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Home >> Seeker’s Solace  >> Know Thyself: Perception is relative

Know Thyself: Perception is relative


So, our perception of things depends on the instrument of perception and not entirely on the object.

You say it is a cube; in fact, it is a hard cube made of wood. Imagine a human being, a strong man whose hand has the grip of a powerful vice. He can crush the cube in no time. So the solidity of it depends again on your strength or lack of it.

So, if touch cannot be a criteria for deciding the quality or shape of an object, we are again left with this uncertainty of saying, ‘How solid is it if viruses can go through it or bacteria can go through it?’ It’s solid to us, to our senses of perception. Yet, we know now that it is space that composes it mostly.


Now, let’s examine the characteristic of the cube’s size.  Look at the size of the cube. You say, ‘Oh! This is a cube that is three inches wide on all six sides.’ These three inches is as you measure with the scale, but is size an absolute factor?

Let’s consider a very simple matter of perception. When you are a little child, your father appears huge to you. He is tall and big. As you grow up, you soon catch up with his height and sometimes, you exceed his height and he begins to look smaller than you. You thought he was big but now he looks smaller. So, what’s happened here? He is the same.

The cube is merely succumbing or acting according to the laws of gravity that is one of the laws of nature, like electricity.

Only that sheer perception has changed because perception is always relative, it’s comparative in nature. You can only compare. There is no absolute perception.

Take this cube, which is three inches, as we decided. You can step across it easily. Imagine a little ant, with food in its mouth, trying to climb the cube. It labours up the cube as if it is a big mountain, and once over the top, it comes down at the other end. To the ant, you can’t say it is small.

Absolutely three inches, but three inches can be big or it can be small relatively. To the ant it is a mountain–not small, but very big. It requires a great deal of effort to climb. For you, for me, for us, it’s small.

So big and small are very relative, depending upon your perception, the instruments of perception.


Now you ask, what about the weight of the cube?

You can’t deny that, whatever be your sense of perception. Sir, weight is a quality of gravity. Gravity is a magnetic force of the universe that pulls everything together and the cube’s weight is gravity acting on the cube. Weight is not the quality or characteristic of the cube in front of you.

The cube is merely succumbing or acting according to the laws of gravity that is one of the laws of nature, like electricity.


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