What Is Perception?

=== JKrishnamurti.org – Daily Quote ===

What is perception, what is seeing? How do you see that tree? Look at it for the moment. With what sight do you see it? Is it solely an optical observation, just looking at the tree with the optical reaction, observing the form, the pattern, the light on the leaf? Or do you, when you observe a tree, name it, saying. “That is an oak” and walk by?

By naming it you are no longer seeing the tree—the  word denies the thing. Can you look at it without the word?

So, are you aware how you approach, how you look at, the tree? Do you observe it partially, with only one sense, the optical sense; or do you see it, hear it, smell it, feel it, see the design of it, take the whole of it in?

Or, do you look at it as though you are different from it—of course, when you look at it you are not the tree. But can you look at it without a word, with all your senses responding to the totality of its beauty?

The Flame of Attention, p 34

=== Thoughts ===

As we’ve discussed before, it’s an interesting experience, and also quite a difficult one to arrive at, to simply look at something without the “me” getting in the way- without creating the usual division between “self” and “other”.

When we look at the world, we bring with us the entire history of our past experience, of all our classifications, our categories, and our knowledge about “the way things are”.

This psychological and emotional baggage causes us to see things not as they truly exist, but according to our preconceived ideas, prejudices, and conclusions. We don’t see the tree itself, we see according to our ideas about the tree. We don’t see the tree for what it really is! We don’t see things, hear things, or even feel things as they actually exist!

Instead, we find ourselves interacting with the images we’ve built up about things- be it trees, music, or even people. Our perception is not objective observation, but subjective, divided, and destructive interpretation.

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