barrett john erickson
A Method of Questioning
“What we observe is not nature itself,
but nature exposed to our method of questioning.”
As a species, our shared reality emerges with characteristics and properties determined by the function of our common sensory and cognitive processes. These properties are not inherent to the latent reality we engage, but rather the product of that engagement and our current state of sensory evolution.
What is commonly referred to as our five senses - vision, hearing, taste, feel, smell - are actually cognitive meta-senses that filter our engagement with latent reality, passing only those elements we need to pay attention to so as to survive as a species (see Donald D. Hoffman for an interesting analysis of this).
Our species-specific shared reality, amounts to an a priori agreement as to what our species-specific sensory-cognitive processes should be determining at any given moment of any given encounter, if they are functioning properly.
These are the common dimensions of our lives. This is the realm of fact and truth.
But each of us, as a unique evolutionary extension of our species, enacts a more specific version of that latent reality as the reality we actually experience. This reality-as-experienced is inevitably still a simplification of the latent reality we actually encounter, but it also includes and amplifies idiosyncrasies of our specific cognitive evolution, heritage, and experience.
Because we are still embedded in our social context, this produces a dialectic cognitive tension that requires resolution. The imagination emerges as a meta-sense to effect this resolution.
These are the poetic dimensions of our lives. This is the realm of art.