Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Deception of Perception


Perception is often considered to be fact or truth by the individual who is perceiving.  But, what if we truly understood the nature of perception and the illusion it really is?  Might it bring us greater understanding?  In this article, the author explores perspectives of consciousness and the impact it has on the acts of daily living.  Further, the article points out that this understanding can liberate limited thinking allowing one to explore every greater adventures in living life.

Keywords:  Perception, Assumption, Provisional Truth, Definitive Truth, Knowledge, Understanding.


Were you to ask me if I were an optimist or a pessimist or whether the glass is either half full or half empty, I’d get very quiet, very thoughtful, smile and tell you, “Yes.”  To this, you’d probably say, “Well which is it?”  I’d smile again and say that my views on such things may seem to represent an irreconcilable dichotomy or even a paradox.  

I see myself sometimes as a realistic optimist who is also an idealist. So, I might say what glass is there to be half full or half empty? Why would you limit me to a glass when I have the entire universe to fill? Are you sure there is even a glass? Suppose there is a glass, its contents could be limitless because you have not confined me to size. Were you to confine me to size, I’d rebel with some philosophical concept that we are all living in a dream and your concept of optimism and pessimism is based on a false premise of your own belief on what represents a glass or it’s potential contents let alone its precise volume.

Yes, I have perspectives on all sorts of things and I can take a stand on a position as my heart moves me to. However, I also understand that a perspective is based on what I tell myself about what I experience and so my perspective on anything I see must be fluid. As I learn and grow in this realm, I have learned that the moment you think you’ve nailed down a definitive truth, you learn something new destroying a former belief and replacing it with what seems like knowledge.

Not being finished with this line of thought I’d push it further into Marianna’s Trench. I’d look around and point out how the buildings, the sky, the flowers and even the breeze seem so very real but these are just the labels of our consciousness because my experience in this life has shown me that my life as I perceive it is a projection that is turned off the moment my heart stops beating. And when my heart stopped beating that is precisely what happened. The movie was over, the dream was momentarily interrupted and I was elsewhere in this infinite space of the stuff that our dreams are made of and to the perception that was nothing to label, nothing yet manifest, and nothing concrete just consciousness existed.

I question my perceptions daily as I contemplate life and my own existence within it. Every day and every moment that goes by I question more of what I’ve come to consider fact and find it merely a projection from some belief created during my formative years in the expected beginnings of the projection within this dream. Walking between worlds is what it feels like I do and much does not translate so easily as glasses and contents. I don’t care about glasses and contents or labels and beliefs. What I care about is the perception and projection of every facet of consciousness that is represented as a splintered whole that we call you and me or us and them.

Every philosophical theory there is tries to grab hold of my mind and I find I cannot even begin to hold or fully align with any of them completely because it is too easy to poke holes in everything here. The conclusion I come to is the certainty in the uncertainty of our perception of our own existence. We expect a thing to behave a certain way and then we align all of our thoughts to that expectation and then it magically happens or doesn’t and then we react with thoughts or emotions that take us further away from the one thing we really want and that is the truth. That truth is not something known by labels, words, stories, histories or experiments alone. It is known only by feeling in a way that does not translate as I said.

Some days I remember thinking, “How can I learn the truth about everything?” Know with all of the things that have come to me I’ll tell you it would be easier to know nothing and play along with the dream. But that’s a little hard to do when you know you are dreaming, the monsters aren’t real and truly you represent the tiniest portion of your much grander existence in consciousness here seemingly in form. Returning from the moment of formlessness and the questions that arose and later were answered I find sometimes it’s hard to play along, it’s hard to do this – living in this work-a-day world. It is what we have collectively agreed to do and so I do it. But I am often optimistic and idealistic in nature with a twist of realism in the feelings deep within me that I trust more than anything.


Humanity is amazing and one day you will understand how and why. That is, if you want to know. You don’t have to ask the questions and you do not have to become aware or awaken. I’ll tell you it is easier if you do not (realistic). But if you do want to know, you must realize that even to categorize yourself with the labels as I have for the sake of argument is by far too limiting. We are everything just reflecting and mirroring ourselves to each other. We learn as we do this. We grow as we do this. So, if you’re still holding that glass, just fill it with the contents of your choice and drink up. Set down the glass and go for a walk under the stars and contemplate the nature of reality and your existence within it. Stop thinking after a while as you do this and just feel. You might then begin to understand. There is a nebulous something-ness to our existence that has many labels under many schools of thought. Which is right or wrong is really irrelevant. Eckhart Tolle proved it to me in his works in which he described his own ability to observe himself thinking. That thought or concept I could test myself and I could indeed observe myself thinking. So, I am not limited by the I that is me thinking. I’m quite unlimited by the constraints of glasses and contents as I’m trying to point out. I deeply appreciate the study of Noetics, Physics, Philosophy and Psychology as they continue to push the boundaries of our understanding. As our perceptions are replaced by knowledge, we change and grow beyond the monkey-minded graspings of the ego alone and realize there is something much bigger of which we are all an important and intrinsic part.

© 2015 Dr. J.L. Harter (Photo/words)

Rev. J.L. Harter, PhD, M.Msc., B.Msc., Author, Blogger, Teacher,  Spiritual Counselor and Founder/Editor of the JMCC.  See Bio section for more information.