The turn of the century French author, Marcel Proust wrote, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Ah, yes, this sounds interesting. First of all, he speaks of the real voyage. So, there is a real one & a not real one. OK. Then he identifies it as a voyage, meaning an ongoing occurrence rather than a single event. And then of course, the word discovery...conjuring up all kinds of adventure, excitement & visions of meaningful fulfillment. Now that he has our attention, he tells us it is not an outer journey of new landscapes or virgin frontiers, but an inner journey of new perceptions. He tells us we must see with new eyes to experience anything new & real. Well now, that certainly begs the question, "how does one go about getting new eyes?"!
The easier question is, "how does one go about gaining new perceptions?" First of all, let's clarify that perception is a function of awareness, recognition & interpretation. We may see with our eyes, but it is our mind that tells us what we are seeing based on our current knowledge, understanding & interpretation of facts & events, things & stimuli. We find ourselves living in a world full of information & many of us take a great deal of that information as fact, law, single answer. This means that & that means this. We let information outside of us dictate & define what means what. While much of this may be useful, much of it may not be. And this is the power & purpose of perception. Each of us has the right & the necessity to define for ourselves what is real, what is useful & what is functional for us. Because we are each individuals, the possibility exists for individual perceptions. Most of us however, find ourselves going with the flow simply because that is what we are taught. We are taught to follow in order to survive. There is certainly great value in this. It is imperative to learn the ways of survival, but what about beyond that. What about thriving...
Ah yes, thriving. See how just now we changed our perception of living from surviving to thriving. Thriving to me means living according to my dreams. It implies freedom of choice in how I want to spend my time here on Planet Earth. It points to bigger possibilities besides what I call, the stuff & things of life. It's a verb, so it's an activity not a destination. This is why it is important to periodically review your perceptions: to make sure you are living according to your views & not ones that have been handed down to you or been absorbed through the simple osmosis of being saturated in outside information & viewpoints however well-meaning. So here we are, at the point of review. Isn't this the point that Monsieur Proust is calling our attention to? He tells us this is the voyage of discovery. We discover anew as we perceive anew. We perceive anew as we question what is. We question what is as we review what is. We review what is as we open ourselves to expanded awareness & open observations. We do this with a playful attitude & a joyful connection to the infinite possibilities that Life can be. We do this because we can! And ultimately we do this because the payoffs are living the life we want rather than the one that we have accepted out of default no matter how great it is. Because ultimately, we are here to define our own acts of free will & choice...who each of us is & what that means to everything & everyone else. This is what makes the world go around, so get a new song in your head about you & watch as the world watches at what can be when perceptions are expanded & new possibilities are invoked.
In infinite possibilities,