When I have an experience, I immediately want to make sense of it. I start this process by feeding my perceptions of the event through my reality filters. Instinctively, my mind is geared to judge, categorize, and prioritize my perceptual input according to my imagination’s threat vs benefit program.
Bridging the gap between reality and perception, my imagination convinces me that my evaluations of and my explanations for the experience are correct. As primal responses to perceived survival needs, my instincts are separated by imagination from my conscious, thinking, focused awareness of present state of being.
Instinct and conscious thinking influence my responses to my perception. I’d like to trust that those responses are correct as to benefits and threats. Knowing what’s appropriate behavior for my survival must come before the event occurs in order for me to feel fully justified for my actions.
How does perception fill in the blank?
In this way, my imagination “fills in the blanks” so I have a complete experience.
At levels 1-3, I tend to unconsciously react to my environment with irrational imaginings. I:
- perceive – through my imagination’s threat or benefit filters
- do – instinctively behave in reaction to my filtered perception
- think – justify my behavior
At levels 4-6, I consciously choose to use the scientific method to act in relationship with my environment as I imagine it. I:
- Ask a question
- Do research
- Construct a hypothesis based on research
- Test my hypothesis
- Analyze data and draw a conclusion
- Communicate my conclusion to elicit feedback from others
- Improve the original question and repeat the process as necessary
- Construct strategies and act upon them
At level 7, I unconditionally embrace my creation.