Perspective & Reality

Inspired by some amazing 3-D street art by Karl Mueller, I’ve been reflecting on perspective and the nature of reality.

Folk in both the scenes below appear to be in danger of plunging to their deaths in a deep crevasse.

Karl Mueller The Great Crevasse

(Click for larger image)

Karl Mueller - The Crevasse

(Click for larger image)

But it’s all an illusion, based on the perspective from which we’re viewing the scene. From where they’re standing, they know they are on solid ground.

Karl Mueller, who created the art work above said ‘I wanted to play with positives and negatives to encourage people to think twice about everything they see.’

Similarly, many of the shadows we see in our lives are of our own making. We take what we think is a dangerous risk, only to find the leap hasn’t been so great and we’re landing safely after all.

Or we experience things that, at the time, are deeply painful and we’d give anything to be somewhere else. It’s only later, standing in a different place and viewing them from a different perspective, that we can see the gifts those experiences have given us.

One of the assumptions made in Appreciative Inquiry is that ‘Reality is created in the moment and there are multiple realities.’

Whether we see a  particular situation as a problem, an opportunity, a disaster or a gift depends on where we’re standing and how we look at it.

The difference between a mountain and a molehill is your perspective.

(Al Neuharth)


  1. Sue
    A post very relevant to today’s economic circumstances. Taking a future (looking back) perspective now helps provide an understanding that we will indeed all be ok when it’s over, armed with new knowledge and experience.

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