Perception, Reality & Relationship

A Board Meeting is in progress. The temperature in the room is 26 degrees Celsius. One person picks up the remote to reduce the temperature further because he is feeling hot. Another person requests… “It is quite chill. Can you please raise it to 27 degrees Celsius?”

Now what is the truth? Is the room hot or chill? The truth is that the temperature is 26 degrees Celsius. Hot and cold are just perceptions of people. Neither of them are wrong when they claim it is either hot or cold. Because their perception is their reality. Their Truth…

Let us take another example to which we can relate better.

Audible range of Humans is between 20 and 20,000 Hz, whereas dogs can hear up to 40,000 Hz. (Some claim it is 60,000 Hz). When there are sound waves in our vicinity that are above 20,000 Hz, obviously we cannot perceive them. We find the surrounding calm and peaceful. However, dogs may find it very noisy and feel disturbed. Now, when a man claims it is very calm and peaceful, he is not lying. He is saying the truth. Because, his perception is his reality. Similar is the case with the dog.

Every second of our life is filled with experiences. To be more specific, with incidents.

We build experiences out of the incidents, based on our perception of the incident and our earlier experiences and belief systems. Our prior experiences and belief systems are called as vasanas (sanskrit meaning smell) which determine our basic inherent nature. This nature determines the way our mind-intellect combo convert an incident into an experience. And it is the quality of the experience that determine the quality of our response or reaction to the incident. But the good news is that our present is not bound by our past experiences or by our inherent nature. If we are able to understand our inherent nature, it is in our hands to intelligently enhance our present experience and thereby choose our response. It is only man who is gifted with this ability to chose his response based on his intellect and not go simply  by instincts which guide animals and other beings.

No two individuals are alike, because each one has his own inherent nature or vasana build-up. Hence, no two people react to an incident in the same way and no reaction or response is absolutely right or wrong way to respond to a situation. It is necessary for us to understand this basic fact, if we have to appreciate other person’s point of view and behaviour.

For a same incident one may respond in a poised and cool manner, while the other reacts in an agitated and disturbed mood. In the end, both will justify their actions. Neither of them can be absolutely right or absolutely wrong in behaving the way they behaved. Their behaviour is absolutely right for the way they behaved based on their prior experiences, beliefs and value systems. They just acted as per their reality. That is how we are made…

In a pluralistic society that we live in, this understanding will alone help us

  • to build workable relationships around us
  • to integrate our internal environment with the external environment
  • to gracefully agree to disagree with contrary points of view
  • to differentiate people from their responses
  • to be a team player
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2 Comments

  1. Perseptivism is philosophical view developed by Nietzsche which states that one accesses tha world through self perception, experience and reason and therefore derives self interpretation. It rejects the ntion of a perspective free or interpretation free objective reality. What it means really that we all have our own view point and there is no universal truth except the laws of physical world. If we fail to recognize this fact, then this becomes the cause of all the conflict either in personal relationship or buisness world. Root cause of all human conflict is a closed system where individuals subscribe to only one point of view, their own. Believing in only self interest and benefit at the expense of others leads to a closed society and closed society becomes irrelevant and stagnant soon. I fully agree with the premise of the argument that in order for people to have harmonious relationship with each other, one must respect divergent thinking. Evolution of any society depends upon respect for all points of view.

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