Wednesday, July 22, 2020

How Our Minds Construct Perspectives and Simultaneously Perceive Manifested Patterns of Reality

"Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with the absolute truth." -Simone de Beauvoir

Absolute truths are hard to come by, which is the basic premise of ‘hyper-perspectivism’. Rather, truths are always in the eyes of the beholder, truths are always observer-relative, truths are “made” by a “truth-maker.” You can approach our multifaceted reality from an incredibly large number of angles. Everything is perspectival, in other words, it all depends on your perspective, your frame of reference.
Since our informational world is of mental abstractive construction (as I make my case in The Syntellect Hypothesis), it’s always up to you to decide what’s real to you – everything you find real is indeed real to you, not necessarily real to others who are at the same time, for a lack of a better word, your past and future incarnations. We all are different points of view on oneself, within our own holographic self-reflection. We all are like droplets on the cobweb of reality reflecting one another. That said, like any other ideology or methodology, science is not always to be taken for absolute truth – it’s a collection of systematized up-to-date knowledge with provisional models of reality. 
To any unique perspective what’s really important is contextual relevance and logical consistency. What’s relevant? To scientists who are trained skeptics, hard evidence preferably mathematized and peer-reviewed is a convertible currency. But then again, in most cases we first invent a concept or a theoretical model and then math to back them up. Given enough time, even “hard evidence” is usually swept away with unavoidable paradigm-shifting intellectual progress. A clever adage (some attribute it to Albert Einstein) sums it up: "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." British mathematician George Box used to say that "all models are wrong but some are useful." I’m not denigrating our scientific achievements, on the contrary, they are the keys for higher levels of the game.
As Buddha once famously said, as quoted in Kalama Sutta: “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
You are the ultimate reality, change the perspective and your life becomes a mirage. Examine a DNA molecule through an electron microscope, or observe Earth from orbit, or drop LSD for innerspace psychedelica, and you’ll ascertain equally valid layers of hyperreality accessible to us modern humans. These “layers of truth” would seem very weird to a prehistoric caveman, and levels of hyperreality are going to turn out far stranger than our wildest imaginings.
Without invoking mysticism, Andy Clark’s Extended Mind hypothesis and Marshall McLuhan’s Media Extensions of Man put forth that consciousness is not confined to the body. As journalist Michael Pollan argues in his recent book “How to Change Your Mind” (2018) about psychedelics, if any of us were to experience another person’s inner world it would likely feel like a psychedelic trip, given how outlandish the sensations and observations would be. In a manner of speaking, we’ve been living in culturally sanctioned virtuality as long as we’ve been human beings. Philosopher Nietzsche emphasized that there are no facts only interpretations. The constructs of our conscious minds direct our interpretations and memories to ‘in’-form the reality we constantly create.
Even if you subscribe to philosophy of scientific materialism, when you end up believing that Homo sapiens is an accidental, insignificant species on a unremarkable planet orbiting an average sun somewhere on the outskirts of an ordinary galaxy of the ‘block universe’, this view still could hold bona fide in its own “good ol’ science” domain albeit overall “boxy.” It’s like when you start ascending on a hot air balloon from the valley, all outlooks are “legit” but dependent on how high you float in the air. At low altitude, you still see leaves on the trees and other small objects. The higher you ascend, the further you can see, the grander perspective on the valley you shall behold.
Some people remain oblivious, and some stubbornly myopic of the self-evidence of computational, fractal and self-referential Nature – it’s a “matryoshka” of conscious systems. You’re smack in the middle co-producing your own experiential reality. As YOU-niverse of ever-expanding structures of consciousness, you’re not marginalized, unless you belittle yourself, despite proselytizing attempts in certain parts of traditionally objective-reductionist science to indoctrinate its soulless dead-end philosophy without meaning or purpose.
Although the organizing principles of the contemporary scientific theories vary, all strive to uphold some version of the so-called relationalism of 17th- and 18th-century German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz. Broadly speaking, relationalism holds that space emerges from a certain pattern of correlations among objects it contains. In this view, space is a web of relationships with a certain pattern of connectivity. The relations are predicated on quantum theory or other principles, and the spatial arrangement arises from that.
In my everyday life, I cannot operate from only one fixed perspective, at any given moment I have to choose the most appropriate outlook deemed relevant by my mind; conflicting beliefs may be on the “scroll-down menu,” too. An idealist as I am, no matter how hard I try, I can’t help but refer to objects and people grounded in the material world. But using this kind of perspectivism as an argument against philosophical grounding of various models of reality can lead to hyper-perspectivism. Modern perspectivism rooted in the personal or collective logic which shapes its scope can be transcended through construction of hyper-perspectivistic prisms based on oftentimes unexpected multi-disciplinary interrelationships. All you have to do is to connect the dots in your own unique kind of way.
-Alex Vikoulov 

**Image Credit: Shutterstock


  1. Alex, I'm following your various perspectives with great interest. I thought you might like to share one of mine that helps model our multi-dimensional "realities". Here's a paper published last year:

    Thanks for your work - Lex

  2. "Hyper-perspectivism" is an interesting start. I think it's better to talk of people having different "visions" of any given area of reality. That would then liken everybody to a film-maker, adopting different points-of-view, perspectives, angles etc. A vision in this sense is considerably more complex than a perspective.

    Plus, it's even more important to talk of the content of the vision and not just the framing. A first step is to recognize that everyone has different "takes" - makes different "cases" - encases different parts of a given area of reality.

    Everyone can then be seen as having a "personal web of reality" - to be distinguished from the "world-wide web of reality."

    The premise of the latter is that for any given body or bodies acting, there are a world-wide web of other bodies acting directly or indirectly upon it (incl butterflies in Brazil). The world-wide web of causation for any body acting is vast and potentially infinite - and way too vast to be modelled in any form.

    What happens in our culture is that individuals and groups establish "personal/cultural webs" - highlighting limited sets of the bodies that cause and are factors in the focal body action. They have different "takes" - different selections of causal/factorial bodies.

    Because we are still predominantly rational. symbolic and logical, we tend to think in terms of often very limited "chains of bodies" as causes - and people often argue absurdly as if theirs is the only possible take/view/perspective, when there are in fact infinite possibilities.

    But we are now about to become a creative, imaginative, "realistic" culture - now that textual civilisation and its book of the world, has already been de facto replaced by multimedia civilisation and its screen of the world, which is in addition a console of the world, connecting directly to it. A textual culture is word-based, a multimedia culture is video-based (much as the human mind is clearly designed by evolution to be video-of-consciousness-based).

    When you're video-based, your "hyperperspectivism" or "hypervisions" (I'll have to think of a better word) and hyper-webs-of reality (causal webs) - become a given - and the insane, dialectical, R-or-wrong, polarities of so many modern societies (like the US esp. ) will slowly disappear.


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