2.4 The Two Modes Of Perception :

Sensory and Non-Sensory

"The expectations of life depend upon diligence : the mechanic
that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools"
........Confucius 500 B.C.

“Because our entire universe is made up of consciousness, we never really
experience the universe directly we just experience our consciousness of the
universe, our perception of it, so right, our only universe is perception.”
― Alan Moore

The whole process of a being's existence revolves around what is called perception:

the cognitive activity that from birth to death directs the stream of consciousness. The

concept of perception is distinguished from consciousness in several ways and one

 clear distinction is that one can be conscious of one's perceptions, but one cannot

 perceive consciousness directly, only synthetically. Especially the primary element

of consciousness - the supra-conscious  is  beyond any perception, but  in a

reversal of roles, affects and directs perception in a subliminal manner, that is,

it's effect becomes noticed by the conscious only after it has happened.

"Consciousness is distinct from the organism that it animates
although it must undergo its vicissitudes".......Will Durant

 In a new born being, the perceptual field is empty, and although  the

supra-conscious is active, it has nothing to act upon or direct. Immediately after

birth, the perceptual field starts filling up, mostly through the senses and the order of

the senses that comes as a part and parcel of the order of  the society  around the

being. The processing of these sensory inputs by the nervous system takes place,

and the perceptual field is also acted upon by the supra-conscious. The resultant

structure of the perceptual field is called here as the mind of the being.

It should be clear that this perceptual field is very much limited in its capacity to

hold and process conceptual elements (objects) that make up this field, although

this does have considerable variation from one person to another.

"The native vision, the gift of seeing truly, with wonder and delight into
the natural world, is informed by a certain attitude of reverence and
respect. It is a matter of extrasensory as well as sensory perception. In
addition to the eye, it involves the intelligence, the instinct, and the
imagination. It is the perception not only of objects and forms but also
 of essences and ideals."....M Scott Momaday (Contemporary American
 Indian Leaders, by Marion Gridley, Dodd Mead, 1972.)

"First, we need to differentiate between sensing and perceiving. Sensing
is the more mechanical aspect, involving the stimulation of the sensory
receptors  and  the  sensory  nerves.  Perceiving is about one's personal
relationship to the incoming information. We all have sense organs which
are similar, but our perceptions are totally unique. Perception is about
how we relate to what we are sensing. Perception is about relationship
to ourselves, others, the Earth and the universe. "-- B. B. Cohen

 

"Perception is always an embodied perception, one that is what it is only
within a specific context or situation. Perception in-itself does not exist-
there is only perception as it is lived in the world - as a result of the
incarnate nature of perception, the perceiving subject is always
changing." .........Merleau-ponty

In  a   highly  active state of awareness or stimulation or in strange experiences

this perceptual   field does expand, but again not without limits. Its only in case

the   supra-conscious  becomes fully active and is able to take the perceptual

field beyond its boundaries, can there be unlimited possibilities of  experiences

out of the ordinary.

"I say one must be a seer, make oneself seer. The poet makes
 himself a seer by an immense, long, deliberate
disordering of
 the senses. In
every form of love, of suffering, of madness; he
 searches himself, he consumes all the poisons in him, and
keeps only their quintessence'
s
"............Arthur Rimbaud

THE SENSORY SYSTEMS

" I have defined sensation as perception through conscious sensory
processes, and intuition as perception by way of unconscious contents
and connections. Obviously we could argue until Doomsday about the
fitness of those definitions, but the discussion eventually
turns upon a mere question of terms." ........Jung

urbbul1a.gif (627 bytes)Human beings perceive the world primarily through a system

of inputs known as the sensory systems of vision, sound, touch,

smell and taste (the five senses). The physical world around

a being is therefore constructed as a model primarily through

these sensory inputs, with the inbuilt primary goal of survival

as the dominant controller.urbbul1a.gif (627 bytes)

The sensory systems provide the direct communication mode for

a being to interact with its environment so that a basic structure

of the mind is constructed in order to provide for the functional

requirements for the survival of the being.

 

The sensory systems are therefore vital not only for the survivability

of a being but also play an equally vital  role  in developing the

construct of the mind of the being by accumulating the ''knowns" of

the world, perceived by the being through the sensory inputs and

explained or interpreted mainly by other beings in a system of know-

ledge that is distinct to that society and time in which the being lives.

 

Since  the  sensory systems are a system of input-output with the

physical world and the paradigm of the world is primarily based on

this system , most attributes of the physical world can be agreed

upon by beings in sensory communication with each other so that

an order exists in which a social system functions. Thus the sensory

systems not only provide vital functionality for the individual being

with his environment or the physical world in which the being lives

but also the vital means by which a group or network (society) of

beings function cohesively and orderly ( or disorderly, as

the case may be).

Without an agreed upon system of perception based on sensory

data no social system or order can last . The degree of order in a

social system  is  proportional to the degree of agreement in

perceiving the physical world through the sensory systems .

Similarly the physical survivability of a being is proportional to

the degree of coordination or correlation between the overall

self of the being with the physical reality of the being

determined by the sensory systems.

But these are considerations with the assumption that the

world, and its reality is wholly physical only, i.e., that there

is nothing in reality beyond the physical.

With this assumption, however, no comprehensive grasp of

reality is attainable, and one is stuck only within a scientific

view of reality.

"Intellect distinguishes between the possible and the impossible;
reason  distinguishes between the sensible and the senseless.
Even the possible can be senseless."........Max Born

 

THE NON-SENSORY SYSTEMS (Nonsense?)

" I entitle transcendental all knowledge which is occupied
not so much with objects as with the mode of our
knowledge of objects." .........Immanuel Kant

Just as you cannot see the atomic world without applying all sorts of
means to make it visible, so you cannot enter the unconscious unless
 there are certain synthesized figures. ~Carl Jung

" A 'thing in itself' signifies that which exists independently
of our perceptions by means of the senses. In other words it is
that which really and truly is. Democritus called this matter, so
did Locke in the end, and for Kant it was an 'X', and for me it is
Will."
.......Schopenhauer

Apart from the sensory systems, there exists a faculty of perception

that is independent of the perception generated from the sensory

systems and that the nature of this mode of perception is mainly

spontaneous, and the source , the location , the time duration etc

essentially cannot be identified or quantified , and yet can have

the most profound impact upon the self, although this is neither

accepted or agreed upon in general nor is likely to be agreed

upon in the near future, that is, it cannot be in the domain

of scientific method  or investigation.( or at least what is

currently understood and agreed upon as science)

( This faculty for perception beyond the sensory systems is

fairly active in early childhood, but as the perceptual field

gets more and more cluttered with "objects" of sensory

content, this faculty becomes diminished in strength and

influence upon the perceptual field. )

"Vision is the art of seeing things invisible to others."
- Jonathan Swift

Because of the very nature of this kind of perception , perhaps

to seek an agreement is itself inappropriate or invalid, for one

thing  is  for  sure:  this  kind  of perception is in no way similar

to  sensory  perception.   Even  giving an example of this type of

perception  is  fraught  with  pitfalls :  and  we  will  end back to

where we started :  sensory  models. It is for this reason that

words like ESP, Sixth Sense, Sorcery , Out of Body Experience,

Mysticism, Occult powers, Shamanism, LSD, Altered States of

Consciousness, God, instinct, intuition, higher level of conscious

-ness, etc are being avoided here, for no sooner such terms

are used, immediately our minds will respond with :

Aha ! So that is what you mean !

Unfortunately, there is no other way to model non-sensory

perception than to use sensory models and analogies, and

this  process  is  unavoidable, even if the only purpose that

this can at all serve is to make us aware of the possibility

and potential of this mode of perception.

To deny possibilities, capabilities and potential of the human

faculties is not an option here.

"A primordial image is determined as to its content only when
it has become conscious and is therefore filled out with the
material of the conscious experience.".....C. G. Jung

 

 

THE SYNTHESIS PROCESSING OF

NON-SENSORY INPUTS

" Art, essentially involves the idea of a sustained, experienced,
mental synthesis. All art objects are 'performed' or imagined first
by the artist and then by his audience, and these imaginative and
intellectual activities or experiences may said to be the point or
essence of art.
The subject matter of the art is then the nature of the
process itself." ....Iris Murdoch

"It seems to me that the guiding set of esthetics in Indian art is
inextricably tied to a shared concept of nature and a belief that
life exists in things others might see as inanimate."
...Richard West, Jr. (Arapaho Indian)

urbbul1a.gif (627 bytes)The main point here is that non-sensory perception and the

synthesis process are inseparably related. In other words,

in any experience  of the mystical or  non-sensory kind, an

element of creation or synthesis are invariably involved,

and only then it becomes subject to analysis. urbbul1a.gif (627 bytes)
 

"To revere art and have no understanding of the process that forces
 it into existence, is finally not even to understand what art is."
...I. A. Baraka
 

"The greatest honor that can be paid to the work of art, on its pedestal
of ritual display, is to describe it with sensory completeness. We need
a science of description. . . . Criticism is ceremonial revivification.
.....Camille Paglia
 

urbbul1a.gif (627 bytes) The rational, intellectual faculty is thus twice removed from

   the   non-sensory  experience.  What has to be recognized is

     that every experience is processed by the intellect, whether

consciously or by default, sub-consciously. urbbul1a.gif (627 bytes)

"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to
comprehend."........Robertson Davies

The principle of the unconscious is the autonomy of the psyche itself, reflecting
in the play of its images not the world but itself, even though it utilizes the illustrative
 possibilities offered by the sensible world in order to make its images clear. ~Carl Jung

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are".....Anais Nin
 

SENSE, NONSENSE AND INTELLECT

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas.
How he got into my pajamas I'll never know
G. Marx

The intellect may be the devil , but the devil is the “strange son of chaos”
who can most readily be trusted to deal effectively with his mother.
 ~Carl Jung

Our intellect's function is  to automatically, by default, provide for

interpretation and meaning to even the most weirdest of experiences.

One can train the intellect to stop doing so, and live only in continuous

experiencing mode, but how functionally and meaningfully useful it is

can only be determined personally.

"What Socrates is at pains to point out is that behind every experience
there is room for an interpretation of the meaning of that experience
and it is in the interpretation the examination of what our life is
amounting to that our life becomes worth living.
It is not the sequence of passive experiences, it is the integration
of those experiences into some intelligible whole that constitutes a
veritable form of life - and one subject to refinement through criticism
through reflection. And for it to be a worthy life the experiences them
selves have to have a validity - have to have truthfulness about them.
Otherwise we live life in a drunken stupor - chained in a cave - afloat
as a brain in a vat."....TTC   D. Robinson

The vital function of the intellect, and the only way it can be successful 

is to sort for itself or order itself to distinguish between sense and

non-sense. The value of the most profound of experiences can be

lost or misdirected by intellectual failure to set its own house in order.

Since intellect cannot be discarded (except for mystical oblivion), even

in a secondary role to pure experience its function as providing meaning

to any experience is critical. 

"We are thinking beings, and we cannot exclude the intellect from
participating in any of our functions".....William James

" Interpretation is not just a scholarly activity,  we interpret all the time.
There are many background conditions and interpretations that go into an
act as simple as stopping at a red light. We don't call all these interpretations
 up and explicitly discus them. Interpretations in a more obvious sense takes
place in the political realm all the time. Interpretation is very important, and
this can also be made clear historically. There was a time when people were
burned alive because they read a book with a 'wrong' interpretation. A lot
depends upon interpretation - there are stakes to interpretation. And this is
not some airy, stupid academic dispute.
Nietzsche's text suggests that in a certain sense it may be impossible to
find, what many people think they find the 'right' interpretation.
Interpretations are multiple, contestable and might finally be judged by
which are the most interesting. Some interpretations might be in place not
because they are rational or argumentatively supported simply because
 they are backed by the 'most power' .
Any authoritative interpretations ( like that in the academia ) and the
methodologies therein ( for these interpretations ) are in their origin
 as Nietzsche suggests, in relations to power. That the methodological
languages, however sophisticated, will instantiate those institutional
powers. Faced with their origins they will themselves prove to rest
upon un-decidable and interpretable material and not upon the facts
themselves."

……..Rick Roderick ( TTC –  Nietzsche and the Post-Modern Condition)
 

A  vital distinction  has been made in this article between the world of senses and  of

the  world or worlds beyond the senses.  This then  becomes  the basis of the division

of the Self   (and its reality in its experience)  into the physical - of the senses as well as

derived from the senses and the non-physical - independent of the sensory systems,

but   synthesized  and  then  given  form  or  expression  in the domain of the senses,

with the intellect as the interpreter.

"We should take care not to make the intellect our god ; it has, of course
powerful muscles, but no personality"........Albert Einstein

"Don't leave home without your sword - your intellect.”
― Alan Moore

I have also realized that one must accept the thoughts that go on within oneself
of their own accord as part of one’s reality. The categories of true and false are,
of course, always present; but because they are not binding they take second place.
 The presence of thoughts is more important than our subjective judgment of them.
But neither must these judgments be suppressed, for they also are existent
thoughts which are part of our wholeness. ~Carl Jung;

 

NEXT PAGE 08 : 2.5 Physical & Non-Physical

 

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