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7. Our Perceptions

When someone performs a particular kind of work, that person gradually develops a special insight concerning the objects and language surrounding that work. Therefore, there is nothing in the world that we cannot begin to experience as a result of habit, even without prior understanding of the particular object.

We are, however, operating under a vital limitation to our perception and understanding: we see ourselves as separate from objects we perceive.

There is the one who perceives and there is the perceived--the object that is perceived by the person. Similarly, there exists the person who comprehends, and separately, the object of comprehension.

A certain contact between the perceiver and the object of perception is necessary for perception to occur: it is a bond, something that unites them both, something that they have in common during the perception. We can grasp all that surrounds us only through our perception. What we perceive is considered to be truthful and reliable information.

However, because we are incapable of seeing all that surrounds us objectively, we assume that the pictures our senses create for us is true. Yet, we do not know what the universe is like beyond our senses, or what it would appear to be like for beings with a different set of senses than our own. This is because we acquire our sense of reality from how we perceive our environment; we assume that our senses are accurate and we accept as true the picture of reality that we perceive through them.

If we proceed from the assumption that nothing exists in the universe but the Creator and His creations, we can say that our pictures and perceptions are the means by which the Creator appears to our consciousness. At every stage of spiritual elevation, this picture grows closer and closer to the true one. Finally, at the last stage of elevation, we can perceive the Creator and nothing but the Creator.

Therefore, all the worlds, as well as everything that we believe to exist outside of us, in fact exist only in relation to us. That is, they exist in relation to one who perceives reality in this particular manner.

If we do not perceive the Creator or the Creator’s domain over us at the present moment, then it can be said that we remain “in darkness.”

Nevertheless, we cannot determine an absence of sun in the universe because our perceptions are subjective. Only we construe reality in this manner.

However, if we realize that our negation of the Creator and Divine rule are purely subjective and prone to change, then we can still begin our spiritual elevation by an effort of will and with the help of various texts and teachers. Moreover, once we begin our spiritual ascent, we may realize that the Creator made the condition of darkness for the sole purpose of compelling us to develop a need for His help, and in order to draw us closer to Him.

Indeed, the Creator made such conditions specifically for those individuals whom He desires to draw closer to Him. Thus, it is important to realize that the elevation of an individual from the state of darkness brings delight to the Creator, since the greater the darkness from which a person has emerged, the clearer the recognition of the Creator’s greatness, and the greater the appreciation of one’s new spiritual state.

But even while perceiving the darkness, being blind to the Creator’s rule and lacking faith in Him, by using one’s will power, we can try to find a way out of the darkness with the help of a book or a teacher, until we can perceive at least a tiny ray of Light, a weak perception of the Creator.

Then, by making this ray of Light stronger and stronger by cultivating constant thoughts of the Creator, we can escape the darkness and enter into the Light. Going even further, if we realize that these states of darkness are necessary for spiritual advancement, and are even desirable, and sent to us by the Creator Himself, then we will welcome them.

We will recognize that the Creator has offered us the gift of perceiving shadows, or the incomplete darkness, so that we may seek the source of the Light.

However, if we do not use the opportunity to cross into the Light, then the Creator will conceal Himself from us completely.

Absolute darkness will prevail, bringing with it a sensation of the absence of the Creator and His rule. Then, we will no longer understand how and why spiritual goals were ever entertained, and how reality and personal reason could have been ignored.

This complete darkness will continue until the Creator again shines upon us a tiny ray of Light.

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