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Dogs see things differently than humans. So which one sees what’s actually there?

The truth is neither dogs nor humans see reality as it is. Instead, our brains make up images in our minds — based on what we believe to be true about the world. In other words, your vision is no better (or worse) than a dog’s vision.

This is so important because it means your problems aren’t actually there. You see problems because your mind is playing tricks on you.

In today’s episode, I reveal how to reframe the way you see the world so solutions to your problems effortlessly come to you — regardless of the obstacle you’re facing.

Here Are The Show Highlights:

  • Why your dog sees reality more clearly than you (1:59)
  • How your mind creates problems that aren’t actually there (10:48)
  • How learning to draw will help you live a more peaceful and free life (15:25)
  • The devious way your mind plays tricks on you and creates false realities (like a VR headset) (16:33)
  • The skill that makes your life 100x easier (17:09)
  • How your own stupidity can be your secret weapon to a more fulfilling and prosperous life (17:31)
  • How to make all of your problems magically disappear (18:38)

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course.

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

Read Full Transcript

It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F-word here: Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same—and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it. [00:27.9]

Bob: And welcome back to episode 54 I think, of the “Alive and Free Podcast.” We've been going for over a year now and exploring all things related to freedom and anxiety and depression and we'll do some more on that here in the coming weeks as well. Addiction traumas and releasing traumas and all of those are things I'm going to address a little bit more specifically over the coming weeks so that there is at least an episode that someone can point to if you're having struggles with any of those things so that we can get clear on what each of those look like. Now, today, we're going to talk about something different. Have you ever had, this is going to be relevant to everything that's going on in your life I promise, but we're going to go around the bend a little bit. If you ever had a question that seems like so dumb and so innocuous, but you find out the answer and it seems like—Wow! this is like a really profound answer. [01:21.3]

Have you ever had that happen? Yeah, that happened to me the other day. We have a dog, this dog you know, he has toys and whatnot. And I don't remember exactly what happened. All I do know is that at one point in time, I was asking my wife something and I, and I thought the question, could he actually see that? Because I knew that dog vision was different and I couldn't remember if he could see blues better than greens, or if he couldn't see blue or anything like that. I just remembered some mention of it before. So I went and looked it up on the Google and I found an article that detailed how dog's eyes work. Yes. I know you're thinking this is stupid, why am I listening to an article, to a podcast about dog vision. Guess what? This is about human vision as well. And it's about how you see things in your life, right? Because the reality is what we think we see as fact is completely made up by us. And that means it's negotiable, that means it's subject to change, that means you can technically see it differently, that means everything that feels like it's inescapable in your life is something you actually, if you could just see it differently, could totally escape from, and that's where we want to go with this. [02:33.3]

So how did dog's eyes work? Do you know? Some of you probably do, some of you probably have this stuff memorized a long time ago. I didn't. Okay. I looked it up in photosensitive cells. So that means eye cells and even organisms in the ocean have photosensitive cells, right? So that just means they're sensitive to light. In those types of nerve cells, there are essentially two kinds that biologists have identified, there are rods and there are cones. Now I don't really know if they're shaped like rods or shaped like cones or what goes on, but they are rods and they are and each of them performs a different function. [03:10.1]

So you've got rods. Rods are they, they deal with light and dark. Okay? And so the rods in your eyes are kind of help you determine how light something is and how dark something is, and be able to capture amounts of light. And they also help you capture motion more. Dogs have more rods in their eyes than humans do their eyes also dilate more, which means that in a given setting, in a given situation, they're going to be able to see better in low light situations cause they'll be able to pick up low light, right? There'll be able to pick up lights and that's light that isn't chromatic or colored light, right, in the same sense. So they'll be, they can see better in low light situations, their eyes let in more light cause they dilate more and they can pick up movement better. So tiny movements, you know, the whole like squirrel and the dog looks a certain way, they'll pick up a movement and a lot better. [04:05.0]

Now they'll do this at a closer range than humans will because, their eyes are set slightly farther apart than humans. I know you're wondering, where's this going? Trust me on this, just hang on. So this is the rods, the cones, the cones determine what kinds of color variants that they are picking up on. Meaning light vibrations or light waves come into their eyes and the cones take those light waves and interpret them in certain fashion so to speak, right? So humans have red, green and blue cones. So we pick up red wavelengths of light, green wavelengths of light and blue wavelengths of light. You notice yellow is missing, so on stages when we have lights on stage, when we're lighting things, they're literally red, green, and blue lights. And then what happens is they mix those to get certain colors. You can get yellow light out of that, somehow. I don't really understand the optics of it, but you can get yellow light out of mixing red greens and blues. It's really bizarre. [05:01.8]

In fact, on many graphic software like Adobe RGB or red green, blue, that is one way of creating a color. And it's a certain amount of red, certain amount of green and certain amount of blue. And you can get different added with white or light white or black, right? And you can get different colors out of it, including a bunch of yellows. Now the human eye sees way more greens than it sees many, many other colors. Why? Well, green and blue…blue, blue is part of green. You know, if you remember your basic color mixing. So because there's green and blue cones in the eye, we'll be able to see a wider array of greens than we might see of yellows or purples or anything like that. Okay. This is true in paint colors. Trust me, I've been mixing paints for a long, for a long time as an artist, and so this is very, very true. Dogs on the other hand, they have blue and yellow cones in their eyes. So reds, they're not going to be able to pick up greens, a smaller ray, right? And so they're kind of red, green colorblind in a way. [06:03.3]

And because their eyes are set a little farther apart, their depth perception isn't as great. And so things in the distance are a bit more blurry. So they might not pick up action at a distance. I wondered this the other day when I was walking with my dog and I could see the deer bounding along the, the top of the ridge. And he was clueless, totally clueless. We were even down wind. I wonder sometimes about his sense of smell, but I picked it up and he didn't. I was like, wait, I thought dogs were supposed to pick this up. And I thought it was a problem with the dog, when reality is his eyes are set to pick up small motion at a close enough distance, maybe that he could actually chase it. And his nose obviously picks up a way more than my nose does and so on and so forth. So we have this basic discrepancy between dog vision and my vision. And what I realized in that moment is dogs can see an infinite number of colors. There's a certain amount of light in the air, they can pick up certain amounts of, of light. They can see in low light situations, better than human skin. And they have that kind of reflective thing in their eyes because of the way what's going on inside of their eyes as well. And they can pick up an infinite number of colors. [07:03.2]

There's an infinite number of ways that you can mix together, blue wavelengths of light and yellow wavelengths of light, infinite, and yet limited. And humans also have an infinite array of colors that we can pick up, but you notice we don't have yellow cones in our eyes. We don't have purple ones, we don't have orange ones. So we also have a certain limitation in the spectrum, which we can see. And we know this just from spectrology, spectrometry, or I don't remember the, what the branch of study is called, but we know this anyway, just there's certain wavelengths of light, like ultraviolet that we don't really, most humans don't really see and infrared that we don't really see, right? And those are things that we use machines to pick up on and whatnot. And so that's something that is very, very real. We are limited in what we're capable of seeing. Now, why is this relevant for you and made to talk about dog vision? [07:56.8]

I realized when interacting with my dog, that if, for instance, what toys am I going to get him? If I get them a red toy or a green toy, it's just kinda kind of show up like as a muddy brown or a gray or something like that. And he's not going to be able to pick it up well. Now why would he have eyes that are situated, so he picks up blues and yellows a little bit more readily, readily. I don't know, dogs are a little bit omni omnivorous. So maybe they pick up certain colors of berries, better than other colors of berries or plants or something like that. Maybe it's not as useful for them. You know, there's any number of different things that are going to be useful for them. But my guess is that somehow in terms of evolution, whether you believe in evolution or not, okay guys. But in terms of just their body's adaptation to their environment that has adapted in such a way that they are capable of you, that they're capable of hunting better and doing what dogs do, wild dogs and whatnot, particularly because of the way that their eyes are set up. [08:57.3]

And they're as successful as they are, because in part, because of the way that they're using their vision, right? This would be different for an eagle that has incredible by nodular vision and can see things that it a mile away in sharp, sharp focus. I don't know how many colors they see. I don't know if they need to see color or what colors are selected for, so that those are the things that they hunt for. Why would humans be able to see reds? Well, maybe red berries are really good for humans to eat. And so when we're forging and stuff, those things are very, very useful for us. There's any number of ideas, why these things are the case, but the reality is you and I do not see things as they are. We see things as we make them up to be based on what our capacities are and I think that as one of the most important points that most people miss. [09:44.3]

If you or someone you know is looking to drop the F-bomb of “Freedom” in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or wants some help doing it. Head on over to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and check out some of the things we've got in store for you or book a call so we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for. [10:12.4]

Everything about our experience of life is literally made up by us based on what our apparatus and the human system is such an incredible apparatus. It's capable of perceiving so much, and it's capable of seeing, and feeling and tasting and touching so much stuff. And yet it isn't capable of seeing things and experiencing things the way a dog does not at all, or an eagle or a dolphin or an octopus or any number of other, or a plant for that matter. We're not capable of experiencing life that way when limited to what's what we're making up in our own mind. And yet you and I go through life, pretending that what we see the yellow in the sunflower and the green of the stem and the blue of the sky is the way things really are. When in fact it's just the way we've made them out to be inside of our own mind. [11:09.3]

Literally light comes in the eye, it is already filtered through the retina, which means that certain space, certain amounts of light, we don't even see, we've already filtered out a ton based on what is useful for the human system. And it comes in the eye and then from the eyeball, it goes through the brain. The brain decides what color to make it. It's not inherent in the light waves. We are making it that color, which is why dogs see it a different color. They might see a pink sunset as a brown, and who's right there, right for their physiology and we're right for ours. But so our brain decides what color it is and then we've taken in information from both eyes. And if you've ever crossed your eyes and seeing double of something, you recognize that this is very, very true. And when you do that, by the way, if you do that during a sunset, it's amazing how small the sun really is. It's this tiny little speck of light, and that comes in the eye and then your brain blends all that information together and projects what you are seeing inside of your own head. [12:08.3]

So that literally what you are seeing right now, as you're driving down the road, or as you're looking in your office, or as you're sitting down, looking out on the deck, looking out over the back lawn or as you're hiking or whatever it is you're doing at this moment, what you're seeing is literally being made up by your mind. And it's inside of your own head. The mountain in the distance is literally inside of your own head. You are not seeing the mountain that's out there. You are seeing what you made of the mountain that's out there. It's like taking a painting and pretending that's reality so much that you're, you're driving and you're governing your life based on the painting. And that's very, very useful if you're a really good painter, but most people are not very good painters. [12:46.8]

I've had a lot of people come to me over the years and tell me because I, you know, I paint and I draw and I've done that since I was like really young. And I love it and it's been a while since I've been able to get into it. But I went to graduate school, got a master's degree in painting and drawing. And people come to me over the years and they see some of the paintings I've done and they go, Wow! that's amazing, like, I can't even draw a stick figure. That's not true, they can draw a stick figure. They're using that as a way of saying, I'm no good at it drawing, but what they don't realize. And when I to teach, when I was teaching my classes at the university and I would have the students would come in, I would, the first thing I would tell them is that the ability to draw it has everything to do with your ability to see it's not a hand- eye coordination thing. If you can cut vegetables, you can draw and paint. That's just a simple, mechanical skill, it doesn't take very long to figure it out. If any of you have ever watched the documentary called Tim's Vermeer, it took him like 30 minutes to figure out how to use a paintbrush. And he was telling that to a painter and the painters like, Oh, Congratulations, that took me 40 years. You know? It's the mechanic panics of the paintbrush, not that hard, by the way. That's an amazing documentary about how a, an optical engineer turned around and recreated paint a painting by Yohanas Vermeer, who is like this famous painter in the Renaissance at the, in the Northern Renaissance for a little bit later. Right? But he's only done like 33 paintings in his life. Not all of them may have been originals to Vermeer, but they may have been copycats, we don't know. [14:13.1]

But like, he's one of those, like artists, artists, a lot of artists love him because of the way he uses light and whatnot. And this little optical engineer sees things in the paintings wants to reproduce it and defines, he's not an artist at all. And yet, somehow he reproduces a painting in such a powerful way that it's almost, it's like nearly indistinguishable from what would have been the original. And it's all because of what he could see that other people couldn't see in the paintings,right? So it's a really amazing documentary if you guys ever want to watch that. Well, it turns out people come to me and they're like, well, I can't paint. And really what it means is they can't see. If you, for instance, if you're doing this, I invite you to try this exercise, take out a dollar bill, look at it for 30 seconds, then put it away and draw it, just from memory. We had an artist, Brian Krushishnik teaching at Brigham Young University when I was a student there. And he did this with the students in the figure drawing class—He had a model posed in one room and their easels in the other room. [15:11.7]

And they had to go in, stand in one spot, look at the model, make their measurements, and then go back in the other room and draw it from memory. It is amazing how much information you think you lost in that mid number of steps between the model and the easel. But the reality is, is information you never got because you never learned to see correctly, consciously. And so drawing is this, this capacity that you see, if you can see better. So if you tried to draw that dollar bill, most people are going to get a rectangle. Many of them would put the denomination or number of the bills of the $1 bill, they'll put a one in the corner. They'll put a face in the middle, but it won't look anything like Washington's face. They won't see the numbers most of the time or the designs and the curly cues and everything else inside. In other words, what they are drawing is their idea of a dollar bill when they stopped looking at the dollar bill. And they're not actually drawing the dollar bill and that's what's going on with the rest of our life, what you see in your wife or your husband is your idea of them is what you made of them not what's really there. [16:13.1]

And too many of us make something of someone else and then stop questioning, which is why first impressions last so long, because we just assume we got it. But if you've done this dollar bill experience, you realize just how little you really pick up, because we haven't learned to observe and to just pay attention and to let the information soak in. Our vision what we see in the world is literally what we've made of the world. And that's dangerous because it's no different than putting on like a VR headset or a blindfold and wandering through the streets going, I got this. And then wondering why things go South in life. Have you ever had things happen that you didn't expect, or you didn't see coming? Have you ever think had things happen that you preferred wouldn't happen, but they keep happening. And you're like, why is this happening? I mean, addiction is one of those things, but so also is money issues and poverty stuff and all kinds of other things. [17:04.8]

It's not because you're capable, but because you're not seeing what's in front of you, we're running, we're running around life blind folded, blindfolded, running into cars, bumping into people, stepping into manholes, tripping over curbs and wondering why life is so dang hard. It's only hard because you and I, haven't learned to look and keep looking and keep looking and stop assuming that what we think we see is reality. You have to do what zen monks, who call exercising great doubt in the zen tradition. Meaning everything you think you know about the world, you have to step back and at least hold the question. What if I'm wrong? Now, I, I called this the power of stupid at one point in time with a client of mine. And it's really powerful to just say, look, that's a thought and it's stupid. So just like the other day, when I was talking about winning and losing last week with my son's baseball game, I had that moment where I got to step back and see, Oh, that's a thought that I'm having. I'm, my thoughts are talking to each other, they're making something up about what's real and I can look back and see how stupid that thought was and how unreal it was. [18:13.1]

And so I could enjoy watching my thoughts, banter back and forth while at the same time, enjoying the coolness of the grass and enjoy my son's game and the sounds in the air and everything else. If you learn to exercise, great doubt about what you see, then you have the capacity to take in a little bit more light to dilate your mental pupils just a little bit more. And when you can see clearly what's in front of you to the best degree that we're able as humans, then what happens is that it's easy to navigate solutions, just show up because problems disappear. Our problems come because we're not seeing clearly. It's not a problem, an obstacle course isn’t a problem for instance, when you see the obstacle, you just go around it. But most of us are running into walls in our life because we're not even seeing them and we're wondering why our nose keeps bleeding. You have to be able to see it as soon as you can see it you'll find a way around it because you're amazing, humans are amazing, right? And I don't mean that in a judgemental way, but because I see it happen all the time. [19:01.0]

So here we are at the end of a discussion about dog vision and how dogs see things differently. And we can't see what dogs can see and they can't see what we can see and no other human on the planet is seeing the same things you're seeing, because all of it depends on how you and I are making things up. And if we can just hold that in our mind and exercise, great doubt. And just take a moment and step back and recognize that maybe just, maybe just, maybe there's more between heaven and earth than exists in your philosophy Horacio, to quote Hamlet, maybe just, maybe we're wrong. And maybe just maybe life is so much more beautiful than we even have imagined up to this point, go with that this week, just hold that in your mind. What if I'm wrong? And what if, what if life is even more grand than I've allowed myself to think right now? And what if this thing that I'm experiencing right now is 10 times more beautiful than I realized, even if right now, the thought in my head that this is bad. Question your vision folks learn to see what's there. See things as they really are, and not as they appear to be. We'll talk to you next time. [20:23.7]

And that's it for todays “Alive and Free Podcast.” If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from. And, while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus, it's just nice to be nice. [20:42.6]

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