Doors of Perception
It’s nearly impossible to change others’ perceptions of anything – of you, your favorite food, political candidate, TV programme or other pastime…in politics, from the blindness of arch-Zionist Alan Dershowitz to Gilad Atzmon’s refreshing analysis of Jewish identity politics, to the public’s perceptions of President Obama when they elected him and now.
by Paul Balles
A few years ago, I was fascinated by this very short story:
One day a man opened the garage door, which startled a large butterfly. It flew immediately to its perceived escape, the circle-topped window where it frantically tried to exit through the invisible wall of closed glass.
The man raised the third-car garage door in hopes of aiding its escape. This caused the butterfly to fly higher and higher and become entangled in a spider web.
Fearful that it would remain entangled in the web, the man selected a long-handled broom to assist him escaping the tangled threads.
At this, the butterfly returned to furiously pumping his wings and banging into the glass, which was, in his perspective, the pathway of escape, but remained his cage.
That story had me thinking about how much the butterfly’s behaviour was a paradigm for human behaviour.
Not only butterflies have the problem of seeing new solutions. It’s a challenge that applies to all creatures large and small, including humans.
We only see what we want to see. We want to see what we already know. Realizations like these have fed the spread of the cliché “thinking outside of the box”.
The spread of the cliché highlights the fact that it’s nearly impossible to change other’s perceptions of anything–of you, your favourite food, political candidate, TV programme or other pastime without a complete change in the way they think.
Aldous Huxley, author of The Doors of Perception, wrote “There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.”
The significance of both the story and Huxley’s comment is illustrated by another Huxley note: “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”
For instance, the ideas that one has about the Israeli-Palestinian problem are incomprehensible to writers and commentators who have never visited Israel and Palestine.
Even those who have visited Israel with guides will have their perceptions pre-ordained to fit those of the guides,
This explains why American congress people who have been on sponsored trips to Israel, but not to Palestine, have opened the doors of perception to only Israel.
“There are quiet places also in the mind. But we build bandstands and factories on them. Deliberately-—to put a stop to the quietness,” wrote Huxley.
In short, we resist opportunities to see things differently, to expand our visions beyond the familiar.
It is impossible for arch Zionists like Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz to see that Gilad Atzmon in The Wandering Who? is prying open visions of Jewish identities of which Dershowitz can’t conceive.
What makes Atzmon’s awakening so difficult for some to understand is that it takes one outside the ordinary open doors of perception.
In America, President Obama’s major problem is also one of perception. He needs to recall the public’s perception of him when they elected him.
Instead, he has been trying to change others’ perception of him by being the negotiator with people who refuse to negotiate.
Obama was elected by voters who have no power other than the power to vote. He has been trying to please those in power only to be perceived as a weakling by both those in power and the voters.
Wrote William Blake, “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.”
We need to learn to see what others see, know what others know and feel what others feel.
A rare and very interesting 1958 — interview from the author of “Brave New World” and ‘Enemies Of Freedom’ on the Chris Wallace show.
Aldous Huxley interview-1958
Warns of media monopoly etc.
1958 admits to that which politicians today deny- that Britain has a Constitution!
Scary interview, now that we can see that, he was right.
December 26, 2011 – 7:26 am
Truly well presented, Paul. I offer the only thing that makes absolute sense in world of bleeped up perception;
“Socrates taught that we should analyze and question every belief that we hold dear, and if a certain belief does not pass the tests, it should not only be discarded, but the thinker should question why he was led into a false belief in the first place. All of us should question why we believe what we do about everything. “ Of course such a deep, personal analysis must first overcome perception; takes will and reason.
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December 26, 2011 – 8:53 pm
Yep! Well said Tom.
Logic should stand of its own accord, without support of race, religion or creed, but sometimes fancy robes, crowns and titles, displayed in the appropriate places attract focus and give a boost to the credibility of the message, particularly questionable messages, and are too frequently applied as props, endorsements or false indications of veracity.
Where are modern-day battles fought? Not on the ground nor in the air nor on the seas. Read Jeff Gates’ Today’s Ancient Warfare: Facts vs. Beliefs
The mindset is the primary theater of operations. The first battlefield is the public’s shared field of consciousness. Deceit is not new to warfare. What’s new is the reach of the technologies-including modern media technologies-that now enable deception on a global scale.
Unconventional warfare is waged “upstream” with the assistance of those with the means, motive and opportunity to massage consensus opinion.
The death and destruction come later.
Wars are won by those skilled at creating consensus opinions.
Log in to Reply DaveE
December 26, 2011 – 10:22 am
This is ridiculous. I never saw The Beatles, but I know they were a good band. I never visited a Cherokee reservation, but I know why they’re there. I’ve never been to China, but I know why they dislike Americans. Never been to Australia, either, but I know it gets pretty hot.
Never been to Isra-hell, either, but I still know what racism, ethnic cleansing, organized crime, fairness and decency are.
I also know MY PERCEPTIONS have changed radically since the time I was, say 17 or so. If I can change, adapt, find new solutions, new viewpoints, etc. I’m pretty sure others can, too.
It may not happen as fast or as frequently as you (or I ) would like, but it HAPPENS somewhere, every nanosecond of every minute of every day.
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Paul J. Balles
December 26, 2011 – 3:11 pm
We’re deluded into thinking that we can change our perceptions because we have changed some. The proof that your thinking is a delusion comes when you reveal that you can’t perceive what others do.
Log in to Reply rexw
December 26, 2011 – 2:52 pm
Interesting interview. The comments on birth control, emphasis on the use of drugs, the future, his references to George Orwell’s 1984, personality promotions and money for election campaigns, subliminal messages, irrational choices in advertising, the Russian class distinctions and on.
I think Huxley was a very clever person but not what you call a lively speaker. Perhaps that was the style in those days.
He has tempted me to read “Brave New World”
Perhaps he would have been pleased with “V for Vendetta” as an indication of the direction we are following.
As a relatively recent ‘migrant’ to the USA from the UK, he was somewhat cautious in his comments I thought, even then in 1958. These days he would not be too pleased in the way his adopted country had become a slave to a foreign state but would have seen the similarities to the days of Joseph Goebbels’ creation of propaganda and the current Jewish-owned media, particularly Murdoch with his ‘dumbing down of democracy’ with the willing cooperation of the compliant American public.
One could be sure that Aldous Huxley with his ‘perceptions’ for the future would have have seen those ‘predictions’ well on the way in 2011
Log in to Reply bpete1969
December 26, 2011 – 9:20 pm
Two thoughts on perceptions:
1. You can put puppies in the oven but that don’t make em biscuits..
Dig down through all the political correctness, the spin, the fancy package and you got what you got. Things are what they are and have to be dealt with as they are..no what ifs or but onlys.
2. “Second place is the first loser”..Dale Ernhardt
You can hand out medals, put someone on the dias and clap for them but close only counts in horse shoes, atom bombs and farts.
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December 27, 2011 – 5:02 am
Doors of Perception
US Citizens see me as a bad, mentally ill person that exhibits signs of danger to the public. My head injury (TBI) and my PTSD are two of my four service connected disabilities that the VA has stopped my medical care for. My letters followed by ignorant comments gives the public a perception that reinforces the power of the government to continue stopping my medical care. I did in the beginning expect support from other veterans that perceive life from the experience that has been there and came back alive. These are the men and women perceived with silent demons that the public sees as wasted homeless citizens to lazy to achieve life’s goals the VA rejected to keep the budget for pet projects. Men and women that gave their lives for the USA perceived in this way. I stand with my hand out to these and any citizen, as a volunteer because helping others is my continued battle to make life back here in the USA better for all.
Any person, citizen of the USA must at all times retain the right to question and publicly take on the NH Supreme Court. The NH SC can never be allowed to refuse to take a case of a brother Attorney/Judge criminally violating the Constitution to enable government officials to take for their own personal gain from local resident with out compensation. Government retribution to stop public opinion of wrongs by the NH SC can never be censored by the news media. To stop a one hundred percent disabled US Military person’s medical care, as retribution cannot be tolerated. Civilized society to refuse to communicate with a disabled person as fear is a forced perception to enable a government cover-up. The question goes, bad person or a medically deprived US Marine being created as a danger to the public to alienate and invoke? The perception is ours.
How can the news media be given the right to censor the words of a US Military person asking the USA for help? Perception gives them to right to care for the safety of the public over the lives of all those we send of to fight on foreign soil that have the tenacity to come back alive. Perception gives rejection and reticule to power to let our government not see the wrongs bequeathed on the disabled coming back. A welcome home as a discharge into a society civilized enough to see danger to the public as a way to justify any perception the news media wants to place on us.
The perception my letters ramble on and make no rational since leads to the danger one has to see. Under the Americans with disabilities act what perception can the public get from the danger of letting the government use a 100% combat related disabled veteran/s medical care to stop free speech. You should see the bad in me because that is what they want you to see through the doors of preceptiion.
Peter Macdonald Sgt USMC Semper fi
465 Packers falls rd Lee NH 03824 603-659-6217