Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book 1 (My Opinion, Your Choice) - Chapter 5, Part 4


If this is confusing and fluid for the senses we know and are used to, what happens when we become aware of our other senses, whatever they may be? An example of one such physical sense all of us have but do not count, evidenced by “five senses” being the operative term not “six senses”, is the sense of direction. The word sense is even in the description, it’s “sense” not perception, or opinion, or inference of direction, it is the sense of direction. Iron in the blood collects in the nose and sinuses, and the interaction with the magnetic fields of the planet produces an effect akin to a compass, think about the phrase “follow your nose”. Just like any other sense, the sense of direction is more pronounced and sensitive in some people, while others get lost with a GPS. This sense though is no more helpful in finding ourselves, being that it is a guide for us to find our direction, than any of the other senses and it shares the other sense’s opinion bias. We have the opinion of how we are supposed to go and what route we are supposed to take in order to get to our destination. We see the various landmarks, which act as mirrors, and are distorted by time, weather, and lighting, which we use to help guide our way. Finally the “reflections” once again pass through the opinion filter of recognition, and if the distortion is not large enough and the destination was specific enough, we gleefully exclaim “we’re here”. This additional sense helps us discover more of ourselves by allowing us yet another interaction with our environment, which provides more “reflection”, but even this additional sense, which while beneficial and useful in our arsenal, is still no more capable than the other sense of fully perceiving ourselves.

Our senses are unable to perceive ourselves in totality, only portions of ourselves which may change with training and the expansion of our perceptions, but not the whole total. Additionally as we get used to and find balance with our surroundings we become oblivious, or rather we cease to register the sensory input we receive. Sounds, smells, feelings, even objects around us, all blend in or blend out of our awareness, until finally we are left with just our thoughts, in a meditative state. It would seem that the only things that keep our attention are un-preferred stimulants. If we like a sensory input we keep it, grow accustomed to it, find a balance with it, and finally become oblivious to it. We remain in this “habitual” balanced state until another sensory input is perceived and based on its being pleasant or unpleasant we decide to either integrate it or discard it. Perhaps we are unable to perceive ourselves fully because we are not able to step outside of ourselves to observe ourselves. So we are left with piecing together all of the reflected images to achieve a full representation of ourselves. The representation produced by reflecting off of our surroundings is never complete because our surroundings are never static, always providing stimuli to adjust to, and as we adjust we need a reflection to again show us who we have become. The adjustment passes through the opinion layer of the current state, reflects back, passes through the opinion layer again and we again adjust to achieve a balanced state. It is a perpetual cycle of self-exploration as our surroundings adjust and we adjust with them, discovering more of ourselves, creating more reflections, never being able to step outside of ourselves to see ourselves. We are chameleons, always blending in and adjusting to the environment to best maintain the most pleasant of sensory inputs. What dish tastes best?

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