New Perceptions

I’ve discovered that hawks, and many other birds, have 4 different receptor-sensitivities in their eyes, unlike humans who only have 3: red, green and blue. That means we can see these 3 colours, as well as combinations of them: yellow, orange, and purple. But hawks can Hawk, Harris'ssee more colours than we can, including the ultraviolet spectrum. So it seems that there exist more colours than we can perceive. Yet we go through life thinking that there are only a certain number of colours, because that’s all we can see, that’s all we have experienced.

That’s a bit of a metaphor for how we often live our lives. We think we perceive the world as it really is, but we are actually bounded by what we already know and by habitual thoughts which tell us that things are a certain way and no other. Yet hawks show us that this is not true – when we look at anything, we are only seeing a part of it. We’re missing colours which we have no way of even imagining. And so it is with any experience – if we insist on translating everything through our knowledge of past events and holding to the same thought patterns we’ve always had, we miss out on so much.

While there is be no way we can see our world as a hawk sees it, there are surely other ways in which we can broaden our perception. Could we not look at our life with fresh eyes, and see things a bit differently? A new year is coming, and I’m setting it as my goal to go do something absolutely new in 2019 which is quite outside of my usual experience. Something that will generate new thoughts and ideas, and challenge me in ways I’ve not done before. Effectively, I’m determined to bring new and amazing colour into my life.