Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Mystifying Aphorism of Current Popularity

By Patricia Lefave, Labelled, D.D.(P)

There is this one aphorism which is repeated over and over again these days, often by politicians and mental illness professionals who have frequently been trained to use them by ‘human potential’ type organizations. It is this one:

“There is no reality; only perception.”

When it rolls off their tongues, few seem to question it or waste even a minute thinking about it.
Think about it.
Changing one’s ‘perception’ of being targeted for a group attack will not change the reality of being targeted for a group attack, if being targeted for a group attack is reality.
Every time I hear that ridiculous aphorism come out of the mouth of someone who presents him/herself as a leader of others, I wonder immediately about the intent and the understanding of the speaker. (Sometimes I don’t have to ‘wonder’ as it gets demonstrated for me quite quickly. Other times it is not so easy.) Still, I think of the following questions:


1. Is the speaker trying to deny reality?
2. Is he/she using magical thinking?
3. Does he really believe he can change concrete reality after it has occurred by changing his ‘perception’ of it?
4. Does he believe he can change it by changing other people’s ‘perception’ of it?

5. Is it his fear that makes him want to believe that?
6. Does thinking, “there is no reality’ make her feel more ‘secure’ or more confused since she can’t then nail it down? Is this a false senses of security?
7. Is he TRYING to confuse others or is he just oblivious to the confusion he is creating by doing what he does?
8. Is he using this type of abstract talk to manipulate others away from the truth in order to promote his own hidden agenda?

You see, I find aphorisms and platitudes like these to be very dark in content much of the time (not enlightening’ as they are often claimed to be) and also very mystifying, often intentionally so. What anything really means has to be directly connected to the concrete specific detail and experience which is required to give it a more precise meaning. Abstractions which stand alone mean NOTHING, because they can mean so MANY different things which always require ‘interpretation’ by someone who can or who believes he can, connect the dots and find meaning in the way he wants to find it. Anyone who hears a ‘stand alone’ abstraction can then project his or her own meaning into that abstraction. Nevertheless what it means to HIM is not going to be exactly the same as what it means to someone else hearing the same thing and DOING the same thing.

If the individual judging it assumes that his/her CONCRETE experience has a universal application, he or she is an idiot, a blind fool, or perhaps an accomplished con artist with a domination agenda which others do not recognize.
I go on special alert when I hear anyone speaking in aphorisms and platitudes almost all the time. When he or she does this, I suspect either an attempt to cover up something or else an attempt to run and hide from something, done either by the one speaking or perhaps by someone else. Which side of the line at the nexus of meaning the individual stands on is what remains to be discovered and then dealt with after that discovery.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I think perception does make reality.
RE:1 deny reality
The person/speaker is in either a position of power, or not. If in power can enforce his/her perception.

RE:2 Magic thinking
Everything is magic thinking.
"one man's junk is another man's treasure" and "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"

RE:3 change his own reality
People do this all the time. Smoking no it doesnt cause cancer. Drinking no I'm not alcoholic. Drug abuser I don't have a problem. Spousal abuse, it didn't happen that way.


RE:4 change others reality
yes people in power can do this by influencing memory/giving another history of events , and explaining an alternate view of the events.

RE:5 Motivation to alter reality.
Lots of reasons sure Fear is one. Guilt, addiction, others.

RE:6 thinking "no reality"
Yes with no right or wrong answer, any answer is correct. "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"

RE:7 confuse others
in the land of the blind , the one eyed man is king.joking.

RE:8 hidden agenda in abstract talk
If you want to look at it biologically...
Man/Woman want high as possible status, beauty/good looks, and money for ease of life and to attract equivalent or better mate.procreate and be prosperous.