Thursday, 28 July 2016

Percieving the world through a different lens

Aerial Image of Vancouver Downtown City

I was riding my bike with a group of people who were from a different city. I began to notice things that were not there before, or were they always there but I just haven't noticed them?

Of course they were always there. So why haven't I noticed the older building, certain billboards, the art, the shops?

Alva Noe pointed out that "What is out there in the world is content and we have access to that content by the use of various skills." We have a limited capacity to consume all the information in the world. How we choose to consume that information is based on our ability to see, hear, taste, touch and smell.

We see a vary narrow window of the world, as I've pointed out before we tend to notice things that are more familiar to us. Imagine noticing something new everyday and not having any habits. We would be lost.

Habits are what help us move forward and grow. It may sound counter productive as habits are made so we do something well over and over again, yet without habits we cannot learn new things. Imagine having to learn how to brush your teeth every day and how to drink water or walk through a doorway.

In his book Out of Our Heads, Alva Noe does a great job at pointing out that we are not our brains, and that we do not understand consciousness. We understand the hard wiring of the brain and that the brain sends signals to our body to act and then signals are sent back to the brain to feel.

The spin is that our brain doesn’t actually feel and that our brain doesn’t actually direct our body to behave. It is the mind and the soul that does all of that.  

Without getting fully immersed into his explanation to the way the human consciousness works he concludes that we are not our brain. There is something much more to us than a living habitual mass. Each and everyone of us is something that cannot be explained.

Why am I telling you this? I want you to understand that our perception and the way we do things guide us a long a path that could be predetermined or something that is spontaneous. That is something I cannot fully understand myself.

I can decide to eat a meal and then I know I will feel full after that meal. But I cannot predict if I will get food poising after eating that meal.

So that leaves me to say that we can focus on what we can control. That we can notice what is around us by simply observing and becoming aware through deliberate action. For example: telling yourself to notice something you haven’t noticed before.

Now when you look for something new, guess what, you will find it. How? Because you are challenging yourself.

Although I want to go deeper and say that other people's reaction does change the way we perceive things.

When someone praises you on a job you have done you view that job differently than you would have if someone critiqued it.

When someone says this is a beautiful place, you take that information into your mind, not your brain, Sorry to stop the post here, I would love it for you to finish the rest and to find out more about perception HERE

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