Seeing is Perceiving


In the interview featured in this clip David Bohm makes the point that the more views we have of anything the deeper our understanding will be.

To illustrate his point he explains that if we are looking at a circular object we will be quite likely to first see it as an ellipse – because this is how it will appear to the naked eye.

However, we know that our object is actually a solid circle so we might decide that the ellipse is the appearance and the circle is the essence.

But is that the complete story?

Of course not.

We also know that all objects are made up of atoms (and in fact are mostly empty space but that’s another story) and nowadays we know that not only are those atoms made up of even smaller parts, but these smaller parts are, in turn, made up of even smaller parts – and so it goes on.

The various levels of reality of our circular object don’t contradict each other but rather serve to give us a more complete understanding of it –

By comparing many views of the object we understand the object better – the more views we get that we can integrate and make coherent the deeper our understanding of reality.

If this process will help us to understand a circular object better, how much more useful might it be if we apply it to everything else?

Might this approach help us to welcome diversity of views, experience and understanding?

And if it does could it also help us to understand the world better?

Watch the video – David Bohm’s explanation is much, much better than mine (!)

Photograph – Supernova – Smithsonian Institute

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4 comments on “Seeing is Perceiving

  1. nrhatch says:

    We don’t see things as THEY are . . . we see things as WE are. 😉

  2. granbee says:

    How I appreciate being reminded of truly “seeing” as a way to “welcome diversity of views, experience and understanding”. The still shot is most effective as a reminder for effective seeing techniques, as well. Thank you!

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