“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” – Henry Miller
Today I want to share another idea to help you live a more conscious life and the idea is on how to see the world with new eyes. I want to start off with saying that our brains are basically label making machines.
From the moment we are born until we die our brain is just constantly registering impressions. When we are young children we are taking in our environments impressions just like a sponge and filing them away in our brains. Our brain works kind of like a binary computer. We file away our experiences under the labels of like or dislike, pleasurable or not pleasurable. As we grow up and we get older we accumulate vast amounts of data and this is all in an effort to just make our lives easier and more efficient.
Some neuroscientists estimate that in every moment there’s at least around two million bits of reality making information. This is basically all the information that our five senses take in. That’s a lot of information. The problem is that the conscious thinking part of our brains can only process around 2,000 bits of information. Think about how at any moment around you there are 2 million bits of information to take in, but you can only process 2,000 bits.
How accurate do you think your view of reality is and how does your brain process these 2,000 bits? How does it choose which 2,000 bits to process? Basically, all our memories, all our social conditioning, and all our beliefs will determine how we will take in that vast amount of information and whittle it down to form our own unique point of view. This is why nobody sees things the way that you do everybody sees the world basically through the eyes of their own conditioning.
It makes our lives more efficient because our brain doesn’t have to think about everything as if it is encountering it for the first time, but we won’t have an accurate picture of the world when we can only perceive it through our narrow slit of perception.
As I mentioned we live our lives through all these mental pictures that we have cumulated. We have mental pictures of the people that we care about and through these mental pictures, we remember our friends and our family. We interact with our family through these mental pictures and because we have these mental pictures in our in our brain we think we already know the thing that that picture represents.
Every moment is new, every moment is fresh, but we’re always seeing the world through the filters of the past. This is why even though life is always new for many of us life becomes monotonous because we are identified to these pictures. We rely on these pictures to report back to us what reality is.
This is why I love traveling because traveling is an easy way to get fresh new impressions that you don’t have any reference for. Let’s take this example of you going to a new country and you see or feel something new. Let’s say a visual impression, as the visual impression enters your retina immediately purely by association it will start to go through our mental storehouse of memories and try to find a reference for whatever it’s seeing and see if we can find any picture that fits. We see whether it’s a like or a dislike and if it’s actually the first time it’s ever encountered something it could just be a neutral impression or it will immediately try to see whether it’s pleasurable or not pleasurable and then it will make a memory of it.
The point is, if this is a new fresh impression, as it comes into our inner space because there’s no reference for it you automatically are in a heightened aware state of being. This is why people love traveling because there is a freshness to it, the world that can look HD. You’re just taking in all these new impressions that you don’t have any reference for so you are more alert and aware.
I just want you just to think about this process that I’ve described and then just to think about how a lot of the things in our life we don’t even try to see things in a fresh way anymore because we already have that imagery in our mind. We basically become like zombies to a lot of the aspects of our lives.
So I would like you to try this little experiment with an important person in your life. Next time you’re gonna see them be aware of this image making process. When you see them really try to suspend any of the label making process. If your brain is always trying to label something just be aware of that process and if you can become aware of how your brain is always trying to label something you don’t have to become identified to the judgment that it makes. You can just be aware that it’s labeling things but not really be swayed by it.
Next time you see your mom or dad really trying to see them like the first time. Try to suspend that image making processes, really try to take your visual imagery consciously and really try to be aware like this is the first time you have met this person. Something unique can really happen when you see your mom’s face and really just try to see it with fresh new eyes. It can be quite a shock because they will actually look very different than the way that you had stored away in your brain.
Yoy may realize that you haven’t really took a good look at your mom in many months or even years and they might even look to you like a completely different person. This could be a quite shocking experience. This will show you how powerful our minds are at filtering information in an effort to just make our life simpler but after a while we’re mainly processing the world through memory and through memory is seeing the world with little rose-colored glasses of the past. This whole experiment is just to try to make you aware of how the brain is always constantly labeling things.
You can bring awareness to that labeling process so that you can take impressions in more consciously. That’s the whole idea of this experiment. Every moment is new in even if you look at an object that you encounter daily you can see that it’s always fresh, it’s always new. You can start to feel the presence of the object and the whole world looks HD. Colors are more vibrant more alive. Try it and let me know how your experience goes.