What do I perceive? What do I perceive as beautiful? What is beauty to you? How do you perceive beauty? How do our perceptions differ? How are they similar? What do our perceptions say about us as individuals, as human beings, or as spiritual beings? Can someone change how they perceive beauty?
What do I perceive? Is an object or event what it is, or do objects and events change with the viewer? The answer is both, right? An object is what it is, while also being perceived through a particular viewpoint, standpoint, or perspective of a viewer, which may highlight, diminish, or eliminate altogether, certain parts of an object or experience.
There was an experiment done with Charlie Chaplin’s mask:
You know this is a picture of a mask, and the tan-ish half is concave, yet even knowing this, it looks convex, as though it is protruding, as any face does. This is an example of how an object can be both what it is, and what you perceive. Why is this?
Because the brain is filling in gaps. You receive so much data through your senses every moment that the brain filters out what it considers irrelevant, and fills in the blanks caused by that filtering with information from previous experiences and information.
The thing is: what if the previous information or experiences are not relevant to the current situation? Then the current perception, which may be inaccurate, gets stored in your brain bank to be drawn upon in the future for filling in gaps in perception. How long has this been going on in your brain? How many inaccurate perceptions have been “banked” and are now the basis for every interpretation you have? (ok, maybe not every, I am being a bit dramatic, to make a point).
I keep coming back to this idea of perception (see days 5, 8, 15, 18, 23), because it is so important! What are you actually perceiving? How do you know?
There are two main points about this. The first is the whole idea that thought is creative. This is another one of those ideas (see day 20) that only entered mainstream-thought in the past 20 years or so. Prior to that it was relegated to the New Thought Movement, spearheaded by the likes of Ernest Holmes and Mary Baker Eddy. But now, through people like Tony Robbins, and Deepak Chopra (starting about 25 years ago), the “power of the mind” has come to be a very acceptable and common idea.
Here’s my question: If thought is creative, but much of the interpretation of perceptions are inaccurate, what does it mean in practical application that thought is creative? What if thought is creating perfectly, but your perception is imperfect?
These are some of those ongoing questions that I do not currently have an answer for.
However, I have a lead for an answer, and it is my second point:
There’s a great phrase from A Course in Miracles that goes something like this, “You get what you expect, but you expect what you invite”. For the purpose of a discussion on perception and thought being creative, what you invite means what thoughts you choose to have. If thought is creative, would you not choose your thoughts very carefully? Then, would you not look for those thoughts to show up in your reality? And, if so, would you not begin paying more attention to things that confirm the thoughts you are looking for?
I think so. Thus, there is an answer to the question: Can someone change how they perceive beauty? Because changing thoughts about beauty will shift what a person pays attention to, which will draw attention to those things which are deemed beautiful, and the brain will fill in gaps with this new information.