Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Operating System

Cultures act like operating systems. A baby is born ready to have one "programmed" to his mind, through assimilation. But it leaves an individual with a certain way of percieving the world, perhaps unalterable. Perception of colors is not constant across cultures, as far as how we divide up the color spectrum. And more deeply still, the world to a medieval individuual would have literally looked and felt completely different. Theirs was a spirit centered world, it was at base a spiritual place. For us, it is material (no matter what religion we may profess). Who knows what differences there are between that subjective experience and ours? It is impossible to know or even understand. We are trapped in our cultural framework.

Perhaps going crazy is like shedding the culture, but it seems that insanity is more about having a culture of one. You're still trapped within a framework, however skewed it is from "normal." Perhaps enlightenment is the true shedding. I can't speak on that personally, but it seems like a possibility. Maybe it's not possible to do. Without an operating system, maybe nothing makes any sense; probably we would create our own if not exposed to a culture, raised by wolves or what have you.

But even so, why must we be tied to it? My main issue, as I spoke about previously with regard to "seeing the gorilla" is that it seems we percieve things in such a narrow way. We are trained to focus on certain things, and taught to ignore others. Perhaps this explains the paranormal; it's just stuff we're ignoring in our constructs and is thus unexplainable.

I'm interested in removing the filter. I assume this is what's meant my mind expansion. To use the equivalent of "splatter vision" used in tracking, where you integrate peripheral vision into sight, seeing the whole field of vision rather than just the focal center. I heard Don Juan (through the writings of Carlos Castenada) thought that this is actually the only route to higher or unified consciousness (I don't remember his term for it). Don't know about that, but it makes sense in a way. Isn't meditation about taking the focus off the thoughts and being aware of the whole experience? Isn't that the same sort of thing as splatter vision?

The really interesting thing to me is just that: the whole experience. Of course, we are limited by our bodies, by our senses; to truly experience what is real in totality is probably beyond us, while we live. The human eye can only see certain wavelengths, for example. Like culture itself, we choose some things, and thus cannot include others.

But to consider what the world looks like in every wavelength all at once... Reality must "look" far different from our experience of it. To think of it is enough to blow your mind.


  1. As someone who is autistic, I can tell you that my operating system seems far different than most people I know. Not better. Not worse. Just very, very different.

  2. I usedto work with some folks who were doing R&D in what is known as hyperspectral image processing. It is very interesting technology.

    You might want to explore this a little; it is kind of mind expanding.