I think it’s safe to say that there is no “true nature of reality” to speak of independent of human perception, ie controlled hallucinations. The entire discourse of the world is human.
Unless we can invite the perception of some other organism to share their perception….
Even then, we can’t escape our human perceptions. We only have the human experience. There is no other experience we can speak of, from my point of view.
How do we separate the human perspective from “experience”?
We map our understanding onto the world, and every experience. It seems inextricable.
Time is a human construct.
Every idea, concept, model.
It’d be fascinating to find another organism that does the modeling we do, that possesses a reflective communicable experience of “what it’s like” to be something. Or has its own form of modeling.
Even then we’d have to anthropomorphize the model to interpret and understand its significance in the context of our human experience, according to our own models, in order to make sense of it
Perception is largely an act of imagination, or construction, on the part of the perceiver.
You may say: “You said “We only have the human experience. There is no other experience we can speak of, from my point of view”. But really you only have your experience. You’re making some sort of a leap to extend that experience to other humans. And at that point it seems arbitrary to me as why not to extend it to chimpanzees or orangutans or cats or dogs or mice or ants or…. You’re confident that dolphins don’t communicate via symbolic expression?”
You’re completely right.
Except that other animals don’t use language. They don’t possess symbolic systems. They don’t write, they don’t transpose thoughts onto the world via abstracted signs. They communicate, but communication is temporal signaling. It’s constrained by its impermanence.
No two moments are time are neurologically equivalent. There are no two equivalent experiences for me. So there definitely aren’t between two minds.
Humans possess symbolic language that goes beyond basic temporal communication.
We can access degrees of other experiences via this symbolic language, which are an aggregate of the historical human experience, passed down, in the form of culture.
It’s as if we transpose the abstract semantic building blocks via symbolism to produce mental models and recreate understanding in others.
I’m sure animals have their own experience, but what that is will never be understood beyond the context of human understanding, since we’re the observers and interpreters.
Everything I say is conjecture, an attempt to build a cohesive model of the world, that will provide more utility in navigating challenges and questions of values and meaning.
I find it fascinating that our language is packed with historicity.
Every word, however technical or ordinary, has a genealogy, whether we know it or not. There is a history to our language— ideas, values, behaviors— that sprout from human activity, society and civilization.
It’s programmed into us as soon as we are born into the context of our rearers, situated in a time and place of a civilization, which has evolved by adding or losing memories through a sort of natural selection of the collective experience.
Language is not limited to the common “tongue” we speak. It’s the entire symbolic system with associated semantics that go along with it, for every facet of society, from healthcare to law to science to art to market economy to business and beyond.
The language we inherit, that we’re conditioned into by being participants of the human experience, by partaking in socialization, molds our brain and shapes our mental models, the structures that allow us to perceive the world, and even provide common foundations to engage with other minds sharing similar mental models .
Do other animals have these predictive mental models, this Bayesian Brain?
They certainly don’t have the higher cerebral functions and higher cortical functions that humans possess, which play an instrumental role in our brain’s predictive modeling functions.
Is this a critical aspect of consciousness?
Does the absence of these higher brain functions decrease consciousness, or the ability to possess an experience of “what it’s like”?
Most likely, yes.
I was fascinated by the Rosetta Stone.
Archeologists discovered hieroglyphics in Egypt, but they had no idea what the hell they said. There was literally no way to crack the code.
The Rosetta Stone allowed for translation.
I find that fascinating. You find a language.
Just decode it!
We don’t know what it means.
We needed to import our semantics via translation.
Every word is born in the context of human activity, the environment and social relations with others. It’s fascinating to take everyday words and names look at their etymology and history. The language we use, the meaning they contain, and the models we create, are imbued with the history of human activity.
This idea of “collective consciousness” makes more sense in the context of all the unconscious programming we undergo as we develop in the context of human society. There are subconscious threads in the form of archetypes tying humanity together.
It’s interesting to learn that the mind is a predictive machine
Rather than a reactive machine. Makes you question the origins of its predictive models: How they come to be, or came to be. How pervasive they are, etc. Also makes you wonder how far down they extend.
Like how far can you drill down into these predictive mechanisms? Are there inherent predictive structures in the brain, like the language structures Chomsky proposed? What are the levels of predictive processing structures? Neuroscience has shown there is a hierarchy to this processing, and it occurs in a number of areas in the brain.
Are these predictive structures malleable? Which ones are and which ones aren’t?
Our implicit assumptions about the world form the basis for these predictive mechanisms which mediate perception
LSD does a fine job dissolving all this