375. We Are Gold Standards unto Ourselves

December 5, 2014

If mind is a collaborative function of brain, body, nature, culture, community, and family, what may not be obvious is that human consciousness is a largely edited version of both internal and external reality.

Our minds sharpen, clarify, emphasize, and inhibit as they go, creating models of the great world, but not an accurate rendition of that world itself. Evolution may have brought us this far by allowing us individual discretion, but the specific situations each person is born to are subject to unique, non-genetic influences that shape each life world in idiosyncratic fashion.

With the result that the world each of us lives in is unlike any other in finest detail. The more the brain sharpens and emphasizes the signals it processes (a necessity for survival based on fast and appropriate action), the less the inner world of awareness can be assumed to portray the world itself as it might exist on the far side of our senses.

Our minds leap the hurdle of non-representation by sampling our surroundings as often as possible through rapid deployment of as many loops of engagement as we can sustain on different levels of awareness. This allows each mind to update its input as frequently as it can, and so judge its situation and govern its behavior accordingly.

But such rapid sampling comes at the high cost of rendering a world as more of a précis than an accurate representation. We see what we see, and don’t what we don’t. To sense sharply and clearly means we see boldly and schematically. Our sensing becomes warped without our knowing because we see what we see so clearly that we take it as the true state of worldly affairs rather than our rash stab at portraying such a world.

We create a world that suits our purpose of the moment, which is all the more believable because memory recognizes that world not as it is but insofar as it conforms to our beliefs as based on personal experience. The world we are likely to find is the world we seek in keeping with our background of expectations.

That is, we see through the filter of the history behind us, making the now conform to the then out of habit rather than updating the past. We are gold standards unto ourselves so it makes sense to judge world situations by the performance of our own eyes (ears, nose, grasp, memory, and so on).

Successive approximation is the name of the game we play with our minds. Sometimes we are right on; other times close. Often we are dead wrong without a clue which way to turn. We muddle through, and if we are smart, learn from every engagement to do better.

 

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One Response to “375. We Are Gold Standards unto Ourselves”

  1. Eric said

    We have unfiltered access to our own thinking, if we choose to attend. This fact, and this fact alone, creates the opportunity for human freedom. Gold standard, indeed.

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