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Now you see it

We believe what we see and, since truth is said to lie in the eyes of the beholder, it seems to be an open and shut case. Till we actually investigate this scientifically. Here's the reality behind our own perceptions which makes us interpret the world around us.

health and fitness Updated: Jun 11, 2011 18:54 IST
Shikha Sharma

Every kind of ignorance in the world results from not realising that our perceptions are gambles. We believe what we see and then we believe our interpretation of it, we don’t even know we are making an interpretation most of the time. We think this is reality.
Robert Anton Wilson

We believe what we see and, since truth is said to lie in the eyes of the beholder, it seems to be an open and shut case. Till we actually investigate this scientifically. Take a road accident. When you query witnesses about it, you are told many versions, some contradicting the others.

Now, imagine what happens in society. Each one of us carries our own perceptions about what is happening around us, all of which are influenced by our subconscious belief systems, and the influence of the people around us. If a group of people were shown a clip of a lady slapping a child and asked to explain what was happening, some would say it was a mother disciplining her child, some would believe it was a teacher punishing a student, some would imagine a stepmother hitting a child, and so on. Our reality is dependent on our interpretations of what happens around us. Anais Nin said it correctly: We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.

Which brings me to my central point – how we interpret the world we see.

When we are very young we see the world as it is. We attach no meaning to what we see. Nice and bad, good and ugly, safe and unsafe – these are interpretations given to us by our experiences, family, society or culture. Once these labels are stuck in our unconscious minds, we see life through these filters forever. These belief systems become the hidden part of us. They dictate our decisions, judgements, opinions and actions. They are our truths.

Our belief systems are about wealth, colours (in the West white is the colour brides are dressed in and in our country, white is the colour associated with widows), women, men, children, education, society, power, politics, good, bad, rights and responsibilities – everything. And it all stems from our perceptions of reality. Our lives are ruled by these belief systems.

So here’s a question: If a time should come when you are forced to face your belief system and make a decision, would you live the old life or discover a more vibrant, happier life?