We don’t, as the old saw has it, see things as they are but as we are. The neuroscientist Beau Lotto, who specialises in perception, holds that what we see of the world is a version we’ve evolved to perceive. Not so much seeing things as we are, but according to what we need or what is useful for us to see. This I find fascinating.
On one level, all seems tickety boo: our senses tell us stories about the world which we make meaningful and translate into experience. On a cultural and geographical level, though, is where I begin to wonder about the evolution of perception and the influences that time and space have on us.
I was born on a continent where my forebears had been for roughly one hundred years, a couple or three generations and, since that continent was Africa, was I [who was this ‘I’?] coming home in evolutionary terms? Presently, it is the case that I have spent more of my life on one of the farther edges of the Asian continent: what effects has this on my evolutionary path? What perceptions have altered, I wonder, being here? Does it matter? To whom?
Such are the meanderings of a global soul . . .