I do not believe we all live in the same universe. How could we? All we know is what we experience. Experience is filtered into our perception, our brains, our knowing, by what our senses send to our brains. Even saying this is so simplistic that it does not capture the experience of what is streamed in to us from what we call the world and which meanings we give to it per our experiences. For those of us fortunate enough to be sighted, what we see is light bouncing off the back of our eyes, being processed by our brain, turned into information that averaged together with what we have seen in the last few seconds, and turned into the image that we perceive as seeing.
There are biological limits as to what we see, feel, and experience because we are humans, and individuals with particular biologies. We cannot see how any other animal sees the world. We can approximate what their different number and types of rods and cones, and their focus and perception of speed probably do, but we cannot know for sure.
Anyway, I spewed all this in order to mention concepts of Von Uexküll (and Sebeok) about Ümwelt and Innenwelt with which I became fascinated in grad school. Here is the Wikipedia intro to these concepts:
What we perceive individually is limited by what we can perceive as a human. That is Ümwelt. What we have learned to perceive by living is our own personal perception and interpretation of what we perceive. That is Innenwelt.
I think it is absolutely amazing that any two people can communicate at all. Most people are so imprecise in what they say, that understanding them is usually made of assumptions. My interests and abilities rarely line up with other what other people think. If you can’t think about it, you may not be able to see it. It is like that when learning math or physics. It changes how you perceive movement in and through the world. Socially it is very easy manipulated into seeing what we are told to think.
So to study the Universe, and think we understand much of anything, is a pretty darn self-assured, even cocky, thing to do.
What our ancient ancestors perceived was limited by our species’ limitations on hearing, seeing, tasting and so on, so how they mapped the world, and the meaning they mapped onto it might be almost incomprehensible to us.
Ask we head out to other planets and perhaps other places in the universe, will anything be able to be translated or interpreted if we find other living beings. I suspect there will many total misunderstandings due to completely different perceptual abilities and limitations.
Does any one else think about weird things like this?