Our perception is like a movie projector. We have these filters, based on what we have been taught to believe about ourselves and our lives, as well as our judgments, thoughts and feelings. We project these onto what we experience in life and this is what we then call “reality”. We live our life having these expectations about life, based on the past, whether that be our childhood or even other lifetimes. Since I remembered other lifetimes since childhood, and saw other dimensions and spirits, my “reality” was much different than my parent’s reality and they kept pushing me to let go of what I saw and “face” their version of reality. All parents seem to do this to their children, along with schools, churches, and society as a whole. The media uses this to sell its products and version of the truth and governments use this to sell its programs and agendas, too. None of us really ever sees REALITY. We can certainly change our filters though, through the use of various therapies and introspection, thus creating a new reality.
There is an operating system that our brain has that is called the reticular activating system, which affects arousal and motivation. How it works, is that whatever we expect, we will find out in the world. For example, if we are thinking of buying a red sports car, we will begin to see red sports cars all over. They were there before but we didn’t notice them because they weren’t part of our motivation. If we expect to be rejected, we will find that in various situations throughout our lives. At the same time, if we decide to start experiencing acceptance, and start looking for that experience, we will find it.
My work consists of several therapies that address perception and expectation, and throughout my long career I have seen amazing results when people release old beliefs and create new ones. Thus, they have created new expectations and then begin to perceive the results of this throughout their experiences. I also notice evidence of this thing called perception in how differently I sometimes experience the movies I love and respond to and then read a review of the movie and find that the reviewer has experienced it much differently than I did.
I recently shared my July 4th blog post titled “Independence day vs. Interdependence day” with a friend. His reaction to it was much different than another friend of mine. She emailed me saying the post had brought tears to her eyes and encouraged her to hope for the best for this planet. But my other friend reacted strongly to the use of the word “Interdependent”. He felt that many people would react to that word, as to him it brings up “dependence” and he feels that we should never, ever feel a need to be dependent upon anyone. I felt shocked by this reaction, as I was inspired to write the blog after spending a lovely evening dancing and singing with the Sufi community, as we celebrated this concept called “interdependence”. I also felt shocked because I really like the concept of interdependence. In my perception it is a wondrous lifestyle to aspire to. I agree that it is great to be independent and not co-dependent, but I believe that as we learn to be interdependent, we learn to rely more on Spirit, and each other, seeing each other as all part of the solution in transforming our relationships and our world, rather than perpetuating the separation that pervades so many of our current social/religious/governmental institutions. I believe that if all of us are stepping up to the plate with our particular gifts and skills, then together we can form much stronger families, communities, countries, thus a world of cooperation and support.
I recently read an interview by Berthold Madhukar Thompson, interviewing Andrew Cohen. This 2002 interview was part of a book that Mr. Thompson wrote about meeting with various spiritual teachers. Berthold asked Andrew about enlightenment. Andrew said “The essence of enlightenment is having nothing, knowing nothing, being no one”. In the same interview, he said, “When the ego is tamed, one cares about the evolution of consciousness as a whole”. I understand this to mean that when we step out of our own selfish needs, which I feel is the potential trap of independence, we can then surrender to Spirit and thus we are then focused on what is good for the whole. And this to me is interdependence.
What do you think about independence, interdependence?
Katelon T. Jeffereys