How Your Mind Distorts Reality - Needy vs Non-Needy Perception | SelfActualized.org: 

“The strength of man’s position in the world depends on his degree of adequacy of his perception of the world and reality. The less adequate, the more insecure he is and, hence, he is in need of idols to lean on and find security. The more adequate it is, the more he can stand on his own feet and has his center within himself.” - Erich Fromm 

  • A how-to video on developing accurate perception

  • DEFICIENCY cognition/perception vs. BEING cognition/perception (developed by Abraham Maslow) 

    • D-cognition vs. B-cognition or D-perception vs. B-perception 

      • "cognition" and "perception" are interchangeable in this context ​

  • Self-actualized individuals have BEING cognition and perception (B-cognition) 

    • This is one of the hallmark characteristics of a self-actualized person ​

      • What is a self-actualized person? ​

        • "A self-actualizing person is more able to perceive the world as if it were independent not only of him, but also of human beings in general. He can then more readily look upon nature as if it were there in itself and for itself, and not simply as if it were a human playground put there for human purposes. He can more easily refrain from projecting human purposes onto it. And he can see it is there in its own being rather than something to be used, or something to be afraid of, or something to be reacted to in some other human way."-- Abraham Maslow 

          • "A mosquito is a wondrous object if seen in itself." 

  • B-cognition: The ability to look at things holistically as they actually are in a very attentive way, without judgement or classification; an ego-less, self-agenda-less form of perception

    • It's unmotivated, it's impersonal, it's desireless, it's selfless it's not needing, it's detached 

      • The ability to perceive an object for itself and the way that it is for you 

        • For itself = my desires and fears and emotions and my agenda do not infect or get projected onto the object itself 

        • the object can be living or inanimate, or an institution, etc. 

          • My perception of things outside of myself does not have baked into it my own issues in life, whatever they happen to be​

  • Remember I am also on the receiving-end of D-cognition 

    • Other people can perceive me not as I am for myself but as I am to them 

      • People don't take my words or presentation or message or my work just as it is, they project their own issues onto it and onto me 

  • B-cognition(+) is both passive and receptive form of pereception 

    • We don't add stuff to it 

    • Also benevolent: 

      • "Self-actualizing people take a non-valuing, non-judging, non-interfering, non-condemning attitude towards others. A desirelessness, and a choiceless awareness. This understanding permits much clearer and more insightful perception of what is actually there." - Maslow 

      • "Concrete perceiving of the whole of the object implies also that it is seen with care. The caring minuteness with which a mother will gaze upon her infant, or the lover at his beloved, this will surely produce a more complete perception than the usual, casual, rubricizing which passes for perception illegitimately" - Maslow

  • D-perception(-)

    • Ordinary perception ​

      • A partial and incomplete form of experience

        • Anxiety-based and deficiency-motivated way of seeing the world

          • Driven by your ego and your self-agenda​​

      • The degree to which you need security or safety or emotional comfort or money or whatever your ego happens to need -- that's the degree to which you're going to evaluate the things you look at to see if they're going to give that to you, or not. 

        • The mind automatically and unconsciously filters out what's relevant and what's not 

    • ​You end up perceiving things that aren't really there, because of what they mean for the ego/self-agenda

      • Does this thing make me happy, sad, feel good, bad, is it pleasing, does it serve me? 

        • ​All these judgments and evaluations that we project are so automatic and unconscious we have no awareness that we're seeing things that aren't there

  • We tend to look at everything as though it's made for human beings. (An "anthropocentric" view.) 

  • D-Perception also tends to be rigidly rational, overly rational, because it tends to be very abstract 

    • You abstract from the facts to whatever concepts/models you want to see there ​

      • You abstract from the concrete ​

      • You abstract an inference (or theory, or model, or a tool with which to manipulate the facts...)

      • You tell yourself your abstractions are factual perceptions 

    • D-Perception cannot hold paradox very well ​

      • Because of the rigidity ​

        • Tends to be dogmatic and ideological 

  • "To a far greater degree than you ordinarily realize, cognition involves also placing on a continuum; it involves a kind of automatic comparing or judging or evaluating; it implies a ​higher-than, a less-than, a better-than, a taller-than, etc." - Maslow

    • "We must fight our tendency to classify, to compare, to evaluate, to need and to use." 

      • These are all abstracting acts ​​

      • We cut ourselves off from the ability to see things as they really are

        • Things for themselves

        • The world for itself  

  • Your own egoic deficiencies -- your own neuroses -- warp your perception of reality.

  • The very interface between you and reality is compromised by your lack of mental health.

  • The accuracy of your perceptions depend on your emotional maturity and your mental health.

  • This distorition that's created -- this is not a small distortion -- its a massive, highly significant distortion 

    • It leads to many of the issues you have in your life ​

    • This is not a theoretical or philosophical consideration; it's a very practical consideration 

      • It explains many of the issues and recurring dysfunctional patterns ​that you just can't stop and you don't know why you can't. 

        • It's because your perception is so inaccurate of reality that you can't even see that your problems are being created by your perceptions ​

          • You try to change your job, or your girlfriend, or your husband, your residence, your wealth, your looks, your study -- you change all this stuff but all the problems still remain for you. ​

            • The problems are largely a function of your flawed perception (your D-cognition) ​

              • and your inability to actualize B-cognition ​

  • This is what makes this species such a powerful (and disruptive force on this planet) ​

    • We live in an augmented reality -- augmented by our concepts, our images, our fantasies and our desires ​

      • Augmented so convincingly that ​we aren't even aware this augmentation is happening 

        • Yet at the same time our minds tell us we are the only self-aware creatures on this planet ​

          • The more you grow psychologically, the more you discover just how big of a sham this narrative is.

            • David Bohm calls it ego smog: ​Humans have unquestionably remarkable abilities, but we don't acknolwedge that the ego creates a kind of smog through which we can't clearly see reality.

              • Distorts your ability to see and to think​​

              • "Thought is always doing a great deal, but it tends to say that it hasn't done anything, that it's just telling you the way things are. But thought effects everything. What Thought takes to be perception--what we ordinarily call perception--is actually highly effected by thought. Thought can produce experiences without our being aware that they are being produced by Thought. It is this deception feature of Thought that we have to watch out for." - David Bohm 

              • "This is the point I'm trying to make: Thought is effecting what you see, in many subtle ways. You may miss the fact that this is coming from Thought itself. What is really missing is that we have to be able to see that Thought is actually participating in perception."- David Bohm

              • "We are infusing our imagination, our past, and our knowledge into what we see, and eventually it muddles up the brain. From that going wrong, it spreads and becomes a systemic fault that spreads into everything." -- David Bomb  ​

              • The mind is blind to the mind's own biases 

  • Relationships, business, financial problems, emotional problems, inability to be satisfied and fulfilled with life, depression, stress, anxiety, nervousness, all the many neuroses you have -- they all ultimately stem from this. 

    • Plus it creates problems collectively for society: Wars, genocides, intolerance,etc. ​

  • What's required here is practice. You need to get awareness of the fact that this is happening to you all the time. 

    • How you project your own agenda onto reality, onto people, onto things, onto situations in your life, onto your business, onto your spouse, onto your children. ​

    • Start looking at objects and people for themselves, as they actually are and not how they are for you. 

      • The following list of things are all projections of your mind which do not actually exist in the external world, and which are not a feature of reality itself

        • Labels and names ​

        • Every category, taxonomy and hierarchy

          • Made up: artificially constructed by the human mind ​and imposed on reality 

        • Meanings, judgments, values, usefulness and purpose 

          • All projections of your mind onto reality ​

          • Whenever you look at a situation/object/person, and you get a meaning from that, or you judge that, or you put a valuation on that, etc. -- All of that activity is a projection of your mind and a part of D-cognition(-)

          • These things don't actually exist in the real world 

            • Just projections of the mind. ​

  • Also: Emotional triggers

    • Think about something yelling at you, hurting you, ​rejecting you, annoying you, abusing you

      • The emotional triggers you have from that are also all creations of your mind. ​

        • Those triggers are not inherently in the situation 

  • Also: Relationships between objects do not actually exist.

    • In reality everything in the universe is infinitely related to every other thing in the universe.

      • The realitionships are infinite ​

        • The only question is, Which relationships does your mind focus on? ​

    • Look around you right now and pick one object, and notice its relationship to you. 

      • Then notice that that relationship is just one out of millions and billions of relationships that that object has with everything else in the universe. 

        • But your mind ​de-focuses all those, and just focuses on this one. 

          • Who actually establishes that a relationship even exists?

            • The human mind. It projects it as a function of self and survival. It's part of the ego agenda. ​

              • Not only do you perceive a relationship but you add so much more to it. ​

                • What is the relationship? How do I feel about it? Is there guilt, shame, embarrassment, pride? ​

                  • Relationships with people as much as objects.​

                    • What's your relationship with your car? ​

                      • (Ownership is also a projection of the mind) ​

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