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Just as a ‘road map’ is not actually place that it depicts, our experience of reality is not always the same as reality itself.
What we believe, often based upon what we hear, see and feel, is based upon our impressions and perceptions, and how those experiences are programmed within our brain from the input or data received externally through our senses. Now that was a long sentence, so let’s say that again.
How we ‘see’ the outside world is based completely upon how we interpret the sensory input that we receive through our senses, and the pre-programmed association and responses that we have learned to act upon.
The process of neurological ‘wiring’ is influenced by a range of things, including internal filters that subtly, and often not so subtly, change the ‘history’ or ‘actuality’ of an event, creating a different internal memory of the ‘reality’ or what happened. In other words the human mind often creates variations on reality that do not necessarily mirror reality itself.
This is precisely why one person’s pleasure can be another person’s pain, why one person’s fascination can be another’s boredom. More importantly, it is why two people with a similar education, upbringing, opportunities and circumstances can achieve such diverse results in their lives. It is not the ‘territory’ with which we interact, but our filtered ‘perception’ of the territory, or our map of assumed reality. What is of use to you, may be perceived as being of absolutely no use to me, and vice versa.
This also explains why the same opportunity can knock on the door of a number of people, and yet only one or two of them will embrace its potential. It also accounts for why some people can be convinced of the reality of an event that either never took place, or in ‘reality’ or ‘Historical’ terms, consisted of a completely different set of actual events or circumstances.
This process can radically affect a person's self-esteem and self-image. It is not unusual for people to ' see' themselves in a poor light, even though those around them ' see' someone who is completely different, highly valued, appreciated and as a loved friend, colleague, wife, husband, mother, child, father etc.
I always say, "Never confuse your nature with what you have been nurtured to become,” because social conditioning has a lot to answer for, in terms of false programming, beliefs, values and opinions.