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Transfiguration

Merriam-Webster defines Transfiguration as “a change in form or appearance: metamorphosis”.

We transfigure the meaning of events in our life to match the beliefs we hold as true. Here’s a simple example that many people have experienced.

If you have ever gone to the movies with a friend, perhaps you discussed afterwards “ your favorite scene” or “worst part” or ”best character”, etc. Do you and your friend completely agree on the favorite scene, worst part, or best character? It is highly unlikely that you do even though you are both watching the same movie at the same time. So, why does this happen?

We perceive our world and filter it’s meaning through beliefs we hold as true. We assemble the evidence of our interpretation to prove our point, thereby transfiguring, or fitting the perception to match our belief. Within the computer program Excel, this is referred to as a circular reference.

When different people receive the same input at the same time (i.e., at the same event), they interpret the meaning of that input through their own belief filters, giving meaning to perceptions based on learned emotional response patterns, patterns that might range from joyful optimism to angry outbursts, sometimes even rage.

Transfiguration

Well………I was driving home from the office at around 3pm yesterday on I40 in Albuquerque. Traffic was heavy and I slowed down quickly to merge on to I25 northbound and the person behind me had to slow down quickly as well. He passed me on the left and promptly saluted me with the “you’re #1 hand signal”. My filters were focused on safety, his filters might have been as well, but the expression was different. We were in the same event, at the same time with slightly different visual perspective because I was ahead of him.

Have you ever been really mad at someone because of something they have or have not done? Are you willing to consider that your points of view are different? If so, and you are willing to adopt a broader view and see things from a more elevated position then you may be more relaxed and present in the moment as an observer. Numerous medical studies show that relaxation and calmness have many beneficial influences on our body. Daily self-hypnosis calms our mind and activates the parasympathetic branch of our autonomic nervous system. However, hypnosis does not alleviate traffic congestion.

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