Bubble of Perception

Perception is not only how we consciously experience the world around us through senses such as taste, smell, sight, hearing and touch, but also how we interpret, understand and use this information within life. I like to imagine perception to be like this little bubble that you are surrounded by, a bubble that slowly increases in size as you get older and become more knowledgeable of the world outside of it's imaginary boundaries.

When you are very young, your bubble of perception is only limited to a very small area as you have pretty much no prior experience of the big wide world outside of your house or garden. I found that this was the stage in my life where my imagination was the highest and most profound because most of my knowledge and understanding was coming from children's TV and books where pretty much anything you could think up was possible. I would spend hours making fortresses out of old boxes and blankets, creating dens in the dense garden foliage and dreaming up what I thought to be amazing fictitious story plots, filled with drama and action to act out with teddy bears. All of this was possible without knowing that politics, religion or even other countries even existed firmly outside of your bubble of perception. This is a kind of solace period within life, before having to worry about real situations of distress, responsibility or sadness, where the biggest dilemma that you could possibly have on a daily basis was finding a 2 bit brick within your mountain of LEGO.

By around the age of 10, your little bubble of perception has probably expanded to around the size of your village or city. Despite this, I don't think that perception is just linked to geographical area, it's also all to do with experiences you've had and the knowledge gained from them. Experiences are something that you have plenty of at this age. Starting school means that some of the perception you gain of the world will come from social learning of subjects such as science, history and geography and sharing information with other like minded people. You begin to realise that there is actually a world out there bigger than yourself just waiting to be explored. 

The teenage years are where your bubble of perception will start to grow most, the years where the world is quite literally your oyster. Like I previously stated, experiences have a huge effect on how we perceive things and as a teen you experience a lot for the first time. Relationships, religion, higher education, travel, politics, all of which can completely change the way that you think and view the world. Many teens start to travel, venturing to the foreign realms of other countries and immersing themselves in other cultures and religions to become a lot more clued up on the world as a whole. One of the great things about travel is that you meet people from all walks of life with all kinds of fascinating stories to tell and information to share. Advances in science and technology mean that it has become a lot easier to educate ourselves on the world around us without actually having to leave the comfort of our own homes. I always find it really interesting as a biology student learning about things that happen to people and in the environment around them on a daily basis without the majority even acknowledging that it is happening. How does your body fight off infections? How is it possible to breath without thinking? How do different breeds of dogs all come from the same ancestor? How does deforestation in the Amazon rain forest affect Bob from London? This is the reason that I think it's great to continue learning as you get older, regardless of whether or not you're in education to further expand your knowledge and therefore your bubble of perception.

As an adult, you would think that the rate of expansion of this bubble of perception would begin to slow as it started to approach the maximum level. After all, haven't you already experienced everything? The simple answer is no. I believe that we don't ever stop bettering ourselves or expanding our knowledge of the human race and the earth as a whole. Social media and the internet make it easier to perceive an experience that you haven't had or place that you've never been to through shared photos and videos. New things are discovered, invented and created every day by minds much more brilliant than mine but then shared with others in order to increase our bubble of perception as a whole species. The big question is, will our bubble of perception ever extend beyond our earth, our solar system, our universe? Yes we can learn things from down here on earth but we still don't have the technology to fully experience it, instead calculating an educated guess or taking somebody else's word for it. I can imagine Neil Armstrong taking his first step on the moon and even watch a video of the moment itself, but I will never be able to truly experience and perceive what it is like myself. Where does our bubble of perception end? We are just a small pebble in a vast ocean of unknown space only being able to see so far into the observable universe and therefore anything beyond is merely guess work.

Inside your little bubble of perception within your back garden anything was possible, so why can't the same be true for our relatively small collective bubble of perception as a human race within a vast universe.


Rebecca said...

This was a really interesting and thought-provoking post. I think it's amazing how we are basically vessels of perception really - we're so lucky as humans that we get to experience so much and have the ability to ponder on it!
Rebecca | Notes From September

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