Understanding that you see and experience things through a filter is very important. It can prevent so many arguments and misunderstandings. It can make you much more peaceful. Where does this filter live? In the mind. What does it consist of? Mainly your past experiences and your beliefs. It all happens so fast and automatic that most people never think about it.
Two people can see the same dog at the same time, for instance, and have very different reactions. One person loves dogs and has had only positive experiences with them. That person sees the dog and feels warm and fuzzy inside. The other person, though, was mauled by a dog as a young child. This person sees the same dog at the same time and feels intense, automatic, irrational fear. How is this possible? The filter.
It’s like wearing glasses. Glasses could be thick or thin, of various prescriptions, bifocals or not. They could be colored, like red or green. They could be painted solid black. They could be just clear glass. They could be cracked. If each of us wears a different pair of glasses, of course we won’t see exactly the same thing – it’s not possible! Many times we see things similarly, but oftentimes we don’t. This is when we have disagreements and conflicts.
So as you go through life, think about your filter. Ask yourself how others might see the same thing. Try to see something through another person’s eyes sometime. And try to imagine how you might see things without a filter at all – clear vision. This is how the many spiritual masters throughout time have seen things.