In his book Prometheus Rising, Robert Anton Wilson writes about each individual perceiving the world in a different way based upon factors such as upbringing, environment and subconscious biases, as well as seeking out points of view and circumstances that support a particular outlook. He called these individualistic interpretations ‘Reality Tunnels’.
This is summed up in a quote from an interview with Jeffrey Elliot when Wilson says “If one can only see things according to one’s own belief system, one is destined to become virtually deaf, dumb, and blind. It’s only possible to see people when one is able to see the world as others see it. That’s what guerrilla ontology is — breaking down this one-model view and giving people a multi-model perspective.” (1.)
The consequences of this philosophical conclusion are staggering: not only are we shaping our own reality, but we can do nothing except experience the world in our own personal way.
But could there also be another kind of filtering at work? Apart from the psychological construction might we also have our entire perception of the world filtered by our brains in order to interact with it in the first place?
Many philosophers have certainly thought so. William James and Henri Bergson famously advocated the theory that we are incapable of processing the true scope of ‘reality’ so our brains only allow us to perceive a small amount of information otherwise we would be overwhelmed by the sheer influx of signals and stimulation.
Aldous Huxley used the term ‘Mind at Large’ to convey this idea and wrote about it in his books The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell.
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