Since 1996, I have held absolute disdain for the phrase “perception is reality”.
I can still recall the year and the specific conversation I was engaged in when I first heard this phrase. I have difficulty remembering what I did yesterday, let alone a business meeting 24 years ago. Yet, here we are.
Today I am elated. I had a major breakthrough while reading Rob Brezsny’s FreeWill Astrology newsletter. I now fully understand WHY I detest this phrase so much. Most importantly, I realize my intuition to reject the notion (that
perception is reality) has, in fact, played a significant role in my on-going development as a free thinking, non-judgmental human being.
Let’s explore this!
Jim Taylor, Ph.D of The Power of Prime had this to say:
“This aphorism (perception is reality) is often used to justify a perception that may be objectively unjustifiable or just plain out of touch with reality. It’s employed as a cudgel to beat others into accepting someone’s preferred so-called reality”.
In other words, not understanding the notion that irrelevant factors manipulate what we see and think is extremely dangerous to both ourselves and to society as a whole.
When we believe what we see and then go on to believe our interpretation of what we see, we are creating what is referred to philosophically as “naive realism”.
Naive realism is an egocentric cognitive distortion that skews the way we perceive the world because we rely too heavily on our perceptions as reality.
Why is this so dangerous?
It’s dangerous when the masses allow themselves to be beaten into acceptance of a “preferred so-called reality”. Like a mainstream narrative that shut downs critical thinking, if you will. Assuming that “perception is reality” is a lazy way of thinking.
Consider what breeds prejudice, sexism, political ideologies and agendas, biases, and overall division within our societies. We are presented with opinions and agendas, which in turn, are subject to our own individual interpretation. It doesn’t make any of it reality. It’s simply individual perceptions or better yet, illusions.
When perception deviates too far from reality, illusions become delusions.
This is how it’s dangerous to society as a whole. Let’s consider the alternative; we all uphold to the notion that the ONLY thing we know for certain was that we don’t know ANYTHING for certain. I believe both the world and our minds would be much more peaceful places to reside.
We are constantly bombarded with conflicting narratives, nefarious agendas, opinions, digitally modified visuals, and basic non-stop f*ckery of our minds.
Stop taking it all in.
Stop wrestling with your own perception of what actually IS or ISN’T.
Instead live with one Simple Truth: The only thing we know for certain is that we don’t know anything for certain.