Thursday, March 31, 2011

Perception Is Not Reality

One of the books I'm reading right now is A Million Miles In a Thousand Years by Donald Miller.
I've owned this book for over a year. I've looked at the cover several times a day for over a year. I was about 1/4th of the way through reading the book when I looked at the cover and realized what was actually pictured. If you look at the picture of the cover above, you can see that the picture is of the center of a bicycle wheel. Well, for over a year I thought the picture was of a water tower with a bunch of metaphorical spokes coming out of it. I'd seen the cover of this book hundreds of times and I never recognized the cover for what it actually is. This got me thinking.

A few years ago a friend of mine who I respect was leading a training class I was in. He made the comment, "Perception is reality." He later expanded upon that message and over the years I worked with him, it became one of his mantras. The thing is, when he first made that statement, my reaction was, "That's not true!" I didn't agree with him then and I still don't. My recent discovery illustrates this. For over a year I thought the picture on this book cover was a water tower when in reality it was a bicycle wheel. For over a year I perceived the book cover as something that it wasn't. The picture on the cover was what it was and it was my perception that was incorrect.

That's how life is, too. We might perceive things to be a certain way, but that doesn't mean that's the way things actually are. There is an ultimate reality and life is about us trying to either get into jive with that ultimate reality or us trying to avoid it. Perception is not reality.


Rhonda said...

Interesting thought. I tend to agree with you, though we make many judgments (sometimes daily) based on our perceptions. How dangerous that it.

Post again and let us know how the book is.

TV said...

I'm just about done with the book. I'll post some sort of review once I've finished with the book.