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The Perception of Perception

Friday, January 1, 2016
Waking in the morning: my eyes are not yet opened, but sounds arrive, unbidden. A distant sound, barely perceptible at first, draws my attention, and I fix my ears’ powers upon it, they go out to it, probing, turning up the volume on just it, and ignoring every other ambient sound. 
Ahhh… it’s just a squirrel trying, without success, to get into the bird feeder. The ears snap back onto the side of my head, and the sound’s volume drops to irrelevancy.
One eyelid lifts reluctantly, allowing light to stream in, and slams shut. I open both eyes. At once, my senses stop being passive receivers of messages from the parts of the universe that aren’t me. My eyes stop being mere recipients of reflected light waves. They flit about the room, going out to caress and minutely examine tiny bumps on the ceiling, a spot of dappled light on the dresser. They do not idly collect visual data that just happens to be flowing toward them. They actively seine it in, picking through it for meaningful details. They ignore everything that is routine, ordinary. It’s as if only the noteworthy bits are even visible. Eyes can’t be bothered with what they’ve seen a million times before.
Scientists tell us that none of this is actually happening. They say our senses merely respond to stimuli that surround me, but that’s not at all what it seems like. 

I never feel like a passive receiver. Rather, I am an all-powerful omniscient observer, situated at the exact center of the Universe. Attuned to its slightest variations, I am able to reach out and extract their meaning, instantly. A telescope, microscope, and microphone are merely extensions of my senses—and, like them, flow out of me to collect whatever data I require.


Blogger Unknown said...

Now I'm sure that I am God, because surely you are made in my image.

January 1, 2016 at 6:41 AM  
Blogger Gary Allen said...

Yes... we both are invested with vast quantities of modesty and humility.

April 22, 2016 at 3:41 PM  

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