Thursday, March 5, 2009
A Sensory Experience
Have you ever felt the external world, as we know it, is not correctly perceived? This is a pretty strange idea to those of us confident in our ability to apply absolute understanding to things we experience. However, some believe any notion of an external world is merely a response created in the brain by electrical signals. This means that everything we perceive as "matter," or "world" or "universe" is nothing but electrical signals occurring in the brain. Isn't it true that all the information we possess about the world is conveyed to us by our five senses? Could our external worlds be nothing other than what our senses have presented to us from the day of our birth? If, for example, we see, feel, smell and eat a piece of fruit, are we really only interpreting the brain's electrical signals and not confronting the actual object, but instead experiencing its perception in our brains? This implies we, limited by our sensory perceptions, never really reach the matter of the fruit at all. This, of course, presents the possibility of the actual fruit's matter being something yet unknown. This view is rather frightening to many. Are colors, sounds, and textures all dependent upon inner body interpretations? If we consider the world of a color blind person, we understand how perception can be different. Or, how about the music aficionado who hears more or interprets more in a piece of music? Consider the artist who paints with uncanny accuracy a desired texture. In instances such as these, it clearly appears that some people are capable of discovering amazing outlets for superior interpretations of the senses. In our dreams we experience and feel events with no physical correlates in the external world. Does this help to reveal that the external world consists of mere perceptions? After all, absolute matter in a dream seems real, and most of us believe dreams to be our perceptions presented in a rapid firing of electrical signals. Dream world or real world? Whatever the composition of any absolute matter in any possible absolute world, we will continue perceiving common sensory perceptions. Maybe red is really blue and maybe a piano really sounds like a tuba, but a commonality of shared perceptions exists. Whether the shared ideas are due to the similar electric circuits in our bodies or not, I am not certain. I am certain, God certainly intends to reveal a new perception of existence to us after our worldly journeys. His knowledge is infinite, while we, His creation, constantly strive to apply meaning in finite ways. A human curiosity is healthy and often beneficial but limited at best in its conclusions.
Posted by Frank Thompson at 5:49 PM