It is a misconception to assume our senses are the only sources of perception. Perception is only a product of the mind.
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. And, beyond normal reality, there are non-ordinary states, altered states, higher states are all doorways of perception beyond the culturally accepted norm.
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 judgements. Several factors make up the cultural narrative. The type of education or indoctrination we receive in our formative years, the health of our family and social structure, any extraordinary life circumstances that imprint thoughts or value judgements. Many psychologists believe this is the most influential factor of perception. Thus, perception is beyond the senses. It is a product of the mind, not a reflection of reality.
2) Language or Sound
Language is a factor that affects perception. In fact, scientists prove a single word can alter our perception of the situation. The word does not have to be said out loud. It can be read or spoken in the mind. This latter phenomenon is how Matras and Suturas 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 which fluctuates the most. Day to day our awareness is affected by the quality of our heath.
Removing the Boundaries Affecting 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 of their beliefs. A study group of like-minded people is a good 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 and able to accept the new perceptions, then your teacher will have you work on the barriers first.
If you want to forge your own path, this is a good 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 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. They do not require belief in religious doctrine. So, everyone who can follow a process can use them. 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.
- Tools to enhance critical thinking. This study of basic logical reasoning along with spotting logical fallacies and logical axioms. Then we also use a comparative analysis. This is a step-by-step way of comparing beliefs between different worldviews. Above all, these tools will help sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction.
- The Enneagram Personality Profile. This is mostly an analytical tool. It provides insight into the mechanisms of ego, personality, and instinct.
- Seated meditation is often the heart of your spiritual practice. This includes a range from Beginning Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation through Japa Meditation and more advanced Siddhis of Patanjali.
- Moving meditation helps us strengthen the mind-body connection. It is also an important key to our health and wellness. This progression includes several methods of energy collection, such as Forest Bathing, Qigong, and Tai Chi.
- Pathways for expanding and exploring awareness. This progression includes a range of processes from lucid dreaming, the Shamanic Journey and Guided Meditation to third-eye awakening and soul memory awareness. Practical tools to guide your path, a spiritual journal, and automatic writing.
- Healing practices are the final group. This branch includes Pe Jet, Reiki, and Shiatsu. Self-care is also a part of this group and is vital to our overall health and wellness.
The question, what factors affect our perception, leads us first to our overall health, then beyond the senses to programming that runs the mind.
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. 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 own path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s Book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
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.