A popular statement regarding ‘perception’ demands that we believe, that because human perception varies between individuals, Reality and Truth do not exist. Some go so far as to claim that nothing exists outside the human function of perception. Some apply the (popular science) version of quantum theory, asserting that nothing at all exists until a person observes it. This means that if 30 people looked at, and then looked away, and then looked at a cat again, some 30 miserable cats would be popping into existence over and over again. Believers in this scenario never explain the effect that these quantum reincarnations would have on the cat’s physiology or what would happen if several of the observers conjured up a frog instead. No two people would be able to agree on the color of the cat; indeed, a single person would never see the “same” cat twice, and our lives would be a nauseating chaos of cosmic confusion – every object around us would appear and disappear, or ripple with never-ending alterations due to our “unstable” perceptions. This would also apply to humans: If every time you observed yourself in a mirror you saw a different “version” of yourself, (maybe the one that is dead or doesn’t exist) it isn’t quantum uncertainty at work, you are suffering from a different and very serious problem. This tendency to think magically, or at the least, dumbing down reality to an egocentric interpretation about how things work, is typical of neotenic narcissistic people. (Modern social humans)
The claim that human perception en masse has the power to create the universe moment to moment is a misapplication of how perception is created: this version is backwards. It’s incredibly narcissistic and magic based.
Are certain qualities of particles in the quantum dimension indefinite? Yes. Is “reality” a continually changing environment? Yes. Is the human brain creating these properties? No. The function of brains is to “make sense” of the environment so that with its extension – the nervous system – it can safely and efficiently operate and monitor the myriad and complex body systems. The senses create a catalogue of information available to the brain and body collected from the environment, which adequately “describes” the environment for us as a particular life form. Perception is the brain process that builds a “picture” of the world we live in. This system has been tailored by evolutionary processes to endure and possibly thrive, within the environments that humans inhabit. Since our early adaptations to tropical environments, and subsequent relocation to temperate and even arctic regions, most of human adaptation has been cultural: tools, fire, clothing and shelter that utilize new technologies.
We don’t live underwater on a tropical reef; we don’t live a mile beneath the earth’s crust; we don’t live on Mars. We may visit such places thanks to technical inventions that allow the human body to temporarily survive in deadly conditions. Someday humans may be engineered to be aqua people, mole men or Martians, but for now, here we are – a basic primate with a cherry on top.
The STANDARD model of perception: the brain, using information collected by our senses, creates a model of reality. Our senses in no way gather every last detail inherent in the real world; our senses are very limited when compared to the amount of information that is outside our narrow sensory array. Our brain evolved (mammalian) sense organs and a formula for modeling the environment that allowed us to survive in our original environment (tropical latitudes.) Science has dramatically expanded our information about the environment (and indeed of the universe through time) by inventing tools that are “sensitive” to the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
The NARCISSISTIC model of perception: individual perception creates reality; therefore there is no objective reality. This crazy idea has survived due to the perversion of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, both of which are valid mathematical expressions of nature (physics) but which have nothing to do with psychology on a macro level. The brain “creates” perceptions, which are not “complete” recreations of reality, but models that are (hopefully) “good enough” for the human organism to use to survive.
If the existence of the content of the universe were the product of human perception, it follows that nothing existed before the emergence of Homo sapiens, who, as the “first and only observer” popped into nothingness and instantly created the universe and everything in it. There could have been no previous life; no rock forms, no water, no sun or moon, no galaxies – no nothing. We can witness this preposterous and all-to-familiar intellectual hallucination in the magical creation stories of religion.
When one looks for commentary about perception, one encounters the usual “abracadabra” adolescent narcissism and inflated need for power.
WOW! Social egomania at it’s most popular and profitable – you get to be God. Expanding your mind is of course achieved by buying books, videos and attending seminars put out by con artists who claim “connections” with cosmic powers.
No one dares to suggest that Americans “expand their minds” by learning about the actual universe, as described by math and science.