The Strange Paths We Travel

I am fascinated by the human mind.  It seems to me that every individual person lives in a unique universe of their own creation – formed around their experiences and their interpretation of those experiences – that is self-reinforcing.  The further an individual’s universe diverges from “objective reality,”  the harder it is to reconcile their expectations with experienced events.  And that’s where the self-reinforcement begins.

M.C. Escher's "Relativity"

M.C. Escher's "Relativity"

You see, the individual makes an investment with every interpretation of an event.  After a while the investment becomes so great that the individual becomes defined by it.  It becomes terrifying to even consider an alternate explanation for some events, no matter how minor, when that explanation would threaten the investment. This is especially true when the alternate explanation is simple and obvious.

What is so fascinating is how this can lead people to accept the most ridiculous ideas and reject rational ones without hesitation.  And that every single one of us does it to one extent or another.  It’s an unavoidable part of the human experience, because we learn to think by experiencing and interpreting events and no one ever interprets an event in exactly the same way as someone else.  And every interpretation is built upon by every previous interpretation, all unique to an individual mind, and all slightly (occasionally greatly) divergent from “objective reality.”

Sometimes, I wonder how we communicate with each other at all, or even if we really do….

Here’s a link to an article that deals with the same subject… or maybe it doesn’t, but I just think it does… It’s hard to say with any certainty.



Filed under Philosophy

3 responses to “The Strange Paths We Travel

  1. Kenneth

    I liked your article….didnt much care for the article in that link. Maybe it was the typos, maybe the obvious spelling errors, maybe it was laws of the “the system” that went into effect WAY to quickly in his story, maybe it was that anyone worth one fourth their weight in psychological knowledge wouldnt have offered money to a patient. Maybe it was the fact that this “psychiatrist” was quick to point out that the activists worldview was “topsy turvey”….. but something in that article made me think it was entirely made up to reinforce the idea that Dr Sanity’s political views were proper and the anti war demonstrators point of view was crazy. And it was made up badly, with several errors on many levels. As with many things on this big ole web…. its more horseshit. Whether it be the next Roger Ebert Wannabe who has it stuck in their head that the only way to critique a movie is to bash it over repeatedly (often times without even watching it), or the next Rush Limbaugh Wannabe, I am not only feeling repulsed by anyone who decides to push their ideaology upon complete strangers, but also feeling sorry for mankind if the best that we can come up with as the mind molding wisdom for our future role models and leaders are the opinions I’ve been reading over the past 10 years via the world wide web.

  2. Shawn

    Yeah and the more desperate the individual clings to his or her alternative reality, and the greater investment in a single basket (or basket case ..heh) the easier and great the fall will be when it inevitably crumbles. I hope I get to witness that particular fiber arts failure.

  3. I’m not sure what your getting at, Shawn. I’m just in a philosophical mood.

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