Twenty-three years ago, roving reporter Rotbart said to me,
“You are three different people.
1. There is the person you see when you look in the mirror.
2. There is the person other people see when they look at you.
3. There is the real you, the person no one can see but God.”
Objective reality exists. I do not dispute it. Rotbart’s argument – and mine – is that you and he and I are not equipped to experience it.
I live in a perceptual reality; a world that I perceive.
You live in a perceptual reality; a world that you perceive.
You see your own actions in the forgiving light of your motives, intentions, and regrets, while the “you” that is seen by others is shaped and shaded by their preferences, prejudices, and perspectives.
John Steinbeck speaks of this in his preface to East of Eden,
“The reader will take from my book what he brings to it. The dull witted will get dullness and the brilliant may find things in my book I didn’t know were there.”
Steinbeck knew that we tend to see what is already within us.
On May 1, 1831, an unspecified writer for The Atlas in London wrote,
“We cannot see things as they are, for we are compelled by a necessity of nature to see things as we are. We can never get rid of ourselves.”
Twenty years ago, my friend Kary Mullis challenged my musings about perceptual reality in front of a roomful of people. He said that his belief, as a scientist, was that “real” things can be measured, tested, and weighed. “Real things exist,” he said. “If it is not physical, it is imaginary.”
I said, “Are emotions and opinions and beliefs real?”
Kary described scientific method and Koch’s postulates, (the four criteria designed to establish a causative relationship between a microbe and a disease,) while I dragged a barstool to the front of the room. Holding up a copy of his book, Dancing Naked in the Mind Field, I said, “Kary, would you be willing to sit on this barstool and read the dedication page to us?”
As Kary read the page he wrote to his wife, Nancy, his voice tightened and he stopped speaking as tears rolled down his cheeks. I said, “Keep reading, Kary. It’s all imaginary, remember?”
When he could speak again, he admitted I was right, and that a whole world of reality exists beyond the reach of physical science.
Kary Mullis was a highly confident genius who was willing to change his mind.
Persons like Kary Mullis are exactly the people Desmond Ford was talking about when he said,
“A wise man changes his mind sometimes, but a fool never. To change your mind is the best evidence you have one.”
Kary is gone now and I miss him deeply.
The world of 2022 needs more people like him, and quickly.
Roy H. Williams
“Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.” – Meg Chittenden
“Ever realised how surreal reading a book actually is? You stare at marked slices of tree for hours on end, hallucinating vividly.” – Katie Oldham, Sept 12, 2014, retweeted 3,837 times, favorited 3,728 times
Roving reporter Rotbart is being mysterious about his guests this week. All he’ll say is that their names are Peter Desberg and Jeffrey Davis and their clients include Apple, Boeing, Toyota, Dell Computers, and Honda. But the roving reporter promises his guests will be incredibly entertaining and provide actionable advice, regardless of the business you’re in. We’ve lit the fuse. This rocket will rise at MondayMorningRadio.com in 10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6…