The study of western and eastern philosophies, as well as other ideas from psychology, sociology and anthropology, shows a commonly occurring theme: that the human being is – most of the time – only partly conscious, and that various techniques, including meditation, are necessary to “awaken”, and leave behind the often unsatisfactory “normal” state of consciousness.

According to this idea, the “normal” state is really only a state of trance: humanity is sleeping or hypnotised by culture. From the cultural point of view, we know that the process of socialisation leads not only to the perception of objects and events as they in fact are, but also to the perception of what they are not.

Of course it would be impossible to survive without having some degree of fine-tuning of perception, but on the other hand it’s also clear that our culture, our immediate racial, family, and national groups – and our religious and political affiliations – considerably determine our values and belief systems, as well as the type of cognition that we will be able to develop, and the validity of perceived categories.

Between every human being and the rest of the world there is an invisible fence, a filter made up of traditional thoughts which are never challenged – either because we are not aware of it or because we simply lack the will – and which distorts our perception to the extent that what is perceived often has little to do with what actually happens.

We respond to a varied mixture made up of: a few feelings created by direct perception; the addition of symbols and images, impressions and feelings; preconceived, culturally conditioned ideas – and all this in a creative production which we understand as “reality” or “the truth”.

Each event is immediately decoded, altered by the filter in use, and classified as being as yet another case which reinforces and illustrates one of the categories of experience already defined in the museum or archive of culturally authorised options.

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