Perception and Awareness

Perception is an activity of the brain, a process of the mind.

The things and people we perceive out in the world are really constructs of the mind in our brain. We perceive them as the outward projection, expression, or reflection of our individual state of consciousness.

Our perception in the mind determines our interpretation and understanding — our awareness — of life and the world, and how we arrive at a particular interpretation and understanding depends on the conditioning that is programmed in the human mind as the result of a human state of consciousness.

Watch the spinning silhouette figure in the video above. Is the figure turning clockwise or counter-clockwise? Your conditioned mind pretty much determines the direction of the figure’s rotation at first glance. You can recondition your mind and control the direction in which you wish to see the figure rotate.

However, the truth is that the figure’s silhouette animation is merely switching continuously back and forth from left to right. The figure’s movement is actually neutral in that there is no pre-determined specific rotational direction. But your mind creates the illusion of a rotational movement in one direction or the other, depending upon the conditioning at work. This takes us to the receptivity of the conditioned human mind to the influence of suggestion.

The human mind is susceptible to suggestion. This is the mental principle operating when a human subject is placed under hypnosis and is given a suggestion to be experienced by the subject in his or her mind. A suggestion of bodily contact with fire may be given to the subject, and the subject will react as if indeed experiencing a burn.

The video below shows two identically shaped silhouetted figures, but subtle white curve lines have been drawn on them in a manner that would suggest the figures are rotating differently from each other: the left figure is turning clockwise, and the right figure is turning counter-clockwise. Watch the video and see how the power of suggestion affects your perception of the two spinning dancers.

The suggestion can be quite compelling such that focusing on one figure alone can cause you to perceive the other figure rotating in the same direction from the corner of your eyes, in the above video. Indeed, human perception occurs in and through the mind, and it is influenced by suggestion.

In the next video, the strength of a mental suggestion can be experienced powerfully. The colored center figure of the ballerina actually rotates in one direction and then shifts to the opposite direction at certain points. Focusing your eyes on the colored figure will cause you to see the rotation of the side silhouettes to follow suit.

The side silhouettes will almost always follow the directional rotation of the center figure, unless your awareness becomes divided. When this happens, there may be a lack of synchronicity among the figures for a short time, until focused awareness on the center figure reintegrates them all together once again.

The power of suggestion plays a decisive role in human perception. Further- more, human awareness can accommodate differences and variations in perception, as you would have experienced in the course of watching the videos. This is reminiscent of the popular Hindu parable of the blind men who had never experienced an elephant.

Sufi Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant

Ultimately, it is consciousness that determines your perception and your experience of reality.

Everything we perceive and experience through the conditioned human mind is really illusory. No amount of mental reconditioning or belief/thought modification can escape the illusoriness of human perception or avoid the inherent error — the original sin — of human understanding. The mind has to undergo the DE-conditioning process we call contemplation or meditation, to realize the pristine wholeness of being and the integral oneness that already exist. Thus, true reality can only be experienced through the UNconditioned mind by which the Self is realized.


About Marc of Contemplative Pathways

Marc teaches contemplative meditation in the context of contemporary mysticism. His understanding of the mystical life is rooted in close to 40 years of study, practice, unfoldment, realization and experience, in the course of which he has received the gifts of spiritual discernment and transmission. His teaching work meaningfully shifts consciousness in a student through the process and alchemy of mystical transformation.   Marc facilitates the mystical teachings under the style of Contemplative Pathways. He enables others to embark on the spiritual journey by learning and understanding the Truth teaching and by living its principles. He has been conducting classes and meditation meetings in the San Francisco Bay Area for over fifteen years in a classroom, lecture, workshop, online meeting, or group practice setting.   His methodology of instruction is divinely inspired and firmly rooted in pure authentic mysticism. His approach to the mystical life is essentially nondenominational, nonsectarian, culturally interfaith, spiritually transreligious, and definitively unitive and nondualistic. His other contributions to worldwide spiritual awakening and the global contemplative movement include spiritual mentoring and spiritual healing practice.   Within the context of the great shift in consciousness now occurring all over the planet, Marc’s work presently focuses on individual and collective spiritual transformation and healing. He promotes the practice of contemplation or meditation as the vehicle for transcendence and ascension to the higher dimensions of mystical consciousness.   Marc is firmly committed to the vision of a global spiritual awakening and the divine promise of humanity’s mystical illumination.  
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3 Responses to Perception and Awareness

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