To perceive is to search, not to arrive.
What we feel is more than a sensation to be experienced. Sensations are paths to be walked, depths to be plumbed, expanses to be absorbed, horizons to be pursued. They are incantations calling us to some more meaningful course of action.
To perceive is to pursue. We can't simply wait for the sensation to come to us. Somewhere, a future state or self or creation beckons. We are drawn to an unknown from the now.
Balance becomes critical with perception. We can easily get lost in a singular perception, we can become isolated in our pursuit of that unshakable unknown. We cannot see things from other angles if we are not grounding ourselves in the sensations of the now.
If we do not recognize that the pursuit is endless, if we are not connecting to the sensations in the now, and allowing them to propel us into the world, we lose our ability to perceive because perception is the boundary between our internal world and our external environment.
Perception is where sensation and action meet in thought.
If we only ever live at this boundary, we are only ever thinking, considering what we feel, what we might do, where we might go. We lack inertia. We stagnate.
Perception is where we transition from internal to external, where we are our most static. But it also sustains the current that flows back and forth across that boundary. Perception is where the gravity of our experience shifts, it is the fulcrum, the point where we determine potential, where we can decide how deeply we’ll feel some sensation, and how far we’ll go because of it.
Yes, the search will always call to us. There will always be sensations to map and disentangle and dismantle and distill. But to perceive is to negotiate the distance between what we feel now, what we think we know, how we understand what we feel, and what we believe we will feel on the journey into the unknown.
If we do not balance the search with the sensations of the here and now, if we do not remain connected to the boundary between internal and external, if we are not immersed in the ebb and flow of feeling and moving, we lose contact with sensations themselves. We are lost in the pursuit, lost in our perception.
To lose balance, to be lost within our perceptions, is to lose sight of the waypoints Glück describes. When we perceive only, we become paralyzed by the perception.
To perceive is to search, not to arrive. And certainly not to feel or move or create.
Our perception calls our attention to the waypoints: there! a place to stop, to look up, to feel. The waypoints say come this way, see things from this perspective, there are more waypoints out there, there are more ways to see and experience this world and each other.
The waypoints say keep going, and allow us to imagine the path.