Wednesday, July 05, 2017

THE NATURE OF PERCEPTION

You perceive a tree: here is what happens. The colour, the shape, the size, enter your head through your eyes, and get registered in the occipital lobe. Its sounds, like rustling of the leaves, enter through the ear and get registered in the temporal lobe. Its touch, its roughness or smoothness get through the skin and in the brain get to the parietal lobe. Its taste if any, or aroma or fragrance get registered in another part of the brain. Stopping at this point, we see that what we mean by a tree, talking of it as if it is some absolute unitary entity, is really a pattern built out of impressions that enter us which get spatially and temporally fragmented and recombined to result in what we call the tree. It is quite conceivable, that the tree maybe wider, and have other dimensions than are registered. This small note should at least make people humble when they assert the objective reality of this so-called objective perception. At best one can say that this perceptual precipitate called the tree is a useful social convenience; beyond that the discussion as to what is objective reality as perceived by a human being is wide open.


Is it possible that there are other ways of interacting with reality? The reaction of one’s total personality to towards a tree, the feeling tones etc, of love or hate, of compassion or lack of consideration play a role in total perception. Do we understand the tree better and better by simply increasing the magnification of the few sensory inputs that we have, by using microscopes, by using dissections etc. How then do you understand a tree?
***

No comments: