subjective perception

The glasses model - perceptive reality

The nice thing about subjectivity is the possibility of influencing the situation ourselves. If my perception is subjective then I – and I alone – have all the options of influencing or being influenced in a given situation. I alone decide whether I feel that something is good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, cold or hot, beautiful or ugly!

We do not see our environment and the events around us as «objective» or neutral (perceptive reality). Instead it is rather like looking through a pair of glasses, which determines our interpretation of a picture. I hold these glasses myself in front of my eyes. According to the way these glasses change what is really a neutral picture of an event, the picture makes us feel for example fear, joy, anger or it makes us sad. We feel the picture to be good or bad, negative or positive, meaningful or senseless, dark or light, correct or false.

Objectivity and subjectivity - perceptive reality

Let’s first turn to the question of objectivity: How objective is our perception in reality? A statement is objective if it is neutral and not influenced by prejudices, feelings and interests. An objective statement is consequently independent of the person who makes this statement. The objective statement corresponds with the facts. We often tend to view our own perception of things or events as objectively correct. What others think of the same events or things we frequently categorize as incorrect or subjective (perceptive reality).

A good example is the weather: Two weeks of sunshine, high temperatures and no rain for many people is seen as desirable and good. The farmer however would like some rain in between times because otherwise his fields dry out, older people are not so happy with high air temperatures because it causes breathing difficulties etc. Who is being objective here? Obviously our assessment of the weather depends amongst other things significantly on what we want to do (swimming in an outdoor pool, working in the field, working in an office, travelling, resting etc.), upon our mood and our state of health. Exactly the same weather on a given day gives one person great pleasure and another one annoyance. But even within ourselves the assessment depends strongly on our plans: If we are working in an office three successive days of rain normally would not bother us too much. If however we are on a beach holiday we would want other weather!

Learning thanks to subjective perception (perceptive reality)

We have so far mentioned many times that we are confronted «by life» with situations which permit us to learn the ability to live the basic rights of existence. If for example we are to learn to let things go, then we are constantly put into situa­tions where we have to decide whether we want to cling on to something or let it go. In reality these things could be for example articles, money, dear friends or relations, or the results of current or earlier activities. It is in no way necessary for us to know ourselves on which lesson we are currently working. «Life» already knows!

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