Tag Archives: Perception

Are You Sure?

ARE YOU SURE (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 70 cm)

ARE YOU SURE?

According to Buddhist teaching, we all go through life with blinders on. We might be hiking along a forest road coming to a shack, one of those inviting oases, and we spot a rope rolled beside the entrance, but we mistake it for a snake. This provokes thoughts associated with that perception. We know that there are working tools like ropes used by foresters but start to ask whether there are also snakes. Concern about our safety in the face of dangerous animals in the woods arises. Should we avoid the area, and should we protect and arm ourselves? We spin a web of thoughts that are not necessarily based on the first sight of the thing initially interpreted falsely. Further distortions of thoughts follow, and all combines into creating a biased view. Having gotten the idea that forest huts are infected by dangerous animals like snakes, it impacts our behavior overall. We pay attention to this seemingly looming danger and see even more evidence that our fear is justified. We might stop taking walks in the woods and approaching shacks at all. The initial misperceptions got hardened, which impacts how and what data we collect. The vicious circle is perfect.

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