Perception Versus Reality

Last Updated on March 11, 2021

Perception is not reality. I think about this a lot. It is interesting from a rationalism philosophy perspective, a physics perspective, and also an interpersonal one!


There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.


Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them…he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

John Stuart Mill

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.

Marcus Aurelius

It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgements concerning them.


There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each differently.

Robert Evans

This is my personal favorite from poetic Proust:

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust

Take perception seriously, but not literally

This is mind bending! Watch it.

The eye that sees is not a mere physical organ but a means of perception conditioned by the tradition in which its possessor has been reared. 

Ruth Benedict