Western education makes us believe that there is an objective reality out there. The role of our mind in perception is often left out. There is this one reality and that’s it. Our belief in one objective reality can lead to problems when we discuss our hobby.
The role of our mind in perception is crucial. Here are three examples:
(1) A film director will see a very different movie from his friend who is with him in the cinema and is a film aficionado. The father whose child plays in the football team will see a very different game than the referee or the child’s school friend.
(2) Another way to approach this would be to look at exceptional minds. How someone on the autism spectrum perceives “objective reality” can be radically different from how someone else perceives it. How Brahms perceived music must have been very different from how I perceive music.
(3) Or yet another way of looking at it - what is a table? It depends on who we ask. From my point of view, I can knock on it and know that it is made of wood. I see that it is made of legs and a table top. From that I can conclude that it is composed of parts. An expert in physics will give a very different answer. So will an expert in chemistry or one in carpentry.
These examples illustrate that our own minds play a key role in how we see, hear, taste, feel and smell the world. It is not the case that there is a sensation and that sensation automatically and invariably leads to the same result in cognition. Rather, imprints in the storehouse consciousness lead to events in regular consciousness. These imprints are a matter of dispositions and conditioning. Should you be interested in more in depth material from authors with greater understanding than myself, I’m more than happy to point you there. I’m a PM away.
Ah, one more thing with a touch of humour - we know about the placebo effect - people feel better when they are given pills that contain no active ingredient. We all know what that means in our hobby. The “invisible gorilla” is the reverse placebo effect - not noticing something that is clearly there. Check it out. It’s hilarious how fallible we all are.
There’s a link to Videos and Demos on the left where you can see the study setup. I had to silently laugh about myself.