Pinhole

June 14, 2009

Remember that old saying, “What you see is what you get?”

It’s not really accurate, you know.

What you see is all you’re gonna get. There’s a lot more out there that you’ll never see, hear, or smell.

It’s been a little more than 30 years since I found out about all this and I’m still p.o.’d.

Imagine stuffing cotton balls in both ears and up your nostrils, then pulling a pasteboard box over your head with a single wee pinhole poked in it for you to see through, and you’ve sort of got an idea about how we make our way through the world.

It’s a wonder more of us don’t break our necks.

What you see, hear, and smell is just a sample of what’s out there. The human eye and its wiring see only a very narrow range of the radiation (that’s what you see, you know, energy…) that’s flying around out there. Lucky bees and moths and other critters can see a lot further onto either side of the visual spectrum.

Same goes for our hearing. We’re practically deaf, compared to a lot of our neighbors on the planet. Watch your dog sometime, tilting his head this way and that into the shadows at night, apparently growling at nothing.

Or watch him sampling the breeze of a summer evening. Heck, he’s reading the Encyclopedia Brittanica while you’re over there cleaning out your ears with your car keys and reading the church bulletin.

When I finally put together all this stuff I had learned, I caught myself standing stock-still in a public garden somewhere, looking around and wondering what I was missing.

To quote some famous figure in baseball, “We was robbed!”

A friend of mine pointed out to me the other day that there are a number of primitive societies that believe this whole experience we call the “real world” is nothing but a dream or an illusion.

Funny, huh, that we’ve always looked down on people like that and called them ignorant?

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