Perception is Power But Perception is not Reality its an individually crafted fiction What Factors Affect our Perception

Perception is Power But Perception is not Reality

What we perceive, we believe to be true.  But perception is not reality; it’s a product of the mind.  Our view of reality is “an individually crafted” fiction.   Learn about the factors that affect perception and take control of your mind.

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 the mind.”  Scientists, mystics, shamans, and other gifted spiritual teachers are unanimous in their opinion.  They describe many levels of reality.

Your Individually Crafted Fiction

Our perception of things is our truth, but it is only a snapshot of the possibilities.  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 and other worlds.  Many indigenous cultures describe the 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 do we believe there is only one reality?

“What you experience as “reality,” including your physical body and aging, is shaped by your habits of perception.” — Deepak Chopra

Perception is Not Reality

You’ve heard people say, “perception is reality.”  However, this is incorrect.  What they mean is that your interpretation of reality is your understanding of reality.   It’s just an opinion based on the filters of their mind.

Perception is something beyond the senses and the reach of the cultural narrative.   The mind constructs a picture based on several factors.   We end up with an individually crafted fiction programmed by those we allow to control the programming.

“Our beliefs are what create our experiences.  As we change our beliefs, we alter our perception, our version of reality.” — Iyanla Vanzant

What we perceive is the result of a complex filtering process.  Our worldview or paradigm filters everything to “make it fit” our expectations.  It makes operation in daily life easier because it’s the autopilot setting.  We don’t have to think and decipher things when we live on autopilot.  And, if something doesn’t fit the worldview, we alter it to fix or delete it.   So, our perception is not reality but a fictional representation of reality.

People and organizations spend considerable effort to program the cultural narrative to control our thoughts.  Controlling your thoughts and values is the goal of propaganda and marketing.  Those in control of the programming of social media and religion craft specific messages; it gives them optimal control.  If they control the cultural folklore, then they can sell us things.

Again, everything we think or perceive happens in our minds.  What we call reality is “an individually” crafted fiction.  To unravel this fiction, we must look at the factors we use to create this fictional representation.  What, then, are the factors that we use to craft this illusion?

What Factors Affect Our Perception?

Four main external factors influence the fiction we create in our minds.

1) The Cultural Narrative
2) Language and Sound
3) Physical and Mental Health
4) Memory and Imagination

1) The Cultural Narrative

Many psychologists (1) believe the cultural narrative is the most influential component in perception.  The programming the cultural folklore overrides even hardwiring of personality and instinct.  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.

“Our conceptions of the world affect our perception of the world which, in turn, condition the way we subsequently conceive the world.” — Stephen Batchelor

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, which colors our experience as 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.  Several elements within our cultural folklore affect our thinking, self-talk, and value judgments.

    • The type and level of formal education
    • 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, but our perception is power.

Perception is a product of the mind, not a reflection of reality.  Yet, imagination has created all of the modern conveniences of the world.  So, the pictures we have in our minds can affect tangible change.

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 a significant factor affecting perception.  If we are tired or injured, this will alter or restrict perception.  Medicines or psychotropic substances will also affect perception.

When discussing what factors affect our perception, it’s easy to overlook the obvious.  Our mental had physical health fluctuate during the day, and so does the bandwidth of perception.  Slight changes in mental and physical health can impact the ability to compile data from the cultural filter.

Some people live in a perpetual state of stress psychologists call cognitive dissonance.  It’s otherwise called the “religious headache” because it will likely affect those with rigid religious beliefs.   It causes physical pain, and this dramatically affects their ability to reason.  It’s what makes people suicide bombers.

4) Memory and Imagination

Memory isn’t stagnant, and it isn’t accurate.  It’s an ever-changing storage system influenced by our imitations, dreams or nightmares, and new experiences.  Memory influences perception through our subconscious preferences and fears.

If we have a bad experience with something, this emotionally charged memory gets stored away.  But, it reappears in dreams, where it is adjusted, amplified, or magnified.  Then when something in our waking life comes upon a similar situation, this triggers the subconscious reaction.

These reactions are phobias and fears, often exaggerated feelings that are part of our memory.

Perception is Power!

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.  We stay entrenched in our individually crafted fiction.

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.  Perception is power for good when we use it to break the shackles of superstition and mythology.

Find a qualified teacher if you want individual instruction.  An experienced teacher will spend time with you, and they will tell you 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; these tools can help you overcome them.

Spiritual Technologies

One of the benefits of consciousness exploration is how it expands the bandwidth of our awareness.  When we do this, we improve our perception.  Tools that enhance our internal and external observational skills directly affect perception.  Others, like the Enneagram Personality Profile, improve perception by increasing our understanding of how the mind works.  Here are the four main groups of these tools:

In Conclusion

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 fiction with far-reaching consequences, so we must fix any negative programming.

Perception is power for good when we base our reality on love and compassion.


(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.

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