A useful metaphor that can remind us to check our biases.
“We receive, I think, over a billion signals every minute from the environment.
“If we try to be conscious of all the signals, we couldn't do it, so we throw out all the information that seems unimportant, which means we also throw out all the information that seems threatening to our belief system or to our dogma. And our brain constructs a model out of all the information coming up from the rest of the nervous system and we project the model outward and consider it reality.
“It's not reality, it's our reality tunnel.”
Robert Anton Wilson,
author and “agnostic mystic”
“[Reality tunnel] is the phrase that I learned from Robert Anton Wilson, and it was in the simplest terms, the call for us to make a distinction between reality, the actual thing and our experience of it as individual human beings.
“And so he called the experience we have of reality, our reality tunnel.
“And… implored a lot through his writing that none of us should forget that we have a reality tunnel which is comprised of everything that we have personally experienced. The messages that have been passed on to us through parenting, through the society that we grow up in… the traumas we may have experienced, the stories that we tell ourselves essentially go to create a fully curated experience of reality, which is in fact not reality at all.”
writer, actress and theatre director
Both quotes are from the Adventures in Nutopia podcast,
Episode 2 - The Map is Not the Territory.
Wilson’s books had a resurgence in popularity in the UK in the 1990s. I’m fairly sure in one of them he recommends that political candidates should not be allowed to take office if they’ve not expanded their minds to the point that they have an awareness of their own reality tunnels (biases).
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