We Perceive, and Then Believe

I don’t know about you, but if I inadvertently walk into a spider web, or step in dog poop, my impulse is to get it off as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Why is the same not true for wayward ideas, made up threats and prejudices we blunder into? Clearly we are bound by our frames, blinded by the bubbles we inhabit, conditioned by what we see, even if that’s an optical illusion.

The most obvious example, steeped in misperception, the Sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening. Seems obvious and undeniable, and our ancestors can’t be blamed for succumbing to this illusion, but the fact is the earth is spinning, and our orientation of the sun coming and going is a fabrication.

There are countless similar constructs in daily life that fail to register as odd. Fake news, so to speak. How much more is this true with the projections and propaganda that pass as settled knowledge. There is probably a protective rationale for errant world building, but so much trust is abused by these faulty mechanisms in our consciousness.

Of course I’m talking about grifters, scammers, publicists and master manipulators, but it extends to the realms of supposedly innocent untruths, the Santa Clauses, Easter Bunnies, Stars, and Supernatural Being we invest with power and dominion over our lives.  While we’re taking stock, might as well add lies of nationalism and tribalism, and all preconceptions that fuel violence and hate.

We perceive, and then believe. Why do we accept such shibboleths? Even when our view is totally wrong objectively, we act as if our actions and opinions are clear and ordained. “The Hill I’m willing to Die on…” Uncertainty, doubt, and skepticism are taken as signs of weakness in our culture, yet to paraphrase the famous saying- never have so many been so wrong about so much.  

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  • The Rock Man...

    “Say, what’s happening with you, boy? You been goofing with the bees?

    – Gosh, who are you?

    It’s me, the Rock Man.

    – I never saw a rock man before.

    Well, us stone folks are everywhere, just open your eyes and look around you.

    – You mean there are more of you?

    Naturally, baby. There’s a whole family of us rock folk.

    – Well, I was wondering if this is still the Pointless Forest.

    It isn’t, Jack, they ain’t nothin’ pointless about this gig, just look around yourself, the birds singing sweet loves song to the trees, squirrels doing crazy digs all over the place. Mother Nature, she watchin’
    over the whole scene, and dig me, taking it all in.

    – Yeah, but…

    It’s the here and now that I’m talkin’ about, the smell of sweet life in the air. It’s the warm feel of the sun and the beat of music, just digging yourself.

    – But, I can’t see the…

    Well, you see what you want to see.

    Tell me, did you ever see a dinosaur?

    – No.

    Well, did you ever see a pterodactyl?

    – No.

    Well, did you ever want to see a pterodactyl?

    – I guess not.

    Well, that’s it, you see what you want to see, and you hear what you want to hear.

    – Gosh, Mr. Stone Man…

    It’s Rock Man, Jim. You gotta keep yourself in historical prospective.

    – I mean Mr. Rock Man, well, you see…

    (laughs) Come on, boy. Out with it, don’t get yourself all racked up and jammed, you got a question? Lay it on me, but let it out easy.

    – It’s just that everything’s been happening so fast. We were banished and then those bees.

    I can dig it, I can dig it, yes. Look, let me hip you to reality.

    – I’d really rather know if this is still the Pointless Forest.

    (laughs) Now, there you go again, pointless, that’s the central issue of what I’m putting down for you cats.

    – Huh?

    You gotta open your mind as well as your eyes, but first, you gotta get it together, you know, be cool, dig yourself. Get the message? Now, here’s the lick. You don’t have to have a point to have a point, dig? Now, I fear you’ve been getting some negative vibration from some place. You gotta collect yourself, be cool, be steady as a rock. (laughs)

    – Steady as a rock?

    That’s right, being a rock is a very heavy life. Us rock folk are impervious to heat. We stay cool, we’re insusceptible to water, and that’s cool, too.

    – But, when it rains, isn’t it true that even stones…

    Now there you go again. You’re tensing up. Rain, oh yeah, sure, maybe rain turn a tree into a water log. Sometimes rain make a river lose its flood control, but a rock in the rain is just cool, very cool.

    – Boy, I never realized that rocks and stones were so…

    All you gotta do is open your mind along with your eyes. Now, you gotta long road, son, so you remember what I say, okay?

    – Oh, I will Mr. Rock Man, I will.

    Play it easy, and remember as you make it through this forest, ain’t necessary to posses a point, to have yourself a point.

    – I’ll remember that.

    Yeah, well I think I’m gonna take myself a short nod, you roll by this way again, just fall in, I’m only a stone’s throw…


    Scene from The Point

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