False Perception- A Modern Philosophy

Consider the old saying that perception is 9/10th of reality.  I was never a fan of this saying since it can be such an easy outlet to take everything at face value rather than to seek the truth.  Instead, let us consider that perception is but 1/10th of reality.

It is important to note that early Greek philosophers made the common mistake of basing their reality on their often flawed sense perception since they lacked sophisticated scientific equipment capable of measuring and calculating the world around us.  In fact, it was not until thousands of years later that humankind could more accurately calculate and determine atomic structure with microscopes while advanced telescopes were used to ascertain cosmic distance, to name a few examples.

Based on the leaps and bounds of modern science and the ability to closely examine the world around us, we now know that what we perceive, as humans, is only reliant on 5 human senses which remain greatly biased according to our own prejudices and beliefs (The 6th Sense is another topic for another time which still remains unknown).

Exploring the deeper realm of existence, as a whole, the sole reality in which we are aware is only a small granule in the grand scheme of existence.  We are often guilty in assuming that humankind is the Alpha and Omega of this particular universe; mistakenly, we still believe that our acknowledgement of another realm of existence can only be validated by humans.  However, many things exist independently from the human realm with no connection to the fate of humankind.

This goes back to the old argument which asks “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”  Rather than define sound, it is much easier for us to think it does not make a sound because we, as humans, are not there to hear it.  Pretty selfish, don you think?  But the answer lies in the definition of sound which is a vibration of waves in a liquid or solid.  Hearing is the ability to confirm the presence of sound.  Therefore, it does still make a sound in the woods even if humans are not there to hear it.

I believe that in the grand scheme of what we don’t know and the little that we do know, perception is but a small grain of sand in the ocean of existence that is comprised of virtually endless realms of possibilities and realities, despite probability.  Perception is but a small factor of thought in the grand scheme of the universe, a thought which is often based on one person’s view of one person’s reality.  Unfortunately there lies the possibility that someone could be grossly wrong while managing to influence others that her or his view is correct.

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About Manny Garza

After serving 8 years in the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Analyst, Manny departed the military in order to pursue his B.A. in Philosophy from American Military University. Aside from college, he writes short stories and essays in the realm of philosophy and science fiction. Manny's short stories are heavily influenced by who he refers to as The Trinity: Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Jack Williamson. He is married to his lovely wife, Melissa, and has two dogs named Koopa and Goomba. Aside from being an editor and contributor of Nerd Trek articles, his hobbies include playing guitar, singing, and both tabletop and video game RPGs. Manny currently lives in Charlottesville, VA.