PERCEPTION

August 31, 2014
This issue is now obsolete. For latest references please see: KHTK Metaphysics. The specific reference that updates this issue is A Model of Mind.

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We do not necessarily perceive what is “out there.” In fact, nobody really knows what is “out there.” We perceive only what our mind tells us.

THEORY

According to Wikipedia, the process of perception involves the following steps:

  1. Body’s sensory organs are incited by means of light, sound or another physical process.
  2. These sensory organs transform the input energy into neural activity.
  3. These neural signals are transmitted to the brain.
  4. The brain organizes and interprets the signals.
  5. This creates awareness or understanding of the environment.

Thus, the brain “sees” a pattern of nerve impulses. The mind considers them as sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell, etc. Since the perception of the physical universe agrees from person to person, we may say that certain basic considerations in the mind could be fixed in place genetically.

However, the same sensory input may result in somewhat different perception depending on a person’s culture and previous experience. Perceptions may also be shaped by learning, memory and expectation.

PERCEPTIONS ARE TRANSDUCED BY BASIC CONSIDERATIONS HARD-WIRED IN THE MIND. THESE CONSIDERATIONS MAY BE MODIFIED TO SOME DEGREE BY CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND.

An image on a computer screen is made up of thousands of pixels (picture elements). Similarly, the perception may be looked upon as made up of millions of “percepts,” which are then processed into concepts. Mind’s perceptual systems pre-consciously attempt to make sense of their input. They enable individuals to see the world around them as stable, even though the sensory information may be incomplete and rapidly varying. This processing of percepts happens outside conscious awareness.

THE MENTAL CONSIDERATIONS TRY TO MAKE SENSE OUT OF THE SENSORY INPUT THROUGH EXTRAPOLATION. WE ARE USUALLY NOT AWARE OF THIS PROCESS.

An unresolved question has been, “Do sensory qualities such as sounds, smells or colors exist in objective reality or in the mind of the perceiver?” Since the ideas of ‘objective reality,’ ‘sensory input’ and ‘mind’ are themselves theoretical considerations, we may look at perception only in terms of how stable it is, and to what degree it may be modified.

PERCEPTIONS ARE NOT ABSOLUTE EVEN THOSE OF THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE.

These considerations leading to perceptions seem to be interconnected and influence each other. They are not absolute in themselves, but sorting them out may provide a sense of some deeper consistency.

WHAT IS SIGNIFICANT IS NOT WHAT WE PERCEIVE BUT THE CONSISTENCY OR INCONSISTENCY AMONG WHAT WE PERCEIVE.

Thus, looking focuses on recognizing what is there. This includes observation of consistency and inconsistency among what is being perceived.

 

APPLICATION

In the absence of a guide these exercises may be done by oneself. The guide may help the student as follows.

(A) Go over the theory section with the student.

  1. Answer any questions from the student as best as you can.
  2. Discuss the theory materials until no questions remain.
  3. Make sure the student understand the main points highlighted in bold in theory section.

(B) Have the student do the exercises in sequence.

  1. Guide the student through the exercises.
  2. Maintain an open and friendly communication about student’s experience on the exercise

 

EXERCISES

THE PURPOSE OF THESE EXERCISES IS TO PRACTICE LOOKING DIRECTLY AT CONSISTENCY AND INCONSISTENCY AMONG WHAT IS BEING PERCEIVED. 

Exercise 1 

Pay close attention to the perception of touch during your daily activities. For example, feel the clothes as you put them on your body; feel the weight and temperature of your briefcase as you carry it; feel the touch of the knob as you open a door; feel the shoes as you walk in them, etc.

Recognize any consistency or inconsistency as it presents itself.  

Exercise 2 

Pay close attention to the perception of sight during your daily activities. For example, perceive the color of things as you look at them;  their brightness, contrast, and variety; the shape and  dimensions of objects; the patterns among objects, etc.

Recognize any consistency or inconsistency as it presents itself.

Exercise 3 

Pay close attention to the perception of smell during your daily activities. For example, smell the air for the freshness or aroma wafting through it as you walk through markets and various neighborhoods;  smell the food as you sit down to eat, etc.

Recognize any consistency or inconsistency as it presents itself.

Exercise 4 

Pay close attention to the perception of hearing during your daily activities. For example, listen to the tone and quality of sound as you hear it; listen to its loudness and softness, listen to the words being spoken without attaching any meaning to them, etc.

Recognize any consistency or inconsistency as it presents itself.

Exercise 5 

Pay close attention to the perception of taste during your daily meals. For example, taste the water as you drink it; taste the different flavors in the food as you eat it, etc.

Recognize any consistency or inconsistencyas it presents itself.

Exercise 6 

Pay close attention to the body position and personal motion as you go through your daily activities.  Recognize any consistency or inconsistency as it presents itself.

Exercise 7

Look at something as usual. Then look at the various perceptions that make up what you are looking at. Recognize any consistency or inconsistency as it presents itself.

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Comments

  • vinaire  On January 29, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    This is a complete rewrite of this KHTK essay, now posted on 1/29/11. The 3 votes above adding up to “average” apply to the previous version. Hope this version is more helpful.

    ~Vinaire

  • vinaire  On May 12, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    In looking, one is bringing into view existing considerations and looking at them.

    In thinking, one is simply perceiving through one’s considerations, and, thus, coloring what one is looking at through judging, evaluating, labeling, etc. Here the via, or filter, is one’s consideration, which itself is not perceived.

    It is only when one looks AT the consideration that one is able to recognize it as a consideration that one is holding on to.

    ~Vinaire

  • vinaire  On May 14, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    In perceiving, as one starts to look at that perception more closely, one starts to become aware of how it is being “colored”, and in doing so one starts to become aware of the consideration one is looking through.

    Therein lies the secret of LOOKING.

    ~Vinaire

  • vinaire  On May 14, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    When there is sensory or mental input, the mind immediately puts up considerations that match that input. A thinking mind looks through those considerations, without being aware of them. However, a looking mind becomes aware of the considerations that are brought up and recognizes them for what they are.

    When the input is so unique that no matching considerations can be found, the thinking mind feels strained and ends up generating new considerations. This may be called dub-in. But, a looking mind simply recognizes the fact that no matching considerations exist.

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  • Bunkai  On May 18, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    K. Went through it.

    Did each exercise one at a time and didn’t read ahead on the exercises. The phrase at the end: “In each of the above exercises, contrast your perceptions from your visualizations.”

    Just told me I did all the other exercises WRONG for the last week.

    Oh well, you get one try from me V. Onto the next lesson…

    • vinaire  On May 18, 2011 at 12:25 PM

      Bunkai, I know I have to do more work on this essay and the exercises that follow. I have been meditation more on the difference between LOOKING and THINKING. I am realizing more as I have noted in my recent essay Essay 14: THE MATHEMATICS OF UNKNOWABLE.

      This essay looks at LOOKING vs. THINKING in terms of PERCEPTION vs VISUALIZATION, which I think is pretty accurate. I want to add more to LOOKING in terms of stepping back from “looking through considerations” to “looking at the considerations.” I haven’t yet worked out an exercize for that yet.

      Your feedback is very important in terms of putting all the instructions prior to the exercises. But it seems that you followed that instruction anyway if you understood the diference between looking and thinking.

      ~Vinaire

  • Bunkai  On May 18, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    Other suggestions:

    1. You may want to add the instruction to have people use reminders throughout the day to reconnect to the instruction: cell phone timers, post it notes, friends, etc.
    2. You may want to include brief five minute dedicate periods to each exercise. Three dedicated 5-30 minute stints may make it easier to sustain the practice in a busy day.

    So far, it’s enjoyable. Still can’t levitate though. Maybe next lesson?

    🙂

    • vinaire  On May 18, 2011 at 12:30 PM

      Those are good suggestions. I don’t want anyone to feel pressured through these excercises. If one is aware of the data and have understood it thoroughly then one would be doing these exercises naturally even without thinking.

      Anyway, I’ll consider adding your suggestions to the rewrite. And I assure you that you are getting closer to levitating as you move through these exercises, even if you never be able to levitate. 🙂

      .

  • Bunkai  On May 18, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    And X-Ray eyes man. I want me some X-ray eyes! 🙂

    • vinaire  On May 18, 2011 at 12:36 PM

      You may find that you already have the X-Ray eyes. Just wait till the realization comes to you.

      🙂

  • vinaire  On May 20, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    Bunkai, I have rewritten the theory section of this essay. Most of those ideas I had already expressed through my comments here. If you have clearly experienced the difference between LOOKING and THINKING, then you do not have to re-do these exercises after studying the revision.

    ~Vinaire

  • vinaire  On May 22, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    Bunkai, I have now added one more exercise (Exercise 2-7) at the end of KHTK #2 to help experience the difference between looking and thinking. I am sure there are better exercises out there, but this may do for now. It nicely wraps up the earlier six exercises.

    ~Vinaire

  • vinaire  On June 19, 2011 at 8:40 AM

    I have rewritten this essay once again, this time focusing on the process of perception.

    The exercises are modified slightly to focus on consistency and inconsistency among what we perceive.

    Hope this provides better results as were originally intended.

    .

  • vinaire  On July 9, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    This revision consists of some cosmetic changes only.

    ~Vinaire

  • Chris Thompson  On November 20, 2011 at 8:19 AM

    Do you have any reason to think the mind and brain are separate?

    • vinaire  On November 20, 2011 at 8:46 AM

      I’ll take the Buddhistic view. Brain is part of the body. It is manifested on the physical level.

      Mind is a sense organ. It perceives through consistency of thought with physical manifestations. An example would be perception through mathematical modeling, as in case of the structure of atom.

      .

  • vinaire  On February 26, 2012 at 6:12 AM

    It appears as if certain inconsistencies are hard-wired into the perceptual system, if with education, certain perceptions can be modified.

    Mathematical modeling may provide new perceptions from the same input to the mind. Mathematics, when properly applied, is an excellent way of bringing about consistency in perception.

    .

    • Chris Thompson  On February 26, 2012 at 10:41 AM

      Mathematics is a useful language for describing our perceptions.

      I contend that education is a slippery slope for it can corrupt looking.

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