Perception takes place through the mind’s eye, not the senses. The geography of the mind has many levels. Perception is like a lens in a camera. We cannot see the background if we set the lens for close-ups. Your eyes only see what we expect to see. Learn how to reset the camera of perception.
Most people live their lives seeing and experiencing the same things. It’s comfortable. We grow complacent and slip into our comfort zone, where we numb out with Youtube cat videos. We take the same routes to work or the store. It’s easier because the Ego can put us on automatic pilot.
Have you ever driven somewhere in your car and realized you don’t remember anything about the journey? You were probably busy thinking. Thankfully, nothing happened on the drive. You would not have been ready for an emergency. Still, it’s a waste of a precious commodity—time. If we can learn to switch off “the autopilot,” we will get more out of life.
“The eyes see only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” — Henri Bergson
The Geography of the Mind
When you look at a landscape picture, there are things in the foreground and on the horizon. The beauty of the picture is in how it communicates the different levels of the scene. The foreground and the background combine to give a unique view.
“It is through the mind’s eye, our mental vision, that we discover the real essence of the vicissitudes of life. Such provides us, figuratively speaking, with a peripheral vision of relative and practical truths that might otherwise escape us.” —Ralph M. Lewis
This tunnel vision is a product or routine. The Ego likes it because it means it is in control. It leaves us in a default mode of awareness. We cycle through these default modes, from waking to sleeping, dreaming, and the same cycle again.
The default mode of perception for most people is ordinary reality. Most people are born with this default state of awareness. It gives us time to acclimate to our bodies. But it’s also limiting. Non-ordinary states of consciousness are available to everyone who prepares their minds. The geography of the mind is limitless. All we need to do is learn how to open the other doors of perception.
“To have a very strong opinion all the time is corrosive to a person’s intellect. It becomes your default position.” — Denise Mina
Seeing Through the Mind’s Eye
We are creatures made to explore the unknown. We have explored much of the world and some of the oceans and the universe. But the culture is controlled by capitalism, so it shifts our focus from exploring to making money. Most people work because they need to. Work takes precedence over our spiritual need to discover the modern world.
You probably know what I’m talking about; it’s why stories about the supernatural and paranormal are so popular. It’s why religions are still popular. The journey, the quest for the unknown, captivates our interest. We hear that small voice inside that tells us there’s got to be more to life than work and sleep.
Most people ignore the proof of the mind’s capabilities. The dream state teaches us we can experience other realities. Think about it. When you dream, you enter a new geography of the mind.
Your Eyes Only See What We Expect
We know when we are ready to answer the call to the quest. The call to explore our inner world is something many people share. Joseph Campbell calls this inner desire The Hero’s Journey (1). This undertaking does require proper preparation. Here is where mythology can be helpful or harmful.
Mythology can be helpful. It is useful when it points to the options and other realities. Some myths use analogies that help us understand altered states of awareness and consciousness.
Mythology can be helpful if you see them as metaphors and analogies which explain concepts. But, when mistaken for “fact” is dangerous, it becomes religion. That’s because religion often substitutes myths for facts. It’s a tactic that attempts to make faith perform as knowledge, but many people fall into this trap of mass hallucination.
What is it that blinds the geography of the mind? It is the cultural programming that comes from the dominant cultural narrative. Western organized religion is the most influential in programming us with negative bias and prejudice. Bigotry and prejudice blind our minds to the limitless possibilities beyond these religions’ boundaries.
“I thought about how easily we are all brainwashed by our society and culture to stop thinking and just assume by default that more money equals more success and more happiness when ultimately happiness is really just about enjoying life.” — Tony Hsieh
What The Mind is Prepared to Comprehend
The geography of the mind is still under the control of organized religion via groupthink manipulation tactics. Organized religion is like a spider web; it is difficult to break free once you are entangled. Instead of pointing the way, it hypnotizes with promises of material wealth and afterlife rewards.
The central trio of religions in Western organized religion is Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. These three “Abrahamic religions” (2) boast over 4 billion members worldwide. That means they have enormous power over the cultural narrative. Their social reach is used for insight into everything from genocide and wars to religious persecution and gender discrimination.
“Take a good look at your mind. Examine it closely. The first thing you will come to know is that the mind has become the master — not you and not your soul! The mind says: Do this! And you do it! If you don’t, the mind creates problems. It becomes sad, and the sadness of the mind becomes your sadness. If you do as it says, you get nowhere, for the mind is blind. Where can you reach by obeying the mind! The is unconsciousness. If you listen to it you reach nowhere.” — Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Osho
We see the world through the mind’s eye, and we must ask ourselves what controls the picture we see. Your eyes only see what the mind is prepared to comprehend. Not only does the mind become a useless instrument, but it also becomes a mechanism that directs you to commit harmful acts against others.
When the mind’s eye rests on objects illuminated by truth and reality, it understands and comprehends them, and functions intelligently; but when it turns to the twilight world of change and decay, it can only form opinions, its vision is confused and its beliefs shifting, and it seems to lack intelligence.” — Plato
Gifted with Access to Non-ordinary Realities
Thankfully, a few in every generation are born with a unique skill set. They are born prepared to comprehend other realities through the mind’s eye. Ancient cultures considered this a blessing. Indigenous cultures still recognize these gifted people and understand how to nurture them. These individuals find guidance and mentoring in their cultural settings. They become shamans, Healers, and Seers.
This natural ability to shift between realities is a curse in the modern world. The Western paradigm fears those with natural spiritual gifts, for they don’t fit into the mythology of the Abrahamic religions. They do not want you to access this knowledge. If you have innate spiritual gifts and conform to mythology, you become a mystic for the paradigm. But, if you do not join and support their paradigm, you become a target of persecution. What the mind is prepared to comprehend makes organized religion terrifying.
A lot depends on your visibility, skills, and value to society. If you don’t fit in, you are subject to various punishments. You could be ostracized, imprisoned, or tortured to death. The persecution continues to this very day. The enlightened world of the 21st Century is still in the superstition’s grip of the 1st Century. Gifted individuals find it hard to fit in and rarely have a knowledgeable mentor to help them develop proper coping skills.
Blessed are those who come into the world prepared to comprehend other realities. But you need not be born with the ability to learn how. Several “spiritual technologies” can open this doorway (if you are ready). You, too, can become prepared to comprehend worlds beyond ordinary reality.
Spiritual technologies are what we call the marvelous processes of the ancient world that enable us to investigate consciousness. There are many ways to organize them, and we group them into four categories.
Your Eyes Only See the Boundaries of Geography of the Mind
Use the tools above to expand what you see. Learn as many of the ancient spiritual technologies as possible. Don’t get sidetracked by the empty promises of organized religion. If you are a follower, there is hope; there is a way out.
The world needs more freethinkers who can help in the fight against right-wing extremist ideologies that want to take us back to the dark ages of religious sectarianism. The world needs more people who break the generational curse of religious discrimination and bias.
Your eyes only see what the mind is prepared to comprehend. The geography of the mind is a limitless landscape. What you perceive through the mind’s eye depends upon your expectations and limitations of belief.
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