How You Perceive Reality

Your Beliefs Are Stored In A Database

Without your knowing, you have accumulated a whole set of beliefs since you were a small child, thousands and thousands of beliefs. Depending on context, they can also be called expectations, preferences and opinions.

A baby is born with only a few beliefs, enough for survival. However, as the child starts to grow up and accumulate more and more beliefs, the definition of “me” also grows.

These beliefs come from parents, teachers, friends, tv, books and society. The child is like a sponge that soaks up everything in his/her environment.

All these beliefs are stored in the mind in, what I call, the Belief System Database. Memories are also stored as beliefs in this same database.

Soon the child has created a definition of herself with a personality. She has likes, dislikes, judgments, opinions and emotions.

As a teenager and later as an adult, the Belief System Database contains all the information needed for the definition of self.

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Your Internal Interpretation Of Reality

The way you perceive the external world is called your Perception Of Reality. It’s similar to the external world but not the same, it’s your own internal interpretation of it.

Are you saying that we don’t actually see the objective external word but rather an interpretation of it? Yes, that’s exactly right. If you have never thought about this, then read the above paragraph again and allow it to sink in.

Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change. ~ Wayne W. Dyer

What Is The Objective External Reality?

The physical body is the sensing machine that is in contact with the objective external world through the five senses: seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting. Fairly obvious.

The data from the senses is sent to the brain for further processing. Although the physical body and the brain have information about the external world, your mind however, at this point, has no “perception” of it.

This is a good time to clarify the distinction between the brain and the mind. The brain is the physical object that sits in your skull. The mind is the non-tangible thinking process.

Therefore, objective reality is simply the information that’s captured by your five senses and transferred into your brain.

We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are. ~ Anais Nin

How Does Objective Become Subjective?

Now, the mind gets involved and performs a search in the Belief System Database for any beliefs or memories associated with the objective data captured by the senses.

Since no two people on this planet have the same Belief System Database, no two people will ever experience the same objective external reality the same way.

For the same external event, each person will have a unique and different interpretation of it.

All things are subject to interpretation. ~Friedrich Nietzsche


You enter an elevator and notice the sent of a perfume. The sent is the objective reality because the molecules that compose it are captured by the nose and transferred to the brain in exactly the same way for each person.

However, since your belief system is unique to yourself, the scent molecules will create a different interpretation for you than to anyone else.

The mind will search your Belief System Database for any beliefs (memories, expectations, preferences or opinions) associated with this smell. The search is instantaneous and you are not aware of it.

Let’s say that the search within your Belief System Database finds an entry that creates an internal interpretation that the scent is associated with your grandmother.

So even though the scent is simply a series of organic molecules floating in the air and picked up by your sense of smell, your mind has made a subjective interpretation that this scent is associated with your grandmother. It’s your own unique perception of reality.

Another person that enters the elevator and picks up the same objective molecules of perfume will have a different internal interpretation.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. ~Marcus Aurelius


Allow me to restate the opening paragraph of this section. “The way your perceive the external world is called your Perception Of Reality. It’s similar to the external world but not the same. It’s your own internal interpretation of it.”

Here’s a key conclusion that I will return to again and again within the EGO Hacking method: what happens in the objective external world (sensed by your senses) is not good or bad, right or wrong.

Whatever happens in the objective world simply is. It’s your own unique and subjective interpretation of it that makes it good or bad.

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. — William Shakespeare
Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view. ~ Obi-Wan Kenobi

If this concept has resonated with you, then find out more about EGO Hacking here