The basic premise of wild-wisdom is that the world of everyday life is not real, or out there, as you believe. For
the practitioner of wild-wisdom, reality is only a description that has been pounded into you from the moment you were born.
Everyone who comes into contact with you as a child is a teacher who incessantly describes the world to you, until that
moment when you are capable of perceiving the world as it has been described. You have no memory of that portentous moment,
simply because you could not possibly have had any point of reference to compare it to anything else. From that moment on,
however, you, the child becomes a full-fledged member of society. You knows the description of the world; and your membership
becomes official, perhaps, when you are capable of making all the proper perceptual interpretations which, "prove"
that that particular description is the accurate one (which of course, it isn't). The reality of our day-to-day life, then,
consists of an endless flow of perceptual interpretations which you, the individual who share a specific membership, have
learned to make in common.
The idea that the perceptual interpretations that make up the world have a flow is congruous
with the fact that they run uninterruptedly and are rarely, if ever, open to question. In fact the reality of the world we
know is so taken for granted that the basic premise of wild-wisdom, that our reality is merely one of many descriptions, can
hardly be taken as a serious proposition by "true believers."
Fortunately for you, we are not concerned at
all with whether or not you can take our proposition seriously, and thus we will proceed to elucidate our points, in spite
of your opposition, your disbelief, and your inability to understand what we are saying. Thus, as teachers of wild-wisdom,
our endeavor is to describe the world to you. Your difficulty in grasping our concepts and methods will stem from the fact
that the units of our description are alien and incompatible with those of your own.
We are teaching you how to see as
opposed to merely looking, and stopping the world is the first step to seeing .
Stopping the world is not a cryptic metaphor
that really doesn't mean anything. And its scope and importance as one of the main propositions of our knowledge should not
We are teaching you how to stop the world . Nothing will work, however, if you are very stubborn. Be less
stubborn, and you will probably stop the world with any of the techniques we teach you. Everything we will tell you to do
is a technique for stopping the world .
James A. Gibson © 2004 all rights reserved