“Perception is a highly selective process. We see and vividly remember some things that pass before our eyes. We ignore many others. And still others we work to actively deny. What happens to those realities that consciousness shuns? They become part of the process that makes the notion of an enemy.
We struggle for position on the hierarchical ladder, trying to get as close to the top as we possibly can. Very few of us arrive there. When the wriggling and kicking is over, most of us find ourselves somewhere in the middle. We are excluded from the realm of the beautiful people, barred from the inmost circles of power and prestige, and never quite reach the utopias of love and fame towards which our fantasies beckon us.
How do we live with the daily humiliations built into our middling roles? The mind is replete with gentle anesthetics that soothe these pains. The greatest among them is a perceptual process of cosmetic surgery. The mind covers up the harsher facts of our existence, and it focuses our attention on those few things that can give us self-esteem.”