When was the last time someone told you something that influenced and shaped your experience?
Do you find yourself being aware of this as it plays itself out?
We often think of ourselves as rationale coherent beings, experiencing the world through our lens of truth. We trust in our thoughts and emotions, believe that our perception is unerring, and value our discernment and judgement.
What we don't know is that much of what shapes our experience and perception is concepts that were planted long, long ago. Most of which we didn't even know were being planted.
Take my two year old as an example. My wife said she didn't like chicken pot pie. My daughter parroted her taste preferences, yet she has never had chicken pot pie. We have yet to find out how long this biased perception lasts.
Chicken pot pie isn't much of a big deal. It doesn't really matter if you like mustard or not, or if you prefer skim over whole milk.
But what about your concepts about race, sexual orientation and religion? What about your views about money, politics and human rights?
Most of what we call our ideas, opinions and preferences have been fed to us. Most often, we don't dissect and analyze those preferences too much, we think we came to them through our own merits.
Part of waking up means no longer trusting your own biased perception. You need to recognize that your perception is biased, that is a starting point. Your view isn't to be held onto. Your position isn't to be fortified. All of that is confusion. We are confused.
Once you know that we are confused, then you can start the process of right view, right intention, right discernment. First, you need to be honest with yourself. Then you can start to be honest with others, and things get better.