Perception versus Reality

My first sign of this being a wacky day happened before I could even get out of the house.  I open the front door to leave, and there in the front yard stands one of our two back yard black lab dogs.  She kindly comes inside the house, while I check to make sure the back yard gate is closed/latched (it is), with the other black lab hanging out in their doghouse.  Since the coast seems to be clear, I let her out into the back yard.  Still not sure what happened, as I write this.

Things started out OK at the office. I was successful at getting a microphone change made in the Sells Board Room, and rewarded my efforts with a longer walk around campus to return to my desk.  Where I proceeded to make karmic payments for my excursion, apparently.

The HVAC units for the library have been out for some time, with large parts of that hardware stored in a hallway shell outside my office.  There have been efforts made to clear some of that hardware out recently, but this later morning, the serious remodeling work began, with vast amounts of sawing.  Extremely loud, bothersome, annoying-at-best sawing.  Between this and the typical overheating in my office (I’m lucky if the room starts at 73 in the morning, with the door left open and a fan running, usually 77 by mid-day), I decided to bail to a conference across the hall.  While cooler, the sawing is echoing in all of the ducts, and cascading down the airway passages in the dropped ceilings.

Fortunately this loud part is done before two classes start in early afternoon with our ITV rooms. Having just barely inhaled a lunch, folks show up to use our computer lab, which I had sort of known about but forgot was today.  So I have to kick the folks using the computer lab out and into the conference room.  Leaving me nowhere to go but back to my office.

Oy vey.

By my perception of it, a very odd and nearly useless day at work.  Not much I can point to and think, “yes, I got that done.”  This, combined with a shocking bit of news and insight I got around mid-day, has encouraged me to write towards one of the philosophical areas I’ve had on my blogging list; perception versus reality.

I tweeted an Anais Nin quote on Monday, which speaks toward the problem I see us, as humanity, having with our perception.  I believe being able to think beyond and outside of our self is one of our great qualities and abilities.  While I’ve had moments of being able to do so myself, I am just as guilty as the next person, if not more, of seeing things as I am, not as they are.

The mid-day revelation I had, mentioned above, was a rather Matrix-like moment of emerging from the cave to be shown the sunlight of reality.  It caused a mix of emotions and reactions; irritation at being duped, appreciation of the efforts being made, curiosity to see where this will lead, and so on.  Overall, a good experience, with no harm nor foul.

In my line of thinking, Reality is like what the story of the blind men and the elephant portrays.  Reality is big (to put it simply), and even if we just examine some smaller part of it, there is benefit with gathering the findings and experiences of several and synthesizing that into at least a better community insight about Reality.  And yet, I’ve encountered and endured folks whose line of thinking, stated in so many words, is “My Perception is My Reality”.  As if that makes it OK?

If that is how it works, each person is traveling through Life in their Bubble of Reality.  If we bump head-long into someone who has an opposing perception, tensions go up and sparks fly.  We seek others in bubbles of similar colors, traveling in similar directions.  And then travel in packs so as to more easily brush aside those folks whose perception is in opposition to our own.  If our pack seems too small for comfort, we’ll try to convert others to share in our perception of what is real.

So, to quote Morpheus, “What is Real?”  While I wish we all did better at seeking and appreciating  the perceptions of others, to improve our understanding of Reality, perhaps this is too idealistic? While I know my dog was, in Reality, somehow outside of her usual location this morning, I have no perception of how such a thing came about.  Even though much of this work day seems, from my perspective, to have been of little use, perhaps the Reality is different?  Which of these questions, if any, should keep me awake overnight?

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~ by Neal Cross on May 4, 2010.

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