Can I possibly perceive my surrounding as it is?
What surrounds me, what I perceive in the environment, is usually interpreted in a certain way, based on my previous experience. Therefore, I associate everything I see, hear, smell, touch, and taste in a particular, subjective way. Can I perceive without associating, without judging, without the mental filter I usually use and perceive them “as it is”?
How about the self? The thoughts that I have in my mind create the self, or do them? In my experience, I have learned that the self is based on subjective perceptions of the world, like the surrounding. Other perceive me or my self as a different entity, based on their experience. I have seen my self as an individual of a particular race, gender, age, ethnicity, personality, with distinct interests, talents, biases, attitudes, etc. And I have started to wonder, how accurate is all of this? If I really think about it, it is all in my mind. I have chosen to create it based on what I have learned in my 30 plus years on this earth. I have fabricated the universe inside my mind. But…. what is really out there?
Is there an objective self? An objective surrounding? If I somehow accomplish to perceive the surrounding and the self as they really are, will I cease to be human? Or will I become a new self, or the “real self”? Some would call this “enlightenment” or “salvation”. Saved from what? Perhaps from the illusion I have created in my mind.
Is it possible to deny the self? Jesus taught we could and should in order to “follow Him”. Buddha also taught that the self is an illusion. Hinduism also assumes that the world we perceive is an illusion.
Are we truly individuals? Are we somehow connected to each other but don’t know it yet? Maybe to be united with God, Nirvana, heaven, or whatever you want to call it, is to experience the self and the surrounding “as it is”. Without bias. Without interpretation. Without association. Just as it is.
Is this possible?