“Esse est percipi (aut percipere), to be is to be perceived (or to perceive)” – George Berkeley
Are they speaking and seeing the true you — the core you of you — or simply their perception of what they consider ‘you’ to be? Are we constantly engaging with elements of our own perceptions, and not just other human beings (or objects or even ideas) in their fully-realized capacity? The image of a grand mirror comes to mind.
Berkeley, Hegel, and others might argue that we all are engaging with one another in some significant capacity — if not entirely — through layers of perception. Operating and engaging from what we think we think we see, as opposed to what is “truly” there. And how do we agree upon what is truly there in the first place, if such a thing is even possible? Are we venturing into an arrogance of sense certainty?
In our endless world of labels and 24/7 newsfeed excitations, it is easy to wonder if we have lost even the primary goal of staying centered in the way we see the world. Are we all constantly riding the waves of collective perception? Are we believing in a mythological context in which our heroes, villains, and all forms of archetypes are assigned to various celebrities and public figures?
Celebrity: The New Gods of Olympus
Have we made them our new gods of Olympus, playing out our ascribed epic dramas so that we may project upon them our undiscovered and unfulfilled wishes for self discovery? It seems casting calls are always open for bored eccentric billionaires to audition for the latest societal roles; the gods of the divine mountain that are cast out and take on the aspect of antithesis are the most titillating for global theater.
We have always used mythological prosopopeia to teach and learn of our inner and often disregarded natures. It could be argued that we have only shifted this dynamic, instead of eliminated it entirely from our pattern of collective self-discovery.
I would argue it has not changed at all; it has only become further removed from its initial function, and we call it by new names. I do not think this is unhealthy, nor without bounty (a great boon), as long as we work towards making this process more conscious. There is so much to be learned from the mirror Hollywood holds up to show us about ourselves, individually and as a humanity, through the new form of neo-divine-theater we can broadcast any time for our own edification. Psychodrama reveals to us that many hidden dynamics exist in this context for personal growth and development. Story has always had an enchanting power for great transformation and understanding.
Are We Seeing Each Other As Full Human Beings?
Are we seeing one another as multi-faceted human beings with a range of being that we all share — from the cherished aspects that we strive to embody, to the neglected shadow and scars of our imperfect world that we all carry? Or are we slicing one another up into ‘goods’ and ‘bads’; perfect (an illusion), and imperfect. Are we holding one another to the level of mythological contextualization; to the standards of the gods of Olympus, which do not exist in reality.
I believe that many of the spiritual traditions and expanded theorists are correct in that we can indeed move past our learned and unconscious perceptions, and engage with one another at a core level. This is felt and sought after in all communications. We can move past what we need another person to be, or what they need us to be, and see and accept them as they are (real imperfect humans).
In addition, it is my thought that most of us are tired of the constant societal performances that we bare witness to on a daily basis and are craving more expansive information. The trends in the world right now are telling enough of this; the success and discussion of books such as The Body Keeps The Score, Gabor Mate’s work on trauma exploding, a renewed interest in integrated psychadelic therapy in psychology and a resurgence in plant medicine research, the publication of works like The Cosmic Hologram: In-formation at the Center of Creation, and so much more; a shift in collective focus is no longer impending, it is here and to stay.