Everything about our human scale causes us to foundationally misapprehend reality. The very fact of being in our bodies creates a perceptual bias.
The limits of our sensory capacity- what we can see with the naked eye or hear unaided, the length of our lives– even the size of our bodies- conspire to limit our understanding. How can we truly understand continents that disperse and come together in 400 million year cycles if we only live 80? How can we hear the language in whale song when it is at a frequency is so much lower than our ears can take in?
Although most of us are not conscious of it as we walk through the world day to day, we are collectively conscious of these limitations, and something in us is always reaching farther- to surpass them. We develop instrumentation to see more and hear more: think of the countless enhancements to our naked perceptions that we have devised- tele and microscopes, infrared, amplifiers, carbon dating- the purview of science. Or, we go deeper into awareness practices that enhance our perception while leaving the machine tools behind: trying meditation, ritual, altered states- the perceptual domain of the mystics.
In fact, we could see the entirety of scientific exploration, and possibly spiritual as well, as attempts to transcend and surpass our biological limitations.
What is true for us at any given moment- a dog barking, a tingling in the jaw, the peripheral awareness of something crouched nearby- is only part of what’s going on. Over and over, we don’t see the big patterns. Instead, we believe that our direct experience is truth, while those things outside our immediate perceptual capacity are ignored. We can only tune in on one level, on the frequency of the human being- even though science and spirituality tell us that at any given moment there are greater forces, parallel dimensions, smaller and larger concurrent experiences that tell a different story of the same moment.
When we DO have a larger understanding of what is happening around us, when we have the help of instruments and tools, we change our beliefs, we change our mind, we change our policies.
SCALE tells the stories behind the augmentation of our 5 senses through advances in scientific instrumentation, and the often unexamined 6th sense, time. It looks at the moments of aha and wonder that come out of these new ways of looking with anecdotes and poetry. It looks at how the discoveries have changed the way we understand each other and the world. Ultimately, SCALE urges us to keep an open mind, to keep seeking and to stay humble in the way we walk in the world, ready to change as new information presents itself.
Publication date: March, 2011.