My interpretation – Tue 20th Feb 07

Today was a better day. Going to sleep and waking up never really changes anything, except your mood. Our points of view and perspective shape how we interpret the world, and those interpretations and the way we react, shape our views and perspectives! I’d say “vicious circle”, but everytime I use a cliche part of my brain dries up and falls out my ear.

People like the naive dire skeptics, or first-year philosophy students (or those who’ve read a few books), presuppositionalists, and especially true-believers like to call all matters of belief a matter of faith, such as the existence of the external world. Whilst there is an external world, one that is independant of our thoughts and feelings, (inasmuch as anything might be), we can NEVER ever see the real world. EVER. The world we see is an interpretation of the real world. Grass isn’t really green and beer might not “smell” like beer to another lifeform…insects can’t even see red, but we can’t see ultra-violet. We can’t see with our ears like bats can. But bats can’t see with their eyes. Which one of us has it right? Both. We interpret light of different wavelengths as different colours. That is just a label our brain has attached. Aliens might be able to smell colours! Or see with soundwaves, like a bat probably does.

This is good to bear in mind when things are going badly, or things are going well. Never ever get too down about anything. Never ever get deleriously happy about anything. Emotions are fleeting and moods transient. Take a good mood when it catches you, but don’t make important decisions by them. Don’t make important judgement calls on your emotions.

Our emotions all too easily are the clouds that filter and cloud our perceptions, along with our preconceived beliefs. Things look dark, but are you gloomy and down? Someone with their eyes wide-open doesn’t see it that way. Is the rain a horrible nuisance, or is it beautiful and romantic? Could you be wrong? Could you have over-reacted, or taken something the wrong way? Could somebody have meant a compliment, but you took it as an insult? Perhaps it was the other way around. What we feel about a situation, a person, a word, might not be right. Our minds and bodies are not faithful robotic video-recorders of the “real world”, taking in everything with perfect clarity and objectivity. They are interpreters that are filtered through a complex organ that has taken many millions of years to be as good as it is now. And our emotions and feelings are simply based on those perceptions.

I won’t use rhetorical nonsense like “interpretation is everything”, because it’s not. There are facts. There are things we know and there are things we don’t. But when it comes to interacting with other people, it’s worth remembering that it’s like our physical senses…all interpretation. The only thing that matters is that if you get to know someone well enough, or are just plain lucky or clever, what you interpret that he/she meant is ACTUALLY what he/she meant! And the other way around. Such is the basis of any relationship.

People are still twats though.

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