Our perception is like a lens in a camera. If we set the lens for close-ups, we cannot see the background. Your eyes only see what we expect to see. The mind is where perception takes place, so the eyes are useless if the mind is blind. Learn how to reset the camera of perception.
“The eyes see only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” — Henri Bergson
Expecting the Unexpected?
Most people live their lives seeing and experiencing the same things. It’s comfortable on a certain level. 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.
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.
“To have a very strong opinion all the time is corrosive to a person’s intellect. It becomes your default position.” — Denise Mina
The point is that we grow complacent and slip into our comfort zone, where we numb out with Youtube cat videos. That’s a waste of a precious commodity—time. If we can learn to switch off “the autopilot,” we would get more out of life.
Switch Off Default Mode
We’ve always explored the unknown. We explored the world and started exploring the oceans and the universe. Somehow other priorities have shifted our focus away from exploring to making money. Most people work because you need to. Work takes precedence over our spiritual need to discover in 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 about 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.
We know when we are ready to answer the call to the quest. The call to explore our inner self 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 is can be helpful or harmful. Your eyes only grasp what we expect to see. But what the mind is prepared to comprehend goes beyond the boundaries of belief and expectations.
The Eyes are Useless if the Mind is Blind
What is it that blinds our minds? 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
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 to insight 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
And this is why the eyes are useless if the mind is blind. Not only does the mind become a useless instrument, but it also becomes a mechanism that directs you to commit harmful acts against others.
What The mind is prepared to comprehend
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 mind trap.
We are capable of much more than the default mode. The mind is prepared to comprehend other realities. The dream state teaches us we all have the capability.
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. 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 the 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 terrified.
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 even suffer torture up to and including 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 they 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 Expectations
Set the stage to expand your awareness. Remember, your eyes are useless if your mind is blind. So, learn as many of the ancient spiritual technologies as possible. Don’t get trapped in religion. We hope you become a freethinker. The world needs more people who break the generational curse of religious discrimination and bias.
The path to becoming a freethinker will open your eyes and your heart. Your eyes only see what the mind is prepared to comprehend.
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(1) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
(2) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia