Grand Canyon University
March 29, 2009
Perception determines how we view the world and what is happening in it. Perception can be changed by many factors, including ones intended to distort perception. These altered states can be used for personal enlightenment, escapism, personal pleasure, and spiritual revelations through rituals, meditation, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, drugs and alcohol. Some of these methods of distorting perception can be useful and others extremely harmful. Ritual
The Sioux Indians participate in a ritual ceremony intended to cleanse the mind and body by heat, darkness and chanting. In this culture, the Sioux Indians are using ritual perception distortion as a pathway to personal enlightenment. (Coon, Mitterer. 2007) The use of distortion in this instance serves a purpose by drawing together the leaders of the tribe in a ceremonial ritual to develop continuity in beliefs. I think this form of distortion is beneficial and useful in cultural ceremonies. Meditation
Meditation aims to shift conscious perception from active to receptive perception enabling knowledge of oneself and one’s place in the world. Yoga, Zen and Buddhism encourage meditation as a path to enlightenment. (Ornstein. 1988) Meditation is also a good choice as a stress control technique, with the core of meditation being the relaxation response, the ability to relax deeply. In this method of distortion one aims to focus concentration on a focal point excluding outside influences or to open up to embrace awareness of the world. (Coon, Mitterer. 2007) In my opinion this technique is useful and beneficial as a tool to remain calm and centered in our busy, stressful world.
In hypnosis one person guides another through suggestions that encourage a person to focus on what is being said, to...