The blinkers we wear all our lives without ever realising it
Posted on 12th January 2022 at 07:33
With it being a shiny new year – we’re not even half way through January yet (!) – we’d like to give a completely different perspective on the world around us. The one we take for granted and think we know.
As so often is the case, we have a recent conversation to thank for giving us the inspiration for this post. It’s one of those things that’s obvious when someone points it out and we can’t quite understand how we’ve never noticed it before. And there’s a very simple reason for this, it requires the joining up of several dots, which then give a completely different perspective on something we all take for granted.
Have we hyped it up enough yet?!? Then here we go.
You probably remember being taught about the five senses in Biology classes at school. Sight. Hearing. Touch. Taste. Smell. How every living being on Earth has a predominant sense or, sometimes, senses. For humans it’s very obvious, sight, with hearing coming a close second followed by the rest. For others it’s much less obvious. For example, dogs, who have a much more even balance of senses relying on smell, hearing and sight with the mix depending on the particular breed and their natural abilities.
You may also remember being taught about how information collected by the senses is processed to give the impressions we rely on to create and then experience the world around us. However, the implications of this are rarely discussed, which is why we’ve written about it before in this blog. If you need a quick reminder, click here.
In a nutshell, everything we think of as happening “out there” in the world around us is actually the result of nerve impulses being sent to the Brain and decoded “in here”. This information is then being projected back out giving the impression that it’s all happening “out there.”
However, this is only the beginning.
Each of the five senses operate within a very narrow band. For example, in humans, sight is only possible in visible light. Unlike some other animals, we can’t see clearly in the dark. True, we may see slightly different shades of black and grey, but that’s about it.
Our eyes simply don’t have the receptors to collect this information, so there’s nothing for our brains to process, which means we don’t “see” anything. As a result, anything outside visible light is invisible to us and simply doesn’t exist. Ultra violet light, infra red light, x rays and much more besides.
As you may know, all these forms of light can be found within the electro magnetic band. Think of them as being like different radio stations on one particular wavelength; you have to be able to tune into them to hear their music. And it’s exactly the same with our eyes. We can only tune into visible light so, for us, the other frequencies simply do not exist. This means there’s a huge amount of data within the electro magnetic band that we’re simply not aware of. And, yet, we think that everything our Eyes pick up is all there is.
If we take just the electro magnetic wavelength, what proportion of it do you think visible light makes up? 10%. 25%. 50%. More? Well, if you guessed any of these figures, you’re well off the mark. It’s estimated that visible light accounts for less than 1% of this wavelength and probably only a fraction of that.
But it doesn’t finish there.
The electro magnetic wavelength is only one of many wavelengths. In fact, it’s estimated that it makes up less than 0.5% of ALL frequencies. Put another way, we only experience a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of all the wavelengths, and use this to build our knowledge and experience of the world around us.
As an aside, if you’re wondering what makes up the rest of the frequencies, the bulk of this is by so called “dark energy” and “dark matter” at 73% and 23% respectively. Dark energy is the name given to the force that's causing the rate of expansion of our universe to accelerate over time, rather than to slow down. Dark matter is made up of particles that don’t absorb, reflect, or emit light. It can’t be seen directly but can be inferred by the movements of stars and galaxies. And, no, we don’t really understand it either! But the details aren’t important. The important bit is realising just how little we can actually see and then use this to base our understanding and experience of life on. Put another way, looking at the whole spectrum, humans are virtually blind… And we think we know it all…
Now, if that wasn’t enough, there’s still more.
The frequencies we can perceive generate a huge amount of information every second, which is sent to the Brain for processing. Not surprisingly, this is much more than the Brain could possibly handle and so only a fraction of it is actually processed.
It’s estimated that up to a million separate pieces of information come in from the five sense every second. How on earth scientists came up with these amazing figures, we do not know! Now, here’s the important bit. Of this only about 40 – yes, 40 – pieces of information per second are actually processed. These are then used to form our experience of the world around us. So, not only are our senses only able to capture a fraction of what’s going on around us, but only a fraction of that is processed to help create our world.
And here’s the final piece of the puzzle.
How does the Brain filter and choose which information to process?
Well, it’s simply down to what is deemed important to us.
And how is that done?
It’s driven by our beliefs about the world and ourselves ACCOMPANIED BY our predominant thoughts.
For example, if our beliefs and thoughts are about how unsafe and threatening the world is, then this is the message being sent to our Brains and will determine the information processed. Conversely, if they centre on the world being safe and people friendly, then that’s the information that’s processed and how we experience the world.
It instantly explains how different people can experience the same film or event completely differently, depending on their beliefs and predominant thoughts. We’ve written about the power of beliefs and their effects on our lives before. They can be found here, here, here, here and here.
As so often is the case, there’s so much more that we could write about this fascinating topic. However, we simply wanted to give you a different perspective. Something to mull over. At the very least, to be aware of just how narrow and selective our experience of the world really is. And, just as important, how this also applies to that being portrayed in modern media and the message being “spun” before your very eyes.
The good news is that by being aware of this, you can consciously decide to broaden your perspective within these narrow bounds. To take a look at the beliefs driving them and decide whether they still work for you or whether a little spring cleaning is required. Or, perhaps, something more radical! And, remember, that nothing is ever set in stone, unless you decide it is.
As always, the choice is yours.
Picture by unknown author
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