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Are we all living in a 'conceptual prison' ?

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Some brains perceive more of reality than others, as anyone who's been here for a while can attest :yes:

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While the article and premise are both interesting, I think Prof. Hoffman is confusing concrete and abstract in his hypothesis.

Mathematics is abstract. Sure, it can accurately describe a concrete reality, but maths itself is not a concrete "thing". It is not itself "part of reality". There is no "outside of space and time" to consider what else might be "out there".

I can agree with the basic premise of Prof. Hoffman's hypothesis that we do indeed live in a "conceptual prison". Our visual apparatus, for example, is designed to perceive only a tiny fraction of the EM spectrum. We don't need to see anything more as it would be unnecessary to our survival and therefore not worth the biological cost. However, physics tells us there is much more to reality than is apparent to us using our vision - or other senses.

That does not make that "larger reality" something that exists "outside space and time", or indeed anything mystical or supernatural.

 

Edited by Leonardo
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2 hours ago, Leonardo said:

Mathematics is abstract. Sure, it can accurately describe a concrete reality, but maths itself is not a concrete "thing". It is not itself "part of reality". There is no "outside of space and time" to consider what else might be "out there"

The structure of the universe or of reality that we cannot perceive may be "in here", and not "outside of space and time". We cannot perceive mathematics as a reality because it is an abstraction (not a thing) that we do not need to perceive for survival, yet mathematics does exist in some form as a structure of reality. 

Exceptional mathematicians tell us they "see" mathematical relationships as visible forms in their minds. Perhaps they perceive this a reality that actually exists, but that the rest of us are unable to perceive.

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The gnostics have been saying it for more than 2000 years. That reality is not what it seems. They produced myths and writtings to convey that thought. There probably is a lot more out there, whole vistas of reality, which we cannot yet perceive.

Edited by TruthSeeker_
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undoubtedly

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reality is infinite, our perception of it is not.

Edited by grimsituation6
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Exactly what I'm reading about since it's gaining more and more of my attention, this perceptual prison idea.

No doubt that we're locked in our own little picture frames, both as a species and as each individual on its own. Can't recall a name of who came up with this phrase first, but it's been used many times over - we all live in our own little universes - each one of us has our own hypothetical universe governed and limited by our perception, knowledge and understanding. Gather a group and ask them few questions about what they think or how they see the world, and while roughly in similar direction but each will give you different answer.

That's why it's so hard sometimes to convey a message of some new discovery, breaking current norms or what's commonly accepted and perceived as real.

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Our brains are like the peacock's tail.

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Humans developed intelligence far in excess of any need for mere survival. Our perceptual reality is similarly enhanced. No other living creature ever looked back at the Earth from the other side of the sky.

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7 hours ago, grimsituation6 said:

reality is infinite, our perception of it is not.

perception is how your brain process. Since the number of neurons is finite, the combination of multple neurons is also finite

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In the words of Robin Williams: "Reality!  Wow, what a concept!"  I guess this hypothesis is better than the one where we are living in a hologram.

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Some suggest the universe is a computer simulation created by a highly advanced being or beings for their own edification or amusement. A movie with this very theme was made some years ago called "The Thirteenth Floor". The premise of the article is, I think, a valid one. Reality as we perceive it may be only a tiny fraction of true existence.

Edited by pfon71361
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"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age." - The Call of Cthulhu, H.P. Lovecraft

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4 minutes ago, Trihalo42 said:

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age." - The Call of Cthulhu, H.P. Lovecraft

There's a short story by the Russian author, L.N.Anreyev, in which Lazarus, having being brought back to life from being dead, is driven mad by the terrifying infinity he experienced in his death.

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If our conceptual prison is a recognition of evolved survival, then omission of the seemingly unnecessary is favored, becoming the fodder for mathematical and philosophical speculation. Perhaps in those speculative probabilities we will find God masquerading in the guise of evolution.

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I knew the dress was black and blue.

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I don't know if prison is the best term.

If we perceived everything all at once with nonething filtered I don't think we could function in the world.

In a way our perception sets us free

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The conditioned mind is limited in its perception. "If you want to see reality, loose your opinions", somebody said. We live in a conceptual prison when the mind operates through concepts. Reality is not a concept nor is it a condition of the mind.

When I consider this object on my desk a coffee cup, I am not perceiving reality, I am perceiving a concept my mind has created. It is difficult to see not a coffee cup, but a form, an objective object free of conception. 

It is even more difficult to perceive the object without the concept of ones self as the perceiver. When there is only perception without subject and object, I would consider this as being free of the conceptual prison. 

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