Tag Archives: Perception

People See What They Want to See

We’ve all read about the JC Penney teapot that “looks like Hitler.”

I guess it’s no more of a stretch of the imagination than seeing the constellations of stars as people and creatures.

Then there are the people who see Jesus in a potato chip or Mary, His mother, on a piece of toast.

The ancients believed that their gods and legends were real, so they naturally expected to see evidence of them in the sky.

On the other hand, I suspect that no self-respecting (or even non self-respecting) neo-Nazi group would subliminally communicate via a teapot – especially from a main stream retailer.

Some people see the failings and shortfalls of others, and the differences that divide us. Others see potential and opportunity and how we share a common future.

Jesus saw the potential among the fishermen, tax collectors, prostitutes and lepers. Others saw their low social status, their failings and their sinfulness.

What do you see?

Nowhere Man (Part 2)

Artist ​Daniel Arsham  sculptures -compressed, shattered glass.

Artist – ​Daniel Arsham

So I was nowhere. I thought back to college and my philosophy class. Boy would the professor have had a ball with this. The metaphysical implications were enough to not only keep the discussions in his class going for years, but they’d also be interesting. The discussions would last even longer if they started conducting philosophy classes at pubs. Pubs, mind you, not bars – there’s a difference.

My mind flashed on all those signs you see on maps at malls, parks and other public places that detail the surrounding area with the red “X” explaining, “You are here.”

Of course, “Here” defines where I am wherever I am. I’m here, you’re there – it’s as simple as that. I had the red “X” but lacked the rest of the map.

I decided that for the time being, I’d consider myself to be here rather than nowhere. It seemed like a good place to start.

Okay, now that I’ve got that settled, what was next? Usually when I find myself some place I try to find out who else is there. Of course I was at a disadvantage since none of my five senses seemed to be working. Okay, now let’s think this through.

There was nothing to see, hear, feel, smell or taste. That would fit with “here” being nowhere. It seemed unlikely that all five senses would fail completely all at once. That left two possibilities; either my brain was not receiving information or else the connection between my nerves and my brain was not functioning. Kind of like when the cable is cut and the television stops working.

I seemed to recall that when people die the last sense to fail is their hearing, so I started straining to see if I could hear anything. Nothing. This was not the path to success, so I tried to think of another approach.

I felt whole, which made no sense, but still felt right. Instead of inventorying my senses I decided that since I felt whole I needed to think in terms of my body being where it was supposed to be. I concentrated on my right hand, imagining I could see it. I clenched and unclenched what I thought would be my hand. I opened my eyes and looked where my hand should be and saw a pale, translucent hand moving at my command.

It hadn’t yet hit me that I had eyes. It seemed natural to be able to see. I didn’t think of my eyes because I was now too busy trying to imagine my left hand, then my arms. Little by little I could see a body forming. I considered it as my own, but it was vague enough that it could have belonged to anyone. The best I can do to describe it is to call it vague. Vague, but nevertheless perceptible.

By the time I could see both hands and arms, I was exhausted. I closed my eyes and slept.

(To be continued)