Presence and perception

In the postHow much of what we see, we ’see’?,I had mentioned that we actually see a very small percentage of what we see physically; the remaining things are filled up by the mind from memory.

Close attention to details is a quality of creative minds and this is very much related to presence. Our minds are programmed to respond to triggers instantaneously; creating a chunk of thoughts followed by any trigger. Another trigger (unless it is too important to miss) that comes during this chunk is ignored. Sometimes the thoughts that follow the trigger are related to the trigger itself; so that the mind is possibly making up the same stuff that the missing trigger contained!

See the illustration below:

Fig 1: has a set of triggers that a mind is receiving

Fig 2: shows how a typical mind responds to the triggers. What is in blue is recognized by the mind. What is in yellow is the thoughts generated in the mind in response to the triggers. And the brown ones are the triggers missed out because of this thinking.

Fig 3: In the state of ‘presence’ or when one is mindful, the link between the trigger and the thoughts are severed (at least to a good extend). So more triggers are accepted. This means that the attention is more complete

Why is this superior? When the mind fills ups the missing details about an object, mind can’t resist being biased. There is an effort to make an object ‘what we would like it to be’. But when we are ‘present’, we see the object as it is. The object could be anything – a person, an event, a situation or a physical entity. The physical space you see in the image represents the space between thoughts.

Space between thoughts is called time.


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