The Universe has as many different centers as there are living beings in it. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
I remember as a kid, talking about whether your blue was my blue. Perhaps the thing I saw as blue was the thing you saw as red, but since you saw blue consistently as my red, there would be no distortion for you to see the sky of “my red” and call it blue. I have certain reasons to doubt that this could be true... One of them is emotion. Do you really think you could say, “I feel blue”, if the feeling you had feeling glum as associated with my color red?
I think too of music.. We speak of some sounds as cool, while others play warm. I think of flutes as pastel, leaning cool. Trumpets play crimson and trombones orange- spanning red to gold. The sax… Oh Dear, I’m not sure what color the sax plays unless maybe it’s a blend of violet and green, bronze and maroon—something kind of dark and earthy, Maybe forest green with raspy red under-parts. Now if you played the trumpet and I heard the sound as what your red- but my blue, could we really hear the trumpet the same?
So, all this is to say that is it most likely that we see certain wavelengths of light in about the same way…. If we are people. Color blind aside; we decode light energy in a similar way… But what if I were some other kind of creature. Could it be that some eyes see colors we can’t even imagine? And how can I think about a color that I can’t imagine?
Now, it seems possible to think about ways of perceiving that are less than our own. I can do less than. If a dog sees in black and white, I can image that. Or even a fly, if what a fly sees is just a thousand little pictures--But what of a creature that sees in infrared or radio, or smells smells that I have never dreamed, or even feels emotion. I don’t mean has emotions, I mean feels them much like I might feel heat. Or what about the bird that sees with clarity at a thousand yards. How can I think of seeing “clearer” than I do, or of a color that we can’t see, or of a sound lower than I can hear?
The hardest thing to think of is some new sense, beyond the five. I try to think of such senses, but they all seem to b e variations on things I already know, but enhanced. Mostly I think of sensing emotions or “feeling the spirit”… or feeling what other people feel. But would this be a new sense?
To be honest, I could never have imagined the senses I posses, if I didn’t already have them, so I have little difficulty believing that I will someday be equipped with others.
Now I am working at a hard idea. (I’ve tried this several times and erased it.)
They say that seeing is believing, but it seems to me that the first act of faith is believing what you see.
There are some things so obvious that we fail to see the faith behind the step. Granted,, believing that the outside world is real isn’t much of a leap, but it is something. And that is something of a trick. I have never seen my brain nor eye. Sure I’ve seen the reflection of some colored halo in a mirror. But the inner thing—the see part, I can’t see it for being the seer. I take it on faith that it’s there cause I’ll never get behind it to tell!
As for the outside world. Open one eye and the whole thing pours in and starts an electric fire.
I behold a tree. Or something like it. Something’s out there to steal the light, bend it my way and mash it though organic glass. Then the tree goes electric. My sense of the tree as a visible thing is, in the end, the state of chemistry in my head. And what a state it is! How my brain has a sense of light and form when no light as such ever hits it, is more than I can fathom.
So I try to think about this something that is the something behind my sensing it-- The thing that is independent of my own personal chemistry. Take for a minute, dear… the Moon. I believe that a ball of rock hangs in space, a certain distance from our earth, and of an exact size and design. That same moon would be there if I were blind. The moon exist objectively, apart from my having sense it.
By faith, I affirm an objective moon. But how do you define the “objective” moon. The moment I begin to describe it by means of my portal vision I enter the realm of subjective. My eyes see the moon a certain distance in the sky. But I could have been born a creature that sees more like my 24mm wide angle lens. When I look through that lens it shows distance a different way than my regular eye does. We call the wide-angle vision a distortion, but only for the reason that it differs from standard human vision.
Even so, I can walk through the world looking through my wide angle lens. I hold the camera to my eye, and walk with it as my eye. I turn the lens at me feet. They rush away and I double in size, but then, so do my arms and shadow. This new world is consistent within itself.
So what if I were a bird, with eyes gripping my skull like ear-muffs-- The Moon might be like a pin-hole set in a frame that extends behind my back, but it would be consistent with the reality in which I as the bird live. On the contraire, it might float overhead as large as the New Jerusalem.
I thing about yesterday at the River Park ( Tulsa Oklahoma , a park that lines the river downtown as a backdrop). Great shafts of petrify and glass skinned buildings rose against a line of tall trees. The whole place was packed and humming with life.
I watched the joggers, some with headphones. Someone might be running in a world where the trees float upward in grand order to the sounds of Bach. Another might see a world all dead, with the rhythm of the Sex Pistols making rancid the sky. And then there was the squirrel. I noticed it, as terrified by a passing dog. What of its world. Did it see my towers at all, or was the world for the squirrel all grass and shake and tremor. Did the dog in the distant sound like a banshee? Did we haunt his eyes like stretched ghosts? And what of the dog, his nose hard wired to a thousands scents, beyond anything I can imagine as he rollicked through the scents of joy.
All in all, what I mean to say is that while there must be one objective reality from which all living things get their content for reality… no one has ever seen it yet. All we have are these decoding devices, and these differ in the way in which they decode the data. Not only that, they differ in what they take in.
An elephant hears what I will not hear; the eagle sees what I will not see. The thing is louder, sharper, more colorful, bigger, thinker, denser, more distant… more large, more small, more mute, more dark, more cold, more brilliant, more heavy, more light, more charged with vibrations, more alive in wind and smell, more shattered, more whole, more sexed, more vicious, more senseless, more………. More of everything than I will ever know.
So… How many worlds are there? One, of one for every living thing?
Even so, I consider the sight of God.
Now talk about trying to think of a sensing that is “more than.” Does distance have any meaning to God? Does he see with perspective, or does He view all sides of a sphere at once. Does He see a distant star or a beetle jaw or electron-whirl with the same clarity? Is anything farther away from Him? Is His vision like on vision all at once, or does He switch channels. Does he see all of time all at once, all the time?
I know I am being a bit silly. I don’t wis h to puzzle…. I wis h to praise such a one.
There is a an eye in this world unbound by location. It encompasses the data, and every perspective. No view is hidden, all visions understood… And His truth establishes the existence of the objective world. My senses might lie, distort, or limit…. But the eye of God…. This is the total.
As the creator of the organic-machines that make these acts of sensing possible, we know that no method of sensing is alien to Him. He has understood the vision of the worm and the sense of smell of the dog, and seen and smelt with them. As Creator he is far larger by than the sum of all portals, nor is his vision linked to or constrained by creation. Should there be no creature ever, His sight would be complete and encompassing, (though I have no idea how he sees sin.)
Finally--and this is another hard idea-- While is seems that we can not build a formula large enough to describe the world without the distortion of human sense, God knows the world. He sees the objective thing, apart from the distortion inherent in “perception.” An objective world feeds me data. It exists whether I do or not. But not so with God. He does not “perceive.” He establishes perception. His sight corresponds with Truth. He establishes truth, even as he walks in it. The world would not be real if He did not see it.
God may be objective, in that he really is here, but his existence precedes the objective reality behind any thing. The world is made real because he sees it, and His idea about anything is what makes it real.
Dear, this idea really does make some sense to me, but I don’t feel capable of expressing it.
Aughhh. Why can’t I state this idea?