What you see you become. What you see is a selective act of attention and interpretation. Although you are inundated by billions of bits of sensory impulses every moment, you selectively filter out the vast majority, allowing only a very small fraction into your awareness. What you allow into your awareness is determined by your habitual patterns of seeing and interpreting the world.
To make this point clear, consider a situation in which you and your friend are sitting on a park bench. Across the street a woman is walking her beagle. Your friend, the manager of apparel store, hones in what the woman is wearing, scrutinizing her outfit. Deciding that she does not like what the woman is wearing, your friend feels mildly annoyed. As an animal lover, you barely notice the woman but instead focus on her dog, which reminds you of a puppy you had as a child, and as a result, you feel a little wistful. What is the reality? It is clearly different for both of you as a result of your selective acts of attention and interpretation.
Your attention and interpretations create what you see and ultimately determine what you believe. A belief is simply an interpretation that you hold to be true. For example, due to habits of perception, most people half a millennium ago believed that the sun revolved around Earth. When Copernicus suggested that the planet was not the center of the universe, people were upset because challenging prevailing beliefs inevitably generates resistance. However, new ideas that expand the awareness, enhance life, and take us closer to truth are contagious. Before long, a critical mass of people embrace the new idea, and their beliefs about themselves and the world are forever changed.
As we enter the new millennium, the insights of our most advanced scientists are just beginning to influence our collective views. Our ideas about the human body, its aging, and even time itself are undergoing a dramatic shift, opening the possibility of unprecedented health, vitality, and longevity.
-- Deepak Chopra & David Simon
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