Perception Limits

One can argue that the totality of reality is impossible for any single individual to perceive in its entirety. As humans, we have five basic senses that allow us to perceive the world around us: sight, sound, smell, taste and feel. However, each of these abilities are very limited in what they can actually sense. In fact, many other creatures here on earth have better sensing abilities than ourselves.

Electromagnetic Spectrum

TheĀ electromagnetic spectrum is the range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. The “electromagnetic spectrum” of an object is the characteristic distribution of electromagnetic radiation emitted or absorbed by that particular object. We have a limited band width of light that we can see typically called the ‘visible spectrum‘; with special gadgets, we can see into the ultra violet or infrared spectrums.

Ultraviolet Light

In contrast, birds and honey bees are able to see ultraviolet light which humans cannot.

Infra-Red Light

Some species of snakes can see infra-red light.

If we could see beyond the visible spectrum

Just imagine what our vision would be like if we were able to see a wider spectrum of electromagnetic waves–to see radio waves and microwaves reflecting off surfaces around us.

Sound Waves

Likewise, we can only hear soundwaves from about 20 to 20,000 hz although we can ‘feel’ frequencies lower or higher if they are intense enough. Dogs can hear frequencies beyond what most humans can hear.

Odor and Smell

Our sense of smell is somewhat limited; again, dogs in general have a much better sense of smell than humans.


In almost all areas, a human’s biological set of sensory organs are limited and as a result we are never really getting the ‘whole picture’ of what is happening in the world around us. We are getting an ‘edited view’ as a result of our limited ability to sense the world that surrounds us.