On Perception

Every person is entitled to their opinion, perspective and world-view. Collectively, I’ll call these “perceptions.”

Considering that the origin of perceptions are rooted in upbringing, culture and personal experiences–with characteristics specific to the individual–how could a person not be entitled to their own perspective?

To disregard the opinion of another is to consider his or her entire life experience invalid. Our collective experiences all point to and support a particular world-view, from which we form our opinions. To question them is to question our own experiences.

If we suppose that all perceptions are valid, that there is nothing “wrong” but simply “different,” where is “truth,” or better stated, what is “objective reality?”

Objective reality is defined by numbers. The more people that hold a particular belief or perception, the more “real” their relative reality becomes. Indeed, the culture produced by collective perception reinforces itself. The shared perception becomes “objective” because there is no one (or few) to question it.

The world as I see it is much different than the world an African sees it. Are either of our perceptions invalid? Who will judge? Who is not influenced by their past or their environment? Who is free from the constraints of their own mental patterns?

If indeed there is no objective world “out there,” then what is the “out there” that we see, hear, taste, smell, feel and contemplate about all day, every day.

There is no “out there.” There is no objective reality. Who would know about it? How would they know about it?

Can you see the world in relation to anything other than yourself? In relation to anything other than your past? How would you perceive it? With your mind? A mind that has been shaped, arguably beyond our control, for decades, by a culture of consumerism, emotionally traumatic relationships and mediocre parenting?

The world you experience, having been filtered through the mind, is non-different from the mind itself. Every perception you have of the outer-world is simply an extension of your conscious or subconscious mind. Everywhere you go, there you are.

To understand yourself is to understand the world. To embrace your lack of knowledge is to embrace your fellow man in the wondrous mystery of life.

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