Day 511: It's All Open to Interpretation

If you think about it, all of our lives are based on your interpretation of, well, everything. This is not limited to philosophical, religious or other worldly views - it includes the simplest of things that we all seem to miss in our day-to-day living. For example: you see something in the distance, or something that is a little fuzzy, and you can't clearly see what it is - your brain will start imposing images of what it could be, the things it looks similar to - but then as you get closer or the image gets clearer you realize that it was actually something else entirely. Another example would be the game "broken telephone" (where a group of people sit in a circle and one person chooses a phrase and then whispers it into the ear of the person to their left or right and that person then passes it on to the person sitting next to them etc etc until the message eventually gets to the last person who then speaks aloud what was whispered into their ear.) The message that comes out at the end is seldom the same as the first phrase that was chosen and whispered by the first person.

When we are uncertain about something we tend to mould our understanding of it into something that makes sense for us - which does not necessarily reflect the true nature of the thing.

On some level we all know that our views and experiences of life are subjective, but we live them as though they are objective. Essentially we are lying to ourselves.

How does this then translate into our actual lives and the lives of other people? Ie: why should anyone care about this - what difference does it make? It is a thought and behavioural structure that influences every part of our lives. When it comes to things like religion and beliefs, it will influence how the teachings of spiritual leaders and texts are interpreted and lived in the lives of the followers. Just think of how many different branches of Christianity there are, and then even more individualized interpretations within those branches. We tend to interpret things in such a way so that they will benefit us, whether it be material or otherwise.

We live in such a way that we do not fully investigate all things, we are more prone to jump to conclusions and see things in a biased way. The very fact that we cannot be honest with ourselves in this respect calls into question our honesty within every other aspect of our lives.

When we only see what we want to see we miss the things that matter - the things that are not as pretty or convenient as we would like - the things that do not fit into our world views and self beliefs (oh yes, we only see what we want to see about ourselves too). Interpreting everything in our lives causes us to miss the whole picture and all the possible other pictures. This interpretation arms us with reasons and excuses for living how we do and with reasons and excuses for why we shouldn't think or care about other people and beings. We believe that in order to keep our precious rights to our interpretations (beliefs and opinions) we must allow others their rights to their own interpretations and therefore not challenge anyone - because to do so would put our own rights at risk.

This system that governs our lives was designed very well - those of us who are in it cannot even see the confines and restrictions it places around us and those of us who are seeing it for what it is are constantly struggling to disentangle ourselves from its grasp.