Chapter 1 - The Magic of 134
The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
Our world is a magical place.
It's full with sounds, sights, and experiences that have filled us with everything from surprise to awe to horror. Everything from a walk to the beach to the setting of the sun, to that first kiss.
What makes it magical is in fact the variety of experience. It's the longing for the taste of the desert, the feel of his or her hand in yours, the expectation of a great movie, book or play. These experiences make up each and every passing moment of our lives.
Each experience can however, be seen through multiple viewpoints, multiple truths. Take for instance the experience of tasting an avocado. One person will love it, the other will dislike it and a third will find no reason to taste it whatsoever. Is the avocado tasty or not? It all depends on your viewpoint. We'll cover much more on perceived viewpoint throughout this book.
Right now, what is important is to understand how much information your are consciously aware of and how much is passing you by without you even knowing.
It is hypothesised that the human brain in bombarded by approximately two-million bits of information every second. One bit may be the colour of the tree, or the shape of the car, or the weather, the feel of t he pen in your hand, and on and on. Take a moment to imagine what two million matchsticks may look like, and add another two-million every second until you have accounted for one-minute. How many matchsticks do you have? One-hundred and twenty million match sticks. That's one-hundred and twenty million pieces of information your brain receives and must process.
This is why the number One-hundred-and-thirty-four is so important. It represents the total bits of information your brain is able to process every second of your life. Out of those two million matchsticks, your brain is consciously aware of only one hundred and thirty four. The rest are discarded and we'll see in a moment just how that is done.
What I want you to understand at this early stage is that most of what you touch, see, hear, feel and taste is outside of your awareness. What you call life, what we all call our experience in this world is really only a fraction of what is going in.
This gives rise to a simple question. What does this say about what is real?
As you read this book, you are probably unaware of the weight of the book, the texture and smell of the pages, the humidity and temperature in the air, the smell and sounds around you. Have you noticed how many times your heart beats per minute or the tension in your back? Are you aware of how your clothes feel?
Your mind processes all this information every second and chooses what will remain in your conscious awareness. This is incredibly significant.
The mechanism by which this choice is made is the sum of your beliefs and values. Basically, if an experience is important to you (i.e. it is part of your belief system) your mind will keep it within your awareness. If it is not important to you, you will not be aware of the information contained within it.
It leads to the question, “What is real?”
If reality is defined by what we experience, what does it mean when we are not aware of ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the world around us? What does it say for our decision making processes, how we treat our friends and family, the wars we fight, the love we make and the stories we tell ourselves?
Simply put. Reality is not real.
Reality as you define it is different to the way I define it. We may have similarities we accept but our fundamental way of seeing the world is dependent upon the one-hundred-and-thirty-four pieces of information we choose.
When you see a sunrise, you may be in awe of the light, the colour or the taste in the air. For me, the sunrise may represent the birth of another day of opportunity. I may notice the colour and the light but only in the way you notice a passing tree. What we deem as important is different.
What you need moment to moment changes and so your mind must follow specific steps to accommodate your focus. It will:
1. Delete – Delete any unnecessary information it does not need, or is marked as unimportant. For example, the number of red cars you saw today.
2. Distort – Distort information you are filtering, to make it fit into categories of importance you have unconsciously established. For example, the number of times you heard ‘I love you’ today may be distorted to include the number of times it was also written to you.
3. Generalise – Generalise all the information into one group, giving all things with similarities the same meaning. You have seen thousands of doors; different colours, shapes, locks and handles, but they are all still doors.
These two million pieces of information are reduced to a mere one-hundred-and-thirty-four bits you have conscious awareness of, and as you focus upon them your mind takes this as a directive for what to include in the next second and what to delete, distort and generalise.
Take a moment to consider your awareness of all the information coming at you from all your senses. You have one million, nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, eight hundred and sixty six (1,999,866 ) bits of information from the world around you not being used in your every-day life. What might be different if you become more aware? What relationships might be saved, what work might be improved, what opus might be written or grand opera choreographed? Ultimately, we are all projecting our reality, our world based on one-hundred-and-thirty-four bits of information. This is our perception and this is how we see the world.
Our beliefs and values are constantly shaping what enters our conscious awareness. We could say that all we see is a projection of all we believe and value. We tend to project onto the world the way we perceive it, and so it is. It is important to remember though that each of us is projecting our own version, our own little opera.
Our differences of opinion, our heated debates all point to seeing and experiencing the world through a different point of reference. What we argue about is not the thing itself, rather our need to validate and correctify our belief in it. If I accept and internalise your belief in something, it now becomes mine and consequently I project it into my world. We know this in some deep recess of our consciousness, which is why we fight so hard to validate our view of the world.
Try this exercise to see for yourself. Look around your room, or wherever you are, and count the number of times you see the colour blue.
Go on. Do it now!
How many times did you see the colour blue? Now, without looking, how many times did you see the colour red? Once, twice...maybe three times. Maybe you did not see it at all.
Now look around and count the actual instances of red.
Did you see it more times? The answer is likely yes. Why is this important to us?