If you and I were sitting in a circle of people and I were to place an object in the middle of this circle, each of us would perceive this object differently. Our vision of it would vary according to our individual positions in the circle, each of which would be unique. Our personal perceptions of this object would also depend upon much than just the different positions from which we looked upon it. For example, one or more of us might suffer from color blindness, or from weak eyesight. Either of these two physical differences would influence our perceptions of the object. There are levels upon levels of perspectives we must consider when we try to understand our individual perceptions of things, or when we try to relate our own perceptions to those of our brothers and sisters. Every single one of our previous experiences in life will affect in some way the mental perspective from which we see the world around us. Because of this, a particular object or event may appear fearful to you at the same time that it gives pleasure to me, or appears completely uninteresting to a third person. All things that we perceive stimulate our individual imaginations in different ways, which in turn causes us to create our own unique interpretations of them. Love, hate, fear, confusion, happiness, envy and all the other emotions we feel, act upon us to paint our perceptions of things in different colors. If the thing I were to place within our circle should be an abstraction, such as an idea, a feeling, or a philosophy, our perceptions of it would then be even more complicated than if the object had been a tangible thing. And further, the number of different perceptions of it would become greater greater as more people were added to our circle. The perception of any object, either tangible or abstract, is ultimately made a thousand times more complicated whenever it is viewed within the circle of an entire people as a whole. The understanding of this truth is the first teaching we offer at Gaia Mystery School.