A guy called Bill Harris, whose name probably means nothing to most of you, passed a couple of weeks ago from this world, where cancer exists, to the next, where it doesn’t.
I spent a weekend, years ago, in a workshop he was leading. I didn’t know him well. I might, at least back in the day, have been ok with that.
All of that aside, Bill Harris changed my life. And, just maybe, the lives of some of you who’ve known me a while.
You see, Bill Harris is the guy who taught me about filters and maps of reality and the ways people change.
He taught me some other stuff, too, but this, for me, is where it all comes together.
Bill made this chart that basically explained human perception — at least as much as we understand about it — and its relationship to the results we get in our lives.
I used to give my clients copies of the chart, with none of the words written in, and walk them through it so they could fill it in for themselves.
It has a lot to do with neurophysiology and quantum physics.
Here’s the link to Bill’s latest book, Thresholds of the Mind. It’s way worth the reading. The chart is in there and he explains it better than I do!
This is the short version.
There are 2 or 3 billion bits of information coming at us at all times.
On a good day, our brain can handle a couple of hundred in any given moment.
The way we survive is to establish a complex set of (mostly) unconsious filters to block out all the stuff we can’t manage.
What gets through the filters is, largely, what matches the map of reality we all have.
Which is a lot like seeing only what we expect to see.
That, combined with the choices we make and the context in which we exist, determines our experience of the world. The results we get in our lives.
And everybody we know is doing the same thing, all the time, and most of us have no idea it’s even happening.
This weekend is a good example of how it all works.
Ten lives were lost in a school shooting in Texas on Friday. Countless more were impacted in ways we can’t begin to know.
There’s been a wedding going on across the wee pond. A wedding that is, in many ways, groundbreaking.
The American political primary season is in full swing and many of us are wondering not only which candidates to support but what the odds are that our votes will be counted accurately and fairly.
And which of those things are getting through to us have a whole lot to do with our filters and our map of reality.
There’s no judgement here. Just hope.
I didn’t get up at 5 am to watch the wedding. I know a lot about weddings. And I was up late the night before making prayer dots on paintings for the victims in Texas, and for a very sick baby and his grandmother whom I adore.
Today, more dots and an enormous pot of turkey broth that will feed lots of people I care about and quite a few I don’t even know.
All the while hoping that the big wedding across the wee pond will somehow bring more tolerance and peace to a world that could use a whole lot more of both.
And a reminder that when we get conscious of some of those filters, and the fact that our maps of reality are maps and not concrete reality (Whatever that is!), things can, indeed, get different.
Bill Harris drew the chart.
The work is up to us.