Thursday, February 12, 2009

Perception: The Lens of Life

“That colour’s a very dark brown,” Greg says. Carolyn says, “Nah, it’s more like a shade off black.” Apart from minor differences in colour-vision perception, this demonstrates the vast differences possible between each of us.

When I courted my wife I recall noting how incredibly similar we were: our goals, standards and values, and our general plans regarding life. Now we’re married it’s obvious that whilst we do share many commonalities, there are many subtle and discreet differences in how we see the world. It would be fair to say that our views do not align precisely, which on occasion makes for lively discussion!

We all have our own unique ways of viewing life. Similar people are not the same and our perceptions vary greatly. Our perceptions colour our world, shading our version of reality.

The key thing, however, is our perceptions or views of life issues are, or can be, flexible.

We can adjust and change our viewpoints any time we want. The Shaman’s have a saying to this effect:

“We hardly ever realize that we can cut anything out of our lives, anytime, in the blink of an eye.”[1]

Our perceptions are moulded from our breeding and experiences--nature and nurture. But, the point is our minds (not our eyes) are the biggest determining factor in how we view life. We can choose from a mental viewpoint to see things from another person’s viewpoint, for instance.

Appreciating that we all see things so differently caters for the fact that we’re not always automatically right, and in fact, sometimes “right” is pretty difficult to define. So, why do we hold our views so stubbornly at times?

This is a calling toward an open mind and an open heart; to be prepared to shift our views, considering what others bring to the table. This is obviously a great advantage to not only them but us too.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

[1] Carlos Castaneda, The Wheel of Time: The Shamans of Ancient Mexico, Their Thoughts about Life, Death and the Universe (Los Angeles: LA Eidolona Press, 1998), p. 75.

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