The Meaning of Perception

Perceptions vary from person to person. Different people perceive different things about the same situation. But more than that, we assign different meanings to what we perceive. And the meanings might change for a certain person. One might change one's perspective or simply make things mean something else.

This is a famous picture. What does it look like to you?

Some people see a young lady looking away. Others see an old lady looking down. Depending on how you look at it, part of the picture might be the young woman's nose and eyelash, or it might be a wart on the old woman's nose. What is the young woman's ear might be the old woman's eye. What is the young woman's necklace might be the old woman's mouth. The picture hasn't really changed. You just emphasize different parts of it and assign them different meaning.

Look at these two arrows. Which horizontal line is the longest?

They are exactly the same size. However the top one looks longer than the bottom one. It is on optical illusion tricking us into assigning a different meaning to what we see.

We fill in a lot of blanks with our minds. If we have incomplete perceptions, which we practically always do to a certain extent, our minds fill in the rest.

Are those letters? Or are they just lines and blotches on the paper? How do you know?

Do you see a vase or do you see two faces looking at each other?

The meaning of something will change when you look at it differently. You can look at anything differently and it will have a different meaning.

There is no fixed meaning to anything. You can always change perspectives and change meanings. Why not change them to what you prefer them to be?

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