Perception and Reality.
Carl Jung Had Insight.
I think that this little unassuming quote, so easily passed over invites a lot of consideration on the nature of perception and reality.
Irrespective of Jung’s theories or any reference to dream analysis I am considering the words in isolation. Just pondering on them as a stand-alone and I invite you to do the same.
Our Constructed Reality.
“Who looks outside dreams”.
There is more than a small degree of truth here. I think and I am in good company as Anil Seth, Cognitive Neuroscientist articulates so brilliantly here. “When we agree about our hallucinations, we call that reality”.
Boom! My brain implodes as I chase concepts of perception and reality.
What is real or awake?
For the purpose of this musing, I am interpreting the word “dream” to be any construction of our mind.
As I am about to suggest that everything seems to be a construction of our minds, I am already getting tangled. My mind wanderings loop and cross back on themselves. Words dance and become duplicitous. Part of the fun of musing is having slippery, tricky things to consider.
I inhabit my body, it is my world, my reality, I know I exist because I feel, I think, I suffer pain. Because I feel joy and my muscles ache, and I like the feel of having my hair brushed and I can hear what people say, and feel emotional, I believe I exist.
All these proofs of my actual being come from within, from my brain, from my senses that are filtering the information coming in from “out there”.
This means, the reality of the world outside has to be created through the filter of my own senses by my brain. It has to be. I do not inhabit the world out there in the way I inhabit my own body and mind. I have no proof that the outside world is exactly as I have created it in my mind.
When I look at the colour green, I can not know if that green is seen by you as the colour I would call purple.
It’s fascinating to think about in an abstract sense and in a scientific sense.
This is further complicated because elements of my physical being are both inside and outside.
If I hold my hand in front of my eyes, it feels as if the image is something from out there. It appears apart from the inner me. My actual hand in and of itself is not telling me it exists. There is no sensation. I can feel my arm begin to ache the longer I hold my hand up, but the sensation does not appear to be coming from my hand. At this point my understanding of the existence of my hand is largely visual. It is something out there, as distinct and apart from me as the computer screen I see just beyond my hand.
Then someone puts a tennis ball in my hand. The sensation of feeling the texture of fuzzy fabric leads me to reconsider whether my experience of the existence of my hand is inside of me. Do I sense textures as a phenomenon from within me? From the inside.
Sense and sensibility.
I scratch my index finger and consider the sensation. As I do, I cannot fully articulate where I feel the sensation. On my finger, obviously, but as I continue to consider it, it becomes less clear. Is the sensation on my finger, or is it internal?
Back to my hand in front of my face.
I know it’s my hand because the inner coding of me, subconsciously informs me that I have lifted my hand in front of my face, but it does not feel like a proof. If I stare for long enough and play with the focus, my hand morphs into something that looks like a chicken’s foot. But I know my hand has not changed into a chicken’s foot. I am selective about what I choose to believe from the information provided by what I can see.
Our perception reconstruction.
Vision is a key sense though which I perceive the outside world and what I see is filtered and adapted by me so that I can interpret the information that the mechanical function of seeing is giving me. But within that, I can construct my understanding of the reality.
Which means reality is adapted and reconstructed by my brain to make the best and safest understanding of the world that it can. It is not fixed.
This is fine generally and gives a simplistic understanding of why the person who has been bitten by a dog as a small child experiences a dog running toward them as a growling, dangerous wolf-like creature and yet I perceive the same reality to be a joyful, bouncing, overgrown puppy running to greet me.
But if the difference between both of our perceptions is something that has been constructed by our minds, then it seems logical that in order to change a fear of dogs (and a fear of anything else for that matter) one needs to change the constructions happening within the mind.
Change the interface.
Hypnosis is like shining a light inward.
This is one of the reasons why hypnosis can be such a useful tool in reframing and changing the nuances and overlays that we automatically add to the information we gather via our senses from the outside world.
From the inside we can begin to make real and dramatic change with regard to how we experience reality.
It really is that simple.
There is a case to be made that our inner world is also a construction but it would seem to me that in either scenario the centre for construction and understanding is our own mind.
Your mind constructs your reality, and mine constructs mine and whilst there are universal agreements in perception, i.e. we agree we both see a dog, the reality of that dog will be unique to each and every one of us and be different in many major and subtle ways.
Our mind is central to decoding and then reconstructing our perceptions of the outside world. Your mind automatically decides what is safe, what is life-threatening, what is painful, what is joyful. And will construct your perception to reflect that auto-decision.
It makes sense to look inside and awaken ourselves to our subjective perceptions and understand how they create our reality.
Then we can re-program them to provide the best individual reality that will lead to a greater satisfaction with life and enjoyment of living.
Wake to a World of Wonder.
You can begin to explore your inner world by practicing meditation or self-hypnosis.
Close your eyes and play with your sense of being. In the absence of vision, what does it mean to be you?
In the absence of the outside world, amplify your sense of being you.
Tap into an inner knowing that you are strong, amazing, and able.
Events and circumstances from the outside may have created a reality for you where you feel anything but strong, amazing, and able. There will be events and circumstances over which you have no control, but you do have control of the inner you.
Turn your light inward and explore who you are. In that space where there are no limitations and where no one but you can enter you can recover and heal, recharge and refocus, reprogram and re-set.
This is a wonderful life and you are an essential part of it.
With a smile and warm regards,