Perception, even trying to define the word can create a challenge. Let us see how various sources of information do this. On Wikipedia it states the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information, or the environment. Merriam-Webster dictionary states awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation. The Free Dictionary states, the process by which an organism detects and interprets information from the external world by means of the sensory receptors. This is how we develop are belief system, through are senses. Some of us develop very strong beliefs that can never be changed, by an outside party. It is through these perceptions that people think our President is great or is horrible. No matter how the person thinks about the President it is unlikely that anybody is going to change his or her mind. There are many subjects that can create very broad opinions and debates. On most of these subjects the way a person thinks or feels is not going to be changed. This is all brought about, on how each individual, perceives the subject. Are any of our perceptions that we feel, hear, smell, taste and see, really correct. Is our world something that we just create, to make ourselves feel better, or worse. How would we even know? Let us look at one thing that we know is constant, and how we perceive it.
Everybody knows that time is a constant. A second is a second, a minute is a minute, an hour is an hour, and 24 hours is a day. But does it really feel that way? Is that what your senses are telling you? The answer is no. When you are waiting in line, or for someone, 5 minutes can see like an eternity. How does time feel when you are stuck in traffic? How about when you are spending time with someone you really like or playing a game on your phone? Before you know it, 30 to 60 minutes is gone. Seeing a very good movie, that takes 2 hours and 20 minutes, seems like nothing, but spend that same time waiting for your delayed flight, and you might think, you are never getting on board. You hear people talk about time even in the long term. It was a short summer and a long winter. No, it is the exact same number of days, each year. I can’t believe that he’s 5 years old already, when talking about children or grandchildren. I don’t know where the time went. I can’t believe its been x amount of years, when talking about any life event. Time flies when you are having fun. Maybe that’s why, we don’t want to have fun more often, just so we can slow time down. You can argue that these are just sayings, and people really don’t feel this way, but people do lose all concept of time, depending on what they are doing. Our perceptions of time, can be way off on what the true reality is. This is a fact, Jack. If our perceptions of time can be this far off, could our perceptions of other things, be just as far off. Most people would say, I know what I am seeing and feeling in other areas, and I know this is correct. Well, I would not be too sure. Having strong beliefs, will limit your thinking. It may be time to step back, and try look at situations from all sides, and double check, what you think may be going on around you, and other people. Robert Burns said it best in the 1700’s when he wrote” O would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us”. Since that is unlikely to happen, we need to take that inward look and check those perceptions.
2 Replies to “Meditation: Perception”
Have you ever seen the illustration of a cylinder suspended between two walls at 90 degrees to one another illuminated by two lights, casting a shadow on each wall? From one point of view, the shadow is a circle. From the other, a rectangle. Your point of view determines what you see, and if you’re limited to one point of view you’ll be absolutely certain of what you see, all the while getting the shape of the object at least half wrong.
I have never seen the illustration but it is a great example of perception. Sometimes I wonder if we even get it half right. Time is still the one that I am most amazed about in my own mind, how it can seem so different depending on the circumstances.