"Our eyes are not just viewers, they are also projectors…that are running a second story over the picture that we see in front of us all the time." - Jim Carrey
Everything we perceive is colored by the meanings and stories we place on it. Stories and meanings developed over years of learning and remembering, of joy and heartache, of love and abandonment. The sounds we hear, the sights we see, the tastes and smells and sensations we experience all have meanings unique to each of us, flavored distinctly by our one-of-a-kind lives. In this way, we do not directly experience the world as it is. There is no one reality that is consistent across minds, but rather billions of different realities, all perceiving the world in different ways. Each of us fearing particular things, loving particular things, desiring, avoiding, twisting, creating an amalgam of experiences. And in the midst of our deep and powerful stories, we often neglect to feel the absolute awe—the pure and unstained beauty of reality—that is present in every moment of existence. If you're interested in even just briefly letting go of all your stories to directly experience the world AS IT IS, including YOU AS YOU ARE, without your thoughts and feelings shaping and coloring it all, you might try the following exercise.
Try viewing the world as an infant would, or as you would visiting a strange planet that had objects you didn’t recognize at all. Start with a single object. Do not even name the object. Be purely curious about it. Do not label it or recognize what it is or what it does. Attempt to let go of all memory, all history, all emotions, meanings, preferences, or stories about it. Just simply perceive it—its color, its texture, its shape, the way it feels or smells or tastes. Become aware of only the emotions that arise from the direct perception of this thing. And just stay curious and in awe of its existence.
Then begin to do the same with another object, and then another, and another, and eventually even with your own body and brain, until the world becomes a vibrant, constantly changing, alive, extraordinary, fascinating, completely curious and mysterious yet extremely real experience of unlabeled, undefined color and sound and shape and texture. Notice how everywhere, infinitely, intricate manifestations of energy arise in the form of matter. And amazingly, this matter can only be perceived by other, very unique types of precisely organized matter called living beings, and YOU are one of these extremely fascinating, completely miraculous organizations of matter. And even more amazing, the particular organization of energy into matter that manifests the being you recognize to be YOU is the only kind, as far as we know, that can actually contemplate this very recognition and feel the awe of experiencing the world and all its objects, including the very existence of the matter that is YOU!
How strange. How wild. How wonderful. How weird! When I realize this, sometimes I can't help but simply laugh. It's just so weird! But I also feel very grateful for the opportunity to exist and experience the world, and the ability to contemplate my experience as one that exists and experiences. But still...so weird. Right?
AFFIRMATIONS OF THE WEEK
The world is so amazing
I can take Me out of the picture.
And just feel in awe and curiosity of everything.