Yanny or Laurel: The illusory nature of perception
One reason people are so interested in Yanny/Laurel is the surprising fact that someone can look at the same thing and see something entirely different. What's fascinating to me though is that our brains do this all the time and most people don't realize it. When an event takes place, say you have an argument, lose your keys, get laid etc. your brain instantly creates a perception the same way we instantly see Yanny or Laurel. How we see an event isn't a choice, the same way whether you initially see Yanny or Laurel isn't a choice. It's based on genetics, past experience, mood, environment, etc. (etc. means I really have no clue how the mind works but I know these are big factors)
Furthermore, how you perceive an event isn't reality. When people started switching from seeing Yanny to Laurel and back and forth they were shifting their perceptions, the nature of their reality. Regular life operates exactly like this as well though but instead of just two choices your options are infinite. You do this by challenging your initial perception, by trying to see an event differently. A useful way to do this is by using lenses. A lens is basically the way we interpret reality, we all have certain patterns. You can be skewed towards optimisitic, pessimistic, probabilistic, hopeful, fearful, superstition, inward, outward, patterns, spirituality, shallow, deep, artistic historic, evolutionary and so on ad infinitum.
Here is an example, I recently played poker and built up a stack worth between 10-20k in equity and then lost it in a few minutes. My immediate perception is that this is unfair, I suck, this sucks, why does this always happen to me. Now I can try on a new lens here and think, "Well in X% of universes I got to realize that equity". This is a probabilistic/positive world view. I can also go back more mathematical/logical here and think "I cashed for 4400 when my equity at the start of the MTT was way less than that, so therefore I ran good." I can go tragic, long term and think "This also fucking happens to me, I'm never going to fucking win. I'm going to be broke forever."
I can be more process oriented and long term and think, "Well I got a good experience, I enjoyed playing and I handled losing that much money very well. I can be process oriented, negative and short term and say "Well I made some plays that were pretty bad and awful, if I stuided more I would've been better able to capitalize on that equity. I'm such a lazy fuck. I suck."
I can go on forever like this, Which of these perception is the most accurate? Which is most beneficial? Which perception should I believe in? Do I have to choose? Why? Why not? Every event is like this, and if you're mindful and keep challenging your perceptions you'll notice they aren't really worth much. We have a need to interpret events and make sense of them, what if we just realized that all these perceptions were false, that there is no accurate interpretation of any event. To be free from this illusion of perception is a buddhist concept. It is called non perception and non judgement and it is (according to them) a significant and necessary step towards enlightenment and nirvana. Non judgement and non perception doesn't mean you don't judge or perceive, I think it means that you still have perceptions and judgement but you understand their illusory and inaccurate nature as they arise.
I assume most of you aren't trying to reach nirvana/enlightenment (I'm not) but even so I invite you to challenge your perceptions and try on new lenses. What you will learn from this process is the ability to create separation between stimulus and response, to have a deeper understanding of the world around you, of other people and the nature of reality. It's also fun and interesting, I mentioned historic and artistic lenses before and here's what I mean.
Let's say you go for a walk in a nearby city, if you're using an artistic lens your perception of reality will be skewed towards, shapes, darkness, light, color, beauty etc.. If you're being historic you'd probably be thinking about skewed towards the history of the buildings, or companies, the country, governmental or societal processes that led to this.
What's interesting is you're limited in your ability to try on the two above by your knowledge and understanding. Knowledge helps shape reality and perception. Learning changes the nature of your reality. I enjoy walking around and seeing the world in novel ways rather than my typical mode which is being lost in my own thoughts.
Some random final thoughts
What's interesting is that sometimes perception isn't so easily changed. For example, you can't change your opinion on this blog post. You either thought it was boring, interesting, dumb, smart, etc.. No amount of trying to see it differently right now will change that. I can hold a gun to your head and say "love this post god dammit or I'll kill you" and you won't honestly be able to.
Why is that? Why are some perceptions more changeable than others? It kind of reminds me of when I'm in a bad mood and perceiving an event negatively and someone attempts to help me see it in a more positive light. I might think that makes sense but only sometimes does it actually change my mood. It has to be either particularly insightful or hit me emotionally to have an effect.
A lot of times I know my perception is irrationally negative and inaccurate but I can't help it. Other times I can. I think if you read this blog post a week from now your perception would change. You wouldn't see it in the exact same way. It would be at least slightly different. If you got some data/experience that refutes or supports this beforehand I think that would skew your perception significantly.
What is the accurate perception for this blog post, is it good, bad, interesting, dull? There isn't one, but still it seems weird to say because perception is necessary. You can't just go around reading without judgement. You can't completely ignore your thoughts about it. Ok I'm done.
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