In our morning walks we often have some spirited discussions in our group. The other day a friend asked us to interpret the quote below:

Its English translation could mean “WHAT YOU SEE IS NOT SO (UNREAL) AND WHAT YOU DON’T SEE IS SO (REAL)! Each one of us gave our own interpretation and an interesting debate ensued. The meaning of the one I liked best is hidden in this profound quote: “I close my eyes so I can see”

I invite you to share your thoughts too?



About dilipnaidu

An open mind! Love to share my thoughts and a keenness to learn. An engineer and a MBA I had a wonderful innings in the Army and later moved to consultancy and teaching. My current interests are music and growing culinary herbs. Love to play golf and do yoga regularly. I am serious on "Living life less seriously". A warm welcome to you be well and be cheerful always.

37 responses »

  1. What we need to do then—is to see and not see at the same time.
    Or as the Christian bible says, learn to be “in the world but not of it.”


  2. Interesting discussion – Patty


  3. Our perceptions decide the ‘truth’ at a point of time. Perception itself is changing all the time. Hence truth is changing. Truth is dynamic.


  4. Sahajo says:

    ” Dukh ka Dukh hi Dukh hai, varna Dukh Dukh nahi hai!”



    • Dilip says:

      Hi Sahajo so nice to hear from you. And as always an apt quote from you small but with a powerful meaning.

      The moral to me is “If you dwell and keep thinking (negatively) on something that you believe is causing unhappiness then you got to suffer that unhappiness. On the other hand ‘unhappiness’ really is just an illusion. So it is our thoughts which create all the unhappiness for us.

      Hope I got it – nearly though 🙂

      Trust you doing very well and cheers.


  5. suhas says:

    Your morning walkers are great.I see (read hear them) often. If you open the Bhagwad Gita at random you wll find many such discussion subjects / quotes.KEEP WRITING


  6. Binod Luitel says:

    Dear Sir,

    We determine in our life what there is to be seen. What we see is limited by our imagination. Our belief system determines what there is to be seen and what we actually see. Again, it’s our belief system that determines what we view as possible. Therefore, what we view as impossible we never attract or create in our life and we never see it.

    I always remember Dr. Covey while talking about perception. He states that “We see the world not as it is but as we are”. According to him, whenever we open our mouth to describe about people or things outside, we in fact, describe about ourselves, our paradigms, our perception and our own feelings.


    • Dilip says:

      Binod my dear and honorable friend from the Himalayan Kingdom – a warm welcome to you.

      You have extracted the essence of this post by aptly quoting Dr. Covey “We see the world not as it is but as we are”. And when we point a finger at others our four fingers are pointing towards us – this I believe is the greatest truth!

      Thanks Binod do drop-in again! Cheers!


  7. Navin Kumar says:

    Dear Sir,

    Focus on 2 words i.e., HELP & PERCEPTION are essential for managers grappling with uncertainty and perpetual change.
    Why help? Because it is important for managers to learn how to give and receive help.

    The reason being, how we perceive various elements of the environment in which we and our organizations operate leads us to realise that it is perpetual change(technological, social, political, economic, and off course the distribution of resources) all around us which has to be coped with. And with so much of action happening at all fronts around us one just can’t become a master of everything.

    Without imbibing the essence of help in one’s behaviour and attitude, choices & decisions would become increasingly difficult for the individual managing resources, and taking the organization in a certain direction.

    Now, the question arises, being a talented and smart manager who is supposed to lead from the front, who should know what is he/she doing, the word ‘help’ may sound a difficult proposition because it would be humiliating and downgrading oneself if he/she has to seek assistance from peers, and subordinates.Our lives would be more comfortable if we have learnt how to appreciate different perceptions and not lose focus from achieving organization’s objectives.

    Just as we have benefited in the area of understanding emotions (through emotional intelligence) I guess we can take a more well rounded approach to understanding the varying perceptions of individuals in the capacity of them being different stakeholders.
    May be we can use a phrase or a buzzword “Perceptual Intelligence” to popularise the art of understanding different perceptions which ultimately contributes in deciding organizational objectives, how to go about achieving and them anticipating the roadblocks well in advance.



    • Dilip says:

      Dear Navin,

      From your analysis on perceptions in a workplace environment I am convinced you as a manager and a HR professional will contribute meaningfully to the well being of the organization you are in.

      Good luck to you you my friend.


  8. Sriram says:

    “He who knows not and knows not he knows not: he is a fool – shun him. He who knows not and knows he knows not: he is simple – teach him. He who knows and knows not he knows: he is asleep – wake him. He who knows and knows he knows: he is wise – follow him.” – attributed to confucius (though there are various others too)

    This is the right quote Kotts…

    A wise man has no perception – because all he sees is just pure unadulterated truth. (see how perception works? even TRUTH needs adjectives!!)
    Perception in lay terms is the cognitive interpretation of sensory experiences. So by definition it is ‘second’ hand and subjective. Hence it has been termed as the product of IGNORANCE – Maya as Shankara would put it.
    Perception in human evolution seems to be of use to help process information quickly in order to help make decisions – so much for its utility.
    So perception is good – at existential level. However just as system upgrades also mean that you change the way you did things with the system, as we move from existential to eternal, we need to move away from perception into reality.
    The wonder of perception is that its like an illusion, it hardly ever goes away. Else how is it possible for ‘intelligent’ humans to spend a few billion dollars on fairness creams? and with modern communication it appears that we are being taken for wonderful rides by perception!
    Our Masters realized this early and hence declared that ‘this world as we know it is FALSE’. How can it be Truth if it has as many meanings as people and their state of mind at the moment?
    But no! we say – i can touch it, feel it, i can think about it so its REAL. That’s because we have got our concept of REAL incorrect. Changeless is REAL. Change is UNREAL. – so now is the world real?

    So how do we change the saying to ‘jo dikhta hai – wahi hai aur jo hai – wahi dikhta hai’?

    Shankara says – if that happens then there is NO WORLD and there would be no you & me – there would only be consciousness and nothing else (ofcourse even now there isn’t but perception helps create all this!)- the world derives its existence from maya. Hence it is said to be anaadhi & anant – beginningless and endless.

    So how does one then see / hear / touch / feel /smell – what IS? by becoming the SEER – the Observer and not the actor. The Cinema Screen – shows floods / raging fires / beautiful sceneries etc. but always knows that these are play of light and are not real. So the screen doesn’t take it seriously – it doesn’t get euphoric with the heroism of the hero nor does it feel low when the villain is displaying his vain glory. At best its merely amused.

    So all we need to do is ensure that we also know that perception is the projector making those scenes appear as real when they just aren’t. Just as when the lights go on, the show is over and we ‘wake up’ to our ‘normal lives’. similarly we need to turn on the ‘awareness’ light and wake up from ignorance to truth and eternity. Thus we become the One who KNOWS he KNOWS, the One Who Sees He Sees and The ONE….

    Thanks Sir, for a thought provoking morning walk – and to all the contributors who have added their ‘perspectives’!!

    May we all rise to the Truth!



    • Dilip says:

      Dear Sriram.

      This is it! you have brilliantly crafted some very valuable insights from a seemingly innocuous quote – ranging from Maya as explained by Shankara to being an observer of hero’s and the villains antics on the Cinema Screen and to being taken for royal billion dollars rides on items like fairness creams?

      You deserve a deep bow my friend for sharing your wisdom to all of us reading this blog! Thank you young sir!


    • Vatsala Naidu says:

      Dear Sir,
      My name is Vatsala and I’ve recently started reading your blog & it is indeed an enriching experience. It may sound like a cliche but the word truth itself is an illusion. Adding to the misery of human understanding,wisdom, knowledge and so on are words & phrases like paradigm shift, intellect, intelligent,perception,beliefs,values etc.
      All I know is that using religious texts and examples to elaborate the meaning of perception has been going on since time immemorial.The results are before us to see.The belief based approach to understand & define the words mentioned above needs to be rested and the wheel has to move in an alltogether new direction.
      Best Wishes,
      Vatsala Naidu


      • dilipnaidu says:

        Hello Vatsala,

        Welcome to this blog and thank you for sharing your thoughts. I must admit that I learn and enjoy from the different perspectives of my readers. I respect you views and reservations on the belief based approach to understand & define the words. I guess it may work for some whilst for some just a simple one will suffice.

        Thanks once again do visit again!


  9. Kotts says:

    I’ve been wanting to comment on this post for the past three days. And each time I sat down to ponder over the meaning, I found something new in it.

    If I may be candid, I’ve not quite evolved to the point where I can claim to absorb the full meaning of this wonderful quote.

    I tried to look for mundane examples. The first one that struck me was the case of aggressive people. It is common knowledge that, those who are aggressive (associated with potency) usually suffer from some sort of insecurity (associated with weakness). So here the aggressiveness is not aggression but a manifestation of a weakness, an insecurity…

    In the same vein, a placid personality might be mistaken for someone who is docile. But this is many a time not the case, because quiet people are usually extremely strong, resilient etc.

    As I kept thinking about this, another quote that is vaguely related cropped up in my head. The quote was scribbled in my notebook by a childhood friend who sat by my side in class 11.
    It went something like this:

    “Wisest is she who knows that she doesn’t know”

    I have long lost touch with her, but this is certainly a lesson for life, for which I will always be grateful to her.

    When we claim to know it all, we are actually manifesting ignorance (usually accompanied by arrogance).
    Likewise, when we claim to not know it all, we are actually manifesting wisdom, as we leave open a window of reasoning.

    PS: On a lighter note, somehow, my wisdom was never noticed and appreciated , when I answered my teachers’ questions with a humble “I don’t know”, especially during exams!!!


  10. girish says:

    Respected sir,

    Though I believe that all that glitters is not gold but we have to hear the voice of our conscience while we visualize anything. I firmly believe that the innermost conscience can never go wrong in giving us wisdom to do a thing or interpret.




  11. dominic724 says:

    The principle illusion is that you are a “me”. It’s so huge that all the other misperceptions are like flea bites compared to it. It’s wonderful that you have a group that is interested in examining the essential questions. Kind Regards, dn


    • Dilip says:

      A powerful insight indeed! Yes ‘ME’ is the root of our egoic mind that colors all our perceptions.

      Many thanks for your visit and for enriching this post. I’d love learn more from your thoughts through your blog.

      Best regards!


  12. Lubna says:

    All that glitters is not gold. True. But in this materialistic world, we do tend to chase glitter, even if it is a mirage. Hope you are having a nice Sunday.


  13. Geetha says:

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for this great post and the profound quote!

    I like this too: “Open Your Mind Before Your Open Your Mouth”. And I also like what Mr. Mark Sanborn has said about ‘perception’ in his new book, ‘Up, Down, or Sideways’: “Perception isn’t reality, but it shapes your reality.” Or this one by someone else: “The series of thoughts that cross your mind when you see or hear something is perception and perceived means what you think beyond what you see”.

    Let’s also consider this by William Blake:

    “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to Man as it is: infinite. For Man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.”

    Clear perception along with accurate discernment can help us in all situations.

    And one of the best books I have ever read about ‘perception’ is The Noticer by Andy Andrews.Here he says:

    “One of wisdom’s greatest benefits is accurate discernment – the learned ability to immediately tell right from wrong. Good from evil. Acceptable from unacceptable. Time well spent from time wasted. The right decision from the wrong decision. And many times this is simply a matter of having the correct perspective.

    How does perspective relate to wisdom?

    Here’s the connection. One way to define wisdom is the ability to see, into the future, the consequences of your choices in the present. That ability can give you a completely different perspective on what the future might look like.”

    Whenever two people meet there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other sees him, and each man as he really is. – William James

    And it is because perceptions vary that we have conflicts! And when it comes to learning about Conflict Resolution, the best poem that comes to my mind is this:

    The Six Blind Men of Indostan ~ John Godfrey Saxe

    “It is a good warning about how our sensory perceptions can lead to some serious misinterpretations; especially, when the investigations of the component parts of a whole, and their relations in making up the whole, are inadequate and lack co-ordination.”

    Thanks and regards,



  14. I’m back again as I want to subscribe to your posts Dilip. That way, won’t miss any. Margie


  15. Ooh, I love this quote. It takes some practice. We are so used to seeing things in a normal way, with our eyes.


  16. anda says:

    That quote is wonderful. I often feel that when I go to meditate I am returning to reality—closing my eyes to what is unreal.


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