Chapter seven in Global Brain by Howard Bloom. 1st ed. copyright 2000, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Bloom gives us 3 definitions of reality:

"A composite unity by a network of interactions of components that (i) through their interactions recursively regenerate the network of interactions that produced them, and (ii) realize the network as a unity in the space in which the components exist by consitituting and specifying the unity's boundaries as a cleavage from the background . . ."

--Francisco J. Varela, "Autonomy and Autopoiesis"

"A domain of interlocked (intercalated and mutually triggering) sequence of states, established and determined through ontogenic interactions between structurally plastic state-determined systems."

--Humberto R. Maturana, "The Organization of the Living: A Theory of Living Organization"

"The observer . . . [is] the source of all reality."

--Humberto R. Maturana, "Reality: The Search for Objectivity or the Quest for a Compelling Argument"

Bloom summarizes all the above as, "Reality is in the mind of the beholder" (65).

Bloom also provides many classic examples of the human mind adapting to extreme changes of perception, such as the goggles that turn a person's vision up-side down (until the mind adapts, and the person actually sees things right-side up again), split-brain patients, and the like. If you've ever taken an Intro to Psychology class, you'll probably be familiar with many of these experiments.

Back to Chapter 6: Threading a New Tapestry
On to Chapter 8: Reality Is a Shared Hallucination
Up to the Index.

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