Why do so few people perceive the whole? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Perhaps the question itself is a wrong (i.e., faulty) question. It may be that wholeness is simply “what is” beyond the dualistic, separative perception involving an “observer” and “that which is observed.”
Very few people are of wholeness, though (certainly) a good number think that they are. Most people are of fragmentation… perceiving from — and through — that fragmentation. We were taught, by elders, about how to perceive, how to react, and about what to believe in. We live in (and “as”) mental symbols; we accept those virtual-mental symbols as true realities. Most of us stay in the rut of that limitation, that conditioning, and remain that way until the day we die. Is that ever really living?
Throughout school, we were not encouraged to question things deeply; we were not encouraged to go beyond the accepted values and the accepted ways of perceiving things. Man, throughout the ages, evolved from animals; we (being so-called sophisticated animals) still harbor basic instincts for focusing on elemental parameters, (just like the animals do… only what we do is a bit more “sophisticated”). Few of us go beyond that. You could count those (living wholly) on one hand. What is the sound of one hand clapping?
Through eons of conditioning over generations, people are locked into reacting as they inevitably do. The following video, by Donald Hoffman, is worth a watch; it has its limitations, but it helps to illustrate some about what one has been saying for a long time. (With other of his video/audio sessions, one feels that he relies too much on old, fragmented, mathematical, and speculative approaches that can leave us merely analyzing ad infinitum.) Is, by the way, the watcher separate from the watched?
If one knows that one is meditating, meditation isn’t there. If one knows that one is whole, wholeness isn’t there. If one knows that one is humble, humility isn’t there. If one knows that one is quiet, quietness isn’t there. If one knows that one is spiritual, spirituality isn’t there. If one cultivates simplicity, simpleness isn’t there. If one cultivates perception, insight isn’t there.
True perception involves seeing the whole in a sensitive way without the contamination of isolated (taught, habitual) images. Distortion occurs when the supposed (but false) whole is seen fragmentarily through a mental screen of conditioning. For instance, it is in vogue to say that “I am one with the beauty of nature”… or to identify oneself in a special connection with magnificent, towering trees or a breathtaking mountain range. One fragmentary image, however, identifying itself with other images… is what it is: a sequence of fractional image making. (Few, by the way, identify themselves with people who are mentally or physically handicapped or with disappearing coral reefs; maybe if they observed them without a mere fractional center… more good things would get done). Real wholeness exists beyond the boundaries of thought. These boundaries include the fallacious center that feels in control of what are considered “subservient thoughts.” Thought/thinking projects this center as being separate from other thoughts and as being separate from what is perceived (through the screen of thought); this center has (and is) an essence of separation. Real wholeness does not put a separative, isolated image of a (fallacious) center on a psychological pedestal; real wholeness does not have a supposedly central image that merely identifies itself (at times) with other chosen, select images — like breathtaking mountains — while (at other times) it purports to be domineering over “other” images (whether they be internal or external) from a distance.
Most people don’t care deeply about true or deep perception; they have accepted crude, mundane ways, (and they continue to perceive through — and “as” — these mundane, superficial ways, without going deeply beyond them). In these banal, mundane ways, most inevitably get bored and feel unfulfilled, which is (obviously) due to clinging to the old and stale. They continue to cling to the old and stale ways, and they are afraid to let them go. Untold many, over centuries, have each relied on and believed in a domineering and manipulative center that is (supposedly) in charge of the rest of thinking… and the world remains in crisis; deep harmony rarely emerges out of distortion. The irony in this, unfortunately, is that most will not care to delve into this and transcend the fractional center; yet it is this very so-called center (because of its unnecessary friction and conflict) that keeps them in psychological isolation that is dull, lonely, distorted, second-hand, deceitful (and that is not dynamic while it creates a space of limitation that directly leads to boredom and inner sorrow). The serious mind that sees the falsity of such a center is, on the other hand, joyous, harmonious, original, whole, and beyond deep deception. Falsities are not just in some of the age-old, infantile beliefs of man; they go to the very essence of what consciousness entails. Transcending them is true liberation and bliss… not all that phony stuff.