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Beyond the Limits of Perception

{written by : Dr. Sheri Rosenthal}

Article word count : 557 -- Article Id : 95
Article active date : 2008-07-08 -- Article views : 2463

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One of the biggest challenges to our freedom is our need to cling to our perceptions and believe that they’re truth.

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As spiritual seekers we are on the path to personal freedom, peace and moving through life with fearlessness. One of the biggest challenges to our freedom is our need to cling to our perceptions and believe that they’re truth. But before I continue with our dialogue, let’s agree for the purpose of our conversation, that freedom is a state of being where we experience lack of restraints, confinement or controls of any kind. So why would I bring up the idea of freedom in reference to perception – what’s the connection?

From a scientific point of view, we can say we are beings of perception. We exist to take in light from our surroundings and interpret it according to the limits and possibilities of the machine that is translating that information. On the other hand, we become trapped when we believe that the machine’s conclusions are definitive truth. If we do not have the awareness of this process we will automatically be subject to the restrains and restrictions of the machine rather than moving past them to the freedom of absolute consciousness.

Let’s take a moment to put this into practical terms. Imagine you’ve just finished grocery shopping and as you’re pulling out of your parking spot, the person in the car behind you quickly pulls out at the exact same time and hits your car. You jump out of your car ready to scream at that person for driving like an idiot, smashing your car, being reckless and blind as a bat. However, when the person gets out of their car they are crying and deeply upset. The person relates to you that they just received a call that their mother had passed away and they were stricken by grief. They didn’t see that there was someone pulling out behind them because of all the tears in their eyes. In that moment all your anger drains away, and you offer to assist them in any way you can.

So what just happened here? In our imaginary story your eyes and ears took in light and your brain translated that into a picture or virtual reality where your car intersected with another car. Your mind told you that this situation is bad and further judged the other person to be wrong and irresponsible. The result of this interpretation was anger and resentment. In that moment you were trapped by the limitations of your machine – and fell for the conclusions your mind came to in this situation. You lost your peace because you believed what your mind was telling you – you thought it was truth and you trusted it. As a result, you lost your personal freedom and were at the mercy of your fear-based emotions.

In Buddhism, the Diamond Sutra says, Where there is perception, there is deception. As students of spirituality we must use our awareness to transcend the way we’ve been trained to perceive, and to learn to see without the machine’s constraints and preconceptions. This is true freedom, having the ability to interact within this reality without being bound to our own points of view, opinions and prejudices. This month I challenge you to ask yourself “Is this truth?” whenever you are in a situation where you are tempted to believe yourself. See what happens!

Author Bio :
Sheri Rosenthal DPM is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Toltec Wisdom and Banish Mind Spam! (You can find them on She currently takes students on spiritual journeys (you can see them at ), and works with personal apprentices.

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Gratitude: The Only Attitude to Have
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The Dilemma of Duality
I am not and I can’t – I am and I can!
The Path of Least Resistance
A World of Projections
What is False Will Make You Suffer...

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