Albert Einstein stated that “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one”. Our perception of reality is formed by information that has been gathered by our five senses: touch, taste, hearing, smell, and sight. You could say that our view of the world is a construct built from sensory stimuli that your brain translates in order for you to make sense of it. In a way, the world as we know it exists only in our minds, as we do not experience it directly. What we are experiencing is our brains’ interpretation of the information collected by our sensors.
So we are not directly experiencing our environment, for example, the sound we hear are our ears response to fluctuations in air pressure with which our brain then interprets and the colors that we see are our eyes detecting the way in which light respond’s to the property of a particular surface of an object. Therefore the sound or color we experience is not inherent to the object but is an effect that the object invokes within our minds, it is a subjective experience, hence “Our sensory experience of the world is a reality we can’t look behind to see what’s really there…” (Bobby Berman – bigthink)
How much more skewed would our perception of the world be then if our health or the delivery systems that transport this sensory information to our brains were in a poor condition? Possibly not the most accurate representation of the environment that we are subjectively able to perceive, like a dirty pair of spectacles that do not receive the appropriate amount of care, the wearer’s ability to navigate obstacles would be somewhat diminished.
I guess the point of this post is to highlight how our health can affect the interpreted experience we have of our world. If “knowledge is power“, and I’m sure that these words originated far earlier than who Wikipedia attributes ownership to, then the quality of information with which we derive knowledge from is vital in achieving our personal goals.
I’m currently 5 weeks into training for the Auckland Marathon and have invested in a few training aids i.e, Tomtom Spark GPS Watch, Bluetooth earphones, Nike+ running app etc. The information that these training aids provide me with enables me to monitor my performance and make the necessary adjustments to my training & nutrition to ensure the best outcome for my efforts. I could train without them but the information these aids give me helps me to clearly visualize my goal of running my first marathon whilst boosting my self-esteem at the same time.
Why further cloud our experience of the world with sub-optimal health when we are already experiencing the world through an interpreted experience?