Filters on Perception Revisited

By George A. Boyd © 2020

Q: What makes people’s perceptions of the world so different?

A: There are seven major filters that operate in the mind. These are:

  1. Neurological filter – Neurons grow and interconnect based on your experiences and learning.
  2. Subconscious memory filter – You sift perception through what you have experienced, and relate the events of your lives to what you already know.
  3. Intellectual filter – You learn certain things about the world through your education and study. Those who learn different things make different models of the world.
  4. Philosophical filter – When you inquire about life’s deep mysteries in your quest for meaning, your intuition may give you answers unique to you.
  5. Veil of the causal body (Karmic filter) – These are the patterns of your karma that give rise to the issues and challenges that color your perception of what is possible to attain and achieve.
  6. Focal point of meditation (attentional filter) – The content you experience in meditation depends on where you focus your attention. For example, you experience different content if you focus your attention on the Moon Soul nucleus of identity than when you focus on the Supracosmic seed atom of a Supracosmic Path.
  7. Cosmological contextual filter – Depending on the personal or spiritual essence with which you identify, the level of the Continuum of Consciousness in which you appear to dwell conditions what archetypes or dimensional strata of the mind you perceive. The possibilities of knowledge (what you can know), love and virtue (how you relate to others), and ability (what you can do in that perspective) vary between different cosmological contexts.

These seven filters make you an individual unlike anyone else. But despite your individuality, there are things that you do share with others.

For example, sometimes you will share common experiences and learning with others, or your intuition gives you the same answers that others hold. Perhaps you are meditating on the same spiritual Path as someone else, and identify with the same spiritual essence.

While you do have these shared, overlapping experiences, there are many aspects that are unique to you.

We suggest that you contemplate each of these filters to notice how it influences your perception. Then consider, what would you experience if that filter weren’t there? [For number six, consider what you might behold if you placed your attention on another level of the Great Continuum of Consciousness, on another spiritual Path than the one you currently know.]

In one of the modules of our intermediate mediation programs, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program, we have our students do chants from different spiritual traditions, so they can glimpse alternate zones of the Great Continuum of Consciousness, where different groups perform their spiritual practices.

If you are an open-minded explorer of your inner worlds, you may be able to discover how others perceive the world as they do—and how this perspective may be startlingly different than the one you embrace. You also then discover how their perception colors their values, beliefs, attitudes, and behavior, and makes them the unique individuals they are.

As you behold them embedded within their contexts of relationships, the groups to which they belong, and the worldview that they embrace, you can begin to grasp the complex filters through which they orient themselves to reality—and create a vision of the world so very different than your own.

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