Re[2]: PHILOSOPHY: Perception of Reality? Boundry of self? (Was: Reality)

Guru George (
Mon, 10 Feb 1997 17:34:56 GMT

On Sat, 8 Feb 1997 13:23:08 +0000
Mark Grant <> wrote:

>On Mon, 3 Feb 1997, Guru George wrote:
>> So what does this processed data look like then?
>The world you *think* you're seeing, which is really just a data
>structure. A good demonstration of this comes from experiments where
>computers are programmed to change the displayed text when your eyes are
>jumping from one place to another in a saccade. We seem to build up this
>data structure inside our brains and only update it when we see movement,
>but deactivate the movement-detectors when we move our eyes. Hence if the
>text changes when your eyes are in motion we still 'see' the same text on
>the screen until we examine it closely and suddenly realise that it's
>changed. I found this a real shock the first time, but it's happened to me
>so often now that I just find it annoying.

I think you are a bit influenced by the old empiricist philosophical
tradition stemming from Locke Berkely and Hume, which held that we
perceive only 'ideas' and 'impressions', as if what we perceived were a
kind of 'surface' only. This is quite wrong. What we *have* (or are?)
is 'ideas' or 'impressions' (our experiential gestalts considered in and
of themselves), what we*see* by means of that having, is the physical

Can we agree to put it this way? Lets say there are two senses to 'see'
and 'perceive': direct and indirect. We don't directly perceive the
physical world, in the sense that we would if our experience of the
physical world were nothing but a sample of it; we perceive it indirectly,
by means of a bit of sampling plus lots of interpretation (some of it pre
-conscious, some conscious).

>Another demonstration comes from the experiences of psychedelic users, who
>(AFAIR) report that the objects they see are far more likely to move
>around or change into something different than, say, for the perceived
>world to split up into squares and zoom around their field of view as we
>might expect if we were just seeing a pixel image from the retina.
>Changing a pixel-image of a plant-pot into a pixel-image of an elephant
>would be hard work, but simply changing the object description in our data
>structure from 'plant-pot' to 'elephant' or changing the coordinates in
>space is easy.
Curiously enough, I *have* on occasion had *pixellated* hallucinations.
You know like in Doom, when things get up close? Like that!

Guru George