It is a misconception that your senses are the only sources of perception. Perception is a product of the mind. Learn about the factors that affect our perception and take control of our minds.
The five senses play a small part in perception. They do not give a complete picture of reality, only input into the process. We experience everything in our minds. Scientists, Mystics, Shaman, and other gifted spiritual teachers are unanimous in their opinion on this point. They describe many levels of reality.
However, we tend to think that what we experience is what other people are experiencing. It’s an easy assumption to make, but it isn’t true. The ancient Seers were wise and developed methods to explore other realms, other worlds. Many indigenous cultures describe middle, upper, and lower worlds. We know there are other states beyond ordinary reality. Dreaming is one proof of non-ordinary existence. And, we can alter consciousness with drugs or attain higher states of perception through meditation. We should not forget there are many doors of perception beyond the accepted norm.
It should prompt the question, why are we led to believe there is only one reality?
Perception is Not Reality
You’ve heard people say your perception is reality. This opinion isn’t correct. It’s just their opinion. Perception is something beyond the senses and the reach of the cultural narrative. This narrative supports a specific version because it’s the only one modern society can control. If they hold the cultural folklore, then they can sell us things.
What we perceive is the result of a complex filtering process. Our worldview or paradigm filters everything to make it fit our expected picture of existence. It makes operation in daily life easier because it’s our autopilot setting. When we live on autopilot, we don’t have to think and decipher things. And, if something doesn’t fit our worldview, we alter to fit or delete it. So, our perception is not reality, and it is a fictional representation of reality.
Again, everything we think or perceive happens in our minds. What we call reality is “an individually” crafted fiction. To unravel this fiction, we need to look that the factors we use to create our fictional representation. What then are the factors that we use to craft this illusion?
What Factors Affect Our Perception
1) The Cultural Narrative
Many psychologists (1) believe the cultural narrative is the most influential component in our perception. The programming the cultural folklore overrides our hardwired personality and instincts. Depending upon the level of exposure to harmful programming, it can make people act violently. It does this by creating boundaries and expectations. These expectations allow us to justify everything from genocide to genital mutilation.
We only believe and experience what we expect. The mind alters or ignores anything outside the realm of expectations. It’s a filter that limits our senses’ bandwidth, and this colors our experience can be good or bad depending on the individual’s cultural narrative.
Your ability to perceive is in direct proportion to the openness of awareness. The cultural narrative can affect the bandwidth of your perception. With enough exposure, it alters the psychic structures of the brain. It affects the quality of our thought life, our self-talk, and value judgments—several elements within the cultural narrative.
- The type and level of formal education
- Our exposure to unhealthy indoctrination systems like organized religion
- The health of our family and social structure
- Any extraordinary life circumstances that imprint thoughts or value judgments
Self-hypnosis and group hypnosis are the primary tools used by organized religion to program the cultural narrative. The mystery religions of the Mediterranean developed these effective brainwashing tools eons ago. All advertising tools trace their roots to these early brainwashing tools. Thus, perception is not reality. It is a product of the mind, not a reflection of reality.
2) Language and Sound
Language and sound are factors that affect our perception. Scientists prove a single word can alter our perception of the situation, and we don’t need to say words out loud for them to have power.
Our internal dialogue can reinforce either positive or negative thoughts. We know Matras and Sutras‘ use can alter consciousness and open doors to higher states of awareness. These tools have a long history of use as mechanisms to enhance healing.
3) Physical and Mental Health
Our physical and mental health is one of the significant factors that affect perception. If we are tired or injured, this will alter or restrict perception. Medicines or psychotropic substances will also affect perception.
Analyzing what factors affect our perception, we discover because our mental had physical health fluctuate during the day, so does our bandwidth of perception. Slight changes in mental and physical health can impact our ability to compute data input from our cultural filter.
Some people live in a perpetual state of stress psychologists call cognitive dissonance. It’s otherwise called the “religious headache” because it is most likely to affect those with rigid religious beliefs. It’s the cumulative stress of ignoring facts that contradict a worldview based on mythology and superstition. It causes physical pain, and this dramatically affects their ability to reason. It’s what makes people suicide bombers.
Removing The Boundaries of Perception
We need to confront the boundaries of faith and belief. These are the enemies of our progress. When we do not remove these 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 approach, we recommend using a process we call comparative analysis. It is a perfect way to approach the research of religion.
Find a qualified teacher if you want individual instruction. An experienced teacher will spend time with you, and they will tell if you are ready to learn the next steps. If you are not prepared to accept the new perceptions, 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 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, and these tools can help you overcome them.
The catalog of ancient methods for exploring consciousness is what we call spiritual technologies. They are a collection of processes to develop the potential of the mind, body, and spirit. They offer us ways to expand awareness and reach higher states of consciousness.
These tools differ significantly from religion. They do not require faith or belief in any religious doctrine. Anyone can use these processes to develop their full potential. All you need to do is follow the process, and it’s just like following the recipe for baking a cake. If you combine the right ingredients in the right way and you get something delicious.
We select the best of these ancient methods for our blended learning method. These processes are time-tested by generations of use, and they stand up to the rigorous tests of science. They are repeatable processes, and several produce measurable effects on our physiology. These changes include increased brainwave coherence, lower heart rate, and increased skin resistance. Changes like this prove these partitions of consciousness differ significantly from waking, dreaming, and sleeping.
We divide these tools into four major categories:
Everyone can use these methods to create their unique spiritual path, and you can start with any of these methods. The more of them you use, the faster your progress.
Our discussion started with an important question, what factors affect our perception? This question leads us first to the health of our minds. The programming we install affects the health of the mind. When we install negative bias and prejudice, it acts like a virus affecting thoughts and values. Our perception is not reality. It is an individually crafted illusion with far-reaching consequences, and this is why we need to fix any negative programming.
Thanks for reading this article. We welcome your opinion, so don’t hesitate to comment or email us. We hope it provides some food for thought. You can find more mind-opening topics on our blog.
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(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