This topic examines the role of perspective and how it comes about.

Projection makes perception— The world you see is what you gave it, it is the witness to your state of mind— the outward picture of an inward condition. - A Course in Miracles

I would like to examine today's generally accepted perspective. Let's begin by examining how the world we see comes into focus. Let's really SLOW DOWN and observe our own process for seeing and understanding. What is the nature of our experience?

  1. We become consciously aware.
  2. Our mind interprets or explains this awareness/perception to us (awareness is interpretation.)
  3. This interpretation gets its meaning from a perspective     (assumptions and beliefs we hold about our world/self.)
  4. This  perspective organizes what we experience to be consistent with its fundamental beliefs.
  5. These fundamental  beliefs include our identity as separate beings in a world outside and separate from ourselves.
  6. Our perceptions are built up on the basis of these experiences of the world and ourselves.  These experiences confirm our beliefs and when these beliefs are fixed, perception stabilizes.

I have mistakenly believed that what I perceive teaches me what it is.  However, I now realize that what I perceive witnesses to what I taught myself from my accepted perspective.----It may be helpful to reread these steps slowly and allow these ideas to support you in looking at your experience of how your world comes into focus. I urge you to examine your own experience of these ideas.  The implications of what you just read profoundly impact your moment by moment experience.  For instance, I used to justify my responses in the world believing that what I perceived was the truth, not the truth according to my perspective but the truth period.  Big difference!!! The truth as I perceive it means that when viewed from another point of view or perspective what I justified as being "right" is perceived very differently.  Hence, my experience, and therefore response to the exact same situation, is different! Like space and time, "being right" is a relativistic idea.  Being right is relative to the state-of-mind of the observer.  From the point-of-view of a stockholder cheap labor or layoffs are positive events, from the point-of-view of the employee they are negative events. From the point-of-view of Newtonian physics space and time are absolute; from the point of view of Einstein, and accepted by physicists worldwide, space and time are relative to the state of motion of the observer.

The way we experience situations/circumstances in the world is profoundly affected by the fundamental beliefs we hold of ourselves and our world.  This very moment my experience of (name of person, place or thing) is determined not by the behavior, location, or situation, but rather is directly related to my accepted perspective through which I will interpret the behavior, location, or situation. Not only will this alter my experience of someone else but also of myself.  The attitude, feelings and behavior of both will be experienced differently. This will be expanded upon in later topics.

Let's now look at how our perspective comes about. All perspectives, including the one we currently use, are merely accepted into our minds.  The general rule used by the scientific community for continued use of any perspective is:  Is it self-consistent and does the information I get about the world, when interpreted from this perspective, correctly correlate my experience, explain events and can I accurately predict future events from it?  As long as these criteria are met, the perspective is accepted as useful---The key word is useful, not truth, but useful.  It is therefore maintained as a guide for meaning.  However, should I encounter phenomena which could not have been predicted or explained from this chosen perspective, then it must be let go and replaced by one that is more all inclusive and therefore more useful.  "The wider the aperture of our minds, the greater the capacity for understanding and therefore living."

In physics, complimentarily,  a concept developed by Niels Bohr, explains the wave-particle duality of light. The properties and/or  inherent characteristics of a wave are mutually exclusive from that of a particle. A particle has a definite position, a thing-like quality and a wave does not. Therefore  these characteristics cannot be experienced simultaneously since, by definition, they are fundamentally different (something cannot be both wavelike and particle-like at the same time). However, experiments have proved that light has particle-like and wave-like characteristics.  This impossibility can be resolved by realizing that wave-particle properties are not properties of light, but our mind's perception of light.  They arise out of our form of questioning.

This can all be interesting rhetoric or it can change your life! If you want to experience the latter please actively participate with me.  I am merely presenting ideas.  You must actively engage with these ideas, open your mind to the perspective which sees you as the giver of meaning----really look---and quietly observe what shows up.  If you really do this it is not possible to experience the world as you did before---Remember when you change your perspective your experience must change accordingly. Light can be experienced as a particle, but can also be experienced as a wave depending on which of these characteristics the observer chooses or wishes to manifest.

I used to think, and therefore experience, that the world was cause and I was its effect. I now realize and therefore experience that I am cause and the world is my effect, that is, subject to my interpretation based on my chosen perspective. This realization has resulted in a one-hundred-eighty-degree shift in my experience of the world and myself.

Let your judgment rest on this:  If your current perspective correctly correlates your experience (explains your world to you in a meaningful and useful way) you will feel peaceful.  If this is your experience and only this,  then your guide or perspective should be maintained-----If not it should be discarded and a new, more useful one accepted which will meet these criteria.

There is another important quality I believe a perspective should possess: A transformative potential.  A meaningful perspective is not the truth, but a guide to truth.  However, there is a tendency to forget this fact and accept the perspective as the truth.  A perspective with a transformative quality or potential would actually facilitate its transcendence when appropriate.