Saturday, May 22, 2010

We have eyes...but do we really see?

An obvious observation about a dog is that you can hand them anything and they'll accept it without understanding. A lump of food, a digital watch, a stick, can of soda are all in the same basic place to them: can I or can't I eat it? When they're through with it, the item joins the background noise of their lives.

But a less overused metaphor is when you point at the clouds or the stars for the dog and all they see is the end of your finger. Looking up, or observing the background of the world, is not only incomprehensible but irrelevant to them.

I wonder if the same rings true for us on some level. Are we staring so hard at our surroundings that we don't see 50% of it? I don't mean quarks and microwaves and viruses and infrared. I mean something that is so clear that all it needs is relevance to spot it. What might it consist of? Metaphysical? Consciousness? Interchangeable density and energy? Another level or species of life that shares our world without our notice?

What if one time you lifted your Schnauzer's snout to the stars and for the very first time he saw the twinkle of Venus next to the Moon. He'd bark, look to you for approval and move on to the next thing.

I suspect that's what most of us do when we spot the unknown.

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