PERCEPTION – Things Are Not What We Believe They Are

Serge’s two cents about PERCEPTION AND REALITY

A Full Moon Night On The Beach

The photo below shows a woman standing on the seashore facing the moon. The moon light is reflected on the ocean in the camera direction. The woman, the moon, the moon light and the camera are aligned.

The woman then decides to walk along the water for about an hour. To her delight she observes that the light reflection is following her. For the camera, the reflected moon light hasn’t changed. HOW COME THAT THE OCEAN SURFACE BETWEEN THE CAMERA AND THE WOMAN IS NOT ALL WHITE?

A Full Month Night On The Beach
A Full Moon Night On The Beach

What is happening?

The woman is perceiving the moon light. Thus that light can only be visualized if there is an observer. The next question is: WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THE OCEAN SURFACE WHEN THERE ARE NO OBSERVER?

The ocean surface on a full moon night must be different than on a zero moon night. The moon light activates some energy waves on the ocean surface that the observer’s eyes captures and transmits to the brain who will decode them into images. The reality of the moon light consists of visual waves. THUS THE IMAGE OF THE MOON LIGHT IS NOT ON THE OCEAN BUT IN THE OBSERVER’S BRAIN.

Visual perception is all about the conversion of the visual waves reality to images in the observer’s brain. In the same way, the camera produces a photo (visual waves of energy) that is perceived by an observer. The next question is: DOES THIS NOTION OF VISUAL PERCEPTION WORKS THE SAME WAY FOR SOUNDS?

The Tree In The Forest

A classical question asks: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”. Well the answer is no. The approach is the same as visual waves reality and image perception. When the tree falls, it creates a shockwave that can only be decoded as a sound by an observer’s brain. Thus the percussion of the fallen tree (reality) only becomes a sound in the observer head (perception). The brain functions like a radio that converts waves into sounds. The next question is: WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER SENSES?

The Five Senses And The Five Extra-Sensorial Senses

Sights and hearing realities are energy waves perceived as images and sounds in the observer’s brain. The same approach would also apply to touch, smell and taste. When we touch a table or move our hand in the surrounding air, we perceive either solidity or lightness. The reality lies touching waves of different density. The perception is the touch sense in the brain’s observer. The approach is the same for smell and taste. Thus all five senses proceed by receiving sensorial real waves that are decoded in the brain. The next question is: WHAT ABOUT THE EXTRA-SENSORIAL SENSES?

There is no reason why the approach for the five senses could not be extended to the five extra-sensorial senses: emotions, intuition, imagination, inspiration and consciousness. This confirm the assumption that our entire life is about perception. The ten different senses reality are energy waves whose representations are in our brain perception. Life is all about perception. No two persons have the same real waves perceptions and are subjective by nature. To address a conflict, two subjective parties should always start by healing their own perception.

The Observer And The Observed

Our life is all about perception that happens in our brain. The things, people  and the world (the observed) that we perceive are all in our brain (the observer). Everything the observer observes lies in his brain. THUS THE OBSERVER AND THE OBSERVED ARE PARTS OF THE SAME PERSON. THUS THE OBSERVER AND THE OBSERVED ARE THE SAME.

Illustration Of A Perception Conflict

The image below shows a hugging couple. Some people would perceive that the man is sitting while others would find it is the woman? Look again. Both are right as both are valid perceptions. The practical lesson about conflicts is that it is possible that opposite perceptions can both be right at the same time about the same issue.

Who hugs who?
Who hugs who? Who is sitting and who is standing?

18 Replies to “PERCEPTION – Things Are Not What We Believe They Are”

  1. That’s my situation
    It makes me feel stuck!
    I can’t get anything clear from him
    Even though I tried to ask and tell him about problems
    Many times I don’t sure what should do! Because No progress! Since march until now July! I wanna leave from there so much. Always Cold behavior a guy scorpio and yes I’m Aries (march 22)

    1. I hear you and feel for your situation. The fire of your passion (Aries) is being extinguished by his elusive water (Scorpio). Communication is not working and you don’t know what to do. You are wondering whether this blocking is temporary or permanent? You are hoping that he will change but that is not in your control. Changing something in yourself could make a difference. In a difficult relationship, the answer always starts with healing our own perception. This requires to improve our self-knowledge. In a private session I could help you gaining access to your true identity for making better life decisions. For more info, please visit:

  2. If I am not mistaken, this ancient, eastern philosophy riddle of the tree was originally addressing loss of nature and not sound. But let’s get to the question: it all depends how you define sound. If you define it as a vibration in the air, or a transfer of energy when it hits the ground, then the answer is YES. If you define it as a perception involving our ear and brain, then the answer is No. One could also suggest that in the way the riddle is mostly used these days, it is a bit anthropocentric, since it suggests that no other living things, animals or plants, would notice, may it be through something similar to what we call sound, or otherwise.
    Of course the underlying philosophical question is whether things exist even if nobody is there to see or otherwise experience them. Until the Pioneer spacecraft recorded the sound of interstellar space, no one had ever heard it. So does this mean that the sound of interstellar space only occurred for the first time then (2013), or has it been there all along? I think the latter is true. If you look back over the 4 billion years of evolution on earth, for most of that time no human was there to see or hear anything and yet we have a track record of what occurred.
    But I admit that when we speak of colors and sounds there are specific to the human experience, how we see and define the world around us, using scientific, and sometimes not to scientific descriptions. And as to the deeper philosophical implications, I am afraid that discussions must be reserved to a personal conversation. Cheers.

    1. Thanks Stephan for your always pertinent reflections. A good synthesis of this topic from metaphysical to popular understanding can be found in Wikipedia. Here is the link

      If you define it as a vibration in the air, or a transfer of energy when it hits the ground, then the answer is YES. If you define it as a perception involving our ear and brain, then the answer is No.

      For me the first is the reality and the second the perception.

      Regarding the interstellar sound, I see a double energy waves transmission: (1) From space to the recorder (reality 1) and (2) from the recorder (reality 2) to the human head via hearing (perception).

      Agree about keeping the last paragraph for our next chat.

  3. I’m so glad I literally “stumbled” over this blog.
    I watched the video attentively, read the whole text, and do agree with all that has been said. Nevertheless, when it came to the picture of the young couple, who hugs who?, who is standing? sitting?….it has never occured to me that there IS a doubt, or a confusion of possible different perceptions: which young girl hugging a young man has such a hairy left strong arm and so hairy legs? Would be a weird couple in my humble opinion. Obviously I got the message implied in this metaphore and it is… OK.
    However, if it came to real conflict solving and different perceptions: WHAT would be the most adequate reaction/approach of the person who states that evidently the girl is standing and the boy is sitting, meanwhile the “counter” part insists the situation is the the other way around?
    Do you give up, surrender, go away, insist, try to persuade, seduce….? What?
    I believe that conflict solving needs much more than taking into acount, respecting and eventually accepting different perceptions.
    The moon light example with the sea surface makes the example easier, because the observer of the woman and his camera don’t change position as she does walking away. In that case, if there were a conflict, it would be easily resolved by the external circumstances without much discussion.
    I very much hope to be able to make the time to follow your course thoroughly and eventually find the answer to my doubts on the road. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge so generously and beautifully.

    1. Thanks Cecil for your pertinent comment. People’s interest like yours keeps me going. To illustrate your question about how to handle practically a conflict I will tell you a joke.
      A couple about to divorce went to see a rabbi. After listening to the woman story the rabbi said “You are right” and after listening to the man story he also said “You are right”. After they left, the rabbi young assistant said “Rabbi, they can’t be both right” to what the rabbi answered “You are right too!!”.
      When facing a dead-end in trying to find an agreement between two subjective conflicting opinions try this “We have two different perceptions …” and keep in mind the Chinese say “Harmony in more important than truth”.
      Be well. Serge

      1. Dear Serge, You’re right! 🙂
        However, as far as I understood, the “point” in this essay is about perception, not about who’s or not right. And this, contextualized in “our” approach to astrology and the Symbolon (Peter Orban) cards.
        Just consider as an example education: the perceptions of a couple with a very young child (under 5 years) might differ in the followin way: one of both “perceives” their very small child manipulating an electronic device as smart, astute, perhaps even intelligent. The other adult perceives this manipulation as a highly negative impact on the child’s brain development dampening his/her creativity, interaction with the real sensorial world, etc. Your Rabbi would say: you’re both right! More so, because he’s NOT the one responsible for the consequences/outcome of the described situation. I agree that the example with the moonlight on the ocean’s surface, the walking woman and the static camera is “perfect” and clear. However, the “usual” situations that origine conflicts (divorce?) are more likely to be similar to the example with the sitting couple in the living room.
        So, – if I’m understanding you correctly – by using the Symbolon (or which ever) cards hoping they offer us a possible answer to a question we should ask ourselves:
        in the optimal case we DO find in ourselves the right question to the given answer…..
        HOW should the person that (just) knows the boy is the one who’s sitting in the armchair and the parent (who read enough investigations about the topic and therefore just) knows that electronic devices are extremely damaging for their small child’s brain development uses/applies that Symbolon (or other card’s) information = “answer-question” in a specific conflict case?

        1. Here is what Einstein had to say about technology: “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” I feel the same way. Robots are already taking humans roles and jobs. What will happen when they reproduce into ever smarter robots and becoming smarter than humans?
          This being said, what parenting decision should result from the 2 different perceptions about the child and video games. Common sense and harmony should guide the decision and not who is the prevailing parent. On one hand, we are living in the technology revolution era and cannot ignore it. On the other hand, excess of technology will have a toxic effect on a child (or an adult) development. Balance is the answer: parenting rule should tolerate video games but set a time limit of its daily use.
          Priorities in my practice are as follows: (1) The querent (you), (2) The interpret (me), (3) The issue (why we are together) and (4) The tools (astro-tarology). In that order!!

  4. Continuing with the topic of different perceptions and solving life’s conflicts using amongst the tools at our reach astro-tarot:
    Surely “balance” is and should always be THE answer, with or without “tools”. However, if we start from the idea that “things are not what we believe they are” and acknowledge different perceptions (the Rabbi said: both are right), it seems to me that “balance” is the most complicated state to be achieved.
    I. e. in a transaction: the buyer usually thinks the price he/she pays is too high and the seller, the money he/she receives, is too little. Between giver and taker we’ll undoubtedly have at least four variables that we have to match somehow. HOW?
    But… let it be!
    “Our business” is astro-tarot and using these “tools” so to get the utmost benefit from them. Considering the horoscope and the Symbolon card “The wedding” posted on your blog for the next few days and trying to put into practise its metaphor:
    shouldn’t “the love of the life you are living together is even more important” be on place (1) followed by your (1), (2) and (3)? Or, – in your reply – (3) “the issue” be on place (1)?
    In mho “unbalance” is the “usual” condition between a giver and a taker, be it in relationships, at work, in a society, etc. Even in politics the weeding circumstance as a metaphor promises “balance”. Sooner our later we’ll find out we relied upon an illusion if… we don’t work hard on maintaining our original “dream” by giving and taking respecting the other side’s different perceptions.
    Just thinking about this riddle makes me feel totally exhausted! ☺

    So, what does the astro-tarologer suggest how to incorporate what the stars tell us in our daily challenges?
    (I really would LOVE to learn more about it! Not sure if I can make the time though..
    Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and wisdom.)

    1. Hi Cecil,
      Like the Cancer water you are irrigating all places. You are feeling exhausted and I feel overwhelmed. Yes, the astro-tarologer role is to guide querents in their daily challenges. Yes, I can assist you in making better decisions in your everyday life or teach you my method or both simultaneously. There is a lot of free information on this website, but a personal service is subject to donations. Would you be interested in pursuing in that option, you can contact me directly at serge at astro-tarology dot com. In light and harmony, Serge

  5. Well, I’ll think about it.
    I felt attracted to your blog because it says this is an “educational blog”.
    What I love is… to learn. I believe that only by learning, assimilating what a person has learned and putting it into practice he/she is able to cope better/easier with his/her journey, or, make the more pertinent decisions. I don’t mind the donation.
    I read tarot for more than 25 years, for other people as well…. but the Symbolon cards (Peter Orban) just recently and due to unusual circumstances “fell from heaven” into my collection of cards.
    So: there I am… knowing just NOTHING about the combination between astrology and those cards (which are NOT tarot, what is rather confusing.) The German book is out of print, so I pre-bought it through, apparently I’ll receive it in my country at the beginning of 2017. I want to study what Peter Orban and Ingrid Zinnel have to tell us about their cards. Depending on what they have to say… I’ll engage in this new journey. I’m not sure.
    It’s all about a “side trail” on the map of my journey on this planet, which seems to be a place only for very brave ones! In the meantime, I’ll stick to your educational blog and will try to stay in tune with what you share so generously and beautifully with your readers.

    1. With psychotherapy, the patient talks and the therapist listens. With astrology or tarot, the reader speaks and the querent listens. With astro-tarology there is an ongoing communication between the client, the interpreter and the cards.
      I read and integrated Peter Orban book. Note that the Symbolon cards are selected by the birth sky and not randomly by the tarot reader.
      There is a substantial body of knowledge on the website. Feel free to learn without moderation. Would you need a more personal assistance, just let me say that I have taught to teachers before.
      Be well, Serge

      1. I will NOT leave your blog and I’ll come back as often as possible.
        “Assistance” coming from a kind and generous minded heart would be lovely and dear whenever in life, but my (first/guts) reaction when reading this noun was: “watch out! You’ll become dependent in only ONE minute.” 🙁 So, I’m reluctant.
        I believe that prior to “assistance” I need to learn a bit more about this mysterious combination between astrology and Symbolon cards. In that way I’ll feel more assured and confident.
        Isn’t there a say: when the student is ready, the teacher appears?
        I don’t feel “being ready”. I need more insight to be able to reflect. We don’t know each other and I’m not “desperate”, just immensely curious.
        Moreover, there is this tremendous “problem”: you are in the North Hemisphere, I’m in the South one. So, when astrologers talk about spring, for me it’s automn; about summer, for me it’s winter. My “birth sky” is not the same as yours.
        So far I haven’t found anything explaining me what happens with all the star’s influences when I’m actually upside down.
        I.e.: In my hemisphere I wasn’t born in the very early morning of the summer solstice, but in the solstice of winter. When I landed on this planet it was still pitch dark, not bright light. The longest night, not the longes day!! Isn’t that already messy enough?
        Let us both be a little patient and I might eventually come back for “assistance”. 🙂

        1. I am hearing you Cecil. There has been a lot of controversies about Southern v/ Northern hemisphere. For me, the issue was resolved long time ago. From the astrological perspective seasons are psychological instead of physical and the interpretation is the same for both hemispheres. This is the common approach of Australian astrologers. Be well, Serge

          1. Well. I understand this on a rational level.
            I respectfully disagree with this “common approach” on a psychological level. It cannot be THAT simple. Why?
            Just imagine you are sitting at your lovely breakfast table in a glorious French summer morning, and for a-b-c reasons you have to travel from one minute to the other to Patagonia, (South) South America, to visit one of your sheep breading friends. From your swimmsuit into a freezing antartic wind that threatens to blow you away. Are the stars indifferent?
            Imagine “The Messenger” Symbolon card (June?) – even though he seems to represent The Magician – in Nuget Point (or similar) on the South coast of NZ’s Southern Island walking there….. in the same light dress? The Antartic strong and cruel winds will blow his winged Hermes helmet and the roll he holds in his left (receptive) hand in one single second away.
            How would have been the stories of Greek mythology if those bright minds would have lived in Australia, not in the Mediterranean?
            I agree that the stars are indifferent in their orbits and that the resulting human astrological calculations might be pretty much rational to a certain degree (and therefore, like a scientific investigation, repeatable.) However, I seem to be unable to accept there is an indisputable connection between their influences on a human being and the spot on this planet, where this individual actually… IS.
            I.e. on the Symbolon card, Hermes would probably have been wrapped in a fur overcoat having his precious roll hidden beneath. No flowers in sight for the interpreter to make his/her interpretation easier. Think about “The Lover” card (Venus) in May = in our hemisphere it might be pouring unceasingly, or “The Servitor” in September = we are starting to prepare our soil and plant our seeds.)
            Therefore, as I wrote in the very beginning, I’m eager to learn. For the same reason, I stopped at the statement “educational blog” and thought: THAT’s sth for me! Great!! 🙂
            I always wondered how come, that people in the North Hemisphere take it for granted that we, living in the South one, should accept that the stars have exactly the same impact on us. Even navigators know that the night sky is different. There is definitely at least one variable missing and it DOES get confusing.
            If you take “psychological” away from “influence” of the stars…. WHAT is left? Aren’t we human bundles constantly affected by and exposed to our different psychological frames?
            I’m OK with the horoscopes. Nevertheless, I would LOVE to learn HOW the Symbolon cards connect with the stars’s influences, our horoscopes (fate?) and the daily challenges we are exposed to and want to overcome making the “best” choices possible for each of us. Are the cards easily exchangeable according to the season we are going through? If yes: the Symbolon zodiac (as shown on your blog) might look almost COMPLETELY different for me…
            In short: it’s not just interpreting the cards. It’s about the intertwined relationship between the three: astrology-horoscopes-Symbolon.

  6. The Symbolon cards are archetypal and symbolic by nature, NOT seasons-related. Our hemisphere perceptions are different. I suggest you discuss this issue with an astrologer living in the Southern hemisphere. To deal with previously mentioned ambiguity, may I suggest the following (1) to approach issues from a thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis perspective and (2) to keep Einstein quote in mind: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

  7. Right! Thank you for replying.
    Therefore, for now…. I’ll stick to your blog and I’ll try to assimilate what your soli-lunar horoscopes tell us to reflect about.
    An astrologer living in the South Hemisphere… might make things more confusing for me. In addition, you need to have a lot of time (which I have not right now) to study all this.
    I want to keep it simple. 🙂
    Thank you very much.

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