–Some thoughts about perception in general and a close look at a lobster-
While up north, at home, one of the worst winter storms in a century is raging we lean back in wonderful comfort down here and enjoy perfect temperatures, hardly any wind, just the good old Baja times.
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The Adventure of Perception
It never occurred to me in my younger days to ask what adventures really are. Doing exciting challenging things, I would have said, wondering why one should even ask.
Over time, when in the canyons of my mind the sediments of thinking began to accumulate, when the great ballast of thought started to weigh me down, I began to ask: What is this certain type of experience I look for all the time? What is an adventure? Why do I perceive some things as adventure and others not? What is an experience to begin with?
In a way I never found out. Instead, I discovered something far more interesting: that I didn’t need to know. The mind asks questions, but the heart already knows.
We don’t see what is real, we see what we think is real. And our thoughts are to a vast extent directly influenced by conditioning that happened outside of our awareness and almost always without our consent. We think in ways that are programmed, by distant evolution and by personal history. We think in habitual patterns, and little of it is truly free and creative. To try and step out of the confinement of such conditioned perception, to break the slavery of habits, not only opens us to a new world, but the attempt itself is a wonderful adventure.
Is it the perception of adventure, or the adventure of perception? Do we perceive an adventure, or does the real adventure occur in the mysterious process of perception?
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Yesterday when I was fishing for Trigger I caught a lobster. It doesn’t happen very often that you get those on a hook. You need to dive at night for lobster.
Our lobsters here in Mexico don’t have the big claws like the Atlantic Lobsters.
But they have amazing spurs and wonderful colorful patterns.
The tail fins. The tail is the only part that can move vigorously, the rest of this strange creature moves only very slowly.
Probably because they move around so slowly their body is covered with barnacles and plants. They carry them around like guests. I’m sure there is some symbiotic benefit for themselves too.
In spite of their docile behavior they sure look strangely dangerous and aggressive.
I couldn’t stop marveling at the intricate colorful detail. Like a machine, like a robot, or like a face mask of some aboriginal culture. We become aware of something via the senses. But what do we really see? We see something with our eyes but see something else with our mind. The adventure is in the mind.
By far the most amazing thing about these kinds of creatures is that they molt: Several times during their life span they slip out of their skin, their armor, that external skeleton and grow a new one, a bigger one. It seems nearly impossible that a complete body can dislodge inside from this incredibly complicated crust, slide out intact, live for a short while totally vulnerable outside in the muck, and grow a new skin as skeleton. Any engineer who would come up with such an idea would be called an idiot. However, this fantastic version of ontogenesis is not at all uncommon in nature.
I found a little clip about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93IC5_gw1rA
Klaus Jan.18. 2012