In order to analyze this quote we have to analyze different terms to understand what it is implicating. One thing that must be understood before discussing the quote is to define the concept of reality. Reality that which possesses the quality of being real, and real is according to the The American Heritage(r) Dictionary of the English Language “something existing objectively in the world regardless of subjectivity or conventions of thought or language”. In other words reality is not the one you perceive it is the one which can’t be perceived.
To understand this we have to comprehend the concept of perception. Perception is the way your brain conceives the information from the outside world in order to create a reality which is suitable for you. In other words it is the way you “see” the world. What has to be understood is that our brain has no real contact with the real world, it is our senses which send nerve impulses into our brain that help it create our “reality” in our heads. It can be said that perception is that which blinds us from the real world since it makes each individual perceive the world in different but mostly similar ways.
Now that these concepts have been cleared out, it is possible to agree with the quote in discussion. Our perception of the world depend on the “filters” our brain uses to create is. What it is meant by the term “filters” is by our physical, psychological, and environmental limitations which the brains is bound to when creation the “real world in our mind”. As the French writer Anais Nin expresses, “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are”. This previous quote explains that people don’t see the true reality of things, they just see their reality.
As stated before it is these filters that blinds people from seeing the “real world”. Such filters include the social, cultural, psychological, environmental and physical. The main type of filter used by humans when dealing with perception is the physical one dealing with their senses and their biological limitations. The only real true contact our body has with the real world is through our senses. Our senses transform the perceptions of light, sound, smell, taste and tactility into nerve impulses which travel to the brain to be interpreted.
It is very important to realize this because this tells us how important our senses are to the understanding of the perception of reality. Our perception of things might be different from the one of others since our senses might collect the information in a different way than another person. One example of how our senses are filters of the way we look at the world might be if you are very small and you see a medium sized individual he might appear tall to you, but if you ask a basketball player he might think the guy is very short.
It all depends on the position you are when you look at things. This can happen with al the senses in similar ways as well. There are a whole range of different types of wavelengths in the light spectrum that our eye cannot see, but that does not mean they do not exist. Just because you are not able to see, smell, taste, hear, or touch something does not mean that thing is not real; humans have biological limitations that in some way blinds them from the truth.
Our brain can only handle so much information at a time so most of the time many things that we hear, see, touch or smell are not processed by our conscious brain since they are not considered as important. This case is seen everyday in school when you drift of in class and focus on something else and not on the lesson. Your ear is still receiving the sound from the teachers voice and the nerve impulse is sent to the brain, but your brain does not process it completely since it is focused on another thing.
Your knowledge or past experience also serve as a kind of filter that impedes us from seeing the real world. The term of knowledge not only includes the information you learn from school and books but also the information or the conditioning the culture and society provide you. Past experience may filter out information because it can often condition you to expect things based on prior knowledge; and unfortunately most of the time we see what we except rather than to what really happens.
An example of this might be in the case of the student who manages to cheat successfully on one test, so he plans to do it one the next thinking it is going to work out as last time, but in reality he does not realize that he has a huge possibility of being caught because the teacher is wary of him. Other existing learning structures can be considered as filters as well since we use them to compare and classify new things that we encounter which we have no knowledge of.
Past experience and existing learning structures can be classified as knowledge, but another kind of filter that can also can be classified as previous knowledge can be the cultural and social conditioning present in our environment. This filter is present when often our prejudice and assumptions leas us to false conclusions. Our morals, religions, values and all those others taught to us by our families since babies are filters when interpreting the reality. There are endless amounts of examples of these filters present in our everyday life and can be seen when you turn on the T. V. and watch the news.
A simple example of this might be that for a catholic it is ok to eat meat, but for a Hindu this action is considered to be a terrible offense since cows are sacred to them. There are many other much more complex situations that could arouse because of the differences of realities caused by these filters; but the important thing to understand is that we live in a world where there are copious amounts of religion and with them millions of different people that clash and fight about incidents just because they were brought up and taught in a different manner so their realities are different as well.
Another big type of filter is the psychological or emotional filter. The brain interprets the information in different ways just because of the way you are as a whole. Many types people perceive the same things in different ways just by the mood they are in. For example a person who just lost a member of his family and is grieving might go watch a comedy and might think it is not good. A year later he watches the same movie on T. V. and he might think it is the funniest movie ever.
This is because the first time he was sad because of the lost of his relative and this acted as a filter of the reality. There are many other examples dealing with emotional filters but most of them alike. In the same field, the psychological filters are more complex. The are the filters that deal most with your personality and the way you look at things. Some people might say that your personality has to do with the background you have grown in and others might disagree so that’s why it is in a different category.
An example of this psychological filter might be that for a teenager heavy metal is the best kind of music and that it is very entertaining, but for his grandfather the same kind of music he thinks of it as horrible and satanic. There is no right answer for this problem because nobody can decide what is real and what is false since everyone’s opinion is going to be biased. Another example of this has to deal with close-minded and open-minded people which see the world in a very different way.