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When most people are observing an animal, they are really not (usually) seeing purely without contamination.  They usually are looking with (and “as”) images and labels of the organism… images and labels that are constantly being modified, changed, added to, and rearranged.  Their seeing is not pure seeing per se but is more a part of a process of categorization, image-recognition, and processing.

When most people observe, there is a separative space between the perceiver and the perceived.   In a very wise mind, however, in pure observing, there is no separate perceiver merely categorizing, merely engaging in image-recognition, and processing… and there is no separative space involved.  Perception beyond learned accumulation does not merely continue to contribute to a learned accumulative process.  Deep perception, then, is not merely reacting but, instead, is something entirely different.  Profound perception is far deeper than mere superficial reacting.  Real perception involves completeness, non-fragmentation, and timelessness.   That may be what real mindfulness, real meditation consists of… and not all of that childish, practiced, self-hypnotic stuff.

Perception immersed only with (and “as”) reaction and accumulation is incapable of great depth and profundity.  Perception beyond mere reactions and accumulative processes is immense and profound.   Looking as a totally separate “perceiver” isolates and separates in a very crude and barbaric way.   A man who, as a separate perceiver, is looking at “his fear” tends to see that fear from a separative distance, even though, in reality, he actually is the fear (not something separate from it at any distance whatsoever).  Ignorance must end for true psychological order to exist.  Only true psychological order can really be mindful in the deepest sense.  Unintelligence, false (learned) separation, and a lack of compassion are all one pitiful thing.



Observing Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

14 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Nice shot of a GBH. Oops! That’s a label.

    Wild things seem to visit my life so that I can tell their stories. In one of the stories I wrote recently, a female cactus saves the day. 😁


  2. Beautiful bird – I’ve never seen one with breeding plumage like this, it’s glorious. I wish I could say I’ve experienced nature (or anything, really), without the intervening labels, concepts, and interruptions. That said, I believe I know what you mean by this other order of experience.


  3. Despite being surrounded by great blue herons, I’ve never seen one in such a golden light. It’s a beautiful photo, Tom, and very unusual.


  4. Very thought provoking piece, Tom. Especially this… “Real perception involves completeness, non-fragmentation, and timelessness. That may be what real mindfulness, real meditation consists of…” Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos with us! So very interesting.


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