Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Opinion

July 10, 2013

ROOT: What you perceive is what you get

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Life is all about perception. Where did that statement come from? It came from an onslaught of television I was watching when I should have been doing much more productive things. The first thing my wife and I watched was George Carlin’s last comedy special. You can say what you want about Carlin, but the man always knew how to put his cranky old man thoughts into words. In some instances, he was frighteningly accurate.

Then my wife and I did some more exploring on Netflix and discovered a show by National Geographic called “Is It True?” It is a show that presents as much objective evidence as possible to help debunk or support some of the more outrageous claims that people make on a regular basis. When you put those two television programs together, you get a better understanding of how perception can alter the way you look at the world.

A good example of what I am talking about is the afterlife. According to Carlin, there is no such thing as God, the afterlife or ghosts. The National Geographic show avoided the religious discussions and essentially stuck with insisting that ghosts are not real. When you put those two perceptions together, you get a pretty bleak outlook for the human condition after we pass away.

One of the experts on the National Geographic show said that seeing ghosts is a survival mechanism created by man to help us to feel as though there is more to life than just our mortal coil. In other words, the belief in ghosts allows us to feel as though we can survive death in some form.

I will give you a little more simplistic example of how perception alters the way we see the world. Do I believe that people are seeing UFOs all over the world? Yes, I do. But what does that mean? A UFO is an Unidentified Flying Object. That means that if you cannot identify something that is flying through the sky, then it is a UFO. So, do I believe in UFOs? Sure, everyone has seen one. Do I believe in little green men visiting our planet? No.

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