“There is a part of your consciousness that causes you to notice what you notice, and it exists only in the here and now. … I call it the Inner Perceiver. Perhaps it lives on the bridge between you right brain and left brain. This function of consciousness relays the soul’s intent, direction, and plan to the personality—in effect, it doles out perceptions in a perfect sequence so a message or a lesson can be made conscious, learned, and integrated.
“You and a friend could walk the same path through the woods and you’d each notice different things, in a different sequence, making the walk meaningful to yourselves in your own way—and you would each receive what you needed from the experience. So, in any given moment, you might ask yourself, ‘What is my Inner Perceiver teaching me?…’” ~Penney Peirce
I’m not sure this really happens the way Ms. Peirce describes it, but there is no doubt that different people perceive the same thing differently and this is because all of us have built in filters that are based on our beliefs, teachings, fears and opinions. Show a picture of a nude to three individuals and one sees beautiful art, another sees a sex object and the third sees obscenity. The farmer sees insects in his fields as a threat to his crops, the engineer designs a new type of crane based on the legs of the praying mantis. The suburban dweller sees dandelions in his carefully groomed lawn as weeds, the health nut as a much maligned vegetable with great nutrition.
The fact is, we are consciously aware of probably less than ten percent of what is actually happening around us because of these filters. The good news is that our subconscious is aware of all of it, even the parts we consciously don’t believe in at all. So when you get some inexplicable feeling that you should avoid something, or avoid something for no apparent reason, it is likely that your subconscious is aware of something that was not shared with your conscious mind, yet it does warn you of it. The problem is that many choose to ignore these warnings because they will only listen to the conscious mind and it can find no reason for the warnings.
The saddest thing to me is people who live their entire lives catering to fears rather than trying to overcome them, and the marketing people have been encouraging this. We turn our homes into fortresses to keep out burglars. We pay thousands of dollars extra for a car with all kinds of safety features out of fear that we will have an accident, then drive like maniacs to ensure that we will. We spend our savings on a new gun to protect us from werewolves, zombies and other imaginary threats and die of cancer or a heart attack because we are eating cheap junk food so we can afford the guns. We home school our kids out of fear that they might get bullied in public schools, or worse yet be taught something you don’t agree with, and as a result they get a crappy education because learning at school is just as much the interactions in the playground as it is the lectures in the classroom.
So, as Peirce suggests, we need to be aware that consciously we are not seeing much of the world around us and try to see more of it by asking not only what is your Inner Perceiver trying to teach you, but what are you missing because your beliefs and fears are filtering it out.