How We See Things

I’ll hazard a guess that for just about anything you want to do, you will be able to find a pearl of wisdom on the internet that makes it sound dandy and with which you will be able to justify it. We can bend and stretch these snippets in our minds to give us the OK. What is and isn’t OK depends largely on how we frame things, which frame of reference from many we choose to select and apply. It is likely that amongst our peer grouping there isn’t a huge variance in frame of reference. We may have some commonality in how we frame things and therefore see things in a broadly similar manner. We tend to forget that there are no absolutes and that other frames of reference are possible.

For example, a Buddhist monk will have a markedly different frame of reference about a set of events than say a Wall street banker. Without going to such an extreme, men and women every day, all over the planet will be framing things in a different way to each other. How a man frames things and how a woman frames things differs, there is commonality but also difference. There are many different frames of reference.

If someone frames things significantly differently to us there is a tendency to file them under the loony or whacko heading in our mental filing cabinet. Occasionally we can find a different frame of reference shocking, it may even open our eyes to a new way of thinking and being. These step function changes are rare.

If the frame of reference is sufficiently different we deem it heresy, instead of listening to it, we condemn it. Say for example I say, that to my eyes, the scientific establishment shares a great deal of commonality with organised religions, it is a church. {I used to be a paid-up card-carrying member of this church.} All churches have peccadilloes and blind spots. Then that is bordering on heresy and the pyre should be readied.

How we see things can vary from the inside and from the outside. There is a tendency to forget this. If we have detachment and clarity, we must acknowledge that perception is never 100% accurate. But when we are emotionally committed this clarity flies out the window. There is an urge to defend and attack the offender.

I mentioned earlier a pivotal life experience for me. I was on a beach in Negril talking with a drug dealer. I was in full on bullshit mode, explaining to him that the world and everything in it could be explained by science, thermodynamics and the like. He looked me in the eye and said; “You don’t really believe that do you?” Bang!! He had hit me with his zen stick. This guy did not have a Ph.D. nor did he have publications in the literature, he simply sold a bit of ganga to make ends meet. I never thanked him enough. But he cut through my bullshit. It was a pivotal moment for me.

How we see things has a marked impact on the nature of our supposed reality.

Having cued this up:

Is the way I see things the only correct way possible?

If people have a different frame of reference from me are they heretics?

What should we do with these heretics?

Have I ever met someone with a frame of reference different to mine, who changed me markedly?