Believing is Seeing.
[ The following was originally posted 3/13/06.]
"A Skeptic (with a capital "S") would have the idea that I'm seeing things that aren't there, without allowing for the idea that I'm seeing things that are there. Obviously, it's a matter of differences in perception, which hinges on particular beliefs currently being held before us like a lens of focus. Change the belief, and perceptions will change — which may seem to indicate that things themselves have changed — but actually they haven't. Nothing has changed except perception."
— from the previous post
To follow up a bit on the above — A perception is changed by changing a belief — altering it in some way, or discarding or negating it. Even looking at a belief, examining it, will alter it in some way. A belief is the lens of perception — we view the universe with/through the belief. Multiple beliefs = multiple lenses. Obviously, we are looking at our universe through many lenses. Are we seeing reality for what it is, with 20/20 vision? John Crowley wrote a fascinating novel — Engine Summer — a futuristic post-apocalyptic fantasy of deep complexity and where cats are finally recognized for their wisdom. A shaman-like character possesses hundreds, maybe thousands of what seem to be glass slides from an old projection system, and has developed a system of divination whereby light is projected through selected, layered slides and the resulting projection is studied and interpreted. A core belief here is that somehow, when the right combination of layers is found, "the answer to everything" will be revealed.
My mediumistic abilities are directly related to my beliefs about myself, about the abilities and my experiences. A Skeptic's beliefs will enable or disable their own lenses, as well as abilities and experiences. So I and a Skeptic may be looking at the same event, the same information or set of data, and seeing them differently. It follows that neither is incorrect according to what their lenses are revealing. Is one's perceived version of reality more real than another's?
What also follows is the question, "can we can see reality without beliefs, without lenses? "
Viewing our universe, our experience of our universe, through lenses, is brought about by our dream-like state of mind as we manifest our personal reality. "Waking up" is achieved by gradually (usually) removing the lenses — by removing beliefs. Consider what it's like trying to wake up from a bodily sleep-dream, as if coming up through thick, dark water, where light and sounds are blurred and indiscernable, like looking through thick glass lenses that distort the world we're in. Various states of awakeness reveal various aspects of reality while blurring or hiding others. Perhaps waking up in reality is as difficult (or as easy) as waking up from a bodily sleep dream.