Friday, December 17, 2010

Vanity and Is It Really All About Me?

My last post brought up some aspects of my beliefs and religion, and in rereading through it, I've noticed a tendency to say "I" when I intended "you (the player in this game)".

I'm not vain.

I know you can hear that "but", even though I haven't said it yet. You're not imagining things, it's really there, I simply haven't said it yet.


I'm not vain, but I see my perception of the world as absolute.


That's a heavy sentence, and I'm going to dedicate this post to see if I can break it down somewhat.


Vanity
Asking Google to "define:vanity" brings up a very simple definition in the first result: amour propre: feelings of excessive pride. Excessive pride is not one of my vices. I feel a fair amount of pride in the things I do well, not so much in the things I do poorly, and none in the things I can't do at all.


So I'm not vain, at least from this point of view.


Perception
Perception is what we see, what we perceive. In my previous post, it was what we hear, see, smell, taste, and/or feel. Those things that we perceived (or that I perceived) existed in our local universe, and those that we/I did not, existed as functions of time stored until they were needed again.


Everything that you see is from your own point of view, even if we look at the same things, and although you can certainly step into my shoes, both literally (though I wouldn't recommend it) and figuratively (highly recommended), you're only stepping into what you think I'm perceiving, even as I explain it to you. No matter how thorough my explanation of my point of view is, it will never be complete until you become me (please don't, it wouldn't be a pretty picture from either of our perspectives), which isn't possible even if one of us did have a vial of polyjuice potion lying around.


Absolute
I'm going to step back and let Google's define function have the reins on this one again: perfect or complete or pure and complete and without restriction or qualification. Those are the first two results, and they seem to absolutely (couldn't resist) capture it. 


I'm not vain, but I see my perception of the world as absolute.
I don't take excessive pride in my life, but I feel that what I see is everything and what I don't see comprises what is left. What's left after you take away everything? Nothing.


I can only see through my eyes. What I perceive is a first-hand experience, everything else is second- or third- hand (or further). I can and have been told of things that happened before I was born (I may not be a history buff, but I'm not ignorant of such things), but to me, since I didn't experience them, they can be nothing more than allegories (stories told to provide a lesson). After I die (if you believe in reincarnation, bear with me, I'm getting there) I will stop perceiving the world, so it will stop existing.


(And now we're here, just like I said) If you believe in reincanation (which I'm still not certain about), that implies that you either did live before this version of yourself was born, or if you're a new soul, that after you die, you will live again. My belief does not exclude this.


When I see something, or, more appropriately, when I perceive it, I don't perceive it with my eyes. My eyes are the tool that my brain uses to perceive it, but my brain doesn't really convert it into a living experience. My brain is a tool that my spirit uses to perceive this "living experience." For those who believe in reincarnation, the spirit remains after death, and the tools are recycled. As long as the spirit lives on, the perception lives on.


After I die and before my next life (if applicable) begins, I will perceive nothing, because my spirit will not have access to the tools necessary to experience anything. Whether it is mere moments or many millennia between hosts (and I don't mean that in a parasitic tone), it will seem instantaneous to the spirit.


I'm not vain, but I see my perception of the world as absolute.


When I search inwardly for the center of being, instead of finding it at the center of my body, or in my heart, or my brain as a whole, I actually find it as a point between and slightly behind my eyes, and just in front of my ears. That is the balance point that my world revolves around. Regardless what that particular part of my brain is responsible for, it is the physical point where my spirit feels attached, and when I seek inward stability, that is where I turn.

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