Innerworld vs Outerworld

Take a look around you. Everything you see is a visual model/map of the world. Light (electromagnetic radiation) enters your eyes at different frequencies and angles. This information gets converted into electrical signals. From there, they travel to the brain and are processed by the occiputal lobe. From there, your brain creates a 3D model of the world outside your mind, that you can use to navigate the world. It also adds sound, touch, taste, and smell to this model of the physical world. All of these things are constructed from electric signals that arrive to your brain via your senses.

You never really see the world. You don't even see the world in the present, but slightly in the past, since there is a tiny delay from the light arriving, to being converted to electrical signals, to being processed by your brain. And while this model/map is good enough to allow you to interact with the world is represents, it only shows you some of the world. It doesn't show you what the world looks like, you don't see all your cells and lifeforms living on your skin, you see a rather cartoon-ish representation, that is very much simplified.

I instinctly refer to these two different worlds as the innerworld and outerworld. The innerworld is the world you know. It's made from experience, be it visual experience or otherwise. The outerworld is not made of your experiences, it's not made of the red, orange, green, blue, or violet that you see. It's not made of the sweet, sour, or salty experiences you taste. However, we often use the same words to talk about both worlds. The experience of touch a rough object, and an actual rough object, are both just called rough. The same goes with light, also known as electromagnetic radiation. We experience the color red, but we also use the word red to denote the specific frequency of light that causes us, personally, to experience red.

This understanding led to a thought experiment called "A Brain In A Vat". What if, you were just a brain in a vat of nutrients, and all of those electrical signals were coming from a computer program? The answer is, you don't. It is an unfalsifiable concept. This has also led to some movies such as Total Recall, The Matrix, and Vanilla Sky. But you don't need to know about the brain to engage in this concept. Descartes proposed a demon that is just causing you to you see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. In The Church of Nim, this could be Loki causing you to have all of your experiences, who is an unfalsifiable god. He could even fabricate all your memory experiences as well.

If you think about it, we experience something like this every time we fall asleep. In a dream your entire world is fabricated and you don't even know. In a dream, the world may not even make any sense, and you still don't know, because your cognitive abilities have also been comprimised. Just from a dream alone, you could easily surmise that you don't know exactly where your experiences come from. How do you know they come from the world they depict? Especially since, it only depicts part of the world, you don't really see the whole thing, because your brain can only re-construct the outside world with existing information. We only see 1/1000th of the spectrum of light (electromagnetic radiation). And we can only re-construct what is currently radiating visible light at us.


There is something called mistaking the map for the terrority, or as I sometimes say, confusing the map for the terrority. There are many ways this can take place, but here, we would be talking about confusing what you see, with what you're looking at. Or more abstractly, confusing what you personally experience, with the world that exists outside of you.

We are observers. Observers observe the external world by creating internal maps/models of it to help them navigate it. In accordance to evolution, these models, such as your visual field, help animals navigate, survive, and reproduce in the environment they come from.

The innerworld, the mind, is composed of perception (sights, sounds, smells, taste, and touch), feelings, and thoughts. Within this world of experiences is a deeply intricate map, a reconstruction of the outerworld that it composed of various perceptions.

A gap exists between the innerworld and the outerworld. Absolutely everything you perceive and know exists within your mind, everything you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell is an experience. The only world you know is a world of experiences, the world that exists inside of your mind. The world that lies outside of you mind is not the world you directly perceive. It's like the difference between a map and the terrain it represents. Your perception is the map, the world is the terrority that it is believed to represent. The map is not the territory, everything you see, is not the world, it is a map.

The map–territory relation describes the relationship between an object and a representation of that object. Map-territory relation

The Map-Territory Relation

There are 5 commonly recognized perceptions (senses): sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. There are other less known senses as well: thermoception, nociception, propioception, etc.. There are two main types of perception: interoception (internal, body) and exteroception (external, environment). Interoception examples include: pain, hunger, and movement of internal organs. Exteroception examples include: sight, sound, touch, etc...

The Senses
Name Type What It Senses
Opthalmoception Sight Light. Colors. Brightness. Red, green and blue.
Audioception Sound Pressure waves.
Gustaoception Taste Molecules. Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami.
Olfacoception, olfacception Smell Molecules. Many different smells.
Tactioception, mechanoreception Touch Mechanical pressure or distortion .
Thermoception Heat flux The rate of heat flow. Temperature. Hot. Cold.
Proprioception Kinesthetic Relative positions of the parts of the body.
Nocicpetion Pain Tissue damage. There are tree types: cutaneous (skin), somatic (joints and bones), and visceral body (organs).
Equilibrioception Balance Angular momentum acceleration and linear acceleration. Body movement and direction.
Magnetoception Magnetic field Humans may posses a weak sense of direction using Earth's magnetic field.
Electroception Electric field Non-human perception that some animals may have.

Below are a few tables that aid in showing the difference between physics (terrain / outerworld) and experiences (mind / innerworld).

Terrain (physics) Map (experience)
EMR 800 nm, 375 Thz Infrared (NONE)
EMR 665 nm, 450 Thz Red
EMR 610 nm, 490 Thz Orange
EMR 575 nm, 520 Thz Yellow
EMR 525 nm, 570 Thz Green
EMR 470 nm, 640 Thz Blue
EMR 420 nm, 715 Thz Violet
EMR 300 nm, 1000 Thz Ultraviolet (NONE)

An object like an apple is out of atoms, is composed of sub-atomic particles: electron, neutrons, and protons. Color is not a property of sub-atomic particles. Color is an experience. Light (electromagnetic radiation) that is emitted or reflected off an object is experienced in the form of colors. Light is also experienced in degrees of brightness as well. For some creatures, sound is also translated into colors (vision) to some extent like sonar.

SIGHT, part 2
Terrain (physics) Map (experience)
EMR Light
EMR Frequency Color
EMR amount Brightness of light

The sensation of sound is caused by vibrations inside the ear. It is how humans detect sound waves. Not all sound waves can be detected / experienced by humans. These sound waves are referred to as infrasonic or ultrasonic. Some of suggested that subsonic sound waves (which are not translated into the experience of sound) are processed by the brain and can affect mood.

Terrain (physics) Map (experience)
Vibration Sound
Vibration Frequency Pitch of sound
Vibration Pressure Volume of sound

There are 5 traditionally recognized taste sensations: sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and umami. The taste sensation known as umami is the most recent addition to this list. Taste is believed to also be affected by smell and tactile sensation in the mouth.

Terrain (physics) Map (experience)
Glucose (C6-H12-O6) Sweet
Fructose (C6-H12-O6) Sweet
Lactose (C12-H22-O11) Sweet
Aspartame (C14-H18-N2-O5), artificial sweetner Sweet
Neotame (C20-H30-N2-O5), artificial sweetner Sweet
Sucralose (C12-H19-Cl3-O8), artificial sweetner Sweet
Stevioside and Rebaudioside Sweet
Quinine (C20-H24-N2-O2) Bitter
Naringin (C27-H32-O14) Bitter (grapefruit)
Caffeine (C8-H12-N4-O2) Bitter
Sodium chloride (NaCl) Salty
Citric Acid (C6-H8-O7) Sour
Acetic Acid (C2-H2-O2) Sour
Tartaric Acid (C4-H6-O6) Sour
Malic Acid (H2-C4-H4-O5) Sour
Carboxylate Anion of Glutamic Acid (C5-H9-N1-O4) Umami (savoury)

The experience of smell can be caused by many different chemicals. There are no receptors for specific chemicals. A chemical has a specific signature (a kind of chemical fingerprint) that is the result of it stimulating different combinations of receptors in the nose to different degrees.

Terrain (physics) Map (experience)
Cadaverine (C5-H14-N2) Corpse smell (death)
Putrescine (C4-H12-N2) Rotting meat smell (death)
Hydrogen sulfide (H2-S) Rotten eggs smell (rotten eggs, flatus, natural gasses)
Isovaleric acid (C5-H10-O2) Pungent cheesy/sweaty smell
Methanethiol (C-H4-S) Rotten cabbage smell (bad breath, flatus, feces)
Trimethylamine (C3-H9-N) Rotting fish smell
Skatole (C9-H9-N) Fecal smell (feces, beets, coal tar, flowers like Jasmine).
Has a flower smell in low concentration.

The sense known as "touch" is comprised of many different types of senses. Consider the eyes, they have 4 types of sensors, the skin has different kinds of sensors too. The table below gives just a basic idea of what touch is.

The somatosensory system is a diverse sensory system comprising the receptors and processing centres to produce the sensory modalities such as touch, temperature, proprioception (body position), and nociception (pain). Somatosensory system
Terrain (physics) Map (experience)
Mechanical energy Touch (mechanical pressure)
Thermal energy transferring to you Hot (temperature)
Thermal energy transferring away from you Cold (temperature)
Tissue damage Nociception/Pain (withdrawal reflex)
Mechanical, chemical, thermal, and electrical stimulation Itch (scratch reflex)
Position in space Proprioception (space)
Motion of the body Kinesthesia (motion, weight)

Thinking of the innerworld as the map, and the outerworld as the terrain, the experience of smell is the map, while the chemical structure is the terrain. For instance, the chemical known as methanethiol is composed of carbon, hydrogen, and sulfur. This chemical is experienced as the smell of what can be described as rotten cabbage, bad breath, flatus, and feces. The molecules and the perceived experience of it, are two very different things.