Your Reality, My Reality – Perception and the Need for Communication

“In Physics, scientists invent models, or theories, to describe and predict the data we observe about the universe. Newton’s theory of gravity is one example; Einstein’s theory of gravity is another […] Today we know that actually both theories are wrong, in the sense that both are only approximations of what really happens in nature. But they are also both correct, in that they each provide a very accurate and useful description of nature in the realm in which they do apply.

In a way, every human mind is a scientist, creating a model of the world around us, the everyday world that our brains detect through our senses. Like our theories of gravity, our model of the sensory world is only approximate and is based on concepts invented by our minds. […]

The world we perceive is an artificially constructed environment whose character and properties are as much a result of unconscious mental processing as they are a product of real data. […] We accept the visions concocted by our unconscious minds without question, and without realizing that they are only an interpretation, one constructed to maximize our overall chances of survival, but not one that is in all cases the most accurate picture possible.” (Subliminal by L. Mlodinow)


Before this chapter conclusion Mlodinow talks a lot about tests that show how lacking our senses are and how our brains smooth over the glitches and make assumptions  before ever making the apparently perfect and sharp data available for us in a way so that we cannot tell, where once the blanks were that got filled out. I bring it up because I think it is something we need to keep in mind while interacting with each other, and especially before we start to judge.

The reality you perceive is not the reality I perceive or the one a third person perceives even though we all might live through the same moment. And while they are all faulty in their own ways, they can’t be measured in categories like right or wrong. That makes it necessary to listen first, to compare & mark the differences, and to accept that not all you think to know, is really the truth.

Hence, everyone names open communication the foremost tool to good relationships of whatever kind – at work, in friendship, love or collaboration. Yet we all fall way too often into the trap of believing in the concoction our subconscious cooked up for us over everything else.

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