Where to begin.

You may not think this to be a deep or massive subject.  Or maybe you do understand this to be the case.  I’m not sure.  Either way, I’m going to try to begin to scratch the surface on what I believe to be the end all to total chaos… Perceptions.

This goes to every level of the being.  Everything from what we have “learned” as a child to what we “learn” as adults.  I put those “learn” words in quotes for a reason.  What we supposedly “learn” may not really have any significance at all.  It all has to do with what we perceive that is what we believe to be true.  At least for our own lives.

Even such things as “culture” or what culture we have grown up or lived in is still a perception or has its own perceptions that have been created.  Not necessarily correctly.  Just that they are a part of our understanding of how things are.  In actuality they are really NOT!

Why is it that we perceive everyone to understand things the way we do?  Why is it that we perceive that others should or do believe or feel or live the same as you or I.  Do they have the same history?  Did they grow up with the same values?  Did they get up this morning with a roof over their heads, shoes on their feet, food in their belly, love in their hearts, family gathered round or nearby?  Do they have money in the bank, a dog to call their own (insert pet of your choice if you don’t like the dog comment)?  Do they have the same religion or any religion at all?  Did they grow up in or are they living in a free society?  Do they have running water or dependable electricity?  Do they have health care or do they have insurance or have they even ever seen a doctor in their life?

We tend to perceive everyone from our own perspective believing somehow that they should understand everything that we do the way we do just as we do.  While this may be a normal thing, it is not right.  I hesitate on that word because “right” or “wrong” is also a perception in many things (if not most).  Still, it is a misconception to think that others see things the way we do at any given point.

I have written about this in other posts to some extent.  It still breathes in my very being.  To understand perceptions is a feat of untold difficulty.  It is a challenge greater than most in that it requires one to be sensitive to a level of understanding that few have ever even taken a glance.  Maybe because it requires a level of thought much deeper than the individual can fathom.  I’m not sure.  I know I try in as many ways as I can but I fall short of my own expectations so often on this that I dare not expect this of others.  A plethora of books have been written.  A multitude of people have studied the intricacies of the human Ego.  Much has been said.  Much has been done.  Very little knowledge has truly been attained.  Maybe its not that so little has been attained as it is that the subject is so vast.

How do you teach one to be perceptive of others perceptions?  How do you encourage someone to be mindful of others needs, feelings, history, thoughts, and/or other factors.  We can only imagine.  We have not yet begun to be able to read a mind or thoughts.   Is it possible to gather enough information in a brief moment to evaluate the perceptions of the other person enough to credibly understand what they are perceiving of us?

We perceive that the person that cut us off in traffic is a bad driver or rude.  Is this true?  Is it possible that they got up on the wrong side of the bed (so to speak)?  Is it possible that they are late and are in danger of loosing the only source of income they may have to pay their bills?  Is it because they just learned that someone they love is dying and their mind is not focused on driving?  Is it possible that they have their child in the back seat that they are headed to the doctor?  Yes, it’s possible.  It is also possible that they are a bad driver and ARE rude.  Actually, in this society, it is much more likely to be the first but it is still possible for the other.


Why do you think the person behind the counter gave you the wrong change?  Why do you think your food order got mixed up?  Why DID that person cut you off?  Why were you hung up on?  Why are people lazy at work?  Why do other nations hate the US?  Do they really hate the US?  If so, why are they trying so hard to come here?  Why does this person or that person believe the way they do?  Why is it that others believe differently than you? (or I)  What makes you think that everyone else has the same education as you, the same mental capacity as you, the same financial situation, love relationships, family relationships, or even a similar belief system in any capacity as you or me?



Author: memman

Too much to tell. There is more than what is seen on the surface of any man. Some have more layers than others. I have many.

2 thoughts on “Perceptions”

  1. Dan, I will try to say as pointedly as I can what I think is powerful in this message.
    To live with the ambiguity of “not knowing” perceptions of others, requires the strength and courage of a warrior.
    I believe when we are weak, our temptation to judge others increases dramatically. It can provide temporary relief from the terror of an honest engaging with another. And relief from that can be so appealing, for most it cannot be resisted. But this judging is really based on illusion rather than truth. So like a drug, that offers delusion and numbing of pain, judging can become an addictive habit. The temporary relief may feel “essential” to one in immense pain. But once we are in the habit of judging, we begin playing mental tricks with ourselves, to make us feel we have a right to judge. A couple of key questions you mention above… “Why is it that we perceive everyone to understand things the way we do? Why is it that we perceive that others should or do believe or feel or live the same as you or I” …. I say it assists our judging of others. Because our judging loses relevance when the reason for differences may be due to something other than “This person just isn’t as good as I am”. Or something comparable.

    Your words help hold me to task Dan. To the truth. That from the truest perspective, no one person is any better or more valuable than another person. Frankly, it is because the bearing of not knowing others perceptions honestly is so heavy, and potentially painful beyond measure, that withstanding it honestly in the moment, with a loved one, is a gift beyond measure. Such an honest offering of one’s soul, displays immense courage, and in so doing, it participates in dissolving defensive walls that can permanently keep people from knowing one another in any deeper sense. What a loving gift… when we can hold to that simple truth with someone. It empowers them to be who they honestly are, and shows them more authentically who we are underneath our surface fearful tactics. This task of honesty, though difficult, is what feeds and sustains us. Without it, we are in a masquerade. That never ends.
    Didn’t someone once say “the truth will set you free”?

    1. Not long ago we spoke about the point of “Being in the moment” and how that effects the current state of mind as well as how difficult it is to actually “BE” when “in the moment.” To take the state of mind of judging seems all too natural a reaction. I’m fairly certain that it may be a self preservation mode when “in the moment” of an intense situation. Still, I know that you try as much as I to “respond” rather than react when in the moment.

      Truth… Ahhh that all powerful central theme of mine… I love it. I strive for it. I know you do too. Indeed, it does set the individual free. The true freedom that comes from the living of truth is far greater than I can explain. This may sound like another blog and indeed it could be. The truth of being/the being of truth. It would take books and books. And even then, I’m certain I could not do it justice.

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