It's a commonly held belief that "perception is reality". But commonly held doesn't mean correct.(Side note: I'm listening to the Essential Thelonious Monk album while penning this prose...thought u should know). First let's define the two words.Perception is the act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind; cognition; understanding. Reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. Got it.Perception is how you see it. Reality is how it is.
Seems simple enough. So why would anyone want you to think otherwise. Well let's start with the god complex as it exists throughout the west. We are the ultimate authority on everything.We view the world through our lens and those who differ are savages at best and haters of freedom at worst. Yep...as much as we complain about the problems in this country, most of which are our fault, every other system is shit. We can't be wrong. And since the only infallible being in life, literature, imagination is God...yep...we must think we're the Creator. It's not just arrogantly thinking we're right. It's an attempt to control minds. Less than 40% of us have passports (117,014,020 as of January 2012) So60+% of us only know about other countries through hearsay. TV is hearsay. You weren't there. But let's go further, polls show that 84% of Americans (89% of Republicans) think America is the greatest country on earth. Go back and look at the passport stat again. Let's assume that everyone with a passport has traveled to every country in the world. That means half the people speaking have no direct knowledge. And yet...we fight wars to protect our way of life....or our perception of that way.
Another reason we like to continue this garbage way of thinking is...it's good for business. "Clothes make the man". Certain clothes give you the appearance of success. Certain cars. Now, to be clear, buying good quality clothes is cool. Paying for quality isn't the same as paying for a brand though. But the commercials will make you think your life is incomplete without the newest shoe, jeans, purse....Stop it B indeed. We're no longer in control of our own minds. What makes you a good person? I can assure you it's not"things"...and yet, that's the perception. Ladies, how many times have you walked past the plain guy and went for the guy with the nice “things”.Men, how many times have you ignored the plain woman because you were looking at the “things”. It’s perception. Men who have nice things “appear” to be successful. He might have bad credit and be living with his mother. She has a beautiful body but low self esteem. But the perception is reality. He’s successful and she’s beautiful….and the divorce rate is 50%
Look, people used to perceive the earth as flat. It wasn’t. But the perception that it was flat kept people from traveling beyond where they could see for fear of falling off the edge of the world. Same thing is going on today. The government and the media know that we don’t research beyond what we can perceive. No new trails blazed. Let’s stop Kony, fight terrorism, and fight the war on drugs…and ignore that Kony is US funded (as is the Ugandan government), we’re fighting Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan (while they use our weapons) but fighting side by side with Al-Qaeda in Libya, and the drugs come in through US ports (and have for years).Perception. Reality. Not the same. Believe what you will, but that doesn’t make it true.