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On Reality and Perspective

May 08, 2009 - 0 comments

Our perspective of the world around us and what reality is decides what actions we will take on a daily basis.

There's an old philosophy that says "We are the summation of all our experiences."

This is too the most part true.

It also goes on to say that the very first action you take in life will set the path of all future actions you take. Each action you take as a result of that first action will gradually solidify your thinking so that you will eventually be travelling down a very narrow path.

You will ALWAYS make your decisions based on the chain of events that are your past experiences.

You are an arrow shot from a bow.

As it (you) travels it's path (life), you can predict statistically where it will fall the further along it gets. Potential outside influences that can have a greater effect on the path of the arrow (wind, rain, minor obstacles) in the early part of it's journey will have a much more minuscule chance of effecting it's landing place at the end.

But we are not arrows, we are human beings. We have the ability to passively observe the world around us, and take action based on those observations and our total subconscious knowledge.

I'm going to pause to tell you a story now.

It's 2AM in the morning and I'm walking the streets of NYC with my wife. Due to a number of circumstances I'm locked out of my apartment until I can come up with the cash to pay the rent. We've got two small suitcases with us with our immediate need belongings.
We've got a dollar fifty between us, and a metro card that can get us into the subway system twice more.

We're spending our time trying to find places we can sit and wait until the banks open at 9AM.

Which is an incredible thing if you've never experienced it. The right to just "Sit and exist" is something you're denied in NYC, Spend to much time in one place, without spending money, and you'll be asked to move along. Refuse, and there's a good chance you'll end up in the lockup for vagrancy.

So we're stuck. Our time is spent picking a location, and then travelling from point A to point B. Once point B is reached, we then discuss what our next location will be. After a length of time, we move on. And so on. And so on.

During one of our trips from point A to Point B, we picked up some unwanted company. Some thirty paces behind us a young man was shadowing us.

I'm an old hand at the game of stalk/ be stalked and I could tell instantly that this person had ill intent towards us. Likely he'd mistaken us for a couple of lost tourists and was hoping to make some quick cash at our expense.

Now you have to envision this; it's 2AM, and we're in midtown Manhattan in one of the areas that are mostly deserted at night.
There's a stark emptiness that comes over a city like New York when you're in one of those zones at night. Passerby are rare and infrequent. Get in trouble and you'll realize just how lonely you can feel in a city of millions. Pale moonlight and grime covered buildings offer little comfort or aid to those in need.

So I'm faced with a decision. What do I do now? I would guess that we've got about two minutes until this person works out the nerve to approach us, produce his weapon of choice, and demand money we don't have.

A quick list of possible responses flit through my mind. We can run, but that would mean abandoning our possessions.

We can fight, but given my exhausted condition I don't care for those odds.

We can try reason but I don't get the impression that a desperate thief is likely to listen to reason.

We can try stopping a passing car; but if you know NYC, you know this won't work out to well. After a failed attempt or two, it will embolden the confidence of our hunter leading to an inevitable conclusion.

We can call the police (Waiting for derisive laughter to die down).

So we have here a Problem. And the immediate responses above are those that come first to mind because they are responses of Habit. Our perspective tells us (based on past experiences) that these are the only responses available to us.

The above responses to the situation are the responses that are Tiered highest on our list of possible solutions. They are there because past knowledge/ experience tell you that these are the Obvious Solutions.

But this is moment of truth time. This is the moment when you have to decide are you going to freeze, trapped by habit and experience? Or are you going to open the Vast Pool of Subconscious Knowledge that you, in reality, have access too?

Because the list of possible responses are actually endless. But you have instinctively dismissed those lower tiered responses as being Not Practical Solutions. At this point, you must open up your perception of the world around you. There are additional details and minutia in your mind and in your physical surroundings that you have dismissed until now.

Ah, I never did tell you the outcome of this story, did I?

I walked out with my wife into the middle of the intersection and stood my suitcase on end.

Sat down on it, lit a cigarette, and smoked.

All while facing our would be stalker and staring straight at the b*stard.

He stopped just short of the road and stared at me.

I stared back and dragged contentedly on my cigarette.

All this while my wife yelled at me to get out of the street as cars drove wildly by honking their horns loudly in protest at my apparently insane behavior.

This tableau was locked for a good minute before the would be robber began to fidget back and forth, glancing up and down the city blocks.

I tossed my cigarette away, smiled at him... and lit another.

And sat.

And puffed away contentedly. I even managed a passable smoke ring.

His nerve broke and he quickly moved off in the direction he'd come.

Which goes to show you; perception and reality is entirely in the perceiving of a situation.

The more you open your perception up to possible realities; the more you delve into your subconscious and become familiar with it's workings, the more likely you'll find those not obvious answers to help you face those everyday choices in life.

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