Monday, May 17, 2010

The Learning Perspective Revisited

Okay...I'm back...because I have something to say.

The American people have lost their way. Their thinking is askew, and the craziness of the epidemic is best summarized by the now popular statement, "Perception is reality." This statement is false. It would be better stated, "Perception is the illusion of reality."

To say that perception is reality is to say that what one thinks defines his world. There is validity in this statement to an extent, but I want to focus on the limits of this thinking. Taken to an extreme, if I perceive that a dog is really a monkey, then I am a fool. Still, perception is reality. That dog is a monkey in my world.

In a more realistic light, perceiving that a person loves you does not make that person love you. Perceiving that drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is a good idea does not make it a good idea. Basing one's decisions on perception keeps one from considering the facts related to the concept, keeps one from realizing the truth.

Consider a continuum of truth. To one far end is what is referred to as absolute truth. I have a difficult time providing an example of absolute truth. Nevertheless, I believe that it is a concept that helps us to consider degrees of truth and helps us to place concepts along the continuum. Somewhere in near the middle of the continuum is opinion--based on truth but not completely grounded in truth. Perhaps somewhere a little further down the continuum is belief, a little less founded on truth but still drawn from truth. Then to the far other end is perception. In other words, I place perception as far from absolute truth as it can possibly get. This does not mean that perception is the opposite of truth, because the entire continuum is founded on degrees of truth. However, perception is a long way from truth and, I suggest, a long way from reality.

What I have just done is drawn a connection between reality and truth. This could be further stated as what is truth is reality. What is not true is not reality. The legerdemain of a magician is not reality. It is all a hoax and we take pleasure in being fooled. (I suggest that being fooled is the process of becoming a fool. Funny that we delight in that, isn't it?) In reality, there is much about our culture that is founded upon our being fooled, upon our being mislead by our perception, upon our escaping reality. I think we would all agree with this, as we love movies and novels and games and so much more that helps us to escape the reality. But we don't like being called fools. But we are sometimes.

The bottom line is that perception is not reality. Reality is truth. Only through seeking the facts that underlie a real understanding of any concept will we be able to understand the reality of the concept. The curious thing is that understanding the reality will alter our perception. Indeed, I would suggest that perception is far more influenced by truth and reality than truth and reality are influenced by perception.

By the way...Those of you with the Chinese characters leaving comments...Who are you? Can you leave comments in English so that I may know what you are saying? I apologize for being so very limited in my understanding of language, but I long to know what you are saying.


  1. 仇恨是一把雙刃劍,傷了別人,也傷了自己.........................

  2. Thank you for the platitudes, but what do you think?