Perceptual Reality

(NOTE: This is one of Roy H. Williams’ Monday Morning Memos from sometime in early 1999. I dug it out of the secret archives. There’s a lesson on branding in this short piece for those who are brave enough to find it.)

Perceptual Reality
A Monday Morning Memo from The Wizard of Ads

The room feels cold to one person, yet much too warm to another. So which of these is right? Is it possible for the same room to be at once too warm and too cold? Is there a universe that allows for the peaceful coexistence of such mutually exclusive truths?

The universe of matter and energy which surrounds us is utterly objective. The immutable laws of physics which govern space and time create a physical reality which is the same for us all.

Perceptual reality however, is an entirely different matter.

When challenged with the question of the room’s temperature, most people will answer, “It’s a matter of opinion.” But perceptual reality is much more than mere opinion. Perceptual reality is as real as a mother’s love for her child; as real as encouragement, triumph and joy.

When you’re angry, is your anger real? Yet anger does not exist in physical reality. Does that mean it isn’t there?

Physical reality is contained in the limited universe of matter and energy, while perceptual reality is uncontained in the boundless universe of the mind. Advertising doesn’t affect physical reality in the slightest. It affects only the world of the mind. That’s why the smallest minds will smugly contend they are “unaffected by it.”

Small minds fear to make choices in the absence of verifiable facts, so they wrap themselves tightly in the security of physical reality and deny the existence of that which cannot be tested, proven and measured. (Note: It is these same, small minds which always shout loudest about the foolishness of faith in a world of science.)

So we have physical reality and perceptual reality and of course there is spiritual reality as well.

But we’ll leave that for another book.

Roy H. Williams

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