What We See
WHAT colour is red? Seems a rather ridiculous question. We tend to take it for granted that everyone sees everything in the world in exactly the same way as we do, but how can you be so sure that the colour you recognize as red is the same colour that is recognized as red by somebody else?
Maybe, if you could see through another person’s eyes, you would judge the colour that they recognize as red to be some other colour or shade, or even a colour you would not recognize. You can never know for sure because you can only view the world through your own eyes, not from anybody else’s. It is the same situation when recognizing any other colour, or for our view of the world in general for that matter.
Physically, our colour vision is trichromatic, in other words, our view of the world is restricted to three primary colours. There are many other wavelengths that we can’t see, ultraviolet and infrared for example. The three primary colours are red, yellow and blue. All other visible colours are a mixture of those three.
The colours we see rely on what we are looking at rather than the light itself. Everything reflects sunlight, some absorb certain wavelengths, some reflect certain wave lengths and some reflect a mixture of the three.
The petals of a red rose for instance reflects mostly the red wave length, it’s leaves, a mix of blue and yellow to make shades of green. When looking at a rose or anything else, it is first registered on the retina of your eye and then a ‘personal interpretation’ of that vision is transferred to your brain for analysis.
Our brain deciphers what the mix of colours are, and that crucially depends on our brain’s personal interpretation of what those three primary colours are. Then finally within our mind, we unconsciously decide what something should look like, including its colour, based on our personal perception of the world.
What you perceive to be true is then projected outward as reality – but it is only your reality, no one else’s. Could it be that your particular technicolour view of the world is unique to only you?..
Dan’s Quote: “If we looked through the eyes of someone else,
_____________what would we see? Would the world look the same?”