perception deceptions

Do you see the white triangle in the above image? It does not exist of it’s own attributes. It exists only because of the other shapes, their placement and configuration. If those shapes in their present placement and configuration change, the white triangle would vanish. How many times are we creating shapes and forms, i.e., assumptions and conclusions, in our day to day life because of perception deceptions? Creating things that don’t really exist….? Since our self perception is constructed in the context of relationship with others, it is not unwarranted to consider that sense of self as having some white triangles, some elements of who we are that don’t really exist on their own.

Find the number of the letter F you see in the statement below…


Did you count less that six? If so, you missed the total amount. There are six….Typically, people don’t see the three F’s in the three uses of the word ‘of’ because the letter ‘f’ in the word ‘of’ sounds like the letter ‘v.’  Because it does not sound like an f it is not seen as an f. Our body/mind system is heavily conditioned, programmed, trained, many blinders, many automatic routines, which may have their situational value in terms of various day to day functions of daily life. But that we make up things that don’t really exist, and don’t see things that do, suggests we may be making assumptions and conclusions, decisions and actions, that are based on false, inaccurate and erroneous perceptions. Perception deceptions. 

Perception deceptions also occur due to spatial and contextual awareness, i.e., perspective. For example, the horizontal lines in the below example are of equal length, though they are not perceived as such.

‘Since objects in physical world are viewed under many conditions, perceptual systems must accommodate for multiple representations of a stimulus to produce perceptual constancy. The reason that objects appear various sizes is product of both retinal image size and contextual cues regarding distance and relative size.’ (Wikipedia)

Another everyday example of this perception deception is ‘sun rise’ and ‘sun set.’ It is our direct visual perception that the sun rises and sets, it appears to move across the sky; and yet that is not the real situation. The sun is relatively stationary.  It does not rise, nor set, nor travel across the sky. The planet spins one rotation every 24 hours (rounded up from a fraction less than 24), at about the rate of 1,037 mph (1,670 km/h), at the equator. Halfway between the equator and the pole, the speed of rotation is measured at 733 mph (1,180 km/h). Our planet’s spin, of course, is not the only motion we have in space. Our orbital speed around the sun, a year,  is about 67,000 mph (107,000 km/h). That we do not perceive this motion, and do perceive the motion of, say, a roller coaster ride, speaks to the comparative nature of perception. Motion is known in contrast to that which is not in motion, or in motion at different rate. Whereas in our day to day motions we change speed, say from walking slowly to walking quickly, the planet spins at a constant rate. It does not speed up or slow down. If it did, we would perceive it! Our perception of time is integrally connected to our sense of motion.

It behooves everybody to recognize that it is certainly possible, and even very probable, that we perceive objects, as objects, which do not exist, as objects, and do not perceive objects which do exist, as objects.   Our perceptual range is inherently limited, yet can be expanded, broadened, altered, widened. We only perceive a segment of what exists. But, because that which exists exists, it is available to perception. All that is required is an alteration to established normal perceptual processes. The extension of our senses, such as microscopes and telescopes, allow us to perceive a much greater field of that which exists beyond our normal, everyday perceptions. To hold the opinion that because I do not perceive it, it therefore does not exist, is to be considered wearing the crown jewel of ignorance.  An old car bumper sticker from the 1970’s said ‘Question Authority.’ Perhaps ‘Question Perception’ is an equally if not more valid dictum. Indeed, authority is a perception, perhaps a deceptive one.

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