Truth vs Perception

Truth vs Perception: Which is more important — the truth of reality, or what is perceived to be reality? Looked at at another way, the questions could also be seen as between “absolute truth” and “relative truth” respectively.

I believe perception is, practically speaking, more important than truth.

When we perceive something, it is done with our senses: sight, sound, smell etc,. This input is put through our mind (like a blender, *click* *grrrrr* *ding*). So we come up with a mix of those sensed perceptions, blended with our mind, which gives the final result.

To change a perception, we can add filters to our senses (e.g. spectacles, hearing aid, thick gloves etc,.) that will instantly change reality for the person sensing it. Or, we might change how our mind “blends” the information together, (e.g. reading books on philosophy will change how we perceive the words “Plato” and “Socrates”, from “Great Philosopher” to “clown” if we don’t agree with his philosophies).

However, when we have to deal with truth, it becomes a whole different matter. You can’t really change the truth without making it into a whole new truth altogether.

Take for example an orange. The truth is that an orange is an orange. With perception, if you’re wearing “green glasses”, an orange will appear green. In reality, the orange is not green, but orange [in colour] still. But if you decide to paint the orange green, then the truth is that the orange is green.

Truth vs Perception In Advertising

In advertising, a lot of things are sold not on truth, but on perception. If you’ve ever heard of the brand “Rolex”, you’ll know that it’s priced way higher than other watches. But still people buy it. People don’t buy a “Rolex” simply because it tells time better or more accurately, but because of the perceived quality of it.

People perceive person with a Rolex as a person with success, prestige and class. In truth, it is nothing but a watch that tells time, isn’t it?

Truth vs Perception In Motivation

Perhaps one of the most documented things about perception in the self-help industry is the way self-perceptions (the perception of the self,) tends to be so limiting. One of the most famous stories on self-limiting perceptions is the story of Roger Bannister, the man of the four minute mile.

For years, the belief was that running a mile in four minutes was physically impossible. No one could ever do it, they (the critics) said. But they were wrong. In 1954, Bannister broke that long held belief with a time of 3 minutes 59.4 seconds — the world was stunned. Now, high-school students break that record for fun (gifted high-school students no doubt).

If you want, you can read about the story, complete with pictures: The Four Minute Mile.

In conclusion: Perception’s probably more important than Truth

In our daily lives, I would say our perception of reality is infinitely more important than reality itself. It isn’t that reality/absolute truth is not important, since reality is what we base our perceptions on. But that perceptions are the ones that can make reality real.

When we don’t believe in something, how can it be real? Until we start believing we can, we can’t.

8 Replies to “Truth vs Perception”

  1. Truth is more important then perceptions.

    It’s all too easy to manipulate a perception into a great big lie. So i can’t agree

  2. 141117 Thanks for your insights on “Truth vs. Perception”.

    I’m sorry that I didn’t have a chance to read all of it. In the process of answering an extension course question I’m taking in Scientology, my mind went off, as sadly as has always been my problem when I try to concentrate, and wondered about the police shooting of a black youth in Ferguson, Missouri, USA.

    It’s been literally decades since I began my disenchantment with television when I discovered that the laughter was the laugh track.
    Now more than ever, TV, in my opinion like radio before it, is desperately trying to hang on to its last iteration for the public’s attention. It has resorted to manipulating its “reality” that most live in.

    Personally, I’m of the opinion that the “man” killed in Ferguson disobeyed a police officer’s authority to investigate him. Alone, failing to have done so, the police officer would have denied me the protection for which his purpose had been defined. The man resisted. Should the officer then apologize and release him?

    You might not be aware, that many of all the media outlets (I live in New York) have been whipping up this story since it first became “news” several weeks ago! It’s being presented as “another case of police violence against black people.”

    Accordingly, EVERYONE who gets this “perception” is convinced that the police officer should be punished. By any other counrty, America would be the first to cry out, “propaganda!”. Ironically, those who capitalize on “yellow” journalism would call it, “free speech!”. Frankly, as I hope you know media sells its ads based on its ability to boil our appetites be they abdominal or genital.

    TRUTH, therefore again I opine, is what we as sentient beings bring to fully comprehend the reality we PERCEIVE. As long as what we PERCEIVE has NOT been edited, prescreened, censored or modified in any way to deny all the physical data that all of our senses can accommodate then in fact perception is FACT and therefore is only TRUE to that extent. What is – IS! Doesn’t mean it’s obligated to repeat itself. Telling the truth is presenting one’s best recalled perception of the facts.

    A ubiquitous example of truth maligned by perception is media. It’s the alchemy of the magician entertaining the needy by tricking their senses. The real tragedy, however, is the never ever expected degeneration of the “free press” having evolved to self-serve its greedy survival (and especially now in the age of the Internet) by appealing to the instincts I’ve noted previously and whatever other chicanery it can muster our attention. When the principal appeal for media from its inception was its capability to expand our perception by providing us with a “reality” window on the world. But it has moved away from presenting the comprehensive fact-based story we’ve faithfully come to rely upon so that we can know outside of our “box”.

    It is by OUR TRUTH, our realization of what is missing, incomplete, illogical, unsupported, one-sided, fallacious etc., however, that what we have perceived could in FACT be a deception. It is the facts that tell the true story. That agreement is the force of social cohesion. However, ultimately we alone and not our senses nor any other source decide what’s TRUE for us.

    1. You are, quite obviously, an incredibly astute & extremely intelligent person. I truly enjoyed reading your entire commentary here & genuinely appreciate your thoughtful insight.

      That said, how in the holy hell are you a Scientologist?

  3. Pingback: Truth perception | Keizunet
  4. Therefore truth is the foundation, core or building block of reality. While perception is one’s blundering grasp of it. Through manipulation of perception you can tweak your own perception or another person’s perception but not reality. Even after you’ve painted over the orange the true color is orange. The false color is green. However that won’t stop an ignorant person from perceiving that the orange is truly green. Thus one’s perception of truth is dependent on their knowledge/awareness of it. Every individual creates their own perception of reality through what they know or feel.

  5. Truth is…..what is not. So Truth is the unseen world and reality is the seen world. However, we FEEL as if reality is the real world because of our sense which tell it is so. For example our senses tell us a tree is there, but who to say that the has not always been there?

Let me know what you think