Life is tied to our perceptions. For example, the words here and there. I’ve always had way too much fun torturing my kids and my students alike with asking, “When is my here your there and when is you there my here?” The difference in these two words is a perceived spatial difference.
Another pair of words that have even had a poem written about the strange perceptible contrast between these.
The Naked And The Nude For me, the naked and the nude (By lexicographers construed As synonyms that should express The same deficiency of dress Or shelter) stand as wide apart As love from lies, or truth from art.
Lovers without reproach will gaze On bodies naked and ablaze; The Hippocratic eye will see In nakedness, anatomy; And naked shines the Goddess when She mounts her lion among men.
The nude are bold, the nude are sly To hold each treasonable eye. While draping by a showman's trick Their dishabille in rhetoric, They grin a mock-religious grin Of scorn at those of naked skin.
The naked, therefore, who compete Against the nude may know defeat; Yet when they both together tread The briary pastures of the dead, By Gorgons with long whips pursued, How naked go the sometime nude! - Robert Graves
Reality is a perception as well. One of the purposes of education is to foster the shared perception of what is real and what is not. There are actual studies taking place trying to figure out if the color blue I see is the same as your blue.
A little over 50 years ago, spaceflight was not a reality. In 1969, we were forced to redefine reality. What goes up must come down was a reality for a long time but with the discovery of the atom we had to change again. If reality needs revamping from time to time than just how solid is it? Hamlet tries to get this point across to Horatio: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
We say we understand reality. We say we know what is real, but the truth is these are shared lies we tell each other to stay sane, safe, and secure. If we truly pondered the unknown as in cataloging all the things we don’t know or understand we would lose our sense of place and purpose. Therefore, we are truly like the chained folks in Plato’s Cave who can only see the shadows of things on the walls and cannot turn to see the source of the light.
-and so it goes….