Perception is Everything

As one of my mentors and teachers in high school who served in the U.S. military once told our class, perception is everything. Why perception is everything is because no one single person has a monopoly on the truth, and as a result, the truth is arrived at by various individuals and groups through different perspectives and different vantage points. In turn, perception is shaped in both an overt and subtle manner as a means of exerting control, influence, and power over others. However, our perception of the external world must correspond with and match the reality of the external world in order to preempt a descent into hysteria and neurosis, given that hysteria and neurosis amounts to the inability to cope with reality and the inability to understand reality, as Freud argued. 

In turn, the imposition of a weltanschauung by a particular socioeconomic class or group in Western society over all others – aside from the profit motive which underlies such an imposition – also assures and secures the group’s entrenched beliefs and notions about where they supposedly stand in the overall hierarchy of the cosmos and the universe. The imposition of a weltanschauung fosters both a sense of physical and psychological security as well as a sense of permanence and solidity to the meta-narrative of human existence and reality which the group in power wields for the sake of psychological comfort and solace. 

Hence, the system not only has a commercial and economic motive, but it also has a cultural and social motive as well. Arguably, the cultural and social motive – if it were to be challenged and undermined – fosters a greater risk for the system than the commercial and economic motive, given that the system can adjust and then co-opt the changes to the system and the evolving circumstances if they are based mainly on a commercial and economic motive. As Edward Bernays wrote:

“If the public becomes more intelligent in its commercial demands, commercial firms will meet the new standards. If it becomes weary of the old methods used to persuade it to accept a given idea or commodity, its leaders will present their appeals more intelligently.”

However, coping with reality and avoiding a descent into hysteria and neurosis means not only knowing and understanding reality, but it also means that our knowledge and understanding of reality has to actually correspond and match reality. Because perception is everything, we tend to overlook the possibility that perhaps the perception of the Western aristocrat a la King Charles and some others as the archetype or the prototype of what it means to be a human being in turn spurs consumerism and wastefulness. We overlook the possibility that without the archetype and the prototype or the brand imprinted in our minds, we would not have the economic and social outcomes that we have. 

Hence, both the imprinting of the archetype and prototype or brand in our psyche as well as the economic and social outcomes are both interconnected and are rendered by design. Nothing is left to chance and randomness. Although propaganda and mainstream thought wants us to fall for the magic and the illusion of chance and freedom and statistics and randomness and “probability” and so forth, what is omitted in this meta-narrative of logical atomism is the fact that probability amounts to the relationship between one’s propositions on one hand and reality and truth on the other hand. The stronger the relationship between our propositions and reality, the higher the probability of our propositions turning out to be concrete and true. It follows that in our attempts at shaping perceptions in order for perceptions to correspond to our respective meta-narratives or views of reality, we must first assess whether our own meta-narratives and views of reality actually correspond and match what is before us. As one businessman once told me, one should not advertise or sell what one would refuse to buy or consume for themselves. 

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