We only see what is relevant to our self

This is quite an interesting insight into delusion and the self. Basically, as we go about our day to day lives we only pickup on things that our relevant to us or in some way relate to our internal experiences. Or, we only see what we want to see.

For example, my garage it is piled up with stuff. To my friend, he sees a pile of junk that probably needs to be thrown away or he might spot a fishing rod he might like, or a broken remote control car. My children might spot a trampoline or pogo stick or boxing gloves - things they might like to play with. I might be drawn to an old table that my grandmother used to own and have in her lounge because it has strong memories for me of the 70s and early 80s.

Now there's nothing wrong with this. The problem occurs when we think we are going round in our lives seeing things in a totally unbiased manner assuming that what we are seeing is somehow the real truth of what is going on. What we are actually seeing is our self in everything external.

The same thing happens when we watch television, read a book or listen to something. The things that we pick up on are the things that matter to us. This is quite revealing if we reread a book we read years ago - we might not even recognise it as the same book.

In Buddhism, this is called nama-rupa (name and form).

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