As far as I’m aware topic of human perception has been widely discussed by philosophers, scientists and mystics of all times. As a principle it is very simple and straightforward- our perception of reality is based on our interaction with the surrounding environment. We receive the messages from the outside world and we process them inside our heads creating a memory of what we have seen. Since received stimulus needs to make its way to the brain before we become conscious of it, in a way everything we perceive is the past, the memory. So what we really see and feel around us are our mental projections of the surrounding environment, not the environment itself. I believe that this is what Buddhist philosophy describes as the Maya- illusion of the world. We never know the world as it truly is, all we know are the mental images created in our heads.
If you think about the reality in terms of your own perception rather than in absolute terms you begin to realise that you have no right to claim anything as an ultimate truth. All you can be sure of is that this is how things seem to you. From this point of view every argument becomes useless since all we ever argue about are differences in our perceptions of reality. Your perception of reality is your reality and my perception of reality is my reality. There is no objective outsider we could refer to to arbitrate the conflict since everyone of us is limited by their own vision. Unfortunately most of us are not able to think about the world in terms of our mental projection. We spend great amounts of our time and energy on fighting one another opinions and searching for proof of what we believe to be the ultimate truth.
Understanding of the difference between “objective” reality and our perception of reality is not an easy task. Philosophers have been arguing this topic over the centuries and to this day some thinkers question whether such thing as an “objective” reality exists at all. Many people believe that scientific research brings a chance to proof or disprove things in an objective manner. What they forget about is that every scientist is limited by their own senses and their own mental projections of the world.
From what I understand modern science arrived to conclusion that observer and object of observation are very closely connected. Just by being there an observer affects an observed phenomenon. Whilst in the past scientists believed themselves to be the “outside” observers of studied phenomena, now it becomes apparent that for as long as we inhabit the same universe as an object of our observation there is no such thing as the “outside”. This in many ways resembles teachings of many ancient philosophies. In their vision everything in our universe is interconnected, “all things are one”.
I’ve been wondering if the great mystical revelation that “all things are one” refers to our role as an observer and creator of our own reality. As far as I’m concerned we have no way of knowing if everything in the universe is connected. But one thing is for sure- everything in our heads is connected. All of the world as we know is what we have experienced through our bodies. I could even say that physical world we live in forms an “extension” of our body. Until the point when something reaches our senses (when we can see it or touch it etc.) we’re not aware of this thing’s existence. All people, places and things we have seen and experienced we have seen and experienced through our bodies through, our senses. All of our mental projections of reality and memories gathered over the years have been created/processed by our brain and our nervous system.
So everything we know about the world comes from our body- one body. “All things are one” because they are all parts of one’s body experience. Everything in our body is connected, it all works together building our perception of reality and our place in it. So in in a way everything we know about the world is what we know about ourselves. All you have ever seen and experienced is inside of your head. Things we never physically experienced or never thought of are non- existent to us. There is no way out of it, at least not for as long as you live in your physical form.
I guess that’s why most esoteric schools teach us that when you want to learn something about the world you should look within. Every possible answer you’re searching for you will find in there. Many spiritual masters, philosophers and practitioners of “higher magic” tell us that at some point in our spiritual development we will come to realise that we are ONE with all of the existence. Boundaries between self and non-self will melt and then we will come to realise that we ARE the world and that the world IS us. From there also comes revelation that we’re all gods- each one of us is the creator of the universe we live in.
But there is also a trap awaiting those who get blinded by vision of having some truly “supernatural” powers- we can’t forget that even though we might be gods in our self-created micro universes we are in fact the gods of Maya. Whatever powers or gods created us in the first place have been there before we were born. These powers rule the actual universe, what we rule is the world of illusion. The purpose of enlightenment is to expose the world of illusion and acknowledge it for what it is. Those who fail to notice the difference can end up tangled up in the world of their own imagination until the point when they’re no longer able to process any new information from their surrounding environment. I am sure you all met such people- to us they seem mad. Unfortunately to some extend we all suffer from this type of madness. Our perception of being separate from our surrounding environment is one of the ways this “madness” manifests.