Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday Madness (Perception)

¡Hola! Everybody, I sometimes suffer from bouts of insomnia; a few of you already know this. Lately, I haven’t been sleeping…

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“Everything you perceive is a witness to the thought system you want to be true.”
-- A Course in Miracles

I often write and talk about perception. When I write about perception, it’s usually from a neuropsychological perspective. I’m fascinated by how the mind/ brain works and how it gathers (and excludes) information. In my workshops, perception is a central theme. In many ways, perception is everything. Today, I will address perception from a less technical perspective – more in line with how my work looks and feels in a workshop setting.

The essential point with perception is the truth in that misperceptions produce fear and true perceptions creates love. In terms of relationships, you see this a lot. An individual may misperceive, or may be intentionally led to misperceive and that leads to a whole world of problems. So in this sense -- in the sense of relating to others -- there are two major components. There is the misperception that comes from the individual and then there’s the misperception that sometimes has its origin in a partner who’s being less than honest or “fair.”

It’s called drama for good reason.

I’m a firm believer that we can’t control others so I will leave the issue of dishonest people endeavoring to cause fear and misperception as a tool for control to the countless blogs littering the internet on just that topic. Believe me, someone somewhere right this moment is writing a heartfelt blog on how someone intentionally caused a misperception. I feel that if we live a life based on love rather than fear, those who would cause us pain fall away. Pettiness doesn’t feel comfortable around genuineness. More simply put: shit doesn’t roll uphill.

True happiness is an inside job, so let’s put away the toys, and look within. The rest will take of itself, believe me. Just know that everything you perceive is a testament to the thought system you want to be true. You should read that previous sentence several times. I know when I first happened on it, it blew me away because there was the fuckin' key. The truth is that our perceptions of others are what we are strengthening in ourselves. This is the reason some forms of relating are toxic. Perception is a mirror of our deepest selves and most of the time we’re not aware of it.

We look at perception as something factual when it isn’t. Perception is a choice. I know I said I would leave the game players alone but I’ll use their monkey asses to better illustrate what I mean here. You’re in a relationship, or pursuing one, and the object of your attraction is playing games – intentionally using misperception as a way to get what they want. Let’s say she’s lying about not seeing someone else, or he tells you he cares, but is interested in your ass. There are several scenarios, but you get my drift. Now, think about that. Think carefully of what kind of mindset stays stuck on that level of thinking. There has to be a lot of fear in that manner of relating, doesn’t it? Fear of being alone, fear of true intimacy, or fear being seen for who you really are – the list goes on.

As always happens, the shit comes out in the wash. Deceit is always uncovered, it’s always a matter of time, but this is the part that I want you take to heart: perception is a choice that’s dependent on much more than you realize. Taking the example above, what you choose to hear and see depends entirely on your belief of what you are. You could see the person above as a snake – someone who stole affection from you, and you wouldn’t be too far off track.

However, what would you see, given the choice?

The first rule of perception is that you will see that which resides within you. If there is hatred in your heart, you will perceive a fearful world gone slightly mad, held in the cold embrace of death’s cold fingers. But if there is love in your heart, you will look outward on a world full of mercy and love. It is only in learning to look on all things with the quality of openness, appreciation, and love that we free ourselves of the manipulation and deceit – both from within and outside of ourselves. Fro the perspective of love pettiness is revealed for what it is: a sad attempt by deluded individuals to exert control over a frightful world. Love allows you to see a deceit for the smallness that it is rather than a gigantic insult to your ego. Shit can’t roll uphill. So if you’re standing on a foundation of love and not your own selfish desires, the Monkey Mind ma’fuccas lose importance.

Oftentimes, I see people who have no real clue of the limits they have placed on their perceptions. No idea of all the beauty they could see if they only opened their minds and their eyes.

Perception can make whatever picture the mind wants to see. I can choose to see a hurt from a position of smallness and hate enters my hurt. That fuckin bitch! Alternatively, I can choose to see the same hurt from a position of love and see how much she suffers and how much she happiness she sacrifices by living like that.

Same hurt, different perceptions. You choose.

Perception can make whatever drama the mind wants to see. If you take anything from this, take this: Perception is a mirror, not a fact and what you gaze upon is a reflection of your state of mind turned outward.



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