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Understanding Perspective To Realize How Little We Understand

July 16, 2010

Every person, every animal, every thing thinks differently.  Nothing is what it seems.

Think back to when you were a child.  Things you may take for granted now, were full of marvel: fireflies, LiteBrite, Magnadoodle, Chuck E Cheese’s, watching Rug Rats, feeding geese, laughing when they pooped; all these things were enough to make me happy.  I was innocent.  At this point in time I don’t much care for these things anymore.  Why? Because times have changed, and with that so has my perspective.  If you can acknowledge that your perspective at one point in time is different from your perspective at another, then you will realize that perspective is entirely relative.

Say three men are looking at an elephant from three different angles.  Nobody knows what the elephant is because nobody has seen one before.  The first man, looking from the back will tell you he sees a tail attached to a rump above two legs.  The second man, looking from the front will tell you he sees a giant headed creature with a long nose, standing on two legs.  The third man, looking from the side, will tell you he sees a body in the middle of two legs, with a tail on each side, one ear, and an eye.  If these men were to look at the elephant from their one vantage point their entire lives, they would never know it was an elephant they were looking at.  Look at things from all different sides, and only then will you gain a better understanding of what it may be.  You will never fully understand it, however.

Say an ant is given an assignment to gather information about human beings.  It spots one.  He comes back to the anthill and reports to his superior: It’s legs were bent.  It would bring a large object to a hole in its head.  Sound would come from that hole into another object.  It would hit other objects with its fingers.  That is all the ant would tell his superior, because that is all his knowledge permits him to see.  He doesn’t know that what he is seeing is a person sitting at his desk, drinking java, and typing on the computer while talking on his cellphone to a client in Prague.  The ant doesn’t know what is going on.  He only has knowledge about what is immediately important to him.

People are the same way as the ant and the three men.  There is so much that we don’t know.  We may tell you what we think we know from whatever angle we see it in, but it will never be what it really is.

We have astronomers that look through a lens and try to make sense of what they see in the cosmos.  We give a scientific explanation to what we see, but does it really explain things?  We will never know why the earth is the perfect distance from the sun.  It could have been a few hundred miles off and there might never have been planetary life in the Milky Way.

How are we so intelligent?  What makes us think?  Why did we evolve when organisms could simply have been content with being prokaryotes.  Why is there is an electrical system in our hearts that makes it beat.  What makes the ions positively and negatively charged.  Why is our body so intricately designed and why does it have to go into such obsessive detail.  How does everything know where to go and what to do.  Why is our body so resilient.  Why are viruses trying to kill us?  What the hell do they want? Who thought of chewing up that thing and swallowing it.  What was he thinking.  How did he know it would make the hunger pain in his belly go away.  Did he think he was dying when he had his first poop?  Why can we taste,  why can we smell, why can we feel, and hear, and see.  Why do we love.  Why?

We look into a microscope and see how vast an array of organisms there are.  We see how tiny they are, yet we seem to think nothing of it.  What if we are just as small to someone else?  What if we are being looked at under a microscope.  Think about it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Radhika permalink
    July 17, 2010 11:00 am

    Oh wow! This one got me thinking! Really interesting!!! We never seem to look at things that way or think about the reasons behind certain things. It’s all so crazy. Very interesting! I liked this one = )

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