Reviews | Moose
The most recent Chapter of Incognito is all about Instincts, detailing the thoughts that are embedded into our nature as human beings. Effectively, the brain is wired for our survival - which seems like a very obvious thing to say.
David Eagleman (or Engleman) introduces two ideas about reality:
- Umwelt - Which is effectively the part of the world that you are able to see
- Umgebung - The bigger reality
Your umwelt is what you experience, in terms of what you see, smell, hear, etc. The crazy thing to me is that there is another experience that is not mine. I mean, this is obvious, but if you look at the wider picture, there are so many ways that this can be summarised.
For example, I'm not colour blind. I cannot imagine what life would be like without the use of colours around me, the idea of seeing a young woman, and not being able to feel an excitement at the dark red lipstick she is wearing, or her blue eyes, her blonde, brunette, auburn hair. But every day there are people that are not able to witness these occurrences, these mixes of colours, but to them, this is their reality. They may be told that what they see is wrong, but they have learnt to adjust to their reality, and realistically, can they be wrong in what they say. (Something like this really makes me appreciate life, and the millions upon millions of lives that have lived, and the fact that they have all thought, and have lived different realities, all the way down to the smallest animal, or cell).
I'll use another example:
I heard a few years ago that dogs have 50x better smell than humans do. I can't imagine smelling more than I already do! There are some pretty foul smells out there, and I see my dog, on a regular occasion, smelling the arse of some other dog, or putting its nose into a pile of shit on the floor to get a better whiff of it. I was disgusted at this! I'm running out of the bathroom on a regular basis at some of the foul smells I produce, and here is this animal with 50x better smell...... Yet it is the reality that my dog lives. It wouldn't be too out of the question to suggest that dogs would not have survived this long without that ability to smell that they possess.
Here's another one that sent me crazy when I read it (would have been a mind fuck if I was high at the time):
We all know of the colour red, as an example. What if you saw the red that you know now, whereas I saw it as a Mustard colour. Ultimately, if we both accept it as the same thing, and it's universally known as red, what does it matter?
I wouldn't be able to put it any differently than Eagleman (Engleman) does:
"Our reality is our reality. It does not mean that it is the world out there. Just because someone may have a deficiency, such as blindness, it does not mean that they have any worse of an experience. It's just different."
There are so many different ways to live life, that we should not judge. We should just appreciate that situation that we have been put in and be happy with it.
What really interested me, though, is the idea of Instincts. I won't go into too much detail, because you need to read the book.
Basically though, it really emphasised the need to be myself. Forget about all the worries, all the pressures, because ultimately I am only human. And because I am human, I have desires. The way I should live, is that I should follow my desires when I have them. I should live by what I want, by what I need.
And it's given me a thought that I can use to improve on the novel that I have been planning.
Watch this space.
You can buy Incognito if you live in the US, the UK and anywhere else in the world, but I can't physically link every country!!