On Putting Down the ‘Default’ Perspective and Seeing through Different Lenses

There are infinite possible perspectives on any one issue, text, idea, work of art, or object of any kind. Yet, most of us tend to stick with one narrow viewpoint, the one suggested by our own history of conditioning, experiences, preferences, and preconceived notions. However, there can be great value in putting this ‘default’ perspective aside and looking at things from a totally different point of view.

For example, I’ve made arguments from theist perspectives, atheist perspectives, agnostic perspectives, as well as Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Occultist, and other perspectives. Adopting different points of view sheds new light on the same issues, revealing facets of them that could not be seen from other viewpoints.

We can apply this idea to movies, books, and works of art as well. For instance, try watching The Matrix and looking at it through a Marxist point of view as the story of a revolution against oppression and a capitalist system that reduced humans to commodities (to produce energy for robots). Then try watching it through an archetypal perspective as an example of the Path of the Hero. Then watch it as a Christian allegory (Neo as Christ, Morpheus and the oracle as prophet figures, etc.). Then see it as a text with particular artistic devices: characterization, plot, theme, symbol, camera angles, framing, lighting, etc.

There are infinite other approaches like these of looking at even just this one movie, and each one reveals something new about it. Because no one perspective reveals everything about any thing we use it to examine, no perspective is complete or absolute. All are limited, all are tools, and all are only partially true.

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