“Of course the bird we see and hear exists. It exists, but what I mean by that may not be exactly what you mean.” -Shunryu Suzuki Roshi
the state of being or process of becoming aware of something through the senses.
a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.
It is our axis, our control center, our guide to the constant stream of information flooding our senses at any given moment. In growth and development of our senses, we are shown, guided and told what this is to that and that to this, this chair is made for sitting, not climbing, this word is bad, that action is good, you are this compared to them, you should do this rather than that, the list goes on. We develop associations so as to easier categorize information and evaluate our surroundings. What many of us fail to remember is that these categories and assignments are often subjective and flexible. We are capable of reshaping and reassigning that which we have already been predisposed. I feel the difficulty is in backing out of the recognition in the first place. To recognize is to categorize and one must first perceive in order to categorize. We must first disregard our original perceptions in order to make room for others. We must learn to un-see, which is to let go of a foundation we have likely based many of our values upon. What a terrifying thought; to take this all away. What shall crumble in the absence of these things we know to be true?
This is when I dare ask myself instead, what might grow in response to its absence?