A representation of the physical world inside our minds

by phoxis

When we communicate with the external world, what we actually do is communicate inside our mind. For every living and non-living entity in our surrounding we have a corresponding image, of which we may or may not be aware of. This image is formed inside our mind mainly by inspecting the external behaviour of the other entity and complex interactions within different images inside our mind. These images are not static or fixed. They change every moment by reacting and interacting with other images through the complex relationships and communications within themselves in our mind, even when we are not interacting with the corresponding entity in the physical world. Sometimes we can have an image inside our mind which has no corresponding entity in the physical world.

We meet many people in the physical world. How the image of a  person will be built inside the mind is very complicated. The external appearance, behaviour, our previous experience about other interaction, prior information about that person, the circumstances in which the interaction is taking place, the state of your mind at that time and many other factors will contribute in a very complex manner. All these factors which I just mentioned and which I did not mention are nothing but lots of raw information coming inside us. We interpret these information and use it to form and modify the image of that person. An interesting case is the image of movie actors in our minds. They are formed by the characters they play and information from the news. The images can be quite different if you personally knew them.

Every person is different. Two laboratory produced identical clones are different, because the circumstances are different, there interpretations of the incoming information are different. Here, things complicate more: interpretation and representation of information. The next two paragraphs attempt to explain the terms in this context respectively.

Two persons can be exposed to the same information coming from the outside physical world, but the images build inside their mind of the entity related to the incoming stream of information has to be at least different upto some extent, and also can differ vastly, as a result of different interpretations. These interpretations are generally automatic and we are not conscious about it. Interpretation of a single person can change and as a result of that change the images inside the minds can also change drastically. As a simple example, the person whom you know once to be a bad person because he/she did some thing wrong, may appear as a good person after you realize that what he/she did was actually not incorrect, because your interpretation has changes.

When we communicate we want to express something which is inside our mind. The communication is not only the language, but also includes the body language, the expressions, tone of voice and other elements. We attempt to express or represent what we want to communicate using these elements of communication, and no representation of the idea in the mind is perfect. Every representation of an idea to the elements of communication is approximate. Things complicate even more when the interpretation with which the thought or idea was represented, get interpreted differently on the other side. You may tell something very casually or for fun to someone, which can get interpreted as offensive or hurting on the other side. I think this is a result of a very complex combination of inaccurate representation and different interpretation.

Every entity has an image, we have an image of ourselves too. In fact we have more than one images of ourselves inside our mind, which I think is also formed in the same way as it is formed in the case of external entities, by processing information about our own physical existence and other factors as I mentioned before.

When we talk or interact to some other person in the physical world, in my opinion, what happens is that your image and the other person’s image inside you mind interact in our minds based on the available incoming information, the above mentioned factors, and the state of the both image and other factors. The interesting to realize that the image of you in your mind and the image of you in the other person’s mind are different. Same in the case of the image of the other person in your mind and that person’s mind. This is because the images were formed by two different persons with different information and different representation and interpretation of the information. Therefore when we talk with a person two images interact withing themselves in the mind, may be in isolation. While interacting, new information and the other factors will change both the images of you and the other person inside both of the minds. Other related images can also change. Like, a conversation will include other people’s name, name of places, etc. which will result in a change of those too, like a chain reaction. This also applies in the case of other living beings other than humans. In those case what changes is the way we interpret it. Sometimes you will understand what your dog wants to tell you by inspecting his/her behaviour, but you may fail to understand the behaviour of a person you don’t know much.

Have you felt bad when throwing away or loosing a non-living thing, a piece of paper, a teddy bear, a broken toy, a t-shirt, a pen, the old laptop or phone, or leaving school, your office? Assuming the answer as “yes”, this happens because of the same process, in this case the incoming information is limited the interpretation different too. I think in this case unlike the interaction with a human-being or a living-being the external communication is much more limited, and the interaction and communication with the non-living being depends more on the internal communication with its image and your image inside you. Some of you, who are able to communicate with non-living objects will understand what I want to tell. I think, to communicate with non-living objects more imagination is needed.

Imagination is a difficult word. I think we might get an understanding of this word on this context by thinking “imagination” is to generate new data information in our mind about the different images and interpret them to change the images, as if the information came from the outside physical world from the corresponding physical entity of the image. I think this is how we talk inside the mind, imagine us to be with other people, talk with them in the mind, romanticize and all kinds of interactions done in mind. Children are often seen to talk with toys, it’s not childish, it is the imagination. Inability to talk to non-living beings is not a sign of a person to grow up to an adult, instead I consider it to loose a considerable amount of imagination power.

I have also mentioned that there can be images in the mind corresponding to which there is no physical entity. I think the best example of this will be what is called the “ideal” friend, girlfriend inside our mind. Or a classic example will be The God (I believe it just a name of an image). Ofcourse this image will be formed depending on outside world communication, the different factors, and the other existing images inside our mind, but will have no corresponding existence. Even you have different images of yourself inside your mind. Think of an image of an incident a piece of music which is inside your mind and relates to other images. You can find your image and may be able to view as another person’s image of the person you see on the other side of the mirror, the person hiding inside the pages of your diary or journal or with any other non-living thing. With this point of view, imaginary friend or friends is nothing strange.

From a point of view it can be said that we are all the communicating with ourselves inside the mind. I do not claim this to be true, because truth is not absolute and everything, everything in this world depends on the interpretation. The idea I have presented or tried to present is an attempt to model the outside world and the communications within the entities. There can be other models to, and basically there are as many models or perspectives to view and analyze the world as the number number of living beings in the world, because non-living beings cannot interpret information.

I have tried to briefly outline what I have in my mind at this point, and it is an approximate representation of my thoughts which, again, is dynamic and will depend on the interpretation at your end.

Sometimes the above stuff sounds like crap stuff to me, but sometimes I feel that it is not wrong from a perspective because I can explain or link a lot of things with this point of view.