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I don’t own a television. I got rid of that in 2006 after cutting myself off from cable services in the late 90’s. So, I’m a little lost as to what’s playing on television. This is really obvious when I’m with a crowd of friends who start talking about this or that show on TV. Or the laughing that ensues as everyone discusses a funny commercial they saw.

Focus“Have you seen that cute Volkswagen commercial with the little Darth Vader?” they ask.

Mmmm, no.

Through the “miracle” of the Internet, I get all my entertainment and news from a host of different sites. If I want entertainment, whether it’s a documentary or a movie, or even a funny commercial, I’m on Youtube. I find it truly amazing how many great shows can be found there.

All this is to say I’m a little behind on what’s being broadcast for shows on TV.

I came across National Geographics’ Brain Games program (first aired in 2011) last night. Truly fascinating stuff. From what I’ve read about the show, it’s National Geographics’ highest rated show.

If you haven’t seen it, check it out because it’s quite enlightening. And fun!

The program I saw was on our peripheral vision and how the mind fills in the blanks for what the eye sees. Or, more appropriately, what the eye doesn’t see.

Only the center of our eyes, about 5% of our vision, comes in high definition. Everything else we see is blurred, but the brain brings it into focus by arranging information based on what it perceives as real (very subjective).

Of course, that got me thinking about what other things in life, our realities, our minds are creating for us.

We all know our thoughts are things; that, sooner or later, what we’re constantly thinking about, focusing on, will become our reality.

But seeing that program made me question even the validity of original thought that we create ourselves. If our minds are making up stuff to complete a picture for us – to fill in the blanks, to give us adequate information on something – then what is it doing to our original, creative thoughts?

That’s where our core beliefs come in.

Like the limitations of the eye, our minds are taking a thought we generate – which can be rather blurry, unfocused, somewhat fluid – then goes to our core beliefs for information to fill in the rest of that thought so that it’s sharp, in focus and more defined or rigid. The end result, of course, is a reality based on our thought and core beliefs.

What thoughts do you have that you know are truly objective? Is it even possible to have an objective thought?

What situation are you evaluating right now, what conclusions have you reached, that truly reflect the truth of what is? How much of that conclusion is coming from your core beliefs, and how reliable are those beliefs with respect to what you’re thinking? How much wrong information is going into your conclusion?

Over just the last thirty years or so, scientists, philosophers and other brain specialists have discovered that what we experience as reality is not, on the whole, the truth of what it is. It is only our perception of our reality.

Now, it seems, the simple solution is this: if we want a different reality, we just have to change our thoughts. But I think it’s a little deeper than that; we have to change our core beliefs as well.

If we hold a core belief of abandonment, then our reality will reflect distrust, thinking most (or even everyone) will eventually leave us. We go into relationships cautiously. When someone eventually leaves, we think, ‘yup, I knew it!’

If we hold a core belief that the world’s against us, then our reality will reflect deep-seated anger (the old “chip on the shoulder”) over things in our immediate reality: our family, friends, coworkers, even strangers, animals and nature.

We all have core beliefs. We’ve been programmed since we came into this world. Good or bad, they’re there. The trick is to embrace and cultivate the good ones, and limit or extinguish the not-so-good ones.

Looking at the star in the video above, noticing the aliens celebrities from the peripheral vision, is an obvious example of what the mind is doing. Trying to identify and change a core belief…well, that’s not as easy for us, but it is possible.

The first step, of course, is to recognize what’s going on inside our minds. And that all begins with questions to ourselves. Questions that can be difficult to ask; answers that can be downright frightening.

May your perception of today be filled with peacefulness and joy.


Other Brain Games clips on Youtube

National Geographics’ Brain Games website. They have some really great examples you can try on their site.