Points of View – Gaining Perspective on Life

When we look out into the world, when something happens in the world, when we look at our life situation, we are surrounded by certainty. We just know how things are. How couldn’t we? They are staring us right in the face.

In fact, reality is a very complex place. We don’t even have to talk about unrelatable concepts like String Theory, atomic particles, quantum mechanics, Big Bang Theory, Evolution, the complexity of the human organism. Even in our present day, at our scale, the world is incredibly diverse and complex, we simply choose to ignore this fact and pretend that we have everything under control.

We don’t see things as they are;
we see them as we are.
- Anais Nin

Can you imagine, just how differently other people will perceive a situation than you. For example, our perception is very dependent on our mood, state of mind and intention. Therefore, one person who is sad, determined and has the intention to get a task done will have a completely different experience of his or her surroundings than someone who is happy, relaxed and is enjoying the sunshine.

Ask yourself what problem you have right now. Not next year or tomorrow or in five minutes from now. You can always cope with the Now, but you can never cope with the future – nor do you have to.
– Eckhart Tolle

So, let’s assume that we accept the premise that our experience is to a large part a result of our interior processes.

  1. The concept of objective truth is overrated. I don’t mean “truth” as in “truthful”, or “telling the truth”, but rather the concept that any situation has exactly one observer-independent representation that describes it.
  2. Because objective truth is so hard to come by, we need to train our ability to see any situation from at least 3 points of view or interpretations.
  3. We need to generate these automatically, because when we only have one interpretations that one by default becomes “the truth”. Only by holding contradictory perspectives in mind can we transcend our mind’s bias for certainty and congruence.
  4. By doing this, you will have a much easier time to admit errors to yourself and others exactly because your identification with “the truth” is so much smaller and you will strengthen your curiosity to find out even more possible perfectly good perspectives and to catch a glimpse at the wonder that lies behind the sum of all these points of view.
  5. We all project into and onto the world what we are, seek, want, miss, lack, and negate in ourselves. By having the discipline to perceive our surroundings as projections of our mind, we can work on those negated parts of ourselves and go beyond being victims of our unconscious.

Video: CC-BY Jonas Tullus, Picture sources: CC-BY 1, 2, 3. Blender source file

What is the objective truth of above “reality”? Is it solitude, love, war? Can we really put every situation neatly into labeled boxes?

The world is incredibly complex, and we can’t comprehend it. What we can do is marvel at its wonders, deepen our experience and let go of our assumptions and expectations.

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