Dancing with Words – Dancing with Wisdom

Jan 18

Is it possible that we simply cannot know anything beyond our perceptions and what our minds do with those perceptions?

We are all subject to a constant bombardment of sensory data. More often than not, we give that sensory data an emotional charge. Some of it hurts, for example when another person calls us stupid. Some of it is confusing, for example when two experts give opposite advice. Some of it brings us joy, for example when we are immersed in a beautiful sunset.

Good|Evil ambigram design by Punya Mishra
Used by permission


The black and white lines on the ambigram above have neither meaning nor emotional charge until our minds chop them up and give them both. When we see the word “good”, we feel safe and warm. When we see the word “evil”, we feel contracted, unsafe, and afraid. Yet none of the sensory data changes. All that changes is what our minds have done with it.

Our minds have taken that neutral energetic flow of sensory data, selected our focus either consciously or unconsciously, chopped the flow up into parts or objects, attached whatever emotional charge gives our lives meaning, and taken action based on a highly limited perspective. If we see “good”, we relax and trust. If we see “evil”, we contract, feel fear, and perhaps even react by grabbing a gun to destroy the “evil” our minds have told us we see.

Ouch! More fear and pain.

If one of us sees only “good” and another sees only “evil”, our perspectives can’t help but collide. We see differently, we chop the sensory data up differently, we word-label the parts differently, and we give different emotional charges to what we see. Then we end up fighting about whose word labels are right and whose word labels are wrong.

If it is true that we can’t know anything beyond our perceptions, and that our minds, thoughts and words simply organize these perceptions, is this terrifying, overwhelming, or freeing? Not to overdo the point, but doesn’t it depend on our perspective?

From one perspective, it’s exhilarating and freeing. My perception is just as good as anyone else’s. I don’t have to accept anyone else’s perception as Truth. I am always at choice as to what I see, how I see it, how I feel about it, and how I act upon it.

But oh my gosh! If I can create what I see, how I see it, how I feel about it, and how I act upon it in each and every moment, I suddenly have huge responsibility. Am I going to create war or peace, calm or turmoil? Am I going to blame and judge you or listen to you with respect? Am I going to fight with you or bless you and walk away This responsibility of conscious choice in each and every moment often feels overwhelming. Yet bringing this responsibility of conscious choice down to each present moment keeps it very simple.

And, of course, if I have this freedom to create in each and every moment, so do you. If I don’t trust you, that could be terrifying. Will you use your freedom in an accountable way? Will you use your freedom to harm me and those I love? I don’t know, but what I do know is that if I place my focus on what you may or may not do, I give my power away. If I keep my focus on what I am going to think, feel, say and do, I take my power back.

Settle down. Breathe. Meditate. Ask for help from whatever God or Higher Power or Universal Energy you believe in. Breathe. Allow your breath to breathe you.

Then bring your mind back to this wonderful present moment where you are safe, secure, fed, and clothed, and ask yourself, “What is my intention for my life? How do I want to use it as well as possible? What can I do right here right now to move my life toward what I want to create?

Then just do it.

3 Responses to “Dancing with Words – Dancing with Wisdom”

  1. Bob Hetrick says:

    There is much to think about and to which I’d like to time. But for now, in spite of the power of personal perceptions, there are actually four modes of knowing: briefly: 1. senses, 2. intellect (reason, calculation, etc.) 3. emotion based (what we desire, like, value, and more (e.g., “I know onions taste terrible!!)… it is a kind of experiential knowing (in contrast to sensory input.) and 4. functional: this has to do with a use or function something has for us…we know the nature of something by how it can be used–it and emotional knowing are subjective forms; the other two are objective.

    Now, the task is to try to understand the relationship of perceptions with these. All four kinds of knowing are “reality” to the knower. As I recall, perception is a blend of sensory input with other personal experiences. Perhaps, the other 3 (above) shape sensory knowing to form a kind of perception depending on which of 1, 2, or 3 are prominent in the mix. [I hope this is easy to read, the blue text on my screen is dim and small so, feedback is somewhat laborious.]

    Bye for now– your questions and ideas are most provocative! : )

  2. Joy Truscott says:

    Hello Dear Janet,
    Our perceptions have everything to do with our sense of Being. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just plug the responses that would best serve us, right from the start of our Life Journey.
    I am in the baby steps of launching a telesummit from South Africa – SoulAwakeningSA – and the awareness of our Creative Consciousness is the aspect I am asking Wisdome Speakers to explore with me, through the Knowing that has come from their Life Journey – not their credentials, but their experiences. It will be lovely to chat with you at some point.
    The whales journey sounds wonderful. We live very close to whales and see them annually in our little town of Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. Our friend takes small groups out , just a mile from the coast line and we watch these incredible giants swim around the boat. Panama is going to be a treat for those who have not yet come into close proximity with the whales.
    Many Blessings in your work x
    Joy Truscott

  3. Dancing with words, Good/Evil in a new ambigram context | Punya Mishra's Web says:

    […] recent use of the design (with permission) comes in Janet Smith Warfield’s blog post titled: Dancing with words- dancing with wisdom . Looking at this design Janet […]

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