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Aldous Huxley on our own perception of ourselves Options
 
Nydex
#1 Posted : 10/7/2019 8:48:05 PM

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In his famous and brilliantly written "The Doors of Perception", Aldous Huxley says the following:
Quote:
To see ourselves as others see us is a most salutary gift. Hardly less important is the capacity to see others as they see themselves.

It seems to me that the second part of what he said is far easier to interpret. To see others as they see themselves in a way means to not slap labels, judge, weigh, measure, decorate, characterize or re-define others at all. It means to give them the same thing we ourselves wish everyone gave - the right to be whoever and whatever you are, without having to conform to different doctrines and align oneself with the expectations and standards of society. We're all different, but in a way, we're all the same. So to see others as they see themselves means to just accept them as who they are. Whether we're perceiving their true self or not won't be evident at first, but does it really matter? What matters is consciously putting ourselves in the position of just accepting people for who they are, without judging them or trying to change them in a way that is more closely aligned with our understanding, principles, and desires.

I pondered on the first part for a long time, and I can't seem to be able to explain to myself what he means. Over the years I feel like I've gravitated (consciously or not) towards the belief that the way others see me is an unobtainable perspective - something that only they will possess; something external; something "foreign".

On one hand, if we are not being true to ourselves, and are wearing masks all the time while among others, to see ourselves as others see us will create an inner conflict that will confuse the mind and fragment identity. When we play different characters in front of different audiences the result more often than not is a multi-faceted image of our position and role in every separate scenario. From the attempt of the ego to perceive that image (having in mind it usually "believes" that it's a singular compact unit instead of many different egos in one) in order to give shape and texture to our perceived identity, results a damp and sticky coat of unsettling confusion, and a feeling creeps up that we are fake, and have strayed away from the true path of the self.

On the other hand, if we are being true to ourselves, and we play no character that disobeys the inner frequency and behavioral patterns that come naturally, there is no guarantee that others are going to perceive us in the same way, which puts is in the same spot of uncertainty and paradox. So does Aldous mean that we should view other people as mirrors, and observe our own reflection based on their perspective?

I'm getting all tangled up in trying to decipher what he means, and I have the sensation that it's important to pay attention to that specific line of his writings.

Please share your thoughts and how you interpret and understand it.

Thanks! Love
Break free from the chains of your beliefs. It is only then that you may find a moment of blissful stillness amidst the raging storm. Stay awhile and listen. The winds of truth shall fill your sails, and the oceans of hidden and long forgotten knowledge, ancient as the cosmos itself, will be yours to explore.
Quote:
O, supreme beings of the higher realms, allow me to venture into your dimensions. I come with love and with harmony. I bring no hatred and carry no malevolence in my soul. I come to learn and to grow. Show me your world and gift me some of your knowledge. Ask me, and I shall answer with honesty; hug me, and I shall hug you back; advise me, and I shall follow your wisdom. Heal me from my fear and give me insight. There is little I can offer back but my love and trust. O, supreme beings of the higher realms... I am yours.
 

Trippy glass for trippy people.
 
FranLover
#2 Posted : 10/7/2019 10:47:35 PM

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I think what he is saying is that to see ourselves as others see us is a gift, cause what they say is almost always true; most times people we dislike or who dislike us will grant us the truest picture of who we are. Since they dont care about us or hurting our feelings their criticism will be based on negative facts of us which we deny or that others, friends and family, dont want to bring up; character flaws which now being out in the open we can begin to correct.

This happens because of the second point; we think of ourselves as much more generous, handsome, and inteligent than what we actually are. This optimism of spirit has its place.

Being that people look at themselves so highly what one needs to do to live in peace in relationships is to see others as they see themselves. Crazy people never think they are crazy. To call someone crazy who is crazy is only to bring about a headache. They wont think it, they actually think they are smarter than you! Ignorance is very arrogant. By telling them what you think of them you get on their bad side and turn someone who could otherwise be an ally into a foe. So the key is to treat others as they see themselves. Reflect that illusion on to them. People will fall in love with you unaware that all you are doing is acting as a false mirror. This you can see when a rock band goes to a country and says "Chileans/brazilians/indians are the best crowd in the world!" People dont see it as pandering or fake because they actually think they are the best crowd in the world in that moment! Since most of us do the opposite, and do what we feel, say what we want, the person who has the power to see others as they see themselves is a unique and powerful player in the world because people desire to be given the benefit of the doubt, to have people tell them how good they are, how couragous, how smart, etc.
I never lived at all
until the thrill of that moment!
When my heart stood still.
 
332211
#3 Posted : 10/8/2019 2:28:54 AM

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"To see ourselves as others see us is a most salutary gift. Hardly less important is the capacity to see others as they see themselves."

This quote is deep as the ocean. First of all, to see faults in others is easy, right? So to see oneself with the eyes of another means to see all of ones shortcomings. Hopefully one can see them in a compassionate way.

This usually is not very easy. So everybody is dilluded on the one or other shortcoming and... is oblivious about them. So to see others as they see themselves means, to see and understand them in their deluded way of thinking/acting. Which gives one the key to understand them and, maybe, give them a practical hint to understand the WHY a bit better.
 
Nydex
#4 Posted : 10/8/2019 8:18:32 PM

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FranLover wrote:
I think what he is saying is that to see ourselves as others see us is a gift, cause what they say is almost always true; most times people we dislike or who dislike us will grant us the truest picture of who we are. Since they dont care about us or hurting our feelings their criticism will be based on negative facts of us which we deny or that others, friends and family, dont want to bring up; character flaws which now being out in the open we can begin to correct.

I would agree with that were it not for its obvious shortcoming that other people's judgment is more often than not based on insufficient evidence and represents only their shallow understanding and perception of who you are.

One of the things I find very peculiar in human nature is our inclination to assume. Tomorrow when you go out and about your day, take mental notes of how many times do you assume something about someone you pass by on the street. Be it based on how they look, how they smell, in what way they speak, or what sort of vibe they exude in that particular moment. You'll most likely find that you assume what they are, and you often attribute different models of behavior to their character. But that is not always true. We are constantly undergoing change. One moment is never the same as the one before it or the one after it. Along with those moments, environments, emotions and companions, we change too. So the assumptions that are assigned to us by others bear little credibility. Besides, if they feel negative emotions towards you and are ready to point their finger out and list all the bad traits of your character, why would you even consider what they're saying? That's like giving a stage to the hateful, ignorant person.

How then do we trust that the way others see us is truly how we are? To quote Charles Addams:
Quote:
What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.


FranLover wrote:
So the key is to treat others as they see themselves. Reflect that illusion on to them. People will fall in love with you unaware that all you are doing is acting as a false mirror.

Hmmm, I'm not sure I feel that way. Here's why:

If you are in a situation where someone who is near and dear to you is slowly but surely falling into a bottomless pit of addiction for example, and they are unaware of it, and they feel they're perfectly in control and know what they're doing, if you just replicate that illusion you are effectively sitting back and watching them destroy their life. I'm not saying you should go and lock them up, drown them in their abstinence and then beat your chest that you've saved them. What I'm saying is that sometimes you need to be honest and open to others. In fact, the way I see it, there's only a handful of situations where it's better to just carry on the illusion and watch from a distance.

Arguing with an obviously and proudly ignorant person is one of those situations. Some people are still asleep and are not ready to be awakened. We all know what it is like arguing with an idiot. Just move on, and when the time is ripe, their revelation will come in one form or another.

But being dishonest all the time just so people fall in love with you...that I don't understand. Why do you need their love so much? Seneca once said something on this topic:
Quote:
Ask yourself why you take pleasure in being praised by men whom you yourself cannot praise.

Then you can ask yourself why you need praise at all. For one who is complete and in harmony does not need praise. One, in whom virtues thrive, needs not have his sense of worth increased at all.

What you said is employed by most of the modern trade world. All kinds of vendors, businessmen and tricksters employ that exact method in luring you in on the deal. So if you said it as the key to manage doing well inside the sick society that gave birth to this abominable system, then yes, I agree.

But it being the key to true behavior that is according to your own nature - I can't agree with that. Something I read on the internet 6-7 years ago changed my life completely. I hit a dead-end in my life and I went through some transformations, and it's then that I really thought about what I had read. I then employed it in my daily life, and it's had a marvelous impact...Here's what it said:
Quote:
The way you treat others is not a response to who they are, but a representation of who YOU are.

So that's how I think we should go about this. Think of how you treat others, no matter the situation, and over time you'll accumulate enough "data" to paint a picture of who you really were in the past, and who you really are right now. Having that data you can make changes that your future self can reap happily. Deeds are what weigh heavily on the scales of life, not words.

I personally always choose to be totally honest with everyone. I've hurt many people over the course of my life, including ones in my family, but that is the price one has to pay for honesty to be on the table. Is it worth it? I don't know. I might have missed many opportunities because of my honesty. But at the end of the day, I prefer having a clear mind and a good night's sleep instead of benefit from being dishonest. That's why I have a very, very tiny circle of friends outside my family. Two people, to be precise.

I don't know if I make any sense to you, but I hope I do. Smile
Break free from the chains of your beliefs. It is only then that you may find a moment of blissful stillness amidst the raging storm. Stay awhile and listen. The winds of truth shall fill your sails, and the oceans of hidden and long forgotten knowledge, ancient as the cosmos itself, will be yours to explore.
Quote:
O, supreme beings of the higher realms, allow me to venture into your dimensions. I come with love and with harmony. I bring no hatred and carry no malevolence in my soul. I come to learn and to grow. Show me your world and gift me some of your knowledge. Ask me, and I shall answer with honesty; hug me, and I shall hug you back; advise me, and I shall follow your wisdom. Heal me from my fear and give me insight. There is little I can offer back but my love and trust. O, supreme beings of the higher realms... I am yours.
 
FranLover
#5 Posted : 10/10/2019 8:02:38 AM

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1. Imagine being fat and never thinking of changing, because one hadnt noticed one was fat, until a bully shames one and this inspires one to become healthier, based not on shame but on the revelation of the fact that indeed one is overweight and could do better.

2. One personally doesn't lie or manipulate people, adores Seneca's truth, and doesnt care for praise or esteem, so one agrees with your ethics=) However, truthfully times were rough in the past. If appealing to a boss or master's vanity meant your family would eat and you would not be hanged, then it may be the correct approach. To be honest with anyone above you doesnt work, you can lose your job, your life, or the life of loved one's. There are consequences for telling people in power what you think of them. But you garner their affection if you tell them what they think about themselves.

One thinks thats what he was refering to, but one can be totally off though =)

Entertain this idea; to delude people just a tiny bit can at times be an empathic persuit, as in the case of romantic love where lovers tell eachother "you are the most beautiful man/woman I have ever seen," etc. It may not be true, but its true in the moment, and more importantly, its what the other person wants to hear, needs to hear, and cant get it from anywhere or anyone else. Hence by saying what people want to hear you satisfy an important need in people's lives. Its good work and someones got to do it.
I never lived at all
until the thrill of that moment!
When my heart stood still.
 
FranLover
#6 Posted : 10/10/2019 8:28:22 AM

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332211 wrote:
So everybody is dilluded on the one or other shortcoming and... is oblivious about them. So to see others as they see themselves means, to see and understand them in their deluded way of thinking/acting. Which gives one the key to understand them and, maybe, give them a practical hint to understand the WHY a bit better.


Thats what I think Huxley meant ! 👍👏
I never lived at all
until the thrill of that moment!
When my heart stood still.
 
 
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