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Perspective: on point

What’s the point of having an opinion, when even physics proves the powerful effects of changing your perspective? If we are better-off changing our point of view, in order to understand the universe or someone else better, then we better become comfortable with changing our stance.

The point is that having a personal viewpoint gives us a false sense of purpose. Because when purpose is derived from protecting one’s perspective, then one’s perception tends to be limited. Though, perhaps this is merely my personal opinion.

Still, the purpose of perspective is to change. To ponder those things, we know nothing about. When we become interested in topics we have not perceived of before, we expand ourselves in more ways than one. That’s when the purpose of perspective becomes aroused.

According to leading neuroscience, every experience we have causes new neural activity. Networks of neurons (brain cells) keep interacting with one another according to the very experiences we are having. Completely original networks have even been forming in your brain while reading this article, and more and more complex connections keep forming between neurons in different parts of the brain as the article unfolds. With every new word, sentence and paragraph, more elaborate activity occurs within the brain as your perspective changes along with it. The brain literally changes through experience, and as your experience changes, so does your perspective.

Let’s broaden our frame of reference for a more specific interpretation. Perspective is defined as a particular attitude or way of regarding something – a point of view. But we rarely refer to the actual vantage point or angle we possess in life due to our unique position. We usually consider our political, religious and other cultural approaches to be of more value to the world than what we can see from wherever we may be situated. Could that be the reason why we are so entitled to not only have strong opinions, but also to having them heard?

It’s been engrained into our subconscious to have something to say about every topic of discussion. If we don’t join in the controversial conversations of society, we don’t seem to carry the same value as our peers. Yet, how much of what we believe to be our opinions, are actually our own? How much of what we stand for has been indoctrinated into our minds from childbirth through adolescence, and how much of it is based purely on our individual logic and perception? It’s more than probable that the majority of thoughts and assumptions that float around in our minds didn’t originate there.

It is in light of this probability that we can see the profoundness of practicing the adaptation of one’s personal point of perception. Why participate in the debacle of debate if it is just in order to protect our ideals instead of testing our theories in comparison with the ideas of others? If there is a purpose in having an opinion, shouldn’t it be to expand and evolve ourselves despite what our beliefs might entail?

On the other hand, let’s look at linear perspective which is defined as the art of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the correct impressions of their properties and positions in relation to each other. Though this explanation refers to a more geometrical and creative concept of perspective, it shows a rather authentic alternative when discussing our standpoints with one another.

Instead of being highly opinionated and thus limited in our observations, we can shift our stance towards a linear perspective. Seeing our debates as a picture being drawn by two parties, may allow us to be more open-minded within every tête-à-tête we engage in. As both parties attempt to illustrate the most accurate representation of reality (whether we refer to objects drawn on paper or concepts drawn up mentally), they are both flawed in their completeness of the subject, since they possess different views. Only by permitting both perspectives to be taken into account, can the absolute art piece be accomplished.

Then it is not surprising at all when we regard the importance of neurology in this situation. In the same way that our minds activate by firing particular groups and networks of neurons during a certain experience, those same neurons would fire up when we observe another human having that same experience. These are known as mirror-neurons, and it means that we involuntarily mimic each other’s brain activity when we observe each other. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough studies regarding this phenomenon’s connection with the empathic abilities of humans.

But imagine how closely we must be related to anyone and everyone we observe, that our brain functions basically sync up because of this simple act of observation. Perhaps when we consider another’s viewpoint on something, it will be easier to let our own opinions dissipate if we make perception the focus. Perceiving the other without trying to influence their perspective might allow for us to loosen the tight grip we have on our ideas of reality and change our minds about things.

Because “to be is to be perceived” in the words of the British Philosopher Bishop Berkeley, and to perceive is to have perspective.

Hence, the only perspective that truly manifests is perspective expanding itself.