Vertical Development

Our Perception of Reality Is Like Using Virtual Reality Glasses

This discussion video has made me realize that my metaphor for how we perceive reality as though it was looking through augmented reality glasses is wrong. Instead it’s more like we are using virtual reality glasses to see a reconstructed “appearance” of reality, as Rupert Spira notes in the discussion.

The difference is that augmented reality glasses allow you to directly see through them to what’s beyond, adding additional elements on top of what you’re viewing. With virtual reality glasses however, there is no translucent pass through whatsoever.

Unfortunately this gets confusing now because augmented reality glasses and virtual reality glasses are merging. For example, Apple touts its Vision Pro as primary for “augment reality” but it actually has no translucent pass through similar to Google Glasses. Instead it visually records what’s occurring around you and relays that to the internal screen for the user to see, similar to how a lot of virtual reality goggles are doing so, like Meta Quest devices.

But again, the proper metaphor for perceiving reality would be that you are wearing virtual reality glasses and seeing a limited reconstruction of reality (with no direct pass through or relaying of any kind) but one that seems complete natural and whole to you.

The world is not what you see, it is the way you see.

Rupert Spira

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