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A Portal Into Self-Awareness – Recognizing The Personal Nature Of Perception

Written by: Dr. Jackie Lau, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


How can our relationship with our smartphones teach us about our relationship with ourselves and others? How often do you pick up your smartphone on average per day? 25 times? 175 times? Do you have a friendly relationship with your phone? Does it depend on whether the phone is being a bearer of good or bad news at that particular moment? If your answer is yes for the second question, does it then change your answer for the first question? Wait for it…

Does it then also reflect how you are with people in general? In other words…

Does how much you like somebody vary depending on whether the version of them at that moment conveniences the version of you you’d like to identify with at that moment?

The day you teach the child the name of the bird, the child will never see that bird again.” ― Jiddu Krishnamurti

All forms of label or judgement, the seeming “good” or “bad” dualistic intention in identifying someone or something as “good” or “bad,” is the mind’s attempt to relate an unfamiliar or undesirable to a familiar, i.e., generalization, in order to gain a sense of certainty, despite the accuracy by actuality, to feel safe.

What if we’re actually safe to make judgements… rather than to judge judgements as “bad,” which is itself a dualistic judgement? What if judgements are a necessary part of the human condition?

We are not separated by the edge of our skin

It is in our human condition to label and identify other humans through pattern recognition ― the part of our mind that is anchored to perceiving another person as a fixated separate entity embodying a constant set of personality traits and images, in order for the survival part of us to feel a sense of certainty, albeit one that is potentially and most likely illusory.

We, as much as the next person, are quite familiar with the language pattern “He/She is always like this, he/she never…”

Imagine, when we carry an internal or external dialogue that involves assertive vocabularies like “always” or “never,” what is running through our mind about another person? Would it be a repeated, still image of that person or a dynamic movie with different moments and seasons?

All forms of assumption, exaggeration, and generalization are means for our mind to gain a sense of personal certainty, in order to fulfill our basic need for survival, despite its level of congruence with actuality or objective truth, or even personal truth.

We are all just collections of moments, and the moments are shared

Our mind is constantly conditioned subconsciously by repetition ― think of our progressively solidified sense of identification with, e.g., hierarchy relative to another person/system like authoritative figures, or consequences of an incidence such as traumatic experiences.

We, therefore, inevitably live in a perpetual gap between sensory-based “actually connecting to ourselves and our surroundings” and past mind-based “perceiving our self-image and our impression of our surroundings.” In other words ― one step away from life.

Paradoxical enough, the recognition of that gap itself closes the gap and frees us from absolute dualism into the experience of paradoxical unity, which is now visible, perceptible, and embraceable only because there is dualism.

To view relationships through Self-awareness all relationships are ultimately “personally” perceived

Ok, finally, a (relatively) more tangible example… Have you ever got into a fight or heated interaction with somebody, and it somehow went on for a while, let’s say the conflict or tension lasted for 4 days, almost like it became a thing itself, and ever since then, whenever you bumped into that person you felt awkward and thought to yourself “things will never be the same again”?

Unsurprisingly, the other person likely felt the same way, and the interactions went on to fit in some form of a conformation bias or self-fulfilling prophecy.

When you find yourself showing a pattern of reacting to the same person/situation the same way, it often means you have been completely missing who they really are or what it really is and merely seeing them as a mismatch to your concepts of how others or things should be at this moment for you to feel ok.

The habitual perception of a gap between the unfavorable and the preferred with others and our surroundings often reflects the same within ourselves. To stay in the convenience of the discomfort of our non-acceptance hinders our intimacy with growth, life, and others.

Liberation from the fixed-, absolute-, or no-self

What if we can be bold, gentle, and honest with ourselves? “I do not understand anything truly or fully”. In fact, “I realize how little I really understand anything.”

And allow the ultimately “unknown” dynamics of life.

The ultimate awareness of the human condition unveils the ultimately dualistic nature of the impression that dichotomizes the mind and pure presence.”

We are all in this messy and paradoxical constellation together, each holding onto some subjective concepts, some objective emotionally charged impressions, some personal truth, some objective truth based on past associations; some holding onto surrendering, some surrendering to holding on…

All is well…as it is.

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Dr. Jackie Lau, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Jackie Lau is a neuroscientist and an experienced international life coach who is fascinated with human behaviors and the mechanisms underlying our mental and emotional states. With a deep appreciation for the integrative approach of modern psychology, neuroscience, and spirituality, Jackie is a top life coach in Australia and has co-created with people all over the world to radically transform into more self-awareness, sense of purpose, and inner freedom.

Jackie is trained as a strategic interventionist and breakthrough specialist with Robbins-Madanes Training, directed by Tony Robbins, which combines effective techniques evolved from neurolinguistic, psychological, and therapeutic inter-disciplines. As a curious researcher, Jackie completed her Ph.D. in neuroscience at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia, studying the neural circuits governing motivation and reward. She is currently researching neurodegenerative diseases, with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease, investigating the molecular basis relating neuroplasticity to cognition.

Leveraging her diverse cultural background, Jackie is profoundly devoted to studying Eastern and Western philosophy and literature, learning transformative wisdom from influential life strategists and spiritual teachers. In the fervency of her gratitude, for over a decade, she earnestly empowers people from all walks of life to live our authentic virtuous Self and commit to becoming love. Through ingenious modalities including mindset transformation and meditation, Jackie is inspired to cultivate our connection to a deeper world, one that nourishes our spiritual heart rather than feeds our time-bound predicament of patterns, one that channels our fear of pain into lasting pull to joy, appreciation, and peaceful presence.

Jackie loves the art of music and dance. She trained as a classical violinist from a young age, later on, discovered her passion for classical guitar, and has also been a dedicated hip-hop dancer and instructor since her college years. Her creative journey has never ceased to open doors for the extraordinary in the ordinariness of life.

Jackie’s vision is to co-create with the human family as part of nature, to tune in consciously and align with our thoughts, emotions, and actions, and to live passionately and playfully with full presence.



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