How our Perception creates Reality

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. – Talmud
We perceive things differently. In fact, we decide to select different aspects of a message to focus our attention on. What interests us, what is familiar to us, or what we consider important seems to cause what we perceive. We choose some stimuli while ignoring others.
I can't help but wonder:
Does reality exist or is it merely subjective in nature?
Does our perception create our own reality?

I'm sure you have been in the situation where you found yourself misunderstood. We like to say that what we communicate leaves our system with the intent that our message carries 100% of our intent outwards in order to be 100% understood by another person.  This would be the ideal scenario but that's rarely the case, at least not in my world.

What we communicate and what is perceived are two different pairs of shoes. Often a fair amount of meaning is lost in communication.

Why do we perceive things differently? 

The root cause can often be found in our individual differences.
Primarily, we perceive messages through our receptors, our human senses.
The most commonly understood senses are these five.
If you dig deeper, you will find that our perception is also influenced by these factors.
Genetic heritage
Life experience
Cultural background
Attitudes, beliefs, and values 
Psychologica state (e.g. anxiety, euphoria)
Our set of receptors are activated to different degrees in different situation. If we both walk down the road, we would notice and experience something completely different. What I observe and manage another person to see, is that the scientific form of reality?
What strikes me about the scientific reality is that many theories once regarded as empirically successful are now believed to be false. The scientific reality is rooted in several observations on the one hand, but more importantly with the ability to communicate one's findings. The ability to accurately communicate one's reality towards someone who shares similar receptors, that seems to be the heart of it.
Does that mean something is not true only because I am not able to communicate properly or you to understand me?
Do we need to have a certain amount of supporters to our theories in order for them to be true?
I'm not sure I agree that I need others to confirm my reality.
To an extent, science seems to be a political game of convincing others. 

Dolphins communicate at a much higher frequency, sending messages back and forth which the human is incapable of understanding. Even if birds are twittering, we are not able to encode what they are saying. I wouldn't say that what they are saying is not real.

The spectrum of scientific measurement devices reaches from clocks, thermometers, scales to what not, all aiming at proving the facts. However, the scientist of the 17th century had different capabilities as he would in today's computational times. Bear in mind that there will be new devices which will enable us to get closer to explaining our world.

To me, reality seems to be a judgement upon those facts.
If a computer that should connect a bunch of facts into meaning, I'm not sure he can do that in the same fashion a human could do.
But since each one of us can have a different judgement of facts we come up with our own ‘version’ of such reality.

I find that people focus on their own flaws and see their fear reflected outwards
This highlights the necessity for one to be in charge of their perception of reality.
Because if we don’t, there are plenty of folks whose sole purpose in life is to craft that perception for us. 

What you believe to be real is only as true as your worldly experience and it doesn’t go any further than that. 

As suggested by Douglas Adams, everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you.
You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you.
In my world, I settle for the fact that all what's left is our perception which begins with us and ends with us.

We're the centre of our own universe.

How do you understand reality?
Is there a difference between scientific reality and one's personal reality?


Find me on Twitter

Thanks for the visuals used in this post.

Recommended Reading


  1. Woah I really love this topic Finja, it got me thinking. I have to 100% agree with you (and Douglas Adam) that we create our own universe. And I strongly agree that your psychological state has a huge effect on how you perceive the world. When I was going through depression, the world seemed so dark and horrible, and I didn’t want to live here anymore. But now, here I am on the same world but a few years older and not depressed anymore, I see all the little, beautiful things in this world, and I want to stay alive for as long as I can, to be with the ones I love (family, boyfriend). My experience is just one of many examples on how various factors can distort and change your personal reality.

    Thank you for writing this! It was really thought-provoking, and I look forward to reading more posts like this from you. 🙂

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience with me Carly. I’m glad to hear you’re okay now. The world looks so much more beautiful doesn’t it? :’)

    2. Hi Nana,
      Thank you, than you, thank you! Your words mean so much to me, it’s good to hear how another person regards this matter because I could have been wrong in the first place. Thanks for your words!!! 🙂 +have a great weekend!

  2. Once again, a fantastic piece of writing that stimulates the mind and soul! Reading this reminds me of a quote I have somewhere in my house along the lines of “There is nothing more important to true growth than realising that you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it”. I 100% agree that our perception shapes everything in which we see in this life. I’ve even toyed with the idea over the years that this is no Universe as such, but rather billions of Universes all unique to each of us. Great words!

  3. What a great post, in the last few days I’ve been so misunderstood and it’s awful when in today’s society it’s now acceptable to be greeted with a barrage of abuse!

    I always think about how that everyone is unique and that is why people’s worlds do clash

  4. You just really shook my head and mind a bit. I do agree with you that we all create our own worlds, universes and that reality is perceived differently by different people. It’s just the way it works. It’s not possible to send a message in a way that other person will understand it 100% correctly. At least that’s how I imagine it 🙂

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

  5. Great post. Consciousness is what it is like to have your particular mental model of the world. That model is an active real-time pre-processor. So I think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *