The Nature of Perception – Rupert Spira
Rupert Spira begins by stating that perception in conventionally believed to be divided into two ingredients: the subject and self on the inside and the object or world on the outside. This belief dictates how we think, feel, relate. The idea is that there is an outside world made of matter and inside self made up of awareness or consciousness, which is product of the body.
These two entities join together by something called the mind. It was William Blake that said, “When the doors of perception are cleansed, everything will appear to man as it really is: infinite.“ In order to explore the true nature of perception and experience, many have embarked on a path of exploration.
Spira really tries to get the point across that perception is made up of two main ingredients. The first ingredient is the subject or self which is found within us. The other ingredient is the object or the world and is found in the world or external to self. What separates these two ingredients is the mind which enables us to perceive things in different ways.
When you get into the true non-dual nature of things, this separation does not actually exist. The mind, internal, and external are essentially abstractions of one phenomenon. The spiritual heart of the matter is that they are quite literally one, though this requires a depth of inquiry and experience in order to be perceived directly (in most cases) rather than something taken on philosophically.
Perception is a topic that has been analyzed by a number of people. The people who have considered the subject agree on one thing and this is the fact that we do not know the world around us; we only perceive it and we all do this differently.
We don’t come into contact with what we perceive
The interesting thing about perception is the fact that when we perceive, we do not make perceptions of the thing that we perceive. This is because we never come into contact with what we perceive. Therefore, at the end of the day perception remains to be just perception. The experience of seeing is the only thing that is present in perception. The experience of seeing does not contain any substance other than the fact that we get to know what we see. However, as is the case with perception, we do not get to know of the experience, we just know it out of our own conscience. Knowing may make you wonder, what is it that gets you to know what you experience. The fact about knowing is that knowing knows itself. This is because pure consciousness knows itself and never comes into contact with any object or item. Awareness or consciousness is always present an unlimited. This is why we are able to perceive things every single time. Thought is the only thing that reduces awareness and makes it less infinite.
Knowing can be explained using the example of a screen and a movie. The screen represents knowing. The screen is only aware of the things that appear on it only. Everything according to the screen is the same. There are no separate selves or objects. However, if you happen to ask any of the characters in the movie what their experience is, they will tell you what they perceive. Their perception is that there are objects around them and they are part of those objects. This difference in perception is made possible by the mind. The mind is what makes the self know what objects are around. The screen can only know what is happening on the screen. For the screen, what is remains to be and nothing new that can be perceived by self can be perceived by the screen which is awareness in this case. This explanation means that the mind, matter, and consciousness are not three separate entities. They are simply three ways of seeing one reality. Our experiences come to be by the way we fell, think, touch and sense. What we know ourselves to be makes us know that which we think. Therefore, if all experience is cleaned, man will be able to see everything for what it is; infinite, just like pure knowing.