Friday, June 13, 2008

Perception - some insights...

Dearest Goddesses,

Hopefully you all had a chance to do the perception exercise. If you haven't - do it now (it's only like 5 mins) and you can get to it by clicking here.

I think that perception plays a HUGE role in our experience of the world, our world and the people and events that happen in our world. Regardless of what you saw or didn't see, you can't underestimate the power of perception. I just wanted to share a few of my insights from the video:

1. When you are committed to seeing something a certain way - there are definitely some things that you're going to miss. If you go through life, like most people do, trying to be right, make other people wrong or avoid being made wrong (which is just another way of being right!) then of course your perception is going to be clouded. Experiences and people will fit into your world view and very often you will miss key things.

2. Most people who see this DO NOT see the most obvious thing. Knowing that can help us be more responsible in our communication and not make assumptions that everyone sees the same thing that we do. I heard of this activity at a seminar where the facilitator held up a piece of paper and asked the group what color the paper was. Green everyone shouted - but the leader said, I see yellow. But it is clearly green the audience argued - some people getting quite heated. I see yellow, the leader replied. This back and forth went on for a few more minutes and then the leader turned the paper over (to the side that they were looking at) and, sure enough, the other side of the paper was yellow. I see yellow. I also found it interesting that the leader used the words "I see yellow" and not "The paper is yellow" and yet what most people in the audience heard (since they were arguing so defensively) was that the paper was yellow.

3. I happened to see the obvious thing in the video - but not all of it. I was pretty surprised to see the extent of what I did miss. John didn't see it at all. It would be very easy for me to make this mean that I am more percetive than he is (even though of course it is true ;). But I would be fooling myself. We are all attached to our own stuff - which is what the exercise is about. I am AWESOME at giving advice and seeing where everyone else is stuck, but it isn't so easy to see it in my own life. I think that is true for most of us.

4. I consider myself to be very open minded and respectful about people's beliefs, etc. but there is of course a line in my comfort zone of beliefs and when that line is crossed, I can be pretty judgemental. I guess I have a problem when things are presented as TRUTH. Most of the time, but not all, this is based on some religious fundamentalism. I tend to close myself off and am not able to "hear" what they have to say - or "hear" it through my perception and file it away under crazy. I am curious to hear the end of the presentation in the video, because the facilitator specifically refers to science - and the tendency of science to be so focused in what they are looking for that they may also miss the most obvious. (For what I think is a great discourse between science and religion, check out Carl Sagan's book Contact - the movie barely scratches the surface). Think of how different the world would be if we all put down our version of TRUTH?

In honor of Rhiannon - keep questioning - especially question what it is that you might not be seeing.

Love to you,


Sugar said...

I have MANY friends who claim to always be right. I have some that I've had to part ways with, at least in my heart, that can be pretty judgmental. They always seem to know what I SHOULD do and never stop to think that they don't wake up with my dreams nor do they go to sleep with my regrets. There world view, or perception of my situation has to be the right direction rather than considering me in any of it.

Inevitably, those in my life that love to be right stumble. Sometimes, I have the urge to stand over them in their vulnerability and say, "See... not so easy is it?" Instead, I have to remember that we all fall short and give them a hand to help them up...

But sometimes, I forget to do that much... maybe because I'm feeling pretty right. Aaaahhh, this human condition...

Rowena said...

What I've found is that I have to keep working on maintaining this attitude.

I can get all zen and remember to look at other's povs, but then sometimes, all I can see is ME ME ME and I get all caught up in the me-ness.

dude. It's hard work to be enlightened.