Like everyone else you were born into bondage.
Born into a prison that you cannot taste or smell or touch.
A prison for your mind.
Unfortunately no one can be told what the matrix is.
You have to see it for yourself.
(Morpheus to Neo in “Matrix”)
What do you see in the above picture?
You see a green square that partly overlays four black disks. However, there is no square in this image since there are no four equally long line segments with 90° angles between them. The picture just shows four incomplete black discs that look like Pac-Man figures.
Despite this insight, you continue to see a green square.
Why do you see something that isn’t there?
There is a classic radio quiz that asks the audience to identify the title of a song after hearing the first few notes. It is only possible to do this if you are familiar with the tune.
You also recognize a familiar object or person by a quick sketch, provided the sketch shows relevant characteristic features. For Albert Einstein, a sketch of chaotic hair and a dense mustache suffices.
In the optical illusion, the four Pac-Man figures are arranged so that they show the characteristic features of a square: four right angles, straightness, equalities, and five symmetries.
You see a square because you recognize a square.
You recognize a square because the picture implies a square.
The picture implies a square because it contains enough characteristic features of a square.
These features are sufficient for you to recognize a square because you are familiar with squares.
You are familiar with squares because you have seen countless squares and other rectangular shapes in you life such as books, boxes, tiles, doors, rooms, and houses.
The civilized world is full of rectangular objects. Living in this world programs (conditions) one to see rectangular shapes.
But even after this analysis it remains difficult not to see a green square that partly overlays four black discs.
Your familiarity with squares is so strong that you are addicted to seeing squares: Your mind automatically turns the implication of a square into a square.
(In the book “B Kutzler: Consciousness – Its Nature, Purpose, and How to Use It” I describe the mechanisms behind this.)
Try not to see a green square but just four black Pac-Man figures. How can you achieve this? Practice!
Do you recognize your mental prison?
You perceive what you have been conditioned to perceive (voluntarily and involuntarily, knowingly and unknowingly).
This is true not just for perception. This is true for behavior in general, including thinking.
You behave and think how you have been conditioned to behave and think (voluntarily and involuntarily, knowingly and unknowingly).
(See my articles “The OTHER Story of the Eagle in the Chicken Coop” and “Who Chose Your Breakfast This Morning?”)
Because of your conditioning, you are addicted to behave and think in certain ways. Your mind automatically turns triggering situations into behaviors and thoughts.
This is the prison of your mind.
The good news is: You can escape this prison. (But it is work!)
You can get free from it the same way you can get free from seeing the green square: recognize, analyze, practice.
Recognizing your behavioral addictions (programs) is an art that has to be trained dilligently. The key is to question yourself over and over – it’s a kind of mental kung fu with yourself.