Our inner experience of reality is the one that matters most. Feeling anxious or depressed while watching the sunrise, results in an anxious or depressed experience, no? The sunrise in itself has nothing to do with that.
When two people observe the same external reality, they both experience it differently. What they observe and how they experience it is different.
First, we filter out what does not have value in that specific moment. The more we focus, the more we filter out. It is another mechanism, besides automation, of how we orient ourselves in the world.
Secondly, both people will interpret what they have filtered out differently. Their interpretations are filtered or colored through their unique internal value structure. This mechanism of observation is also part of our human nature and is well documented in the field of psychology.
If you have seen the same movie a couple of times, you have experienced this first hand. The more time between watching the movie, the more our interpretation differs, yes?
Our filter or technically, our internal value hierarchy is embedded in the form of neurological connections in our brain. In day-to-day life, these connections translate into beliefs.
Hence the expression; ”first you believe, then you’ll see”.
We all observe and process the external world quite differently, but there’s more. Once the external information, captured through our five senses, is filtered and processed, it generates our thought and emotions. Our thoughts and emotions in turn, define our inner state of being. At least, for as long as we’re attached to them.
It is our interpretation that generates the inner state of being, not the external reality in itself.
“We do not see the world as it is, we see the world as we are.” – Anaïs Nin (1903-1977)
Here was my answer. If I wanted to change my inner experience of reality for the better, or at least interpret it more truthfully, I had to find a way to get to know and change my internal value hierarchy.
I started out with Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), a two-year program that provides for that. The practitioner and master’s training in NLP provided for an abundance of new insights and understandings. It definitely confirmed the second fundamental principle of human nature and altered my view on reality.
But my repeating frustrations and emotions of anger and sadness re-surfaced along the way. In part, I figured it was because I had lost the connection with the memories of my past. These memories were most often the subject for re-interpretation through the different techniques used in NLP.
I needed to find out more about this internal value hierarchy. How did it come into being? I really wanted my way of perceiving to change. My past was interfering too much with the present moment.