Wednesday, 3 July 2013
More reflections on Attention, Perception and Consciousness
I'm reading Sleights of Mind ' What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Brains' by Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez- Conde with Sandra Blakeslee . In it they reveal how magicians manipulate our modes of attention and perception in their magic tricks. It is a really interesting study as it allows me to understand ways in which my brain works to limit my perceptions.
It is our ability to detect contrast that allows us to perceive boundaries, without this ability our brain could make no sense of itself or anything outside itself.
" Magicians know all about contrast detection. They stumbled onto it more than a hundred years ago with the invention of black art. This is a stage method for producing stunning visual illusions that was discovered by accident in 1875 by a German actor and director ,Max Auzinger.
The story goes that Auzinger was preparing a dungeon scene for a play and, to make it as fearsome as possible , he lined the room with black velvet. At a critical moment, a black Moor was to appear from a dungeon window and recite his lines. But when the actor playing the Moor put his head in the window , no one could see him. The only things visible were two rows of white teeth floating in air below two white eyeballs.
Auzinger immediately grasped the implication of the illusion . By manipulating black sheets against a black background , he could make people and objects appear and disappear onstage. Shortly after his discovery his show " The Black Cabinet" starring himself as Ben Ali Bey , was touring the continent to rave reviews, "
Reading about the visual significance of of contrast reminded me of my own perception of feeling contrasts.
Let me elaborate, learning to be more attentive to our feeling perceptions we can become very sensitive to subtle changes in the atmosphere around us and inside us. We can learn to tune in to very subtle levels of energy both externally and internally.
I am becoming much more conscious of these subtleties as my study and training progresses. Each new training awakens new levels of awareness which were undreamt of before that training.
Back to contrast ,
Hampstead Heath, London
Having walked on Hampstead Heath back walking here in the fields below Knockaroura I became very conscious of contrast in the feeling sense of the places. Similar verdant scenery yet such a different ' feel ' . Even on a ' quiet ' morning in Hampstead one could ' feel ' a huge presence of people. It was as if they were all still around all the people who walk there regularly had left their 'energy prints' on the pathways and the fields , so the place felt quite full even though there weren't many people there at that time.
Back in Mallow the space felt empty very few 'energy prints' hanging around.
Such an interesting contrast to feel.
I have so much more to write but must attend to some other work right now.