It’s all about Perception: How you see life, or how you see others, depends very much upon where you choose to stand.
Some interesting lessons this week when I was invited to visit the home of a wealthy artist. In his office/studio I saw many paintings of various ships out at sea, with golden pink hues in the sky. There were depictions of old Roman ships, large 19th century sailboats and many varieties of ships throughout the ages and different cultures, painted in different styles. I commented that the common theme seemed to be that the paintings were all ships arriving to shore with beautiful sunrises. “Oh no,” the artist corrected me, “I painted all of these myself, and they are all sunsets.”
I looked again at each picture in turn, more closely, seeking more evidence, and after a few minutes I said, “There’s nothing in these pictures that very clearly suggests to me that it is definitely either morning or evening, even the Roman sword battle could be an attack at dawn rather than sunset. Could you see that the pictures could be taken either way?”
Even though it was the intention of the artist that all of his images were sunsets, upon re-examination, he agreed that each painting could appear to be a sunrise as well, depending upon the view of the beholder.
We then had an interesting discussion as he told me that he was uncomfortable in his own home as some of the pictures, sculptures or artefacts he had collected came with evil spirits, demons or poltergeists. I took a look around his home and found that yes, some of his collection seemed to move, vibrate or otherwise give off energy that had nothing to do with wind or other external influence.
Although he was uncomfortable or fearful of these entities, I found the energy to be benign and not scary, despite its power. In the same way that some people are uncomfortable with ALL species of spiders and snakes, whilst other people are happy to handle the not-so-deadly ones, I found that this so-called “evil presence” was also just a matter of perception.
A lone rose growing in the lawn is called a weed, and grass growing in the rosebush is called weeds; from a different perspective, they are neither: they just need to be picked up and relocated to where you’d like them to be.
Within an hour or so, we managed to have the home clear of any entities, energies or unwanted guests, with a simple process and a large change of perception. Nobody who is good likes to be called “evil” and nobody who is happy to walk out likes to be forced to exit; sometimes you just have to be polite, respectful and ask nicely 🙂
The story was interesting enough at that point, however, it got even more interesting when another person found out that I was invited to the artist’s home. His reaction was suspicious and fearful, questioning why the artist allowed me into his home, when I could have seen his collection and perhaps stolen something of value?
It was interesting to me that another person would have a view of me as a potential dishonest person or a possible thief, whereas the artist and homeowner viewed me as kind and trustworthy. This to me, was like the “evil spirit vs benign energy” perception and the “sunrise vs. sunset” images all over again,
In Quantum Physics, this could be called “wave-theory vs particle-theory” and each (seemingly contradictory) theory could be proven to be 100% correct, depending upon who is observing the experiment.
In life practice we may say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, and in spiritual practice we could say that there is no good or evil, but our views create our perception and our thoughts create our world.
How you see another person (or event, or animal, or energy, or occurrence) is entirely dependent upon where you stand. The good news is that you can change your perception and therefore change your outcomes, at any time, by choosing a different view. A life of friends or foes, good or evil, love or fear, happiness or…