James Russell Lowell, My Study Window, Coleridge, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 593
Whatever may have been written or thought about perception in literate cultures, it remains a special competency of consciousness, its essential faculty. Day by day, minute by minute, consciousness is preoccupied with perception. Through perception it is captivated by an external world. Without perception it would have to terminate its autopoiesis, and even dreams can occur only by suggesting perceptions.
Niklas Luhmann, Art as a Social System (1995) 1. Perception and Communication: The Reproduction of Forms
That books do not take the place of experience, and that learning is no substitute for genius, are two kindred phenomena; their common ground is that the abstract can never take the place of the perceptive.
I see the same sadness in the eyes of conformists as I do in the eyes of those convulsing radically in opposition. I talk to people that aren't like me, individually, thoughtfully. And I listen. If I walk away from a conversation thinking differently than before I entered into it, I have succeeded in doing something that doesn't compute. If I haven't interacted and challenged what I know, resulting in a change of perception, I am still running my own set of stupid old programs.
Paul J. Schrag, in Adbusters (2003)
You must choose:
Do you wish to see (perceive) nothing, or do you want to see things as they really are?
It is not hard to see things as they really are, it is simply a matter of tearing down walls, ridding oneself of defenses and presumption, rendering oneself vulnerable, an idiot, a fool.
But it is not easy to see things as they really are, because it is painful, it is real, it requires response, it's an incredible commitment. To go nine-tenths of the way is to suffer at every moment utter madness.
To go all the way is to become sane.
Most people prefer blindness.
But most people are a dying race.