It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Your experience is subjective in a way that you don't realize. Here's proof.

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 09:54 PM
This thread is going to be fairly long(several posts) and I'll try to keep it interesting. By all means skim or skip around, but please don't argue with me about it without reading the whole thing. The interesting experiments are in Part 2, if you want to get straight down to business.

This is a thread about subjectivity. The reason this topic is important for ATS is that ATS is, for the most, a discussion board with the topic of unconventional beliefs. These unconventional beliefs are often formed based on genuine observations/evidence/data/information. The reason that the beliefs of ATSers are often unconventional has to do with how we perceive and interpret these observations. This process of perception and interpretation which, for many ATSers, leads to the formation of unconventional beliefs is why we should care about subjectivity.

Part 1: What is subjective?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has several definitions for "subjective." We are interested in the third and fourth ones:

3 a : characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived rather than as independent of mind : "phenomenal" — compare "objective" 1b b : relating to or being experience or knowledge as conditioned by personal mental characteristics or states
4 a (1) : peculiar to a particular individual : personal (2) : modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background b : arising from conditions within the brain or sense organs and not directly caused by external stimuli c : arising out of or identified by means of one's perception of one's own states and processes — compare "objective" 1c

As is suggested by the author of those definitions, we will compare these definitions to the definition of "objective," which is essentially(and for our purposes, completely) the opposite of subjective. As with "subjective" there are a handful of definitions for "objective." We are concerned with number 3a:

3 a : expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations ive art>

The rest of this section is devoted to 1) describing an intuitive definition of subjectivity, a definition which I believe to be in agreement with what most people actually mean when they use the word, 2) identifying the three “levels” of experience at which I believe subjectivity comes into play, and 3) introducing a type of subjectivity which goes unacknowledged in conventional considerations of the topic and which almost everyone is oblivious to. This last part, 3, is the reason for this thread.

1) Subjective: Personal. Subjective experience is your personal experience of something, and it's likely that you're the only one in the world who experiences things in exactly the way that you do. Looking back at the dictionary definition, for me at least, definition 4b is very close to what I mean when I use the word subjective.

arising from conditions within the brain or sense organs and not directly caused by external stimuli

Unless we take a mystical, anti-science position with regard to the relationship between the brain and the mind, we accept that the brain causes experience. We know for a fact that we all have unique brains, and that this uniqueness is a product of both unique genes and unique life experiences which affect our brain structure(A discussion of the effect of experience on neurobiology is beyond the scope of this discussion, we can discuss it in the thread if you want, otherwise trust me that literally every experience effects your neurobiology. Memories are stored by physically altering the brain, practicing to become good at something works because you’re altering your brain, and every thought you have is paralleled by some corresponding neurobiological state which effects neuronal connections and firing patterns.) Thus, it makes perfect sense that since we have unique but largely similar brains, we should have unique but largely similar experiences of the world. Whenever we have an experience of an objective thing, we of course are not dealing directly with that thing, but with our experience of it. Our unique lenses of perception give rise to subjectivity.

[edit on 4/10/10 by OnceReturned]

posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 09:54 PM
2) When you listen to music or watch a movie or look at art, your resultant opinion of that piece of art is subjective. You had a unique experience of it and either like it or didn't like it(or somewhere in between). This is the sort of thing that you cannot be wrong about it. There is no "right" answer to whether or not some piece of art is good; it's a matter of opinion. Because there is no “right” when it comes subjective value judgments, there is no “wrong” answer either. Everyone gets to form their own opinion, and because we acknowledge these value judgments as "opinions," we tend to accept that while we may agree or disagree, there no "right" or "wrong" here.

The extent to which our experiences are subjective and what that really means is the subject of this essay later on, so I'm not going to get into the details right now, but my above definition does not go quite far enough. We all, for the most part, accept that our opinions are subjective, but subjectivity is broader than just opinions about things. What's also subjective, but less often acknowledged to be so, is "phenomenal" experience. "Phenomenal" refers to the immediate qualities of an experience. Pain for example, is a phenomenal and therefore subjective quality of experience. Some women report terrible pain during child birth, others report very little pain. Some people cannot tolerate eating a hot pepper; others demand to eat hot peppers at every opportunity.

These subjective phenomenal qualities are different from the subjective value judgments above. Value judgments are subjective assessments of "objects"(for lack of a better word . . . songs and other “things” are included in this). Objects exist in the world independently of you. The song, or movie, or piece of art is "out there" in the world, whether or not you are around to experience it. Phenomenal experience(the second subjective thing from above), however is not "out there" in the world. It does not exist when you are not there to experience it. It only exists as your experience. Pain isn't something "out there" in the world, it's not an object. It's something that you produce and experience simultaneous.

As an analogy: If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it . . . the tree itself falling is an real event, it is an "object" from above, a thing which you can make a subjective value judgment about "liking"(maybe the tree fell on the car of your arch nemesis) or “disliking”(maybe it was your favorite tree). If you were around to hear the tree, you would also have a subjective phenomenal experience. The sound itself that you would hear is a phenomenal experience. You would hear it, and just like pain or color or other phenomena, it probably sounds unique to you(although in this case you auditory experience is probably very similar to everyone else with normal hearing who heard this sound, but it's still subjective because it’s not necessarily identical, a better example of phenomenal subjectivity would be the tone which only young people can hear).

So now we have two distinct types of subjective things: Value judgement; maybe when I look at the blue sky I think it's beautiful, but when you look at it, you think it's ugly. And phenomenal experience; maybe when we both look at the sky, the blue that we see looks slightly different to each of us(a better example is that we could eat the same hot pepper and I could cry with pain while you could be completely unbothered. This example is only better because readers are more likely to accept that this case of phenomenal subjectivity is realistic, vs the blue sky which the reader may assume we all experience in exactly the same way, but I assure you both examples are cases of subjective phenomenal experience).

posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 09:55 PM
I would like to introduce a third and final type of subjectivity: subjective interpretation of observations(by “observations” here I mean any perceived information). This is when we are presented with some information and we interpret it to mean something specific, or to be in agreement with some theory. Often what we take the information to mean is a matter of our subjective interpretation of the information.

I'll tell a little story here as an example. Recently, I had a brief argument with a close friend about diamonds. I told him that red diamonds are the most valuable and rare type of diamonds in the world, and he told me that I was wrong, that colorless diamonds were the most valuable. I'll spare you the back and forth, but after a few minutes we both remained unconvinced by the other's arguments. So, he told me that his fiancée’s family was really "into" jewelry; they buy and sell it and are very knowledgeable about it. He told me he would ask his fiancée about red diamonds, and I accepted that this would be a good way to settle our argument. The next day, I spoke to him and he said he had asked her about red diamonds and that she had never even heard of them. He took this to mean that they were trivial, and perhaps they didn't exist at all, but certainly they couldn't be the most valuable type of diamond in the world because if they were, she would have at least heard of them. I, however, took this news as a sign that red diamonds are so rare that she hadn't even heard of them, and based on her interest/knowledge of diamonds they must be very, very rare for her to have never heard of them. We got a laugh out of this state of affairs - that we had interpreted this evidence in such different ways - but that is not the point. The point is that "stand alone" facts, in this case his fiancées response, are interpreted subjectively as they relate to other beliefs. They’re meaning is a function of existing beliefs.

Another example is that when the gov't denies the existence of UFOs, believers take this to mean that they are covering something up while skeptics take this to be the truth. This type of subjectivity is a little bit more difficult than value judgments or phenomenal experiences, because there is some objectively correct belief which could account for the observations. The meaning of the new observations is determinate and not subjective in the sense that they are correctly interpreted based on correct existing beliefs. But, without knowing what the correct belief is, a subjective interpretation of new facts occurs and is logically valid. Without knowing for sure which one of us was right(I turned out to be) my friend and I were both perfectly justified in interpreting his fiancées response in the different ways that we did. The UFO believers are just as justified in interpreting gov't denial as a conspiracy, because they could turn out to be right in which case this interpretation is correct. But the skeptics are also justified, because they don't believe in ETs, and they could turn out to be correct too in which case their interpretation of the observations is the right one. The point is not who is wrong or right, the point is that at the time - without knowing the correct interpretation of the observations - subjective interpretation of observations occurs and is legitimate.(A side not: the recent movie Shutter Island makes unbelievably awesome use of this concept; that many observations can be justifiably "fit" into a certain belief system). The broadest and most useful definition of this instance of subjectivity is that any isolated observation or new fact can be interpreted in more than one way, specifically as being consistent with - and evidence for - some existing belief. This can be extended to the point of forming new beliefs, ie: If - in my previous story - I saw a red diamond for sale for $10 I would believe that it was fake because I think red diamonds are valuable, but if my friend saw the same sale he wouldn't come to the same conclusion. Our conclusions are based on subjective interpretations of his fiancées response.

So we've established three kinds of subjective things: subjective value judgments, subjective phenomenal experiences, and subjective interpretations of observations.

posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 09:56 PM
3)So far, all of this discussion of subjectivity has been in the context of explaining why different people have different experiences of the same thing. The claims I’ve made about subjectivity are generally accepted, and I’ve done my best to detail the important concepts above. What I made this thread to talk about, though, is the notion of intra-personal subjectivity(this is as opposed to the widely accepted and acknowledged inter-personal subjectivity). I will proceed with experimental results, and a discussion of how your own experiences of the same things vary subjectively depending on multiple factors. The conclusions which we can draw and strongly support about the nature of your day to day experience will surprise you.

Part 2: The experiments

It turns out that the way we perceive others can also influence our own sense of touch. In a new study published in the open access journal PLoS One, researchers from the University of Bologna report that looking at photos of faces being touched strongly enhances the perception of touch on the observer's face when the photos are of people who belong the same ethnic or political group.

Nontechnical article about the experiment

Social interactions are influenced by the perception of others as similar or dissimilar to the self. Such judgements could depend on physical and semantic characteristics, such as membership in an ethnic or political group. In the present study we tested whether social representations of the self and of others could affect the perception of touch. To this aim, we assessed tactile perception on the face when subjects observed a face being touched by fingers. In different conditions we manipulated the identity of the shown face. In a first experiment, Caucasian and Maghrebian participants viewed a face belonging either to their own or to a different ethnic group; in a second experiment, Liberal and Conservative politically active participants viewed faces of politicians belonging to their own or to the opposite political party. The results showed that viewing a touched face most strongly enhanced the perception of touch on the observer's face when the observed face belonged to his/her own ethnic or political group.

Technical publication of the experiment

A new study published in Current Biology now shows that visual distortions of the body image in patients suffering from chronic pain can significantly affect their perception of painful sensations. The findings could lead to improvements in the treatment of, and rehabilitation regimes for, a wide variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Nontechnical article about the experiment

Visual distortion of a limb modulates the pain and swelling evoked by movement
Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 22, Pages R1047-R1048
G. Moseley, T. Parsons, C. Spence

Technical publication of the experiment

For their study, Nidhya Logeswaran and Joydeep Bhattacharya, of Goldsmiths College in London and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, respectively, performed two separate experiments. In the first, 30 participants were presented with a series of happy or sad musical excerpts, each lasting 15 seconds. After each piece of music, the participants were shown a photograph of a face, expressing either a happy, sad, or neutral expression. The photographs were flashed on a screen for 1 second, after which the participants were asked to rate the emotion on a 7-piont scale, where 1 denotes extremely sad and 7 extremely happy.
Thus, the visual emotional stimuli - the photos of faces - were "primed" by an emotional state conveyed by a piece of music. All the participants correctly identified the emotions expressed by the faces in the photographs presented to them. However, happy faces primed by a happy piece of music were rated as happier than when primed by sad music. Conversely, sad faces primed by a piece of sad music were rated as sadder than those primed with a happy piece of music. Finally, neutral faces were rated higher when primed by a happy piece of music and lower when primed by a sad piece.

Nontechnical article about the experiment

Music is one of the most powerful elicitors of subjective emotion, yet it is not clear whether emotions elicited by music are similar to emotions elicited by visual stimuli. This leads to an open question: can music-elicited emotion be transferred to and/or influence subsequent vision-elicited emotional processing? Here we addressed this question by investigating processing of emotional faces (neutral, happy and sad) primed by short excerpts of musical stimuli (happy and sad). Our behavioural experiment showed a significant effect of musical priming: prior listening to a happy (sad) music enhanced the perceived happiness (sadness) of a face irrespective of facial emotion. Further, this musical priming-induced effect was largest for neutral face. Our electrophysiological experiment showed that such crossmodal priming effects were manifested by event related brain potential components at a very early (within 100 ms post-stimulus) stages of neuronal information processing. Altogether, these results offer new insight into the crossmodal nature of music and its ability to transfer emotion to visual modality.

(Find the technical journal article here: Logeswaran, N. & Bhattacharya, J. (2009). Crossmodal transfer of emotion by music Neurosci. Lett. 455: 129-133. DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.03.044. The link was too long to put here, although it is linked to within the "nontechnical" article above)

[edit on 4/10/10 by OnceReturned]

posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 09:57 PM

The subjective experience of time can also be manipulated experimentally. Visual stimuli which appear to be approaching are perceived to be longer in duration than when viewed as static or moving away. Similarly, participants presented with a stream of otherwise identical stimuli, but including one oddball, or "deviant", stimulus, tend to perceive the deviant stimulus as lasting longer than the others. The underlying neural mechanisms of this are unknown, but now the first neuroimaging study of this phenomenon implicates the involvement of brain structures which are thought to be required for cognitive control and subjective awareness.

Nontechnical article about the experiment

These results support the existence of multisensory interactions in the perception of duration and, importantly, suggest that vision can modify auditory temporal perception in a pure timing task. Insofar as distortions in subjective duration can neither be accounted for by the unpredictability of an auditory, visual or auditory-visual event, we propose that it is the intrinsic features of the stimulus that critically affect subjective time distortions.

Technical publication about the experiment

If you look at a waterfall for about 30 seconds, and then shift your gaze to a nearby stationary object, such as a rock or a tree, that object will seem to drift slowly upwards. This well known optical illusion demonstrates a phenomenon called the motion after-effect, which is thought to occur as a result of adaptation - the brain compensates for movement in one direction, causing us to momentarily perceive a stationary objects to be moving in the other.
Although illusory motion can also be induced in the sense of touch, the brain is thought to process visual and tactile motion separately. But now researchers from MIT have found that not only can moving visual stimuli induce a tactile motion after-effect, but also that moving tactile stimuli can induce a visual motion after-effect. The findings, which are published in Current Biology, show that the senses of vision and touch are closely linked, and that each can influence the other.

Nontechnical article

Motion Aftereffects Transfer between Touch and Vision
Current Biology, Volume 19, Issue 9, Pages 745-750
T. Konkle, Q. Wang, V. Hayward, C. Moore

Technical article

VIEWING a stimulus for a prolonged period of time results in a bias in the perception of a stimulus viewed afterwards. For example, after looking at a moving stimulus for some time, a stationary stimulus that is viewed subsequently appears to drift in the opposite direction. These after-effects reveal to us the properties of our perceptual system. They occur because the neurons which are sensitive to the initial stimulus re-calibrate their responses; they adapt to compensate for the earlier enduring stimulus, and so can continue to encode current stimuli efficiently.
It was long thought that the properties of the initial (or adapting) stimulus have to be similar to those of the subsequent (or adapted) stimulus for any after-effect to occur. But a new study published this week in the journal Current Biology contradicts this assumption about perceptual adaptations, by showing that viewing photographs of headless bodies causes the brain to adapt to faces that are viewed afterwards.

Nontechnical article

Face Adaptation without a Face
Current Biology, Volume 20, Issue 1, Pages 32-36
A. Ghuman, J. McDaniel, A. Martin

Technical article

WHEN making moral judgments, we rely on our ability to make inferences about the beliefs and intentions of others. With this so-called "theory of mind", we can meaningfully interpret their behavior, and decide whether it is right or wrong. The legal system also places great emphasis on one's intentions: a "guilty act" only produces criminal liability when it is proven to have been performed in combination with a "guilty mind", and this, too, depends on the ability to make reasoned moral judgments.
MIT researchers now show that this moral compass can be very easily skewed. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they report that magnetic pulses which disrupt activity in a specific region of the brain's right hemisphere can interfere with the ability to make certain types of moral judgments, so that hypothetical situations involving attempted harm are perceived to be less morally forbidden and more permissible.

Nontechnical article

When we judge an action as morally right or wrong, we rely on our capacity to infer the actor's mental states (e.g., beliefs, intentions). Here, we test the hypothesis that the right temporoparietal junction (RTPJ), an area involved in mental state reasoning, is necessary for making moral judgments. In two experiments, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to disrupt neural activity in the RTPJ transiently before moral judgment (experiment 1, offline stimulation) and during moral judgment (experiment 2, online stimulation). In both experiments, TMS to the RTPJ led participants to rely less on the actor's mental states. A particularly striking effect occurred for attempted harms (e.g., actors who intended but failed to do harm): Relative to TMS to a control site, TMS to the RTPJ caused participants to judge attempted harms as less morally forbidden and more morally permissible. Thus, interfering with activity in the RTPJ disrupts the capacity to use mental states in moral judgment, especially in the case of attempted harms.

Technical article

posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 09:57 PM

In the new study, 90 undergraduates were made to sit at a table across from a full bottle of water. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to the "thirsty" condition, and given a serving of pretzels to eat. The rest were placed in the "quenched" condition, and told that they could drink as much of the water as they wanted. Both groups were asked to indicate how long it had been since they last had a drink, how thirsty they were and how appealing the bottle of water was. Finally, they were shown a 1-inch line as a reference, and asked to estimate the distance between their own position and the water bottle.

Nontechnical article

Although people assume that they see the surrounding environment as it truly is, we suggest that perception of the natural environment is dependent upon the internal goal states of perceivers. Five experiments demonstrated that perceivers tend to see desirable objects (i.e., those that can fulfill immediate goals—a water bottle to assuage their thirst, money they can win, a personality test providing favorable feedback) as physically closer to them than less desirable objects. Biased distance perception was revealed through verbal reports and through actions toward the object (e.g., underthrowing a beanbag at a desirable object). We suggest that seeing desirable objects as closer than less desirable objects serves the self-regulatory function of energizing the perceiver to approach objects that fulfill needs and goals.

Technical article

People who place an emphasis on positive things and are generally optimistic are sometimes said to "see the world through rose-tinted glasses". According to a new study by Canadian researchers, this is more than just an idiom. The study, which has just been published in the Journal of Neuroscience, provides the first direct evidence that the mood we are in affects the way we see things by modulating the activity of the visual cortex. Their findings show that putting on the proverbial rose-tinted glasses of a good mood is not so much about colour, but about the broadness of the view.

Nontechnical article

Positive and negative emotional states are thought to have originated from fundamentally opposing approach and avoidance behaviors. Furthermore, affective valence has been hypothesized to exert opposing biases in cognitive control. Here we examined with functional magnetic resonance imaging whether the opposing influences of positive and negative states extend to perceptual encoding in the visual cortices.

Technical article

ATHLETES who are on a winning streak often claim that they perceive their targets to be bigger than they actually are. After a run of birdies, for example, golfers sometimes say that the cup appeared to be the size of a bucket, and baseball players who have a hit a few home runs say that the ball is the size of a grapefruit. Conversely, targets are often reported to be smaller than they actually are by athletes who are performing badly.
Research carried out in the past 5 years suggests that these are more than just anecdotes, and that performance in sports can actually affect perception. A new study by psychologists at Purdue University now lends more weight to this, by providing evidence that success rate in American football field goals affects how the size of the goal posts is perceived.

Nontechnical article

Perception relates not only to the optical information from the environment but also to the perceiver’s performance on a given task. We present evidence that the perceived height and width of an American-football field goal post relates to the perceiver’s kicking performance. Participants who made more successful kicks perceived the field goal posts to be farther apart and perceived the crossbar to be closer to the ground compared with participants who made fewer kicks. Interestingly, the current results show perceptual effects related to performance only after kicking the football but not before kicking. We also found that the types of performance errors influenced specific aspects of perception. The more kicks that were missed left or right of the target, the narrower the field goal posts looked. The more kicks that were missed short of the target, the taller the field goal crossbar looked. These results demonstrate that performance is a factor in size perception.

Technical article

posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 09:58 PM

A normal observer can discriminate well over a million different colors under ideal, laboratory conditions of observation. How many colors can be identify when he sees colors singly and is required to identify them with nearly 100 per cent accuracy. The experiments reported here are an attempt to estimate the number of such absolutely-identifiable spectral hues. Observers were tested in a schedule which included familiarization, practice and test runs with four different series of spectral hues. In every case, the test colors were presented singly against a neutral gray background, and the observers were required to identify each according to a simple numerical code. Four series of spectral hues, containing 17, 15, 12 and 10 wavelengths, were used. The results suggest that the average observer can identify no more than 12 spectral hues under these conditions of observation.

Technical article

Phew. There, 11 experiments which will hopefully change your understanding of how you perceive the world.

Part 3: What to make of the experiments

All of these experiments are evidence for the claim that I am writing all of this in order to convince you of: your experience is not only subjective in the sense that it is different from everyone else’s, but is subjective in the sense that the way that you individually experience things is highly dynamic and depends on the unique conditions at the time of perception. Subjectivity is both inter-personal and intra-personal. Your experience of the same thing can be very different over time, and is highly dependent on the context in which you have the experience. Some object can remain constant over time, but you may have a very different – tangibly, phenomenally different – experience of that object depending on the circumstances at the time of perception. In fact, your experience of that same object undoubtedly depends on numerous factors, and will be different from one observation to the next. You experience the same thing differently over time and as a function of context in the same way that someone else experiences that thing differently from you as a function of their own unique neurobiology.

In Part 1, I described subjectivity as the unique experiences which people have of objective extant phenomena. The commonly accepted understanding of subjectivity is that it is to be expected given that we all have our own unique lenses through which we perceive the world. We perceive objective phenomena through our own lens which generates unique subjective experience. This new dimension of subjectivity – intra-personal subjectivity – adds to our concept. Now, not only must we understand that our experiences are different from other peoples because we have our own unique lenses, but it is also clear that our lenses are constantly changing. Our lenses – the cognitive structure between conscious experience and the objective phenomena which bring about such experience – are affected by the information which passes through them, which in turns causes them to alter the picture which they produce.

The next time you see an object in front of you, remember that it looks the color that it does, the size that it does, and the distance from you that it does, all because of your state of mind and the context in which you are making your observation. The next time you see that object, it may appear different. This is because your experience at any given instant is subjective in a way that few have realized; it is unique to the moment, and changes constantly. You never see the same thing the same way twice, in the same way that no two people see the same thing the same way. Your experience is much more subjective, dynamic, inconsistent, and contextually dependant than you had ever thought. If you don’t believe me, read the experiments.


posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 10:07 PM
Great thread and judging by my ATS I do understand what you are saying.

Personal truth is subjective the facts are not. On ATS I see everyday posts putting personal truth forward as fact and dont understand the differance, hopefully this post will shed a little light into their darkness.

posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 10:35 PM
Excellent work, OP

You're to be commended for the enormous effort you've invested in the attempt to clarify, and for that alone, Star and Flag

Thoughts ? you ask

Well, the first three things which came to mind were distortions to my subjectively viewed experiences on 3 widely spaced events

(1) aged 6. Two people arguing, shoving each other, breaking things in the process --- all within a very confined space from which I was too scared and paralysed to escape

As they loomed above me, yelling and screaming, etc., their faces appeared distored, very similar to the famous Munch painting of the 'scream'. Their mouths in particular 'were' (appeared to me) huge and distorted. As if I were seeing them in slow-motion. But most peculiar was that the sound lagged behind, i.e., I could see the massively magnified mouths, distorted. But the sound which emerged lagged behind the mouth movements. And the sound itself was distorted, very similar to the deep, weird noise of a record being played at the wrong speed. Ingrained in my memory

(2) Lived alone, no one I could call (and I probably wouldn't have done anyway) when I went through close to a week of a weird illness, when I was about 20. Don't know what ailed me, but it was most probably a severe version of a virus. No idea, really

I remember lying there as the entire room alternated between 'bigger' and 'smaller'. One moment I perceived myself as very tiny in comparison to my surroundings. Then it would reverse and it would be the surroundings which had become very small, with my feeling gigantic in comparison

And throughout, it felt as if my limbs and blood vessels were filled with steel-wool (don't know what it's called in the US, but it's the steel pads, comprised of bundles of extremely fine steel wire, which are used to scrub frying pans, etc.) The steel wool feeling was nigh intolerable ... impossible to describe the sensation, other than to say it makes you want to scream, just to release the tension. Makes you want to slit the skin of your limbs in order to grab the 'steel wool' and tear it out of yourself

I remember lying there as the 'Bigger'/'Smaller' thing alternated, over and over and although it was very convincing, I knew it was faulty perception on my part, caused by the bug in my system. Rather than fight it, I went with it and it was quite entertaining

(3) All my life I'd been around dogs, big dogs, dangerous dogs -- long before legislation requiring muzzles, leashes, etc. And I'd been taught how to deal with them, how to speak to them, etc. Suffice to say, I was fine with dogs

Then one day, when approx. 3 months pregnant, I set out across the park. Down at the far end of the park was a pack of dogs, various breeds, running around - perhaps half a dozen or a few more

When I was approx. 1/4 was across the park, I heard a certain type of bark -- looked up --- saw the dog-pack heading toward me, coming fast

I froze. The dogs were definitely heading toward me. No one else in the park apart from a man way off

All I remember is the pack coming closer. An Alsation was in the lead with the others fanning out behind ina 'V' formation

I just stood there. Time went into slow-motion. The lead-dog's tongue was swinging slowly from side to side

To this day I have no idea what happened next, absolutely no idea. But I think I must have fainted. They probably licked me and ran off to investigate something else. But from that day on, I had a dog phobia, a true phobia, which has remained, despite that I very much like dogs --- rescue them from time to time and still mourn the loss of the dog we brought into our home when the children were very young

Obviously the dogs didn't move in slow motion, but I perceived it (and still remember it) as such

posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 10:55 PM
wow you put a lot to read lol
S and f! i think this is an important topic
i think about this a lot, sometimes too much..
well 98/99 percent of our genes are the same, so there are commonalties in the collective all our sensations are dependent on our nervous system. that creates a commonality since we are wired to react to stimuli in a familiar spectrum. such as reaction to heat, cold, light, burn pain,sex,..this creates the average of sensation the collective experiences, the small details of individual distinction do effect us but i wonder how much?

i think personal history right after your born and your thoughts-prefernces are more important then the genetic influence.

[edit on 10-4-2010 by togetherwestand]

[edit on 10-4-2010 by togetherwestand]

posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 11:05 PM
I'm now going to be pissed that I cant recall the article, i think it's in popsci and psychology today, but it's about proving disproving the"time slows" concept. They haven't found anyone who can actually see a display that is operating to fast for normal vision, even when dropping them from a tower(net included) seems decent proof that only our perception is causing the slow mo not that we are actually percieving better or processing faster.

posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 11:12 PM

Originally posted by KyngKaos
I'm now going to be pissed that I cant recall the article, i think it's in popsci and psychology today, but it's about proving disproving the"time slows" concept. They haven't found anyone who can actually see a display that is operating to fast for normal vision, even when dropping them from a tower(net included) seems decent proof that only our perception is causing the slow mo not that we are actually percieving better or processing faster.

That is i theorize because our thoughts make the brain respond and the brain changes function in response, hormones are released and the brain 'morphs' and over-clocks its cpu, when that happens our brains process data faster therefor creating the perception of incoming data in our eye sight slowing down.

posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 11:25 PM
Amazing really. Honestly, damn good OP OnceReturned.

As a declared philosophy major, I find this immensely interesting.

I am working on a paper right now about quantum subjectivity in perception, or inherent physical relativity on a subjective quantum level... or something along those lines.

So, to put that into the perspective/context of what you have just laid out, not only is the appearance of the perceived experience constantly changing... the actual relations and ratio's of space time are dilating due to the observational state of the observer.

I think this is in the realm of Nassim Haramein's theory, if you've heard of him.

Even though it is a consensus reality, the unique perceived 'quantum lens' for each frame of reference(or personal experience) is altering their respective experience creating a universe just as unique inside that event horizon(or personal experience).

Those outside of that personal experience, or personal black hole, are experiencing their own quantum reality distortions inside of their own 'event horizon'.

I'm starting to get kind of lost, hope some of that might of made sense.

Again, marvellous post. Star and Flag.

posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 11:44 PM
We all are not created equal nor the same. Duffrences inpai n can be attributed to physical differences in people. Having more nerve endings or higher mass of brain matter in pain receptor areas could cause differences when eating a hot pepper. I would not concider that perception or a subjective opinion.

posted on Apr, 10 2010 @ 11:52 PM

Originally posted by OnceReturned

Your experience is much more subjective, dynamic, inconsistent, and contextually dependant than you had ever thought. If you don’t believe me, read the experiments.


Its much stanger than you think.

You do not perceive reality at all.

Your experience is a total illusion of perception.

What you consider to be your sense of perception is in fact
only the avoidance of relationship.

You are creating the illusion of subject/object.

There is no subject/object.

There is only consciousness contemplating

[edit on 11-4-2010 by RRokkyy]

posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 12:43 AM

Objective Reality does not exist. All reality is experience via perception.
The fact that things exist or events happen is independent of reality since we may only experience these things or events through our perception.
What else did I miss? Thanks for the great post.


posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 02:36 AM
Have I got a story for you!
So my mom tells me that she doesn’t care if I kill her boyfriend that is supplying her with drugs and beating her and then go kill myself. This was during an argument over some speed (meth, ice) that I had; she knew it and wanted it. I did not want her to have it because she was hooked badly, so we argued fiercely as she drove me and a friend to her boyfriend’s location.

My accomplice and I proceeded to snort speed with my mom’s boyfriend and planned to kill the fool, steal his car and take off where ever life took us and then commit suicide together.

We ended up stealing his car and cash (thank God we did not follow our plan) and set off. About 30 miles out of town we blew a tire and decided to walk and walk we did.

We knew the drugs would wear off so we bought some caffeine pills and we walked.

We walked all night that night, all of the next day, and the second night is when reality changed for me, well actually both of us. You see, we actually became one in mind and action (spirit). As we delved further into insomnia an entire new reality set in.

It started as we walked next to the railroad tracks and both noticed a cold chill at the same time (keep in mind everything from here on out we experienced at the same time). As we stopped in awe of this overwhelming rush of cold air in the middle of a south Texas August, we gazed into the tree line and both noticed the eyes. I will never forget the eyes, dark red piercing eyes that penetrated my soul and put a fear in me that I feel right now as I write this.

Not sure of the origin we leaned in to make out more of the shape, (I will tell anyone to this day I that I cannot differentiate this from a real memory) and there about 5 feet away was a goat with red eyes, horns like a devils, cat’s ears, snakes tongue and a dogs mouth. To freaked out to talk, we turned and walked about 100 feet away into a clearing in the brush and made our way back into the woods. As we did, damn this freaks me out thinking about it, I stopped as I saw a cats tail swinging from a branch just ahead and above us. This was no ordinary cat’s tail, it was about my size and the cat was about 4 times larger than me. Neither of us realized we were seeing the same thing yet and I asked him if he saw the cat, as he answered he described the cats face and as he did, I saw what he described, literally saw it. It was then that we thought we were stepping into the devils territory and decided to press on, after all we were on a suicide trip as it were.

About 4 hours later we made our suicide notes next to our camp fire and stopped as we heard the sound of a passing train. In pursuit of the train reality once again changed. We ended up resting on a hill side, blisters keeping us from advancing much, and looking down the hill we noticed what appeared to be a bear on its 2 rear legs standing erect. I suppose we were still cognitive enough to realize what we were seeing could not be real because we discussed how everything that the other described the other would see.

I remember telling him that I saw Einstein’s head and then he would describe the glasses and I would see them. He would point out a family of big foot creatures and I would see them. Those 2 nights changed me, but the next 2 scared the hell out of me.

Condensed version - We thought we were being pursued like animals being hunted, I take that back, we knew we were being hunted and we were running for our lives. I know none of it was real now, but it is all subjective. It was real to me then and my memories are real, and the only reason I say I now that it was not real, is because of what I have been told is normal, what is acceptable, what is to be expected.

I am fully convinced that your info is right, not because it sounds good but because I have experienced it. I’d dare take it one step further. Just as our perception is controlled by our circumstance, environment and experience, we can alter what others perceive if only they are open.

As we walked by a burger joint on I think the 5th day, my partner was on my left just slightly behind me, both of us looking forward. I distinctly remember spinning toward him, raising my right hand as I spun and pointing to his right shoulder as I shouted “Bird!” At that same time he ducked and a black crow swooped down and grazed his shoulder coming from behind us.

Was it real? The scratch on his shoulder was, the sound of the bird was real, and the awe I felt after realizing what had happened was real…

What is, is only what your mind tells you it is, and your mind tells you what is, as a result of your experiences. What intrigues me is who/what it is that our minds are providing this information to.

posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 03:30 AM
beautiful work,

i've put a link to here there :

backing up my opinion that PTB are using this exact knowledge to build public opinion, to program the sheeple to behave in a certain way, as it appears to me that a big agenda setting campaign is unfolding these days.

the agenda we could summarize as global unrest through various means.

posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 11:38 AM
I' ve been lurking here for awhile now, but this is my first post. In "collaborating" with this particular thread:

Everyday i am more and more convinced that there is no physical reality surrounding me; that my brain is just some sort of device projecting a situation of my own creation in which my faux-physical reality exists. When i allow myself to think about it deeply i' m filled with an emptiness and sense of loneliness at the prospect that it may all be an illusion that i' ve manifested.

Parallel to this feeling, i' m seeing that in a very basic way, it seems, i can mildly influence my surroundings - as in shaping the events of my day-to-day life. This observation is not at all helpful in refuting what i' ve mentioned in my first paragraph.

i' d really love to hear how somw fellow ATSers feel about this as well.

posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 12:55 PM
I don't know, I think the "science" of it all is kinda hoaky. The minute someone starts discussing the quantum of things I begin to think, hmm: quantum means extremely small, too small to be measured, therefore too small to prove. Then they build their conclusions on some umeasurable guess (aka theory). Kudos for guessing, but like creationism and evolution, it's still a guess. And the guesser just sounds smart because of big words built around something unprovable.

new topics

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in