Vern’s Volvo is exactly that- Vern’s. The car he has been driving for twenty years is his, so therefore that is his car. Something like a Volvo does not mean anything until there is someone (some human with the concept of the idea of property) to claim ownership of the object.
The thought is that the physical thing and the idea of it are unrelated to one another. The physical thing is wholly dependent on what the idea is, but it is not vice versa (which is why the heap of parts is not his car). Whatever Vern thought was his car, is his car. This is because it is not important what the thing is but what a person perceives it as. The person puts the importance on the thing, because in the beginning it was us that began cataloguing, labeling, and naming everything.
The reason the heap of parts is not his car is because he does not think it is his car. Even if those things were originally the Volvo it no longer is because as soon as they were taken out of his car, it was no longer part of it. This is because Vern’s car is not actually the physical thing, it is what he thinks his car is.
Perception is reality because these ideas and names and groupings and phylums and grades and levels all came out of the human mind. Idea of ownership never occurred to the single-celled amoebas while they were in the sulfur baths. It came around the time of human development. To us, the idea of something is much more important than the actual thing.
This comes from abstract ideas like love, power, and hate. These things have nothing tangible attached to them. You cannot point to an object and say that it is ‘Love’. Love is not a physical thing. It is an idea that has emotions, actions, and symbols attached to it. This shows, to humans, that the thought is more important than the object.
When Vern first bought the Volvo he had the idea that it was his car. As he drove it off the lot it was his. When he went to the gas station it was his. When the alternator fell out and was replaced the car was still his. Vern isn’t thinking to himself that he is no longer driving his car, and that is his reality.
That is why if Grace makes a new car, it is still not Vern’s. The only thing that would change that is if Vern began driving that car around and calling it his own. But the car is not his until he himself attaches ownership to it. That would be an entirely different car. It could be Grace’s car if she wanted. It is all about the idea.
With this line of thinking Vern’s Volvo had never changed. Even though the physical thing is totally different from its original state, his thoughts toward the car are still the same. Perception is the reality.