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10 Mind-Blowing Theories That Will Change Your Perception of the World

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5. Presentism.Time is something that we perceive as a matter of course, if we view it at the moment, we usually divide it into past, present and future. Presentism argues that the past and the future are imagined concepts, while only the present is real.

In other words, today’s breakfast and every word of this article will cease to exist after you have read it, until you open it again. The future is just as imaginary, because time cannot exist before and after it happened, as claimed by St. Augustine.

6. Eternalism.Enternalism is the exact opposite of presentism. This is a philosophical theory that says that time is multi-layered. It can be compared to a pound cake (however, unlike the time, a biscuit is not up for philosophical debate). All time exists simultaneously, but the measurement is determined by the observer. What he sees depends on which point he is looking at.

Thus dinosaurs, World War II and Justin Bieber all exist simultaneously but can only be observed from a specific location. If one takes this view of reality then the future is hopeless and the deterministic free will is illusory.

So... Are you a presentist or an eternalist?

Presentism and Enternalism, as defined above, are not mutually exclusive...

"Time is perceived" is compatible with "all time exists simultaneously"?

Of course.  Solipsisms as reality in one dimension can exist comfortably within independent truths that exist beyond any sentient being's abilities of perceptions in other dimensions--especially when the lesser perceptions deny greater independent truths or experience them incompletely.

Check out Edward Abbott's beautiful treatise on such as social and political satire of Victorian England, "Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions" written in 1884...


So it is as hard for us to imagine 4 dimensions as it is for 2 dimensional beings to imagine 3?

Enter "The Reach of the Imagination" by J. Bronowski!

This essay by Jacob Bronowski deals with the imagination, a quality which he quickly asserts is possessed only by humans.  Imagination, which Bronowski defines as the ability to manipulate images in the mind's eye, was shown to not exist in lower animals in a series of experiments testing their memory.  The fact that the subjects could not recall previous situations implies that they have no means by which they may recall past events (or, more plainly, no way to manipulate the images to repeat the past in their mind).


This power of the imagination allows people to live infinite lives and undergo infinite situations, all in short periods of times and with no physical basis.  For instance, Galileo Galilei’s famous experiment concerning the leaning tower of Pisa actually never took place.  Instead, he used his imagination to run the experiment.

Bronowski next moved on to show the power of imagination.  He asserted tat Galileo’s famous leaning tower of Pisa experiment was actually only conducted in the mind’s eye.  He envisioned two balls of different mass connected together and dropped from a great height.  If Aristotle was correct (that different masses fall at different rates) then two contradictory statements must be true: the masses, connected together, formed a greater mass and would therefore fall at a faster rate.  The smaller ball, however, falls at a lesser rate than the greater ball alone.  In this way, Galileo made a great leap using only his imagination.  It is clear then, Bronowski argues, that the imagination allows for a deeper and more correct sense of reality.

Adam, I couldn't reply beneath your above post so I do so here:  Yes, that's true.  It's also plenty difficult for many of us to simply imagine 3 dimensions let alone 4...just look at Congress.

Ok Geege, you got me on this one: Enter "The Reach of the Imagination" by J. Bronowski!  ...may it also quickly depart, please!

I heartily disagree with Bronowski's essay, not only because he was drawing conclusions from an ill-conceived and poorly implemented experiment conducted by someone else at a distance (Walter Hunter who was lab testing animals for sequential memory) but also because it's pretty damn ballsy and wholly unscientific for any deep thinker to assert a negative about phenomena in all cases--one simply can't prove a negative nor test an entire category (animals) for all conditions.  I mean c'mon, REALLY, animals have no memory or imagination?  Tell that to a pet lover... and then run.  

Also, if even rocks and minerals at the lowest quanta of particles in physics behave differently depending upon human observation in the lab, then shouldn't we just be a little more open-minded about plants' and animals' potentials and less certain of our own observational abilities... Ok, let's just pivot to the positive.  

There have been many interesting scientists that have come along since Boronowski took a dirt nap.  It's also likely that his essay turned to mulch not just from lacking a cavalcade of critical direct observations, reputable experiments and a lasting convergence of others to reconcile his imagination to the realms of direct experience.  Others simply came along and proved his premise false under more probable and repeatable scientific conditions. Two of my favorite in this realm are also pretty good lay authors who have no fear of bringing such data to light.  

The first is Rupert Sheldrake, who has done significant numbers of experiments with animals regarding their cognitive abilities with humans, which one might use to totally refute Bronowski's premise.  Sheldrake is also pretty tough on the scientific and academic establishment and many of the bureaucratic biases it injects into the scientific method. The second is Stephen Harrod Buhner, who has done similar experiments and investigations into plant intelligences, human communication and their evolutionary, symbiotic community.



All of these three above authors I posted here should be on any list of Mind-Blowing Theories That Will Change Your Perception of the World

Bronowski's "was shown to not exist in lower animals" needs some clarity.  Pavlov pre-dated Bronowski by almost 50 years, so it seems safe to assume dogs already were proven to have memory and imagination by the time B came along.

But you're right, better theories have come along.  Thanks for the pointers - the book on plants looks like something I would enjoy.

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