I know this is going to sound pretty strange but have you ever wondered how a dog sees the world? I was walking Rocky just now and plainly, his world is a smell-based environment. His reality is different to mine just because he has a better sense of smell and better hearing across a broader set of frequencies. I will go ahead and assume he doesn’t see as well as me but who knows? It could be that he sees a different spectrum too. That might explain how dogs sometimes bark at things we do not see.
When Rocky looks down our street, he sees something very different to me. I imagine he has perhaps black and white vision superimposed with a smell-map and colored by sound. Who knows what his perception is like but it is very different to mine.
This idea reinforces the concept that we see very little of reality. We see what a picture of reality that is constrained in multiple ways. First, it is constrained by our ability to sense light, heat, sound, odor and more. Secondly, it is conditioned by what we have been taught is there. That vibration is purple, that one brown and so on. Thirdly, we are conditioned by what we expect to see. If there was an alien being in the street would I even see it? I wouldn’t expect it so I am not looking for it – it is not in my frame of attention. Additionally, I may not recognize it as an alien even if I do see it. My mind, may make it a tree or a rabbit. (The mind is a part of this because it interprets for us what we are sensing – if what it sees doesn’t compute but is similar to something familiar then that is what we actually think we see).
It’s a fascinating topic because logically, if you follow this all through it says that we ‘create’ the reality around us – our view anyway is colored by who we are and how we were taught and so much more. But if you take it even further and decide that in fact, everything outside is actually inside our mind (and it probably is), then the reality we perceive is also a reflection of who we are, what we think, what we believe and yes, what we want. We create our own reality.
So as Rocky and I walk along together, we are side-by-side in alternate realities. He is in his and me in mine. Or, is he just a creation of mine in my head? Or, am I just a creation of his in his head? – am I simply part of a dog’s life?