Deceiving Perceptions



How many times are we deceived by our perceptions? When assessing people and life situations, I’d say, a lot.

We live in an apparent reality. We look around and what it seems to be may not be: people wear masks; events may have two readings; expressed feelings may have two interpretations; words spoken may have two meanings etc…

A person talks to you and unless you look straight in his eyes (and connect with his soul) you won’t be able to discern if what is being uttered reflects his real thoughts, views, ideals, or feelings…for all we know this person may have created a defence mechanism and built a whole new outer self to conceal his essence. However if you look within the mirror of his soul you’ll realise the discrepancy between what his lips (and/or actions) produce and what his inner self reflects.
You witness a couple quarrelling in the street; the woman slaps the man on his face. Immediately you judge the situation based on what your eyes tell you (“Poor man! She must be a bloody wench to be hitting a man in the middle of the street! Scandalous…I know what I’d do if I were in his place!” or “Poor woman! I bet she caught him in the act…these men are pigs! If I were her I wouldn’t stop there!”). However you should ask yourself what is behind that violent gesture, what triggered it and if you do not reach a conclusion (through the use of your Supra eye) then make no judgements and walk away (for the reason behind this appalling scene may very well be one of the following: A) they’re a couple of actors rehearsing a scene, B) they’re one of those couples who like to fight and slap each other as a form of foreplay, C) they’re psychologists performing an experiment to evaluate human behaviour when facing such episodes).
Somebody eavesdrops a conversation between two people: “Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle which feed among the lilies.” In shock he runs to tell somebody else about it. When the eavesdropper and the person he shared the information with confront the two…they realise how malice can produce misunderstandings for the two people were studying the Song of Songs by Solomon (chapter 4, verse 5).
Two individuals of opposite sex are close friends. They enjoy spending time together and conversing with each other…immediately others assume that romantic intents are being brewed and so they begin to write the script, produce and direct a romantic comedy in their heads; without even bothering to look beyond appearances: the opposite sex friends are gay.
A father takes his daughter to a restaurant where he usually goes with his wife (when their kids are out of town) for he wishes to introduce the oldest of his offspring to his friend (the owner). They sit at a table and ask for his friend (the owner, who is also the chef), who when approaching them overhears the father saying, “I love you!” to his daughter. Perplexed the chef stops and turns away [“I can’t believe he put me in this situation! I actually like his wife!] but then he hears “Pierre! It’s my daughter!” the chef returns with an embarrassed smile on his face and greets his friend…

The above examples go to show that (and here I am going to use one of my favourite Twin Peaks’ line) “The owls are not what they seem!” and that we many times make a fool of ourselves for relying so much on vision and hearing.

Trust is not to be deposited on perceptions alone. If we are to see beyond the apparent reality then trust is to be placed upon the following coalition: senses, reason and intuition.


Image: Meditation on the History of Italy by Francesco Hayez

Comments

  1. Interesting post... and yes, we have to see behind the facts to understand. Although we shouldn't judge.

    I learned that when I started traveling. Because the culture of the countries I was going to was so different than my own education/ culture etc. I couldn't judge effectively. So I stopped.

    I always try to understand both sides of a story, even though it's sometimes a headache.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Max,
    I find that once we delve into the deeper truths about ourselves that our perceptions are always changing. We are not deceived by them as much as they are deceiving.

    "We live in an apparent reality. We look around and what it seems to be may not be: people wear masks; events may have two readings; expressed feelings may have two interpretations; words spoken may have two meanings etc."

    I think we live in a dual reality - what we see and what IS.

    "A person talks to you and unless you look straight in his eyes (and connect with his soul) you won’t be able to discern if what is being uttered reflects his real thoughts, views, ideals, or feelings…for all we know this person may have created a defence mechanism and built a whole new outer self to conceal his essence. However if you look within the mirror of his soul you’ll realise the discrepancy between what his lips (and/or actions) produce and what his inner self reflects."

    I base it on tonality, body language and the activity behind the eyes. Usually people are incredibly honest with me (even without knowing me) I sense their need to "confess."

    I like observing people and as a writing exercise, I fill in the blanks as to why they do what they do. It leads to wonderful experiments and the ending can always change.

    "B) they’re one of those couples who like to fight and slap each other as a form of foreplay..."

    ROLF! How can you tell unless they have bruises and bandages and maybe leather underneath their clothing?

    "Somebody eavesdrops a conversation between two people..."

    Nothing is worse coming in on the tail end of a conversation and then jumping to conclusions. It reminds me of the game Chinese Whispers.

    “The owls are not what they seem!” and that we many times make a fool of ourselves for relying so much on vision and earring."

    We all should have our eyes and ears checked regularly. There are even cases of people going to prison because an "eye witness" saw them at the scene of the crime when they were nowhere near the scene.

    Edgar Allen Poe once said, "All that we see or seem is a dream with a dream."

    I think there is truth in that.

    "Trust is not to be deposited on perceptions alone. If we are to see beyond the apparent reality then trust is to be placed upon the following coalition: senses, reason and intuition."

    Beautifully said. Well done!

    Seeing Clearly Cheers

    Great photo. Did she forget her bra?

    ReplyDelete
  3. "The owls are not what they seem!", I love that line.

    Very true, unfortunately, we are a creature of perceptions, that's why we are in the situations we see ourselves today. We don't take the time to look below the surface, to see what the real story is, to search and seek out the truth, we as a society are too busy.

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  4. I find myself some times acting something like a television talk show host. I am so intent on making sure that I understand how a person is feeling, or what they are thinking, that I ask questions to draw them out. I also find myself watching body language to detect if there is something their words aren't telling me.

    It is hard not to be judgemental. As the old saying goes, "If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's probably a duck". (or however that goes lol). But I think the key is that if we find ourselves assessing a situation wherein we don't have all the facts, we should withhold judgement and just let it go. Having said that, I still find it hard to live because I am a very intuitive person. I rely on my instinct and intution. Sometimes, my perceptions have been correct, and I have been able to intercept trouble because of them. I guess it's a fine line to walk.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey Zhu!

    "Interesting post... and yes, we have to see behind the facts to understand. Although we shouldn't judge." - thank you :D! The problem starts when we begin to judge others without analysing the situation properly; which can be a perilous thing to do...

    "I learned that when I started traveling. Because the culture of the countries I was going to was so different than my own education/ culture etc. I couldn't judge effectively. So I stopped." - you did well. There is judging and judging; and the kind of judging that is devoid of reason and wisdom and equals to gossip, to bash people, to condemn them to ridicule reveals the worse in human beings *nodding*.

    "I always try to understand both sides of a story, even though it's sometimes a headache." - LOL I hear you, girl!

    Thank you so much for your most valuable input, Zhu: loved it :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Alexys,

    "I find that once we delve into the deeper truths about ourselves that our perceptions are always changing. We are not deceived by them as much as they are deceiving." - indeed *bowing*! It seems to be a tricky thing to certain people to just release themselves from the lies society throws at them (that serve the only purpose of preventing people from probing themselves and, like you so well said, find the truth about themselves) and stop being deceived.

    "I think we live in a dual reality - what we see and what IS." - I agree...and we have to make the choice between wanting to see what IS and what seems to be.

    "I base it on tonality, body language and the activity behind the eyes. Usually people are incredibly honest with me (even without knowing me) I sense their need to "confess."" - most people want to confess and that is why they talk to strangers in the street, bus stops, stores etc. I find it incredible the amount of people who have shared their story with me in public (without even knowing me; and knowing that we won't meet again). Perhaps people like us comfort others and that is why they open up...

    "I like observing people and as a writing exercise, I fill in the blanks as to why they do what they do. It leads to wonderful experiments and the ending can always change." - I definitely hear you!

    "ROLF! How can you tell unless they have bruises and bandages and maybe leather underneath their clothing?" - LOL LOL LOL one knows...usually this type of couples emanate a different kind of energy; know what I mean?

    "Nothing is worse coming in on the tail end of a conversation and then jumping to conclusions. It reminds me of the game Chinese Whispers." - how I detest when people do that! Chinese whispers? You will have to pardon my ignorance, girl; but I don't know that game...

    "We all should have our eyes and ears checked regularly. There are even cases of people going to prison because an "eye witness" saw them at the scene of the crime when they were nowhere near the scene." - LOL I agree. Oh yes, that seems to happen a lot...can you imagine if it happened to you? It is awful!! Spending months, if not years, in prison without having done anything...God forbid such karma!

    "Edgar Allen Poe once said, "All that we see or seem is a dream with a dream."" - and he was right! And now I remembered one thing; there are those people who like judging others by saying that they are x and y because they seem to hide things, they don't talk much etc...but I wonder if those beings aren't hiding something themselves; who is 100% genuine? Humans are a walking mystery (due to their past existences, or perhaps due to their own fears...we just don't know; and since we don't we shouldn't judge)...

    "I think there is truth in that." - there is, indeed...life, humans are a big Salvador Dalí's painting: a dream!

    "Beautifully said. Well done!" - thank you, my dear *bowing*!

    "Great photo. Did she forget her bra?" - ROFL...I told her to wear one, but she said that she had burned them all in 1968, so I didn't insist... LOL *nodding*. It is a great painting indeed, so mysterious...one could read a lot from it! I am under the impression that what it seems is not...

    Beyond perceptions Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Bob!

    ""The owls are not what they seem!", I love that line." - it is an incredible line! Gosh, I loved that TV series....

    "Very true, unfortunately, we are a creature of perceptions, that's why we are in the situations we see ourselves today. We don't take the time to look below the surface, to see what the real story is, to search and seek out the truth, we as a society are too busy." - very well put and I totally hear you, man! :D

    Thank you so much for your comment, my friend *bowing*! :D

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey D!

    "I find myself some times acting something like a television talk show host." - LOL LOL I get you!

    "I am so intent on making sure that I understand how a person is feeling, or what they are thinking, that I ask questions to draw them out. I also find myself watching body language to detect if there is something their words aren't telling me." - you, my friend, are one of those who cares about people; and don't wish to jump into the wrong conclusions! You are honourable *bowing*!

    "It is hard not to be judgemental." - I agree with you!

    "As the old saying goes, "If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's probably a duck". (or however that goes lol)." - LOL LOL...it is a good saying LOL....

    "But I think the key is that if we find ourselves assessing a situation wherein we don't have all the facts, we should withhold judgement and just let it go." - we are on the same page on this!

    "Having said that, I still find it hard to live because I am a very intuitive person. I rely on my instinct and intution. Sometimes, my perceptions have been correct, and I have been able to intercept trouble because of them. I guess it's a fine line to walk" - relying on your instinct and intuition is the best thing you can do (but never obliterate reason)! If you continue to follow your intuition and reason you will see that the rate of success of your perceptions will increase. Moreover, this occurs also because you have (from what I have read about you) a good nature, and so God knows that your intentions are good (unlike those people who make ill use of their intuition to take advantage of others, know what I mean?).

    D, thank you so much for having shared your thoughts with us *bowing*! It is always a pleasure :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  9. Max,

    In answer to your question, yes - I do like to read Paulo Coelho. Although I haven't gotten through his other books yet, The Alchemist, which I read recently, has become one of my favorite books!

    Regarding your post, I think you've uncovered some keen insights into perception vs. reality. Thanks for always creating thought-provoking posts that help others to see that there are always separate facets to life as we know it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello Max,

    "It seems to be a tricky thing to certain people to just release themselves from the lies society throws at them (that serve the only purpose of preventing people from probing themselves and, like you so well said, find the truth about themselves) and stop being deceived."

    It's only tricky if they don't want to face themselves. Otherwise, dig in and go a little deeper.

    "...most people want to confess and that is why they talk to strangers in the street, bus stops, stores etc. I find it incredible the amount of people who have shared their story with me in public (without even knowing me; and knowing that we won't meet again). Perhaps people like us comfort others and that is why they open up..."

    I think it's because we have honest faces as opposed to angels with dirty faces. ;D

    "Chinese whispers? You will have to pardon my ignorance, girl; but I don't know that game."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_whispers

    "...can you imagine if it happened to you? It is awful!! Spending months, if not years, in prison without having done anything...God forbid such karma!"

    I wouldn't wish that on anyone. That's a heavy price to pay and the scary thing is that it happens very often.

    "Humans are a walking mystery (due to their past existences, or perhaps due to their own fears...we just don't know; and since we don't we shouldn't judge)."

    We don't know what burden they are carrying, we would be surprised.

    "...humans are a big Salvador Dalí's painting: a dream!"

    Agreed. Surreal.

    "I told her to wear one, but she said that she had burned them all in 1968, so I didn't insist."

    Then I am sending the Victoria's Secret catalog. She should be able to find something.

    Beyond Thinking Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well said and written Max Coutinho. If we could rise our veil of perception, the world would be a better place for all.

    I feel one thing to prevent wrong interpretations is to get to learn and understand one each other. That's why I say: Make blogs not Wars - as it break down barriers between people - all over the world.

    Btw: Thanks for your visit and supportive comments on my post about TorAa son's funeral and for visit and comment on his blog too!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Madison,

    "In answer to your question, yes - I do like to read Paulo Coelho. Although I haven't gotten through his other books yet, The Alchemist, which I read recently, has become one of my favorite books!" - The Alchemist is very good, indeed. I have a phew of his books...I recommend "Brida" - excellent!

    "Regarding your post, I think you've uncovered some keen insights into perception vs. reality. Thanks for always creating thought-provoking posts that help others to see that there are always separate facets to life as we know it." - I am glad you enjoyed it, dear :)! You are welcome, but really...I should be the one thanking you for your kind words; so: thank you so much *bowing*! :D

    Thank you for having dropped by and shared your thoughts with us!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  13. Alexys,

    "It's only tricky if they don't want to face themselves. Otherwise, dig in and go a little deeper." - unfortunately, there is where the problem lies: many don't want to face themselves...

    "I think it's because we have honest faces as opposed to angels with dirty faces. ;D" - lol indeed we do, darling ;D!

    Aaahhhhh, now that I have read its description (thanks for the link); I do know that game: I used to play it as a little girl! It is so much fun!!! We used to call it "Passa a Palavra" (transl: pass the word)...great game! Indeed, by the time the "word" reaches the last person one realises that new words were created in the process of game lol....hearing perceptions...

    "I wouldn't wish that on anyone. That's a heavy price to pay and the scary thing is that it happens very often." - me neither! I know...it is dreadful!!

    "We don't know what burden they are carrying, we would be surprised." - absolutely *nodding*!

    "Then I am sending the Victoria's Secret catalog. She should be able to find something. " - ROFL.....that is a great idea! LOL LOL....you kill me, girl! VS's lingerie: is it me or have they change their image a bit?

    Beyond mere observation Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hello Renny!

    Great to see you here :)!

    "Well said and written Max Coutinho. If we could rise our veil of perception, the world would be a better place for all." - thank you so much *bowing*! I definitely hear you!

    "I feel one thing to prevent wrong interpretations is to get to learn and understand one each other. That's why I say: Make blogs not Wars - as it break down barriers between people - all over the world." - this is beautiful, Renny!! :D [I will add nothing else to this]

    "Btw: Thanks for your visit and supportive comments on my post about TorAa son's funeral and for visit and comment on his blog too!" - you are welcome, my friend :)! I did it with an open heart; TorAa needs all the support he can get in this dire hour; and you too since you are sharing this moment with him and his wife :)! God bless you!

    Thank you for having shared your heart & thoughts with us, it was beautiful! :D

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  15. EXCELLENT post, Max!!! I totally agree with you on perception. Perception may deceive you he he he...

    I find it hard to keep an open mind, though. The brain finds it "easier" to look for clues and try to "assume" something. Even though I sometimes manage to stop the process of "assuming" something, there's still a little bit of impression left on my mind.

    However, I find enlightenment to be one of the most AMAZING experiences on earth: whether it be to have my "assumptions" or "impressions" proved or disproved. ;-D Enlightenment is still welcomed by me. ;-D

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey Amelia!!

    "EXCELLENT post, Max!!! I totally agree with you on perception. Perception may deceive you he he he..." - thank you, Girl *bowing*! Totally!!

    "I find it hard to keep an open mind, though. The brain finds it "easier" to look for clues and try to "assume" something. Even though I sometimes manage to stop the process of "assuming" something, there's still a little bit of impression left on my mind." - that is very interesting! So, could it be assumed that you enjoy going through the process of designing a judgement even if later you will be proven wrong?

    "However, I find enlightenment to be one of the most AMAZING experiences on earth: whether it be to have my "assumptions" or "impressions" proved or disproved. ;-D Enlightenment is still welcomed by me. ;-D" - Aaaah, my question has been answered ;D! That is noble of you to accept enlightenment (cause unfortunately there those people who do not like to be enlightened and detest even more to be proven wrong, when in fact they are *nodding*) :D! You are a swell girl, gorgeous!! But of course I know this very well *bowing*!

    Amel, thank you so much for your input...it is always nice to hear about your take on things :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well, I don't like having negative thoughts about other people...even though they may be proven to be right. If my "assumptions" are neutral, then I can "live with them" he he he...but still in the end I thrive on receiving enlightenment. :-D

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  18. Ha ha...this is an Wonderful post...just amazing reading...you have so beautifully narrated your thoughts which are so realistic and everyone of us sometimes or the others faces these situations which are rather awkward but I feel it adds spice to our dull life....the incident just goes to show that how much we have got stereotyped and actually doesn't judge incidents based on the reality and common sense...we all need enlightenment...excellent reading!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Max, I hope that's not you! Now, if I don’t know the person I’m talking to, I find that it’s best practise to be on my guard and to treat them with kid gloves until I know them well enough, as it’s so easy to be taken the wrong way. Well, for me anyway as I have a dry sense of humour and have been known to not act my age.

    I find breaking the ice with them, and there are a hundred and one ways to do that, often helps to remove this guard. So, the guard that I talk of possibly relates to your use of the word, mask.

    Looking someone straight in the eye for any length of time can be taken a number of ways. Here, I’ll mention two.

    One is that it can be threatening or intimidating and two, it can also reveal the bond between two people who are in love or who have a complete understanding of each other.

    Witnessing an event or listening in on a conversation from a distance and then passing judgement are fraught with danger as it will be, most probably, the wrong call.

    This is what gets most people into trouble. We know this as, “gossip” and haven’t most of us been found guilty of that!

    Take Care,
    Peter

    ReplyDelete
  20. MAX:

    You are so right. People make quick judgments based on flimsy information. And sometimes those judgments do a lot of personal damage.

    I read one time that it's almost impossible to read people's body language correctly. The irony to that, however, is that a sender of body language is very convincing. In other words, we can make people think what we want them to think, but it doesn't work so well the other way around - if that makes any sense.

    One would think that the solution would be for us all to assume the good about people we meet, or see. But for some reason we prefer to see the bad, until we are convinced otherwise. Strange.

    As always, another thought-provoking post.

    Have a great day.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hey Amelia,

    "Well, I don't like having negative thoughts about other people...even though they may be proven to be right." - most interesting! And how about if your intuition tells you that that person is not good?

    "If my "assumptions" are neutral, then I can "live with them" he he he...but still in the end I thrive on receiving enlightenment. :-D" - lol I hear you, girl! :D

    Thanks for this most interesting view, gorgeous :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hello Kalyan!

    "Ha ha...this is an Wonderful post...just amazing reading..." - thank you so much, my friend *bowing*!

    "you have so beautifully narrated your thoughts which are so realistic and everyone of us sometimes or the others faces these situations which are rather awkward but I feel it adds spice to our dull life...." - true, this kind of situations does add some spice to life :D!

    "the incident just goes to show that how much we have got stereotyped and actually doesn't judge incidents based on the reality and common sense...we all need enlightenment...excellent reading!" - so true, Kalyan, so true! Enlightenment is in order, but when searching for it we are anything but stereotyped *nodding*!

    Marvellous comment, my friend! Thank you so much for having shared your thoughts with us :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Peter!!

    "I hope that's not you!" - LOL LOL LOL LOL no, it is not me! Don't worry lol!

    "Now, if I don’t know the person I’m talking to, I find that it’s best practise to be on my guard and to treat them with kid gloves until I know them well enough, as it’s so easy to be taken the wrong way. Well, for me anyway as I have a dry sense of humour and have been known to not act my age." - I know exactly what you mean, Pete! LOL you have a dry sense of humour? Then I have it too cause I sure do love your humour :D...

    "I find breaking the ice with them, and there are a hundred and one ways to do that, often helps to remove this guard. So, the guard that I talk of possibly relates to your use of the word, mask." - indeed!

    "One is that it can be threatening or intimidating and two, it can also reveal the bond between two people who are in love or who have a complete understanding of each other." - well, when I talk to people I look them in the eye, I can't help it (perhaps it is a defence mechanism). However I totally get you on this point! I particularly loved the number two "the bond between two people who are in love or who have a complete understanding of each other"...beautiful!

    "Witnessing an event or listening in on a conversation from a distance and then passing judgement are fraught with danger as it will be, most probably, the wrong call." - I agree!!

    "This is what gets most people into trouble. We know this as, “gossip” and haven’t most of us been found guilty of that!" - lol you are absolutely right!

    Peter, once again, I utterly loved your comment (wise words)! Thank you so much *bowing*!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hey Swu!!

    "And sometimes those judgments do a lot of personal damage." - exactly!

    "I read one time that it's almost impossible to read people's body language correctly." - you know, I am beginning to think the same! There are studies about body language that just don't fit in all cultures: as you try to use them in different countries you'll realise that the response may be quite different than what is written in the books!

    "The irony to that, however, is that a sender of body language is very convincing. In other words, we can make people think what we want them to think, but it doesn't work so well the other way around - if that makes any sense." - it makes sense, yes. Body language can be the stage of manipulation (one pretends to be responding to the body language and the sender may never realise it; or he may realise it yet change his strategy...which could cause a series of interesting results).

    "One would think that the solution would be for us all to assume the good about people we meet, or see. But for some reason we prefer to see the bad, until we are convinced otherwise. Strange." - extremely odd indeed. But I agree that we should all presume the good about people, it would be for the best!

    "As always, another thought-provoking post." - thank you, Swu :D!

    You have shared with us extremely interesting thoughts, thank you so much *bowing*! Loved it :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  25. That's why sometimes I let "negative" thoughts linger in my head...if my gut feeling is so strong, then maybe there's a valid reason why I'm having "negative" thoughts...but I try to keep my mind open, unless I've had my trusted friends tell me their bad experiences with that person, then I'll be especially wary he he he...

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hey Amelia,

    "That's why sometimes I let "negative" thoughts linger in my head...if my gut feeling is so strong, then maybe there's a valid reason why I'm having "negative" thoughts..." - It is a nice method to discern who is bad and who is good!

    "but I try to keep my mind open, unless I've had my trusted friends tell me their bad experiences with that person, then I'll be especially wary he he he..." - lol lol of course! But you know sometimes it is very difficult to manage these situations cause one person may not be bad at all, he/she may only be confused and in need of help (and many times people don't know how to do it so they antagonise others)!

    I missed our conversations, girl! :D

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete

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