Perception refers to the interpretation of what we take into our senses. The way we perceive our environment, interpret it and make sense of what we see, hear, taste, touch and smell is all dependent on interpretation. The Hebrew Talmud states that we do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.
Victor Frankl, a Jewish psychiatrist, holocaust survivor and author of Mans’ Search for Meaning survived three years living under unspeakable conditions in Nazi concentration camps. During his time there he realized he had one single freedom left: the power to determine his response to the horror around him. He chose to imagine. He imagined his wife and the prospect of seeing her again and his students and the prospects of teaching them what he had learned after the war. He survived by changing his perception of the environment around him.
His book “Man’s Search for Meaning” chronicled his experiences and what he learned. He writes: “A human being is a deciding being. Between stimulus and response there is a space and in that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”
There is no reality only our perception of what reality is. The way we view things is really only a reflection of our self-beliefs and not how it really is. We all create the world around us by our thoughts and beliefs, and our perception of events and ourselves determine how we experience life. If we believe life is all gloom and doom then we will receive and experience gloom and doom in our lives.
We only need to look at a situation from a different angle or from another person’s point of view or see the bigger picture to totally change our experience of life. Marcel Proust, aptly sums up the journey we call life with the following words: “The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeing new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
This month’s Mantra is by an unknown author:
“It’s not them, it’s you.
It’s not there, it’s here.
It’s not then, it’s now.”