The Gestalt Principle of Closure states: “Closure occurs when an object is incomplete or a space is not completely enclosed. If enough of the shape is indicated, people perceive the whole by filling in the missing information.”
For example: If you draw two sides of a triangle, our mind has the capacity to close the image with an imaginary third side. If we draw a circle and we don’t close it, our mind is capable of closing it.
Our mind has this capacity to close geometrical shapes and images, artist have been using this technique to enhance the visual abstractions of their creation for some time. But our mind doesn’t stop there with geometric shapes, it continues to do the same in our everyday life. With people’s behavior and the reasons why they do the things they do, as well as our own actions and behavior. This is what I know as an ASSUMPTION.
We know parts of truths or events that happen in our life, we know this as PERCEPTION or POINT OF VIEW. Much like having two sides of a story, but we need that third line to have closure. But when we don’t have the rest of the information, we tend to fill in the space with stories and reasons of why, when, where, who, what, how, that we create on our own. But this third line is solely created in our mind, we take the information that we have, truths and facts, and from them we create the missing part of the information out of our own imagination. But it isn’t a fact.
The danger of creating assumptions is that we believe them and we take action based on them. Depending on our tendency, we can fill in the third line or the missing piece of information with a optimistic point of view or a pessimistic one. This is where our tendency to believe our own stories, that fill our psyche with a negative or up lifting point of view, can determine how we perceive life. We can see that the actions we take from the decision we make can be distorted by our own assumptions.
It is our tendency to create assumptions because our mind needs to know, we need closure. “Don’t make assumptions” can also be understood as “don’t believe your assumptions” because they are based on distortions, otherwise known as lies.
How can one stop making assumptions? by recognizing that we are making one. Call it out as you are saying the assumption to yourself. Don’t judge yourself or victimize your self, just accept it and realize that it is an assumption. From this, one can recover choice, the automatic decision to believe in it is broken and from there we can make a decision knowing that it is an assumption, and not to believe it until you know it is fact. Once it is fact, then you can believe it. If it isn’t, then you stopped yourself from making a decision and taking action based on a lie. This benefits us in relationships and in our work environment.
all of my love,
don Miguel A. Ruiz Jr.
Tags: don Miguel Ruiz Jr