A New Turning Point Note #10

10. Perception

(Reposting from my LinkedIn account)

In my posting on September 1, I mentioned Krisnamurti’s viewpoint on addressing the problems of the world by starting to understand ourselves. For Krisnamurti, the process of understanding ourselves is not an isolated process, because we are the world and our problems are the world’s problems.

The question I asked myself was : “Could it be a good start to address the problem of self-knowledge in order to understand the problems of the World, and by solving our own problem, each of us can help to hold the World’s problems under control? “

Another Buddhist author, Ven Thich Toan Chau, in his writings on “Analyzing the Causes and Effects of Life” said:

Original text in Vietnamese:

Nhận thức đổi thay thì định hướng đời sống cũng theo đó mà đổi thay. 
Phật học gọi đó là CHUYỂN.
Muốn chuyển đời sống, phải chuyển nghiệp;
Muốn chuyển nghiệp, phải chuyển tri kiến hay nhận thức,
Hay khai sáng tri kiến là điều cần thiết nhất của sự chuyển hóa đời sống.

English Translation (proposed by me)

Changing your perception will change your orientation in life. 

In Buddhism, this process is called CHANGE or TRANSFORMATION;
To transform your life, you have to change your karma/kamma;
To change your karma, you have to change your knowledge or perception.
Enlightening your knowledge is the most important thing to do in order to change your life orientation.

As I understand it: the most important thing to do in order to change your life is to enlighten your knowledge or perception of the world, and to do so, the first step is to open your mind to analyse and meditate on the causal relation of your deeds.

Under http://dictionary.com, the definition of “perception” which origin comes from Middle English ‘percepcioun’, Old French ‘percepcïon’, and Latin ‘perception’ reads:


1. the act or faculty of perceiving, or apprehending by means of thesenses or of the mind; cognition; understanding.

2. immediate or intuitive recognition or appreciation, as of moral,psychological, or aesthetic qualities; insight; intuition; discernment:

an artist of rare perception.

3. the result or product of perceiving, as distinguished from the act ofperceiving; percept.

4. Psychology. a single unified awareness derived from sensory processeswhile a stimulus is present.

5. Law. the taking into possession of rents, crops, profits, etc.

Merriam-Webster dictionary reads:

per·cep·tion noun\pər-ˈsep-shən\

  1. the way you think about or understand someone or something
  2. the ability to understand or notice something easily
  3. the way that you notice or understand something using one of your senses

Related to Perception:


Concise Encyclopedia

Process of registering sensory stimuli as meaningful experience. The differences between sensation and perception have varied according to how the terms are defined. A common distinction is that sensations are simple sensory experiences, while percepts are complex constructions of simple elements joined through association. Another is that perception is more subject to the influence of learning. Though hearing, smell, touch, and taste perceptions have all been explored, vision has received the most attention. Structuralist researchers such as Edward Bradford Titchener focused on the constituent elements of visual perceptions, whereas Gestalt psychology has stressed the need to examine organized wholes, believing humans are disposed to identifying patterns. Visual objects tend to appear stable despite continually changing stimulus features (such as ambient light, perspective, ground vs. figure arrangement), which enables an observer to match a perceived object with the object as it is understood to exist. Perceptions may be influenced by expectations, needs, unconscious ideas, values, and conflicts.

As for research on this notion, my search on google indicate about 27’600’000 results. I am picking up a few which are, in my view, related to what is needed on the buddhist point of view:

The first one is an article by Victoria Lysenko, a research professor at the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, entitled “What is immediate perception? the Buddhist Answer” mentioned Professor Laurence BonJour’s statement in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Fall 2001):

The notion of ‘perception’ requires 2 criteria:

The first one appeals to the idea of inference: something is immediately experienced or is given if the cognitive consciousness of it is not arrived at via any sort of inferential process. The second appeals to the idea of certainty: something is immediately experienced or given if the awareness of it is certain, incapable of being mistaken

Another article worth exploring is the “Classical Indian Philosophy’s Perceptual Experience and Concept” published on Dec 2, 2010 on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy website. It reads:

“Classical Indian Philosophy accepts perception (pratyaka), or perceptual experience, as the primary means of knowledge (pramāa). Perception (pratyaka) is etymologically rooted in the sense-faculty or the sense-organ (aka) and can be translated as sensory awareness, whilepramāa, on the other hand, is derived from knowledge (pramā) and, literally means ‘the instrument in the act of knowing’. However, the standard interpretation of perception accepted by classical Indian philosophers, barring the Buddhists and the Vedāntins, is that it is a cognition arising within the self—the knowing subject—from mental operations following a sense-object contact. It, therefore, is neither an instrument in the act of knowing, nor a mere sensory awareness. Definitions of perception from various classical Indian philosophy schools are given in section 2 – Perspectives on Perception – which includes


In the Vietnamese Buddhist Teachings, I have come across the teachings of Ven. Thich Tu Thong on “Duy Thức Học Yếu Luận” in audiobooks form. here is the link for those interested.

http://www.pgvn-haitrieuam.com. The book in Vietnamese is available for free download under http://nigioikhatsi.net/kinhsach-pdf/DuyThucHocYeuLuan_ThichTuThong.pdf.

You may find also the teachings in pdf format for free download under


Have a nice day,

Anita H.

You can read my other postings under http://sbitrainingsolutions.blogspot.ch/p/blog-on-linkedin-back-to-square-one-new.html


Published by Anita H.

Expert in Intercultural Communication, navigating between 4 cultures and 5 languages which I use daily for work and leisure. Author of blogs on wordpress and blogspot on SBI Training Solutions Projects: vietnamhoc, yourvietnamexpert, yourvietbooks, sbi-training.com.

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