We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are – Quote, Two References

SATURDAY PUZZLE — It’s not really a secret that we all see, feel, smell and hear things differently. If you have ever sat through a course in philosophy, you know that our perception of what is “real” is based not on what something actually is, but what we say it is. Which is always incredibly disappointing to a teenager who has come to college to discover the “real” world (“That’s it?! That’s all there is to it? Can I go now?”)

The quote that is normally attributed to the writer ANAÏS NIN, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” is also a Talmudic idea about dream analysis: People can only dream about things they have encountered or thought about, and so their dreams consist not of reality — whatever that is — but is instead a version filtered through the lens of the dreamer’s experiences.

Let’s look at 52A, for example. I make my living on the internet. I spend a good deal of time interacting with people — most of them very nice — online. But when I first read the clue “On-line jerks?” I immediately thought that the answer must be TROLLS, because in my mental neighborhood, that’s what online jerks are called.

Whoops! Not enough squares for TROLLS. Also, I didn’t notice that hyphen in “On-line.” My bad. Maybe the clue means something else.

Do we have any fishing hobbyists out there?

Maybe you got it right the first time. If you have a fish on the line (“On-line”) and the line jerks, those are called BITES.

Deb Amlen, NYTIMES

Author’s Note: Long before Derrida and deconstruction, the Talmud said, quite sagely, “We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.” As far as I am concerned, every word of this book is the complete and total truth. But of course, it’s my truth. So to protect the innocent—as well as the guilty—I have changed most names. Otherwise, unfortunately for me, every detail is accurate.

Wurtzel, Elizabeth. Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America