đź“’

Additional notes

  • If we did perceive all that our senses were telling us, what would we see?
  • Infinite Detail everywhere.

The true reaction to reality should be astonishment.

  • Maaaybe this article “filtered reality” should be combined with “holotopic state”
  • Because the natural question at the end of this article is
  • "Well, if I didn't have the filter, what would I see?"
  • It may make sense to answer it right there.

Or maybe it should end with Big History

I think that it is the most in-depth, grounded way of explaining the infinite nature of the universe.

All of this is an attempt to understand the present moment

  • That's all that there is, and ever will be.
  • Feeling the present moment is to directly interface with the universe.
  • Understanding the present moment is the true purpose of science.

It’s in our everyday lives

  • And in our everyday lives.
image
  • xkcd, Work
  • Including in things that we don't notice.
  • A tiny moss world inside an old tree stump
image

Fractals are infinitely complex

  • A fractal is a mathematical shape with infinite perimeter. You can zoom into the shape and the landscape continues to change and evolve.
  • Fractals are infinitely complex shapes.
image

Our universe may be the same

  • Our universe may work in a similar way. Every aspect of our existence is infinitely complex.
  • Cosmic eye zoom:

Miscellaneous notes

Examples of unconscious processes

When we have our eyes closed, we can still often tell when we're standing next to a wall or if someone is standing very close to us. We will unconsciously hear sound reflections in our acoustic environment, and use them to build a mental model without the use of sight.

Emotional sensitivity filter

  • Our godlike technology
  • An ocean of gas rolls above our heads
  • We filter out what we see every day so we can concentrate on our needs and desires.
  • MORE DETAIL.
  • With Virtual Reality technology becoming mainstream, it is likely that every person with a VR headset will soon be able to experience this viewpoint for themselves.
  • But without developing an emotional sensitivity, even seeing our planet from space will become mundane.

The mind filters information

  • To enable us to live, the brain and nervous system eliminate unessential information from the totality of the Mind at Large.
  • Huxley
  • You have to simplify the spectacle in order to make some sense of it
  • Emile Bernard
  • Huxley explores the idea that the human mind filters reality, partly because handling the details of all of the impressions and images coming in would be unbearable, partly because it has been taught to do so.
  • From <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_at_Large>
  • In *The Doors of Perception*, Aldous Huxley compares the function of the brain to a 'reducing valve' that narrows the stream of reality to a 'measly trickle'.
  • To a certain extent, this filtering is important, since otherwise we would be paralysed by seeing all of the universe around us at once, and no longer able to function in daily life.
  • This allows us to focus and function. But we miss a huge number of things. At the smallest level, Sherlock Holmes removes his filter - and picks up on details that everyone can see but usually filters to do his detective work.
  • At the larger level, it cuts us off from the snap of clarity of seeing our universe.
  • Our brains are calcified. They're full of the assumptions and habits that keep us gathering resources to live and reproduce.
  • Meditation (and some drugs) help us to see through some of this calcification, and see more of what the universe really is.

Tonnes of data from our senses

'Cognitive endowment' is our brain's capacity.

image

(There was another one of these, I think it was from a TED talk, that had a slide on how much information comes from each of the senses. It displayed it in a series of boxes inside each other. Then there was a tiny box for how much of that information we are conscious of.)

We can kind of feel it expand when we’re somewhere beautiful

Sometimes, people are inspired by incredible natural sights. Most aren't educated about the context, but nevertheless they feel its wonder in their bones.

image

But I think what they actually like the most about it is the variety of stimuli - textures, colours, movement, sounds, smells.

It's only enhanced by appreciating the trees clinging to the side of cliffs, and appreciating the evolutionary side of life striving against its environment.

When we see a sight of great beauty, often we are appreciative of some parts, like texture, colour, and size, but ultimately we do not think too meditatively or deeply on almost anything in our daily lives. Even when we travel and see natural and man-made wonders, the majority of us typically pose for a photo, look around a little bit, and move on.

In a deliberate attempt to give us some context and depth so that we can better understand what we're seeing, informative plaques are posted around historical sites, botanical gardens, and museums. But even then our feet hurt, we're hungry, and we move on.

Occasionally we will find something that truly interests us: an old temple or Church, a beautiful beach, a touching memorial. Others may truly enjoy visiting an aquarium, or visiting an old city such as Rome.

In these moments we feel a touch of something greater, a sense of awe as we *feel* the beauty, and we can enter a light meditative state. The other worries of the world fade, and we can spend quite some time exploring this space or simply sitting and contemplating a view. At such moments we develop a quiet mind. We think less, and perceive more.

[What about when we sit and quietly think about our relationships and our lives? That is also significant]

Have you ever seen a sight like a sunset or the view from a mountain that's just so beautiful that you can't quite take it all in?

We are simultaneously overwhelmed with stimuli, and pay attention to only a tiny fraction of it.

It’s like trying to hear the sound of the wind at a hip hop concert.

The overview effect

One of the most interesting instances of this happening is that of astronauts seeing the entire Earth from above. Almost every person in this position has come back changed, a phenomena so common that it was given a name. "The Overview Effect".

Humanity must rise above the earth, to the top of the atmosphere and beyond. For only then will we understand the world in which we live.

Socrates

Vimeo video 'The Overview effect': http://vimeo.com/55073825

The biggest joy was on the way home. In my cockpit window, every two minutes: The Earth, the Moon, the Sun, and the whole 360-degree panorama of the heavens. And that was a powerful, overwhelming experience. And suddenly I realized that the molecules of my body, and the molecules of the spacecraft, the molecules in the body of my partners, were prototyped, manufactured in some ancient generation of stars. And that was an overwhelming sense of oneness, of connectedness; it wasn't 'Them and Us', it was 'That's me!', that's all of it, it's... it's one thing. And it was accompanied by an ecstacy, a sense of 'Oh my God, wow, yes', an insight, an epiphany.

Edgar D. Mitchell, Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 14, quoted in In the Shadow of the Moon (2007)

I was able to look out the window to see this incredible sight of the whole circle of the Earth. Oceans were crystal blue, the land was brown, and the clouds and the snow were pure white. And that jewel of Earth was just hung up in the blackness of space.

Charlie Duke, Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 16, quoted in In the Shadow of the Moon (2007)

In Earth orbit, the horizon's just slightly curved. When you head on out to the Moon, in very short order, and you get a chance to look back at the Earth, that horizon slowly curves around in upon himself, and all of sudden you're looking at something that is very strange, but yet is very, very familiar, because you're beginning to see the Earth evolve.

Eugene Cernan, Commander of Apollo 17, quoted in In the Shadow of the Moon (2007)

We learned a lot about the Moon, but what we really learned was about the Earth. The fact that just from the distance of the Moon, you can put your thumb up, and you can hide the Earth behind your thumb. Everything that you have ever known, your loved ones, your business, the problems of the Earth itself, all behind your thumb. And how insignificant we really all are. But then how fortunate we are to have this body, and to be able to enjoy living here amongst the beauty of the Earth itself.

Jim Lovell, Commander of Apollo 13, quoted in In the Shadow of the Moon (2007)

For more than four decades, astronauts from many cultures and backgrounds have been telling us that, from the perspective of Earth orbit and the Moon, they have gained such a vision.  There is even a common term for this experience:  "The Overview Effect", a phrase coined in the book of the same name by space philosopher and writer Frank White. It refers to the experience of seeing firsthand the reality of the Earth in space, which is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, hanging in the void, shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere.  From space, the astronauts tell us, national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide us become less important and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect this "pale blue dot" becomes both obvious and imperative.  Even more so, many of them tell us that from the Overview perspective, all of this seems imminently achievable, if only more people could have the experience!

[So the term 'Overview effect' is being used for seeing the Earth from Space.]

"Something about the unexpectedness of [seeing our planet from space], its incompatibility with anything we have ever experienced on earth elicits a deep emotional response... Suddenly, you get a feeling you’ve never had before… That you’re an inhabitant… of the Earth."

Oleg Makarov

From <http://www.overviewinstitute.org/astronaut-quotes>  This site has a number of additional quotes on the Overview Effect.

There's also lots of links on the Overview Institute website

Tags: #enlightenment history

Humanity must rise above the earth, to the top of the atmosphere and beyond. For only then will we understand the world in which we live.

Socrates

Vimeo video 'The Overview effect': http://vimeo.com/55073825

The biggest joy was on the way home. In my cockpit window, every two minutes: The Earth, the Moon, the Sun, and the whole 360-degree panorama of the heavens. And that was a powerful, overwhelming experience. And suddenly I realized that the molecules of my body, and the molecules of the spacecraft, the molecules in the body of my partners, were prototyped, manufactured in some ancient generation of stars. And that was an overwhelming sense of oneness, of connectedness; it wasn't 'Them and Us', it was 'That's me!', that's all of it, it's... it's one thing. And it was accompanied by an ecstacy, a sense of 'Oh my God, wow, yes', an insight, an epiphany.

Edgar D. Mitchell, Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 14, quoted in In the Shadow of the Moon (2007)

I was able to look out the window to see this incredible sight of the whole circle of the Earth. Oceans were crystal blue, the land was brown, and the clouds and the snow were pure white. And that jewel of Earth was just hung up in the blackness of space.

Charlie Duke, Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 16, quoted in In the Shadow of the Moon (2007)

In Earth orbit, the horizon's just slightly curved. When you head on out to the Moon, in very short order, and you get a chance to look back at the Earth, that horizon slowly curves around in upon himself, and all of sudden you're looking at something that is very strange, but yet is very, very familiar, because you're beginning to see the Earth evolve.

Eugene Cernan, Commander of Apollo 17, quoted in In the Shadow of the Moon (2007)

We learned a lot about the Moon, but what we really learned was about the Earth. The fact that just from the distance of the Moon, you can put your thumb up, and you can hide the Earth behind your thumb. Everything that you have ever known, your loved ones, your business, the problems of the Earth itself, all behind your thumb. And how insignificant we really all are. But then how fortunate we are to have this body, and to be able to enjoy living here amongst the beauty of the Earth itself.

Jim Lovell, Commander of Apollo 13, quoted in In the Shadow of the Moon (2007)

For more than four decades, astronauts from many cultures and backgrounds have been telling us that, from the perspective of Earth orbit and the Moon, they have gained such a vision.  There is even a common term for this experience:  "The Overview Effect", a phrase coined in the book of the same name by space philosopher and writer Frank White. It refers to the experience of seeing firsthand the reality of the Earth in space, which is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, hanging in the void, shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere.  From space, the astronauts tell us, national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide us become less important and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect this "pale blue dot" becomes both obvious and imperative.  Even more so, many of them tell us that from the Overview perspective, all of this seems imminently achievable, if only more people could have the experience!

[So the term 'Overview effect' is being used for seeing the Earth from Space.]

"Something about the unexpectedness of [seeing our planet from space], its incompatibility with anything we have ever experienced on earth elicits a deep emotional response... Suddenly, you get a feeling you’ve never had before… That you’re an inhabitant… of the Earth."

Oleg Makarov

From <http://www.overviewinstitute.org/astronaut-quotes>  This site has a number of additional quotes on the Overview Effect.

There's also lots of links on the Overview Institute website

We are distracted

Life always strives to maximise its survival.

What we're struggling against innate to our own nature.

Even the most prosperous species, like ourselves, simply compete with each other when there are no other rivals to be had.

That is our programming as living beings, and it's a philosophy that has got us to the stunning success that we have today.

But it doesn't prioritise our happiness, or our appreciation and wonder for our very existence.

We can't undo our nature, but it is in our capacity to put it aside for a few moments and experience something greater than ourselves.

The mind state of the average, middle class western person is spent almost entirely on work, relationships, shopping, eating, and entertainment. We are insensitive to most of the subtle signals of our senses. They've also abandoned their natural curiosity for the big picture - how the world is interlinked and its incredible depth.

The trouble is that we can go throughout life striving to fulfil Maslow's hierarchy of needs, and fail to witness the universe that created us.

For the most part, we don't pay attention to nature because it isn't relevant to our immediate goals.

We live in the daily troubles

And stress about passing problems

That we won't remember in a week.

We must relax

And watch how the stars change

In a slow ebb

Year after year

It requires a poet's sensitivity. It goes ignored by most beings, who run around trying to satisfy their Maslow's.

We get used to it

The human brain appears to take what is regular and common as mundane and unremarkable, when often that coundn't be further from the truth.

We don’t let it in

  • We don't get it, because we don't let it in.
  • This world shapeshifts.
  • It reflects the soul of the observer.
  • The more you have polished it,
  • The deeper it's mysteries become.

It can be induced

  • Changes can also be induced.
  • Psychedelic substances like psilocybin or LSD, as well as the practice of certain kinds of meditation have been reported to create the sensation of 'seeing the world anew', with novel insights that can be carried over into sober states.

Bridge the gap with discover.earth

If you want to bridge this gap, discover.earth was made to expand our awareness of the natural world around us, through this blog, our daily feed app, and our community. Make sure to check them out.

Science found a universe within the atom Will Durant quote

  • Human knowledge had become unmanageably vast, every science had begotten a dozen more each subtler than the rest; the telescope revealed stars and systems beyond the mind of man to number or to name; geology spoke in terms of millions of years, where men before had thought in terms of thousands; physics found a universe in the atom, and biology found a microcosm in the cell; physiology discovered inexhaustible mystery in every organ, and psychology in every dream; anthropology reconstructed the unsuspected antiquity of man, archeology unearthed buried cities and forgotten states, history proved all history false, and painted a canvas which only a Spengler or an Eduard Meyer could vision as a whole; theology crumbled, and political theory cracked; invention complicated life and war, and economic creeds over-turned governments and inflamed the world; philosophy which had once summoned all sciences to its aid in making a coherent image of the world and an alluring picture of the good, found its task of coordination too stupendous for its courage, ran away from all these battlefronts of truth, and hid itself in recondite and narrow lines, timidly secure from the issues and responsibilities of life.
  • Will Durant, Preface to The Story of Philosophy

Only specialists are trained to see the depth of particular fields

  • The Earth is an oasis of life and complexity within the vast expanse of space. Every surface teems with life, from microscopic cells to gigantic California Redwoods.
  • But very few people are trained to see the complexity nature.
  • Botanist, geologist, or evolutionary biologist, but nevertheless they feel its wonder in their bones. But I think what they actually like the most about it is the variety of stimuli - textures, colours, movement, sounds, smells.
  • It's only enhanced by appreciating the trees clinging to the side of cliffs, and appreciating the evolutionary side of life striving against its environment.
  • How does this link to language?
  • Maybe we try to give it complicated names but it's never sufficient?

An experienced scuba diver...

  • An experienced scuba diver can identify a fish not just on its size and colour, but also on its behaviour, its habitat, and its diet.
  • If we take a leap of the imagination and consider how a fish, say an Australian Angelfish, sees the world, then
  • behaviour becomes your real habits and social interactions,
  • habitat becomes your home, and
  • diet becomes your favourite food.
  • This is the *subjective experience* of millions of creatures.
  • All of the knoweledge in encyclopedias is just a summary of whats out there.

Open up your ears

  • You have to inhabit the world of sound. Also switching to sight in human prehistory has been huge for our brain and how we see the world.
  • It limits us in some ways. Some ways include a worse sense of all that’s going on immediately around you, but unseen.
  • Instead, we looked over great valleys to hunt, and were not too fussed about immediate surroundings since we didn’t hunt that way and we werent stalked by predators.
  • Open up your ears.

A universe at every level

There's a 'universe' at every level. At the molecular, biological, physics, at all disciplines, in business, in art, in warfare.

And Epics nestled inside Epics. The story of the single cell is an epic. The story of evolution is an epic. The story of prehistory is an epic. The story of China is an Epic. The Age of Exploration is an epic. On and on. And it never stops. It is a series of epics. Reality has infinite components, all of which have infinite depth in the interplay between each other, and which spread out in every direction.

In my descriptions here, every page, every tab, every group, every notebook is the attempt to describe another infinity; just like the infinite decimals between every number, like the ripples on the ocean.

There are little miracles everywhere, it's just that we take them all for granted.

An infinity within everything. In other words, every object has an infinite complexity, be it a brain or a rock (but particularly nature). I suppose that the difference between the two is that we are comfortable with simplifying the complexity of the rock, but not of the brain. This may be demonstrated by the infinite sets in mathematics, where each object in the universe is as the decimals between integers, and the universe itself is the infinite expanse of the integers.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.

John Muir

In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Include some of this German guys drawings in the page about how there is an almost infinite resolution to the universe. Some of his drawings about the tiny.

Also the zoom into the mite on the flea's eye

The imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man.

Richard Feynman, The Value of Science address, quoted in The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

Depth or breadth

  • We can focus on depth and complexity, or broaden our filters. So that the Angelfish can see what David Attenborough sees.
  • If we did perceive all that our senses were telling us, what would we see?
  • It's hard to say exactly, but perhaps we would see the world in a similar way to how a child does.
  • Intense curiosity, noticing unusual connections between things, and much more emotion.
  • The immense and impartial ebb and flow of the stars, weather, and species.

Represented by the ocean’s waves

  • The peaks and troughs of the yin and yang systems are endless.
  • The cycles of humanity, nature, and the Earth stretch on as minuscule waves in an ocean in Millenia.
image
  • One infinity, nestled in another, nestled in another, represented perfectly by the ocean. You cannot count the ripples it contains.
  • Yes, it has an end. But for small creatures such as us, we will never reach it.

Infinite set paradox

Studying physics

  • Studying physics is essentially being taught a simple structure, and then told ”actually, scratch that, the truth is actually far more complicated” over and over again until we reach the point where we still don’t know the truth, only that we do not have it.
  • From <https://www.reddit.com/r/Showerthoughts/comments/9obw5i/studying_physics_is_essentially_being_taught_a/>
  • I can't really elaborate on that, but I find it interesting.

Language is insufficient

Because of this, when we use language to describe the world, we have to use it in a way that categorises and classifies what we see. This is fine, until we lose the perspective of our categories being artificial.