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can you explain what perception is?

is there any difference between 'thought' and 'perception'?

what is the connection of the past to thought or perception?


  • I think perception is of a sense like but there is going to be thoughts around our perceptions. Like could be that the body is tense. Could be more a mental perception like this math problem is hard.

  • @upekka said:
    what is the connection of the past to thought or perception?

    The nature of thought and perception in the delusional/ignorant phase is dependent on past karma patterns. The enlightened mind is independent of conditional thought or perception. However that thought can not be perceived independent of a passing connection ...

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    My view on it is that with perception what arises is the recognition of objects, which is contextual to what you have known in the past. These recognitions carry an emotional charge.

    From these perceptions can arise thoughts. For example you see a DVD in its case, it is a movie you recognise and remember fondly, then you may think, "why don't I watch that again, it was a good film." Thoughts generally have an active component, they often carry suggestions.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    It seems to me that perception is more about having developed a particular way of thinking that has hard-set. We all have random thoughts. Some we latch on to and explore further, some we dismiss and let go. If perception is what contributes to our observation and judgement of the people and world around us, it seems to me that they are the result of having latched onto something and further developed it. Often this happens as a result of how we are raised, you can see clearly when kids latch onto their parents ideals and carry them forward without much consideration for why they even think that way. Living in a small town, I see it a lot. Multiple generations of the same types of perceptions without questioning them.

    Thoughts are just randomly generated by the brain a lot of the time. They have no meaning until we assign them meaning. They are mostly fleeting.

    Perception is more how we view the world around us. "This is how I understand it." It is more how we interpret things. When we start to think about our perceptions that is when we should start to wonder where they come from and why we have them. We might consider where our thoughts come from, but not in quite the same way, as we have the choice to dismiss them or attach to them. Perceptions we often find are something that has developed either as a result of our upbringing or experiences/causes/conditions. They are more deeply rooted than thoughts, I think.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    edited April 2016

    Starting at about 54:00 John Dunne gets into the Abidharma understanding of perceptions and thoughts. It can be kind of hard to understand if you haven't heard it before but it is a pretty comprehensive description of the Buddhist understanding.

  • namarupanamarupa Veteran
    edited April 2016

    Sannya (one of the five aggregates) is defined as:

    Label; perception; allusion; act of memory or recognition; interpretation. See khandha

    "Is there any difference between 'thought' and 'perception?"

    Perception is our understanding of what we let in into our 6 senses. Thoughts are stories of that understanding.

    "What is the connection of the past to thought or perception?"

    The past shapes our present and future, so we must be careful how we handle our perception. Present thoughts are just stories we create which can be helpful when needed but not to be attached to.

    These are all my own understandings by the way.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Could thoughts be just the paints used to colour in ones perception and perceptions just the auto-reaction to similar stimuli, and these auto reactions rise up from the memory bank (of past experiences) which stores the habitual patterns (sankhara) ie, neuropathways that one has put together over the years ....

    "If you can change the way you look at things...the things you look at change...And old habitual patterns will also start to rearrange !"

  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    @upekka said:
    can you explain what perception is?

    is there any difference between 'thought' and 'perception'?

    what is the connection of the past to thought or perception?

    -Some argue perception is precursor to thought...

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    -Some argue perception is precursor to thought...

    Ah. Well said. That matches my experience. More perception, less endless thought, more perception ... On it!

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