Perception – Part 4

Compensatory Advantage in Sense Perception

In some persons, the sense of hearing is more developed than the sense of sight. Judges have acute hearing. Commanders-in-chief have acute sight. The profession itself forces them to develop the particular sense. Blind people have acute sense of hearing. If one Sense is defective, nature compensates by developing more another Sense. One of my friends knows of a blind man who can feel the nature of the color by mere touch.

Speech is even the sight of the Soul. Speech means here sound, the object of the sense of hearing. When this sense is enlightened, reflection is produced in the mind. By the mind effort to obtain external thing is made; for by the mind one sees, one hears. When one, at a time at night in the dark, cannot distinguish where sound arises (be it the neighing of horses or the braying of donkeys or the barking of dogs), he resorts there whence speech proceeds.

Super-sensory Perception

It is the mind that really sees, tastes, smells, hears and feels. When you begin to think of the picture of GOD with closed eyes, it is through the mind’s eye that you see the picture. An occultist can dispense with his physical, fleshy eyes and can see directly with his mind. A devotee, being one with GOD, sees directly with the eye of seed-body. A Self Realized person sees with the eye of Knowledge of Soul.

How Soul Perceives

In the mind, will and sight are separate. In pure subconscious mind, will and seeing are one; will and sight are combined and no longer, as in the case of mind, separated from each other. Soul does not need fourfold mind (mind, intellect, ego and subconscious mind) to sense, think and reason. Soul does not need eyes to see. He is self-luminous. He gives light to everything. He imparts light to fourfold mind. He gives light and power to the Senses. He is a mass of knowledge. He knows everything through Self-knowledge. He sees within Himself through Self-knowledge the whole universe as His own.

How to Perceive Soul

Soul is not an object. It is to be felt by direct spiritual cognition. Knowledge of Soul (Existence or Truth Absolute) comes through feeling and meditation (spiritual experience, direct perception) wherein the seer, sight and seen merge into the one existence like the bubble in the ocean.

Learning on Perception ends with this part. Hope it thrown some light on our current perception of the world! 🙂


Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

Perception – Part 3

Mind Alone Creates Differences

The eyes present before the mind some forms or images. It is the mind that creates good and bad forms. It says, This is good. This is ugly. This is beautiful. Here comes bondage and trouble. Good and bad, ugly and beautiful are pure mental creations. If mind can create, it can destroy also. Similarly, the ears bring some sound vibrations before the mind. It is the mind that says: This is praise. This is censure. Eyes and ears are not to be blamed at all. They are innocent. Mind causes the mischief.

Mental Cognition Takes Place Serially

Mind can think of only limited things. Mind cannot think of greenness without thinking of a green object. Mind is without parts, divisions, compartments. It can have only one idea at a time. The human mind has the power of attending to only one object at a time, although it is able to pass from one object to another with a marvelous degree of speed, so rapidly in fact, that some point it could grasp several things at a time. Mind is a gate-keeper or guard who can allow only one person, one kind of sense-vibration at a time into the mental factory. You cannot hear and see at the same time. The mind can have only one idea at a time. But it moves with such tremendous lightning speed that an ordinary man thinks that he can have several ideas at a time.

Perception through the finite mind or cognition or experience takes place serially and not simultaneously. Simultaneous knowledge can only be had in Samadhi (Self Realized State) where past and future merge in the present. Only a Yogin will have simultaneous knowledge. A man of the world with a finite mind can have only knowledge in succession. Two thoughts, however closely related to each other, cannot exist at the same time. The nature of the internal organism prevents our having more than one aspect of an object at each instant presented to consciousness. Though several objects may come in contact simultaneously with the different sense-organs, yet the mind acts like a gatekeeper who can admit only one person at a time through the gate. The mind can send only one kind of sensation at a time into the mental factory inside for the manufacture of a decent percept and a nice concept.

When the mind gives attention and is attached to the sense of sight, it can only see. It cannot hear. It cannot hear and see at the same time. It is everybody’s daily experience. When your mind is wholly absorbed in deep study of some interesting book, you cannot hear even if a man shouts, because the mind was not there (with the sense of hearing). When you seriously think of a problem, you can neither see nor hear nor feel. All the Senses are detached from the mind. There is only the process of inquiry or investigation by the mind.

The best philosophers and seers, and sages, the best authorities, Eastern and Western, hold to the “Single Idea” theory as being correct. They are unanimously agreed that the mind cannot actually attend to more than one thing at a time, but when it appears to be doing so, it is only moving with prodigious rapidity backward and forward, from one end to the other. A spark of light presents the appearance of a continuous circle of light if it is made to rotate rapidly. Even so, though the mind can attend to only one thing at a time, either hearing or seeing or smelling, though it can admit only one kind of sensation at a time, yet we are led to believe that it does several actions simultaneously, because it moves from one object to another with tremendous velocity, so rapidly that its successive attention and perception appear as a simultaneous activity.


Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

Perception – Part 2

The View of Modern Medical Science

According to modern science, light-vibrations from outside strike the retina and an inverted image is formed there. These vibrations are carried through optic tract and optic thalamus to the center of vision in the occipital lobe of the brain in the back part of the head. There, a positive image is formed. Then only, you see the object in front of you.

Perception According to Sankhya Philosophy

The real back-ground of perception is the Soul. Fleshy eyes are only external instruments for perception. Eye is not an organ of vision. The organ of vision is a center situated in the brain; so is the case with all senses. Mind is connected with the Senses, the Senses with the corresponding centers in brain and the centers, with the physical organs, to the external object. The mind presents the sensation to Intellect ; Intellect takes it to the Soul. Now, real perception takes place. Soul gives order to Intellect.

Then, Intellect, after proper decision and judgment and after taking into consideration the pros and cons of the subject on hand, gives orders back to the mind, for execution through the motor centers (organs of action). Intellect is the President and Judge who hears the statements of the Advocate, viz., the mind. Mind plays two parts, viz., (i) that of an Advocate and (ii) that of a Commander-in-Chief. After receiving decisive orders from Intellect, the mind acts the part of a Commander-in-Chief and executes the orders of Intellect through the five soldiers, the five Senses.

First of all, there is the instrument for instance, the fleshy eye. It takes the sense-impressions to the center. The mind is then connected with the center and the external instruments, namely, the physical eye, ear, etc. The mind carries the impressions still further and presents them to the Intellect, the determinative faculty, which reacts. Then flashes out the idea of egoism, which self-arrogates and identifies with lower self. Then the mixture of action and reaction is presented to the Soul who perceives an object in the mixture.

Knowledge comes through contact with objects. To know an object in the world, Senses, Ego and Soul are required. Senses will see the object. Mind will make it appear. Intellect, with the help of consciousness, will understand it. Mind, senses and the external instruments such as the physical eye, ear, etc., should all be joined together. Then only perception of an object is possible. The object comes in contact with the senses. The senses are linked to the mind. The mind is connected to the Soul. The Soul illumines. This is with reference to the physical plane.

Illustration of Perception

When you see a mango tree, it is external to you. There is externality. The mango tree is a mental percept. It is a mental concept also. There is no mango tree apart from the mind. You know the existence of the tree through the mind only. There is a mental image in the mind. The image in the mind plus the external something is the mango tree. Even if you close your eyes, you can get at the image through memory. The green color of the leaves is due to a certain rate of light vibrations (say, 10 millions of vibrations). These light vibrations strike at the retina and are taken to the vision center at the back of the brain. The mango-leaves have the power to split the white rays and absorb the green color only. So says science.

Your body also is as much external to you as that yonder mango tree. It is also a mental percept or mental concept. The mango tree is external to you with reference to your body only. The mango tree itself is a mere appearance that floats in the Absolute or the One Reality. As the mango tree is external to you from the standpoint of your body, and as the body itself is external to you, the idea of externality of the mango tree or this external universe is blown up now. The term internality also has a false existence only. There is internality only with reference to the externality. If the externality goes away, where is the internality? Both the terms internality and externality are mere illusions, creations of the mind. There is only the solid existence, the One Reality or Absolute behind the so-called internality and externality. That is the Real, Infinite. “I” is your own lower self.


Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

Perception – Part 1

“When one thinks, then he understands; without having thought, one does not know; it is only after having thought that one understands.”

– Chhandogya Upanishad, VII-xxi-1

There are two compartments in the mind, viz., the thinking portion and the perceiving portion. It is easy to stop the thinking portion, but it is extremely difficult to stop the functioning of the perceiving portion.

It is only the individual mind that sees objects outside. If you see the same objects through a telescope, they appear different. If you can see with the mind directly, you will have a different vision altogether. Soul has quite a different vision. He sees everything as a vibration or movement within himself as his own Sankalpa (resolution), just as you can imagine within your own mind that a big war is going on and many people are dying on either side. You withdraw your imagination at your will.

Theories of Perception

There is the elastic theory of the mind. This school of thought says that the mind becomes elastic when several objects come in contact with the various senses and thus puts itself simultaneously into touch with various sense-organs or senses of knowledge.

When the mind comes in contact with one object and one Sense, it contracts to a point. This theory is exploded and refuted by the some as unsound.

There is another school of thought that says that there are different compartments or parts in the mind. One part of the mind connects itself with one sense, another part with a second sense and so on. This theory is similarly blown up and discarded by the some as untenable and unsound.

According to a school of thought, the perceiver and the perceived are one. Just as the spider weaves out the web from its own body, even so the mind throws out this physical universe from its own body during waking state and withdraws the world into its womb during sleep. An object is a mental nature externalized or objectified.

The world what you see outside is due to mental Ignorance. There is only light outside. There is only vibration outside. It is the mind that gives color and shape. It is all mental deception. This is one view. This is one theory of perception.

The interaction between the mind inside and the vibrations outside is the object or the world that you see outside. This is one theory of perception. Mind is formed out of the Sattvic portion of the five Tanmatras (The tanmatras, the subtle elements, are the objects of the five senses. The five tanmatras are sound, touch, form, taste, and odor or smell). There is light outside. The sun also emits light. The eye is made up of fire principle. That portion of the mind which perceives is also made up of fire principle. So fire sees fire. Only that portion of the mind which is made up of Sound-Tanmatra can hear. Sound comes from Akasa (Sky, Etheric) outside. So Akasa of the mind hears Akasa from outside. But, Soul can see, hear, taste and feel everything. Soul only can be seen by Soul. Therefore, whatever you see outside is Soul only.


Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

Human Perception and Modes of Vision

Today I have came across one interesting article relevant to human perception and vision which I like to share with you


We are not just the body,

We are not just the mind,

We are much more than body and mind.

We are not able to perceive the beauty and splendour of our “Self” and the Almighty Intelligence behind everything is because our sensory equipment is designed the other way. The veil before our eyes is the creation of our senses. Our senses act only within a particular range. Areas beyond that range are completely shut out from us. And we live in this limited perception of life.

Just imagine how limited we are in our sense. A moth can smell its mate from even as far off as seven miles and a shark can scent blood two miles away. Bees find their way by polarized light imperceptible to human beings, and whales locate their prey with sonar-echo thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean. What worlds are hidden from us we cannot even imagine?

To add up with this from the time of our birth our schools have taught us to look outside and we have never been taught to silence our senses and to look deep inside our mind.

Is it not the time to become aware of our Self?
Is it not the time to know and experience the splendour and grandeur of consciousness?
Is it not the time for us to explore the beyond?

People who ignore will always remain in darkness. They can never come to know the truth and beauty of existence.

If the doors of perception were cleaned every thing would appear to man as it is.

Modes of Vision

To understand and explore this beautiful existence we have been gifted by sight. There are three modes of vision or knowing: eye of flesh, eye of mind and eye of contemplation.

Eye of flesh discloses the material, concrete world; eye of mind discloses the symbolic, conceptual and linguistic world; eye of contemplation discloses the spiritual transcendental and transpersonal world. These are not three different worlds, but three different aspects of our one world, disclosed by different modes of knowing and perceiving.

These three modes of vision or knowing have a development sequence lower to higher. In the first year of a baby’s life, eye of flesh develops and evolves to disclose the material, concrete world of solid surfaces, forms, colors and objects. Slowly, as the baby grows, it starts to understand the world through eye of mind. The eye of mind will increasingly emerge and develop, disclosing in its turn the world of ideas, symbols, concepts, images, values, meanings and intentions. If development continues beyond the mind via meditative disciplines then the eye of contemplation opens and discloses the world of spirit, of subtle energies and insights, of radical intuition and transcendental illumination.

You have been gifted with these three modes of knowing, it is up to each person how he uses them to know the ultimate reality, to know the beauty and grandeur of creation, to experience the splendor of consciousness, to know his fundamental identity, to know his connection with all beings, all the things in universe and GOD.