We do not really see reality, we perceive it. The understanding of this truth is a fundamental NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) principle. It is a subtle but important distinction to inwardly know that what we see is an interpretation of reality. Why is this important?
Because we are always providing our own interpretations of reality based upon our own subjective, faulty or biased paradigms. This affects not just how we understand the world, but how we understand people. Here are some of my favourite illustrations of the fragility of our perception.
Three of my favourite optical illusions …
How Many Legs?
This elephant is a creature that never existed. It reminds me a lot of the drawings by M.C.Escher who created many impossible landsacpes.
Parallel Lines or Do they Slope?
Apparently, this illusion came about when someone tried this particular tiling pattern. It’s a weird effect, but these tiles are really parallel …
This is Fake Motion …
This effect is also completely weird. Just focus on the dot in the centre and then move your head backwards and forwards into the screen, then away – amazing eh?
These images are great fun, but they also serve to illustrate a more important point. What we perceive in everyday life including the judgements we make about people are often wrong because we see what we are conditioned to see; not what is really there. Remember the proverb about giving a dog a bad name? Well one example of how perception operates is that we naturally tend to expect the worst from people whose poor reputation precedes them.