Not Paying Attention Intentionally   

 Out of necessity we learn to run on auto-pilot, paying attention mechanically and passively most of the time. This underscores the need to pay attention deliberately and voluntarily, thereby liberating our awareness from robotic activity, Daniel Goleman.

 This blog is about our “inattentional blindness”. * it is my effort to encourage you to pay attention deliberately to the way you see things. The way you see things is your perception. It is your worldview, point of view, your conception of reality. There are two problems with perception: it is partial and fallible. What you see is not all there is; you see only part of the iceberg. Much of the wholeness is hidden.

And your perception is also fallible. This blog is only about the fallibility of perception. The way you see things is the way you interpret things, and interpretation leaves room for error. Your perception determines what you do, which seems to make it very important. You can change your interpretation but you can’t change your partial blindness. My purpose is to encourage you to pay careful, intentional attention to your perceptive interpretation of the way you see things. I believe the way WE see things may be one of the most important factors in the world today.

Because things can change, and often do, you will also need to be able to change the way you see things. With your perception interpretation comes the need for uncertainty. In order to change the way you see things, you need to be uncertain about the way you see things. To be uncertain is to be open-minded; to be capable of change.

The problem with perception is that it is subjective. The problem with subjective is that it    isn’t objective. The trouble is you can’t take subjective youout of your perceptions. Objectivity is the subject’s delusion that observation can be done without him. Heinz von Forester. I like the way Kathryn Schulz explains this. Subjective  perception suggests interpretation. Interpretation implies “wiggle room —- space to deviate from a literal reading. Every step in the interpretative process represents a point of potential divergence between our minds and the world — a breach where mistakes can sneak in.

However, remember that even paying intentional attention to your perception is full of subjectivity, and interpretive wiggle room.

The situation turns circular as perceivers struggle to understand the process of perceiving. Human subjects turn into their own objects.  Humberto R. Maturana


* Inattentional blindness was made famous by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons in their book, The Invisible Gorilla, 2010.


This entry was posted in Beliefs. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Connie says:

    What an excellent article and so appropriate at this time of year especially. Being present and aware of our decisions are key always. If every child and adult could learn and practice this skill, the world would be a better place!

  2. Marianne says:

    I had a little hard time following this. I see your basic message about perception and our interpretation of what we see. I also see it is necessary to have some wiggle room so we have room to change our views. It is very hard to change our perception of things especially if we run on auto pilot. Really wanting to change our perception causes one to concentrate on the subject. Learning new things is more interesting than working on old ideas that might need to change.

    • hbgelatt says:


      Thanks for the blog response. Sorry you had a hard time following it. Although your comments seemed to be right on. I am getting some good responses.

      I think you leave California Friday. Hope you had a good holiday celebration. And enjoyed the rest of your time. I had a difficult time at Thanksgiving dinner, in spite of new hearing aids. I need to learn my new hearing aid technology. We are finally getting some rain and containing the fire. Our skies are now clear.

      I just returned from my 6 month physical exam. I am doing great for a 92 year old. And very thankful

      Have a good flight home.

      Hi to Al H B


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.