its continued survival, within its environment, both near and far.

The reality we perceive is a but a fraction of the entire environment surrounding us because The Universe or evolution has designed us to only react or act to very specific impulses in order to sustain us as a viable and successful species on planet earth.

Thus; we are internally programmed to perceive only a narrow band and range of the environment of our vicinity due to an embedded limiting ingrained factors programmed into our sensory organs which only respond to sensory signals, that are essential for our continued survival as a viable sentient entity on planet earth.

I will not go into detailing sensory substitution, where for instant a blind person who has damaged or non functioning eyes but an undamaged visual cortex might be able to masters the skill of substituting his touch to his visual sensory cortex, by consciously transferring information/impulses from his touch receptors to his visual cortex for him to interpret and perceive as a sort of sight.

In blind persons, we can see that they can often learn to receive tactile information, their undamaged visual cortex can be also activated and they perceive it as a type of sight. Some blind folk have mastered how to use their hearing to perceive their location by emulating the ability of the bat family, by use of a click sound and resulting Echo and by this means be able to even ride a push bike to get around.   

The human sensory organs such as the eye for sight ear for sound nose for smell skin for touch tongue pallet/nose for taste are very limited and can easily be fooled. However we humans the most highly intelligent sentient beings on our planet and have over the ages invented and created artificial means and methods to increase the range and sensitivity of our very limited five senses far beyond the barriers of the very normal limited range we have.

This we have done successfully by transcending the limitations of our sensory capability to way beyond the normal range of the sensory absorption impulses and capacity of the human body. We have done this very successfully by inventing and creating many truly amazing tools and resources and are using them to look outward into the boundless cosmos and down into the depths into the minute and infinitesimal quantum world of fundamental particles the building blocks of our entire universe.

To name just a few of these instruments or tools we have the huge earth based or space located telescopes microscopes radio electron microscopes hadron supercolliders amplifiers computers television the internet and much more that I cannot bring to mind at this time.

While in an enhanced amplified and altered state of consciousness induced by means of intense concentration contemplation meditation and other more personal methods of my own I began to comprehend how inadequate my understanding how the body could really function under ideal conditions and how often we misread its messages and warnings that enables to us to live life and avoid trouble when its at its full capacity as an integrated interconnected biological machine.

Our autonomic nervous system keeps us alive by functioning with meticulous precision without us ever having to think about it and ensures continuous harmonious health of the body without any conscious direction from us. (until something very obvious goes wrong in the system).

Only then can we go on to create an extra safe location in the structures of our brains to store all these memories in new files namely in our temporal lobes.

The temporal lobe in the brain is the main area for memory storage and is there that one can find a lot of corrupt garbage memories, that must be purged by a method I will discuss later in this essay. However a great deal of our memories are located randomly over a large areas of the surface of the brain, by the programming intrinsic to evolution..

What is the nature of reality is one of the ultimate questions. The problem for stems from the unreal, namely the perceptual judgements of truth and falsity. By nature, every species has its physical and sensory limitations.

The mind has to interpret what it is able to sense, and act on that information. Unfortunately the information is far from complete, so the mind must fill the gaps of physical sensation. To do this the mind draws from memories of previous sensations, experiences and understanding.

Any comment are welcome

The Truth remains the Truth regardless of our beliefs or opinions the Truth is always the Truth even if we know it or do not know it (The Truth remains the Truth)


Offline RD

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Re: Do we perceive reality or do we make it up?
« Reply #1 on: 06/06/2016 01:18:57 »
Optical illusions show perception is a, (sometimes inaccurate), model of reality
« Last Edit: 06/06/2016 01:21:20 by RD »