The Specious Habits of Perception


When you don’t share the same reality of experience with another person, you can become lost in the haze and fog of perception.  Perception is a precursor to the reality you see.  The way you see the world is dependent on your beliefs, and your beliefs are dependent on your perceptions.  So how is it that we ever manage to share a reality that we can together identify and discuss intelligently if our perceptions of the world are completely different?

One of the hardest things for me to deal with as a person is when you are in a disagreement with another person, (especially a family member), and it is almost impossible to come to any sort of cooperative resolution, because the reality of what was experienced is widely different, and thus only non-significant minor affirmations are the only remnants to agree upon.  When there is no shared reality of the events which are in question, then a distortion of our perceptions of what has taken place is convoluted and smeared with prejudice; and this can be frustrating and defeating in attempts to establish any mutual starting points.

I have struggled with such matters very close to my heart due to the estranged relationships I have experienced in my life.  When one loses any presence or continuity in a relationship, when one looses confidence, trust or credibility in another’s eyes, then it is an uphill battle to regain a reconciliation.  Why many relationships that have reached this point are so easily dismissed by those that do not think otherwise due to the disintegration of the emotional connections is self-evident.

The most hurtful is when a distortion of perception takes another away from what was once a shared experience, but with time, changes in age, and opposing influence outside of your control, other perceptions will also shape the beliefs of a person, and thus shape their reality of the world around them.  There are so many messages from the media that try to shape our perceptions about what we should buy, drink, eat, consume, wear, ad infinitum.  This technique is also very common in our schools and what our teachers instruct to our children.  A lesson to learn is that one should never take for granted the shared experience, because it can vanish before your eyes.  Those who do not study history, are susceptible to failing to learn from past accounts and this begets frequent examples of such lessons not learned; namely those who denied the Holocaust, going to war because of the threat of weapons of mass destruction, believing in global warming due to human interaction with the environment, or even nine out of ten dentists prefer a certain toothpaste, etc.

I ask the readers to ponder about such circumstances, what have you experienced?  What was your resolution?  I have spent my share of time thinking on such matters and have felt an immense amount of disheartenment.  The details of these matters are very personal and astonishingly painful.  I do not speak of delusional ego defenses, or patterns of poor judgements that have held me beholden to a servitude of denial.  The pain comes from the understanding that life can be a pernicious series of episodes that may never see their karmic end, and may continue to further echo a perception of the world that does not agree with my core vision.  If judgements are rendered before the trial has even begun allowing for all evidence to be examined, then the likelihood of justice served is next to nonexistent.  “Judge not that ye be not judged” (Mathew 7:1-3 KJV) might be the mantra spoken here.

When Mother Teresa was asked if she needed help with money or fundraising in a town she was visiting to see the opening of a shelter, she replied, no thanks, that there was nothing anyone could do for her since her cause was not about money, or publicity. When asked again if they could somehow do something to help, she replied….“If you really want to do something, wake up at 4am and go out on the streets and find someone living there that believes they are alone, and convince them they are not!

So the question now becomes how to make reparations despite the circumstances.  I believe it has something to do with manifestation.  Manifesting is not about getting things that are not here.  It is about attracting what is already here and is a part of you.  The deck may be stacked against you, but it is precisely on how you play that hand, that will determine the vibe and vibrato of the energy you posit into the world despite the past inequities of the world that you have experienced.  I refer the readers to the works by Dr. Wayne Dyer.

All of us have within us this amazing capacity to manifest and attract anything we want into our lives,” Dr. Dyer states. “In [the book] ‘The Secret,’ they say you get what you want, what is missing… What has come to me… is that you say, ‘I will attract into my life what I am.’… That’s the difference: You get what you are rather than what you want.”

To do this, Dr. Dyer says that you must be in alignment with your source, with a divine source.  This doesn’t mean simply wishing for something and expecting it to appear. “You can’t go around and ask these divine beings — angels, whatever you want to call them — to ‘help me out,'” Dr. Dyer says. “You have to become like they are.”

Instead, Dr. Dyer encourages people to become “angelic” — to give, to serve, to be completely free of judgment and criticism toward all other beings.

But we’re human, and human emotions fall across a wide spectrum. So, what should you do when the negative thoughts inevitably creep up?

“Even if your senses tell you that you’re depressed… you don’t say, ‘I am depressed,'” Dr. Dyer says. “If you say, ‘I am depressed,’ you connect with depression and the universal source — God or whatever you want to call it — will align in such a way to offer you… more depression.”

Dr. Dyer advises that people take a different approach. “By placing into your imagination what you want and assuming the feeling of that wish as already fulfilled, you go through your life feeling that,” he says. “When enough of us do that, we will transform this planet.”

My own personal encounters with inequity, resistance and strife have sent me on a journey that rarely circumvented my obstacles since they were right in front of me, I choose to acknowledge them on their own terms head on.  I found this not to be a very successful tactic and eventually found other resources to deal with these problematic scenarios.  If you become angry, you live with the energy that anger creates.  This may be necessary and helpful at times, but the end result is that you do not ultimately overcome resistance by fighting it in this way in the long run.  A prime example is Mahatma Gandhi’s use of civil disobedience through nonviolence in that his ethical thinking was heavily influenced by a handful of books, which he repeatedly meditated upon.  They included especially Plato‘s Apology and John Ruskin‘s Unto this Last (1862) (both of which he translated into his native Gujarati); William Salter’s Ethical Religion (1889); Henry David Thoreau‘s On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (1849); and Leo Tolstoy‘s The Kingdom of God Is Within You (1894).  Ruskin inspired his decision to live an austere life on a commune, at first on the Phoenix Farm in Natal and then on the Tolstoy Farm just outside Johannesburg, South Africa.

So embrace the positive, deflect the negative.  Like energies attract like energies.  Again quoting Ghandi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world!”  Attract what you have within you by engaging the world in this way.  This will be a very hard thing to do if you are caught up in the negative aspects of ego-related issues, but being mindful of this will help you break free of these traps.

Rabindranath Tagore

“Most people believe the mind to be a mirror, more or less accurately reflecting the world outside them, not realizing on the contrary that the mind is itself the principal element of creation.”
Rabindranath Tagore

William James “Each of us literally chooses, by his way of attending to things, what sort of universe he shall appear to himself to inhabit.”

William James

“The waking have one world in common; sleepers have each a private world of his own.”
Heraclitus

Mother Teresa

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.”
Mother Teresa

⚖⚖⚖

You can look at the menu, but you just can’t eat
You can feel the cushion, but you can’t have a seat
You can dip your foot in the pool, but you can’t have a swim
You can feel the punishment, but you can’t commit the sin
And you want her, and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame

You can build a mansion, but you just can’t live in it
You’re the fastest runner but you’re not allowed to win
Some break the rules, and live to count the cost
The insecurity is the thing that won’t get lost
And you want her, and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her, and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame

You can see the summit but you can’t reach it
Its the last piece of the puzzle but you just can’t make it fit
Doctor says you’re cured but you still feel the pain
Aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain
And you want her, and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her, and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame
No one ever is to blame
No one ever is to blame

No One Is To Blame
–Howard Jones —

Epistemology – Inspire Me


illusion of knowledge

Have you believed something to be true for years, and then suddenly received information that led you to conclude that your belief turned out to be false?  Did it change the perspective of the world you live in and disrupted similar beliefs you once held to be true and valued?  Such questions have prompted philosophers to ask and examine since the days of antiquity, and more recently others in psychology, behavioral neuroscience, linguistics, education, cultural anthropology, sociology, and neurology have also made inquiries about the nature of just what indeed constitutes “knowledge” and exactly how do we acquire these “matters-of-fact?”

A fundamental starting point for all of our beliefs and what we hold to be true begins with how we attain the information, what we do with that information when we process and analyze it, (or lack of processing and analyzing),  and the resulting effects these beliefs have upon our world-perspectives and perceptions of incoming events, existing ideas, and thoughts or feelings that populate our minds.

Do we live in a world of our own creations, where our constructs of reality are determined largely by our abilities of intellect, perception, intuition, and logical analysis?  Ask any law enforcement detective about the reliability of eye-witness testimonies and you’ll probably find the error rate is a good indication that we are not as accurate as we would like to be.  Are we sure that the information we receive from the world around us is authentic and true, or can it be that much of this information is interpreted by the limitations of our minds and therefore susceptible to errors of judgement?   Think also about how reliable our information actually is after we screen for biases from the originating sources themselves; such as corporate owned media conglomerates that have proven to fail to give an accurate account due to editorial pressures, political alignments, skill set deficits from journalists and other news team personnel, as well as budgetary concerns that all impede the conditions for a truthful contingency.  If we are ultimately responsible for comprehending the beliefs that we hold to be true, why do we not then challenge more of the information that we perceive from a constant duplicity of sources?

pause

Instead of going off in the direction I think I once wanted to say something about, I find a compelling diversion with this topic.  The author had the intention to connect to some of the readers with an illustration and an examination of the basic human desire for a deeper need for meaning in their lives.  Since only a select population would have any interest in this subject, then this sample population becomes even more specialized.  I have no utopian aspirations so I do not partake in the notions of posting something I believe everyone would like, but simply realize that I may only capture a fragment of this reading population that has any interest in such matters.

A closer inspection of what we may know, and how we acquire this knowledge of the world raises questions about the validity of these fundamental beliefs if we proceed down that path of reasoning.  Despite all information that one can write on the topic of epistemology, much has been covered through-out the ages and this author has decided that a stale treatment of its history should not be read here.  A conclusion that many have come to hold is the truth that most people cannot “be reached” through ordinary means or measures.  Unfortunately logic alone, will not change a great deal of the population, largely due to their own limitations, awareness and comprehensive skills including the abilities of the author of this post.  When I speak of “being reached”, the author intends to suggest that people often do not rethink their positions and thus continually fail to challenge the status quo in their thinking.  I envision that one must have something more, something with more tenacity, and fortitude in the language of the communicator when considering this goal.  One must have something that can connect to people on a deeper level, and possibly more than just one level; but rather on a multiplicity of levels which just might optimize this communication.  ERGO: One must be able to INSPIRE!

The dangers of the fragility of the human mind have been demonstrated over countless ages that we have broadcasted our dominion.  In the infancy of our intellects, for some of us we often imposed quasi-truths to make sense out of the world that fills in the gaps of our reckoning.  As for others, many have often used alternative mechanisms to decide just how they should encode the world around them including illusion, myths, pseudo-sciences, and quite possibly the most prominent offender; misinterpretation.

Historically, whichever of the tolerant dictates of the current cultural paradigm are employed, there often leaves a byproduct of consciousness that has not yet been tapped.  The courage to discard useless mythologies, and baseless or senseless philosophies has left an indelible mark in these societies that take special notice of some of it’s distinguished persecuted or heretical members.  Whichever school of thought one imparted their beliefs to, it was either fear, or misunderstanding that would take precedence in past evaluations when these members have surfaced in the musings of the denizens over the years.  The examples that come to mind are people such as Socrates, Copernicus, Mahatma Gandhi, Nikola Tesla, Galileo Galilei,  Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Jesus Christ, Siddhartha Gautama, Confucius, Plato, Lao Tzu, Immanuel Kant, Robert Bauval, John Anthony West, Robert Schock, David Hume, Søren Kierkegaard, and the list goes on.

The mass appeal to the misguided is only a reflection of the work we have to overcome as a people if we are to evolve our thinking processes.  It begins by thinking for ourselves.  Attend not to the spells cast out from the sycophant’s and the sophists.

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“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine
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“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” – Albert Einstein
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“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Helen Keller
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“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss
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“If not us, who? If not now, when?” – John F. Kennedy
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”Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first, it is ridiculed. In the second, it is opposed. In the third, it is regarded as self evident.” – Arthur Schopenhauer