We see and understand things not as they are but as we are

“Generally, about all perception, we can say that a sense is what has the power of receiving into itself the sensible forms of things without the matter, in the way in which a piece of wax takes on the impress of a signet ring without the iron or gold.”

Aristotle, “On the Soul”

The vast and immense world around us is filled with knowledge and wisdom. These can be in any form from books to encyclopedias to computers. Nowadays, we are overwhelmed by the rapid growth of technology. Most of the time, people rely on the virtual world to learn, access, and discover new things. Businessmen and Stockbrokers alike would want to acquire information on the economy at a fast-pace. Backpackers use the Internet to book their frequent flights to different countries as soon as possible. Technology has really become a reliable source of finding new knowledge. Nevertheless, the information superhighway has its limits. Knowledge can sometimes require sophistication.

Knowledge is very broad. Each and everyone of us have a different perspective of understanding “things”. We perhaps see and understand these things in relation to different cultures backgrounds and contexts. One example would be a family going on a tour trip. In the tour trip, you meet new and different kinds of people who have their own ways of understanding. The mutual relationship does not fit in the described example because the two groups are from different places. Another example would be the argument between a parent and a child. The child argues with the parent because of his/her stubbornness. I have already experienced this kind of example with my mom. When I was still a little toddler, I always insisted on my mom to buy toys. I would usually go on a tantrum if I do not get what I wanted. That gut feeling of causing so much noise was my only intention. But my mom would earnestly say to me: “You have lots of toys at home. We can buy next time if you give some away.” I then became quiet. I would not want to argue anymore since she is at her limit already. I realize that understanding is something that must be used for all that is good.

Aside from the use of technology to understand things, there are two other ways of knowing that one can use to understand. Those two ways are sense perception and reason. We use our five senses to interpret and understand the gift of knowledge around us. We also depend on our five senses to help us in learning and acquiring new knowledge. On the other hand, reason makes discovering knowledge more elaborate. Reason can either be inductive or deductive. We use inductive reasoning to create a general idea or statement out of the many gathered pieces of facts just like a lab experiment. Facts can sometimes be deduced from general rules or theories. Deductive reasoning enables us to create different facts or scenarios based on the given concept. Some might say that sense perception is a better way to understand things; others say it is reason. There are some instances where sense perception or reason would be better. For one, you do not need reason to tell the aroma or taste of roast chicken. It is also impossible to tell the direction of the wind using the sense of touch. Truly the ways of knowing have a significance in our understanding of things, both physical and mental.

I believe that these ways of knowing, both sense perception and reasoning, are very important aspects in understanding the great world full of knowledge and “things”. Yet, these are not enough. We can always expand our own ways of knowing aside from these two ways of knowing. We must always open our minds to the possibilities and opportunities that await us. As individuals, being sophisticated with the outside world is a skill that we must cherish. This skill also helps us in determining the flaws in our decisions and understanding. It is similar to the saying: “Learn from your mistakes.” It is our choice on how we can shape the understanding of knowledge.

In this world, there are mysteries and secrets, which is difficult to explain. Nevertheless, we are intelligent beings, capable of sensing, reasoning, and understanding the vast existence of knowledge. Believe or not, it is not a small world after all.

Word Count: 733 words (including quote)

2 thoughts on “We see and understand things not as they are but as we are

  1. 3 things the person does well
    1) Provided a quote
    2) The thesis statement is clear and well supported
    3) You gave examples of your life

    2 concrete suggestions for improvement
    1) Try being more direct to the point
    2) You can give more personal experiences that would capture your essay’s points.

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