The Perception Paradox

Perception:| Quantum Mechanics suggests that, due to the fuzzy nature of the subatomic universe, a thing is not in a specific state until it is observed. One test tells us that light is a particle, the massless photon. Another test tells us that light is a wave as evidenced by a spectrum. And still another, a newer test tells us that light is a particle that behaves like a wave. So what is light? It is the thing that you test for.

Modern physics takes this to an even higher level, suggesting that all existence is perception. It is the somewhat uncomfortable idea that nothing is real and that the world is only what we each individually perceive. Reality becomes ethereal, as each person’s reality is their own and there can be no proof, or way to prove, that other people even exist much less perceives the universe in the same or a different way. Reality is in the mind alone. It is there that we perceive everything. It is there that all tests and calculations are made, presumably from outside stimulation, though in theory it is not even possible to prove that the outside stimulation exists. Reality is a hyper-real dream.

Tendrils of these concepts enter into our daily lives. Individuals dispute over an event, each basing their position on their own perception. It is further compounded by individual preferences, concepts, and experiences. The mind has memories from which it forms its calculations, so each individual perceives the same events in differing ways. Each mind manipulates the perception of events based on its past experiences.

At times individuals will debate a common event, each from their own perspective. Their perspective is manipulated by different past experiences of other events. One may propose that the opposing view is the result of their perceptions. This is undoubtedly true. But the opposing individual’s view of things is no less real to them than the perceived reality of the person that makes that proposition. Both are correct in their own view. Pointing at individual perception does not negate the individual’s perceived experience.

When we add the unique nature of individual perception to the complexities of human interactions, collisions are bound to occur. In fact, it is surprising that they do not happen more often. If no two realities, no two perceptions can be truly the same conflict is certain to arise. On one hand we believe what we perceive is real. On the other hand, it is real only to the person that perceived it and is not the same to anyone else. That is the frightening reality of the paradox of perception.

About Sifu Keith Mosher

My new book, "Astro Boy, Sensei, and Me" is available now, as is my Sci-Fi joy ride, "On a Sphere's Edge". I have a Bachelor of Media Arts degree from USC. I have been an Audio Producer / Engineer, a Law Office Manager, and I am currently an Author and a Martial Arts Instructor.
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