The other day, I was sitting in my car at a stop light when I saw out of my peripheral view a red car pulled up next to me. The music coming from the vehicle was loud enough to make me want to turn my head. I heard a soaring operatic voice in song and saw the driver, a woman, crying. I couldn’t tell if she was upset. I immediately felt a connection to her and her tears. I had no idea if the tears streamed down her face came from the stirring music or if something terrible had happened. I only knew the experience she was having touched her and because it did, it touched me.
Did my mind make up a tale as to what was her current condition or was my empathy for her tapping into some energetic esp.?
Who exactly do I see when I look at you?
What do I use to perceive reality?
And if reality isn’t really real, what is?
Does it matter what story I tell myself as long as I attempt to connect to another with Love instead of judgment?
I remember in one of my classes being told that we take in billion pieces of raw data through our senses each minute. I believe in being able to multitask but let’s be serious. With that much information downloading into me, how do I distinguish what needs my focus? And how do I know what is real or imagined? I think I use my eyes to see.
My understanding of human nature or what it looks like to be human comes from the knowledge I’ve acquired through language that was taught to me or behavior learned by practice. A chair is called a chair because we were told it’s called a chair. Otherwise, it could be named a running. We brush our teeth in front of a mirror because my mother taught me that way and your mother taught you to do it and it still serves us to continue to do so. I use to make sure I ate dinner no matter what because of years of eating three meals a day. I would smell food at the approximate dinnertime and be hungry, ever when I wasn’t. Now I eat only when I am hungry and if time permits. While I was trained to eat when I do, Experience has shown me that if I eat late, I am sluggish and unmotivated the next day. Nurture, Education and Experience have trained us in what we think we see.
Some people, and I’m one of them, also believe we also have innate understanding that helps us navigate throughout this world. The information from there is priceless beyond measure. And yet sometimes I dismiss it because I don’t completely trust my heart. I know that is okay too. Because just like there are billions of pieces of information coming at me, there are countless lessons to be had. Lessons to help me on this path I have chosen. Lessons to continually reshape the perceptions I have of myself and this world around me.
In the philosophical discussion, nothing really matters. I know of some beliefs that encourage me to detach and allow myself to feel the flow of the Divine more fully. It is the viewpoints that say this is all illusion; that what I think I see does not exist. That it doesn’t really matter what happens here because nothing is really here.
And yet it does matter. That woman’s tears matter. Everything matters because I choose not to ignore the millions of bits and pieces of information that show me how I am not as separate from you as I think I am.
I am amused when I’m told what the prevailing perception of me is. It makes me laugh because perceptions of me and my life change according to my spiritual condition. Sometimes I can’t keep up with the changes so I don’t know how anyone else can. I will always have my ups and downs; nothing can change or stop that. It shouldn’t.
And yet, if I feel a sense of connectedness to the world around me and those in it, I can be at peace in the midst of a storm. I can observe differently. Sadness, anger and loss can be present but not destructive. I can be happy and not allow it to distract me. Strange, but a sense of happiness can tempt me to float away on the feeling, leaving behind valuable relationships with people because I like feeling so good. Getting trapped in an emotion is a common occurrence, one that no longer leaves me feeling inept. Because I now know it’s just another way of experiencing and whenever I let the feeling go, a new one will be along soon.
Learning to perceive with the heart as opposed to the mind is key.
If I can let go of the me that I believe me to be and let fall away the you that I think you are, stop the preconceived notions, put aside all that I think I see when I look at you, just for a moment, I can be with the ‘piece of God’ before me. If I can look at you and not see a memory or a fantasy, I can view you as the wondrous magnificence you are. I can be one with the Divine because of you. And that is what I perceive as real, right now. Tomorrow, I may see something else entirely.
for David Bruce. I love you.