Perception is Not Reality ― What Factors Affect Our Perception?

Perception is Not Reality ― What Factors Affect Our Perception?

It is a misconception to assume our senses are the only sources of perception. Perception is a product of the mind.  Take control of your mind.  Learn about the factors that affect our perception.

Hence, our senses present only a small portion of the possibilities.  For that reason, it is not a complete picture of reality.   Mystics, Shaman, and other “gifted” teachers are unanimous in their philosophy on this point.  They describe many levels of reality.

There is not just one reality.  The Seer describes many worlds.  There is a middle, upper, and lower world.  Beyond normal reality, there are non-ordinary states, altered states, higher states. These are all doorways of perception beyond the culturally accepted norm.

Perception is Not Reality

You’ve heard people say our perception is reality.  This isn’t true. Perception is beyond the senses.  We experience everything in our minds. And, our senses do not provide an accurate representation of reality. What we actually perceive is the result of a filtering process.  Our worldview or paradigm filters everything.  If something doesn’t fit our worldview, it is altered or deleted.   So, our perception is not reality, it is our experience of reality.

What Factors Affect Our Perception

1) The Cultural Narrative

The first factor that can affect perception is the boundaries of expectations. We only see what we expect. The mind ignores anything outside the realm of expectations.  So, the mind also limits even the small bandwidth of our senses.  Or, the mind colors experience good or bad depending on the individual’s cultural narrative.

Our ability to perceive is in direct proportion to the openness of awareness.  And it is the content of that cultural narrative that directly affects the bandwidth of our awareness.  This includes thought life, self-talk, and value judgments.  Several factors make up the cultural narrative.

    1. The education or indoctrination we receive in our formative years.
    2. The health of our family and social structure.
    3. Any extraordinary life circumstances that imprint thoughts or value judgments. 

Many psychologists (1) believe this is the most influential factor in perception.   Thus, perception is not reality.  It is a product of the mind, not a reflection of reality.

2) Language or Sound

Language is a factor that affects perception.  Scientists prove a single word can alter our perception of the situation.  The word does not have to be said out loud.  We can say it in the mind.  This latter phenomenon is how Matras and Sutras can alter consciousness.

3) Physical and Mental Health

Our physical and mental health is one of the major factors that affect perception.  If we are tired or injured, this will alter or restrict perception.  If we are under the influence of psychotropic substances, these will have a major effect on perception.  Analyzing what factors affect our perception, we discover this is one that fluctuates the most.  Day to day our awareness is affected by the quality of our heath.

Removing The Boundaries of Perception

We need to confront the boundaries of faith and belief.  These are the real enemies of our progress.  If we don’t take the time to deal with the limited boundaries, then we will not grow.  Many people find it beneficial to find someone who can help them face the fears attached to their beliefs.  A study group of like-minded people is an excellent way.  For this type of approach, we recommend using a process we call comparative analysis.  This is a good way to approach the research of religion.

If you think you need one-on-one instruction, find a qualified teacher.    This is because an experienced teacher spends time with you, they will tell if you are ready to learn.  If you are not prepared to accept the new perceptions, then your teacher will have you work on the barriers first.

If you want to forge your path, this is a suitable option.  Many people find that they are better when they can progress at their own pace.  There are several spiritual technologies for this very purpose. It doesn’t matter what factors affect our perception, these tools can help you overcome them.

Spiritual Technologies

Spiritual technologies are tools for exploring consciousness.  They result from generations of research by cultures around the world. These processes stand up to the test of science. They are repeatable and measurable.  Everyone who can follow a process can use these tools. We call the practice of these processes spiritual exploration.
You can list these tools in several ways. Some fall into more than one group.   We like this simple method of grouping.

Critical Thinking

The first group is several analytical tools to enhance critical thinking. The Enneagram Personality Profile is the first tool of our blended learning process. This tool provides insight into the mechanisms of ego, personality, and instinct. Logical reasoning, spotting logical fallacies, and logical axioms. These are the three major tools of logical reasoning. This helps you to avoid common mistakes in assessing information.
Next, a research tool we call Comparative analysis.  This is a process to help us explore and compare belief systems.  This process is a scientific process form of comparative religious studies. Together these analytical tools give a solid foundation of common sense thinking. They sharpen your ability to discern facts from fiction.

Seated Meditation

Seated meditation is the heart of most spiritual practices. This includes a wide range of meditation techniques. It starts with Beginning Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation. It progresses to more advanced forms like Japa Meditation the Siddhis of Patanjali.

Moving Meditation

This is another foundational element that strengthens the mind-body connection. Moving meditation is also to our health and wellness.  This progression includes several methods of energy collection. Here we teach Forest Bathing, Qigong, and Tai Chi. It also includes more contemporary processes for grounding, like Tree Grounding and Sun Gazing.

Awareness Expansion

Pathways for expanding awareness include a variety of tools. This group includes practical tools like the spiritual journal and automatic writing. Here we introduce lucid dreaming, the Shamanic Journey, or Guided Meditation. There are also techniques for third-eye awakening and soul memory awareness.

Healing Practices

Healing practices are the last group.  This branch includes Pe Jet, Reiki, and Shiatsu.  Self-care is an important element of this group. It is vital for normalizing our inner work and maintaining our health and wellness.

In Conclusion

What factors affect our perception? This question leads us first to the health of our minds. This takes us to the programming that runs the mind.  Remember, our perception is not reality, it is our filtered experience.

If this article resonates, there are more on the blog. To find out more about our organization, see the page FAQ.

Interested in spiritual exploration?  Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey (2).  We have learning options for face-to-face and virtual learning sessions.  Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their path.


(1) Psychology Today, August 2013, Christopher Bergland, Scientists Find That a Single Word Can Alter Perceptions. Language has the power to make the invisible appear real.

(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia

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