-Individual reality

I often feel that reality is more individual that we realise on a daily basis. How can we know this ? When we are wondering how real or individual every thing is around us, a good starting point is looking at what we see. Do we see exactly the same things as each other? Surprisingly we cannot really tell. We see because photons of light hit the rods and cones at back of our eye. Our brain then interprets this into sight. As our rods and cones are different and brains vary, there obviously may be minor variations.

Colour vision

What I find most interesting about this process is how we see colour. At root colour is just a function of the wavelength of light emanating from the object we are seeing. Given the above it is obvious that we all see colour slightly differently. This is not generally a problem because we give the same name to a particular wavelength (ie Red). Weather we see the same colour which the world calls red is another matter. We can never know what someone else sees.

Variations on theme

Even more interestingly, I recently saw a BBC programme called “Do you see what I see”. This took the matter even further. By experiment, it showed that as individuals we see colour ourselves sometimes differently. How we see a certain colour can vary on a daily basis. It can vary with stress, age and tiredness and mood. If this is true for colour, what else could it be true for?

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