WE DON’T SEE THE SAME SEEING

Jon Strand writes:At nearly 40 years of age I have a couple of basic understandings of life. Pretty simple stuff really. They are as follows:

  • Perception is reality, and people don’t always share the same perception
  • Each of us has a distinct world view (or mental model) of how the world works that is built up, elaborated and refined over time. This is all based on our own experience of the world – it is rare that any two people share the exact same model
  • He who thinks he knows, doesn’t know. He who knows he does not know, knows. (~ Lao Tsu)
  • Most of us are blissfully unaware of why we do the things we do… we like to think were in charge, however, our subconscious is really running the show (and we don’t really have access to that – which is why I really like something Fouro shared with me a few years ago: “Self knowledge brings happiness”)

Although it could not be my own perspective that “perception is reality,” my informal co-counseled research over the past two years is partly centered on the construct “each of us has a distinct world view”.

As always, this posit is much more interesting for its ramifications and especially the counter-intuitive ones. Prominent among those would be the world view that supposes each of us is not distinctly different from each other. …the opposite of Jon’s insight. This second world view co-exists with the ‘other one’.
Think about whether you run into people with this second world view, ‘people are pretty much the same’. Do such people tend to understand everybody is a slightly different variation on the same basic model, and, as it sometimes happens, the person with this world view self-reports, remarkably, that they happen to be one of the more superior variations on the purportedly singular motif! You can sample and test this hypothesis out.

In general terms, as a matter of cognitive complexity, it could be anticipated that where the world view converges on singular premises of this sort the initial apprehension is of similarity rather than differentiation. It is then possible, if not oftent he case, that further inquiry into possible variation is mitigated by the dominant sense that the subject, another person, is basically fairly well known because, ‘after all, they are merely a sllightly different variation on the motif I know well’.

It’s always interesting to drill down underneath personal globalizing assumptions. As a class of assumptions they are very common. (Most persons are not philosophers of their own constructive experience.) Keep in mind globalizing assumptions are inductions. Finally, in any drill down, note what are the concomittant secondary assumptions and inferences and what biasing results.

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