Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Seeing is Believing????

I had gone to an amazing magic show called 'The Illusionists', sitting there watching them I thought when people say 'seeing is believing' they are talking a lot of crap. Because seeing can be quite misleading, what we think we are seeing can actually be a pack of lies and sensory information can be erroneous. Which got me to think about illusions and reality.

It's our brain that decides and interprets what we perceive. We actually see with our brains and not our eyes. What fascinates me is the behavior of the brain when presented with two realities... when an object has more than one picture the brain decides what it will perceive, shifting between the two realities, but sometimes that only happens when it is given the cue that there are two pictures.

Cognitive “illusions” rely on our knowledge about the world but we have conscious control over them (we can generally reverse the perception at will). When the brain deals with extra information it makes a choice of what we will see first and then when we are told there is another picture it recomputes so we can see that, like in the Rubens Vase. As soon as we know that there is another picture the perspective keeps shifting

I kept wondering what would happen if we were to show the vase to a person who doesn't know that there can be another picture, how long would it take them to perceive the other image, would they even perceive it at all. So I made my five year old look at the picture she saw the vase and I had to point out that there were also two women looking at each other before she saw it.

 I guess that's why the pursuit of knowledge and constant broadening of our experience is so essential because until we are made to realize there can be more than one reality we don't see it.

Sometimes we are prisoners of habit, programmed to behave a certain way and in most situations that unconscious or primitive response takes over and and we interpret what we see because of memory and old habits.

If we are told to read out the color of the text very fast, we can't manage, we just read the word instead.  The two parts of the brains are warring with each other. Its only when we slow down and consciously decide to be mindful can we accomplish this task.

 So does that mean that everything I perceive, see, hear, taste, touch and smell is just a reconstruction from sensory data? What I perceive as the world is actually just an idea in my head?

 And what of realities we can't perceive because our physical senses don't compute the sensory data? lets think of animals that can hear better than us - because we can't hear particular sound waves, have never experienced them we don't have a mental idea of them and hence we don't perceive, but that doesn't mean they don't exist...

 If there are no innate truths, and all truths come to us through our senses; what if those very senses were prone to be fallibility, then where do we stand? If truths are dependent on our senses than is a color blind person giving testimony to seeing something green which was in fact red be called a liar?

Our truths are individual to us and can only be known to us through the context of our own perception.  It is our own unique framework that determines how we understand and shape certain contexts and perspectives. Where we grew up, our culture our history, language all determine our reality. Everything we see is processed, analyzed, compared and seen through the lens of not only what is evident in front of us but all our past experiences. Our experiences give shape and form to our perceptions and sense of reality. So if I was born into a different religion and had a different truth would not my entire reality be very different?

So is our knowledge of the world, prisoner to our very human perspective? And even if the world we live is real, are we imprisoned in the illusions fed to us by our senses?

PS: On a totally different note and an update to my last post...a few days back I had a meltdown and I yelled so didn't make it for a week :( also didn't go for my anger management workshop as was really busy. But as a good friend pointed before managing anything one must find out where it is coming from and that is a work in progress.

Monday, August 26, 2013

One Week Challenge To Stop Yelling

I have been in the phase of my life which I am calling my problem definition and then actively searching for solutions for the identified problem phase. I have decided to just stop being so damned lazy and actually have a definitive plan of action with a to do list to fight my natural procrastination. Because to tell you the truth I have become a little sick of myself - at being ungrateful, complaining and generally miserable with my decisions and lack of action. So one day I woke up and decided enough is enough I have a damn good life, lovely kids albeit a handful, good health and home life so the only thing standing in the way for my developing myself was me... it wouldn't do to feel bad for not doing something or not working or having a career, wasting my education, yelling at my incredibly strong willed daughter. So the first thing on my to-do list is th take a small step and try not to yell for one week, I came across this blog, www.theorangerhino.com, in which this mom of 4 boys took a one year no-yell challenge and actually did it. Amongst my to-do list is of course * no yelling for 1 week [i am not brave enough to say one year] * Spend an hour a day on my blog * Spend an hour a day on my looooong over-due dissertation which i am ashamed to say i still haven't completed I have been thinking about whether I am chronically lazy or afraid of being a failure one sure way of not failing is not doing correct? But this not doing has created a lot of anger inside of me - and testament to my absolute commitment for this change is I am actually going to attend an anger management workshop [yikes] but trying new things means you are making an effort to bring about change... Fingers Crossed!!! But I know as long as I stop intending to, and just do it, there will be results that follow. Intentions really pave the way to inaction!!!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Walking around aimlessly I came upon this door, how come I had never seen it before? I turned the lock but it wouldn't open... How is this possible I thought...this place I know so well... How does it have a space I didn't know about?? How is it that I can't enter... I thought I knew each nook and cranny so where did you come from.. You mysterious door... What do you hold inside and what are you hiding from me...and how did you manage to remain unseen and hidden from me?!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

My turn

Do we only pretend to listen? waiting impatiently for our turn to talk soon? Do we love just to be loved back? Is everything just about us? 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I'm still searching for words....
...even as the story nears the end!

Monday, June 24, 2013

We spend so much of our time creating the person we want to be, the person everyone likes or admires. A person who looks good and talks well and does all the right things. And paradoxically enough, in that self-absorption we lose the person we really are. Who is that person?

Is it the model wife or ideal daughter or the skilled hostess? Or is it some stranger that lives somewhere in our head furtively waiting for chances to come out when our defenses are down?

We get so comfortable that we forget to question why things are the way they are. That there’s a world that exists beyond the perfection we have created so painstakingly and that this world is not as ideal. We don't want to hear or think about it and when perchance we do, we want to change the topic to some superficiality, which happens to be the fad of the day.

We never want to meet that stranger because that stranger makes us look inwards, makes us question our validity, asks us to venture out of our luxurious dollhouse.

We never want to go through the looking glass... what if we find out that it is actually we, who are ones living our lives backwards.