The origin of the word “perception” is Latin and means recognition and interpretation of sensing stimuli based chiefly on memory. There are neurological processes by which such recognition and interpretation are affected. Perception is receiving and collecting information as it relates to the senses.
Within each one of us is a combination of new and old. In our day to day life, our experiences, memory, understanding, and intelligence are going through a metamorphosis. Human life is a progression in which we are passing through our experiences and feelings. Some people can handle change and readily adapt, while others cause themselves suffering by holding onto old habits, emotions, and feelings.
Although we are all members of the human race, everyone’s area of understanding, perception and experiences are different. We can refer to this “area” as “one’s world.” We each live within our own world and that world is continually growing. We have five sense organs that greatly contribute to the way we shape “our world,” however; the most powerful of these are the eyes and the ears. Why is that so? Both the eyes and ears can perceive objects up close and from a distance. Example: The eyes can not only read a book but can see stars millions of miles away. The ears can hear the sounds of many voices in a crowded room, however, the ears can hear no voices when the focus is turned inward, as in meditation.
We perceive the world through our sense organs and process that information to create our own unique world. One’s perception consists of three things that are integrated together ; the sense organs(body), the mind and the soul. When you look at a staircase, is it going up or down? Take this simple test. Walk into a room that you’ve never been in before with your eyes closed. What are you feeling? What are you seeing with your mind’s eye? Seeing with your mind’s eye is called picture thinking. Much of your answer when you’re in that room has to do with your perception. Say something to another person with a neutral tone. You may end up in a confrontation because of the way they choose to hear what has been said.
Living in a world of perception can cause much frustration. With the pressures of modern living it’s easy to get caught up in doing just for the sake of doing. Most of what we think we have to do is unnecessary. Can perceptions be changed? Of course, they can. May I suggest that one of the things you can do is be cognizant of your thoughts about yourself, others, and the world around you. Learn to “be a person of introspection.” I would venture to say that many people cannot sit still for as long as five minutes. One of the most effective ways to change perception and move to a realm of “reality” is through meditation. We have a tendency sometimes to think of meditation as something that we “do” rather than what we are. There are many types and forms of meditation. If you have never engaged in the practice of meditation, just try sitting for a few minutes and relax your mind.
Due to time and space constraints the subject of Meditation and the subject of Reality will be addressed in another posting. For more on those subjects, please view chapter 4 on “Perception or Reality” in my book “Foundations For Living” on this website or at www.amazon.com or at www.barnesandnoble.com. PEACE.