SLIGHTLY EXISTENTIAL: To acquire a contemporary understanding of what Schopenhauer meant by the world 'as our idea', or what it means to be living in a material world which is partly fashioned by man, one need only endeavour to imagine how an animal or a bird would view its immediate surroundings ... how, for instance, an ordinary grey pigeon would see such inventions as a pillar box, a telephone kiosk, a car, motorcycle, lamppost, statue, traffic light, clock tower, or notice board. 

     Taken from what one imagines to be a pigeon's point-of-view, one might suppose such human inventions to be of relatively little significance, to be mere 'things' without names or apparent significance upon which the pigeon can rest or about which it must move.  Whether, in fact, our pigeon sees the pillar box as a large red 'thing' or not, one can be fairly confident that it possesses no equivalent symbol for 'red', that it can only see the pillar box as something describing a particular shape and hue which is different from other shapes and hues, and which may or may not attract its attention on that account.

     Therefore the world evidently presents a very different face to a pigeon than what it generally does to a human being, and this difference, this conglomeration of nondescript, nameless, purposeless, and possibly colourless 'things', lends an extra dimension to what Schopenhauer meant by the proposition 'the world is my idea', a world not only dependent on the peculiar nature of human consciousness and of the relative distortion or subjectivity which that consciousness necessarily imposes upon it but, in addition, one largely fashioned by man for the benefit of men and having, on that account, no similar common reality for anything else, be it pigeon, sparrow, mouse, cat, squirrel, or dog - other, of course, than in the very basic and self-evident sense of presenting external 'things'.