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Illusions

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:09 pm
by rachMiel
Image

These little squares make four perfect concentric circles. But our brain doesn't interpret it this way. Can't interpret it this way, even when it knows the "truth."

Like optical illusions, there are "reality illusions." Things that our brain misinterprets because of its limited ability to clearly see what-is.

What are some of the reality illusions you run into in your apprehension of what-is?

Re: Illusions

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:39 pm
by rachMiel
We tend to parse the world, which includes ourselves, into separate entities. Sure, we might see evidence that (some of) these entities are connected ... but the connection we see is between individual entities.

Is this seeing of separate individual entities an illusion, like the four circles? Or is it clear and correct seeing of what-is? Both? Neither?

Re: Illusions

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:50 pm
by coriolis
rachMiel wrote:Is this seeing of separate individual entities an illusion, like the four circles? Or is it clear and correct seeing of what-is? Both? Neither?


I think Nagarjuna solved this riddle in the Prasangika Makhyamika
"Empty" should no be asserted
"Non-Empty" should not be asserted.
Neither both, nor neither should be asserted
They are only used nominally.


Seeing the mirage on the horizon as a mirage doesn't make it go away, you just stop thinking it is going to lead to quenching your thirst.
So with illusion.
What else would one use to navigate a dream?

Re: Illusions

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:48 pm
by rachMiel
coriolis wrote:
rachMiel wrote:Is this seeing of separate individual entities an illusion, like the four circles? Or is it clear and correct seeing of what-is? Both? Neither?

I think Nagarjuna solved this riddle in the Prasangika Makhyamika
"Empty" should no be asserted
"Non-Empty" should not be asserted.
Neither both, nor neither should be asserted
They are only used nominally.


Yes, Nagarjuna's Middle Way is what I was thinking of when I wrote that.

If separate entities is neither true nor not true ... where does that leave us? Can anything be ultimately asserted about anything?

Re: Illusions

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:26 pm
by coriolis
Conventionally as individuals who can be thought about and referred to by language.
But outside conventionality the nothing that is everything, a fullness of emptiness :wink:

Both and neither, as Nagarjuna would say, inherently exist.

Re: Illusions

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:46 pm
by KathleenBrugger
rachMiel wrote:These little squares make four perfect concentric circles. But our brain doesn't interpret it this way. Can't interpret it this way, even when it knows the "truth."

Like optical illusions, there are "reality illusions." Things that our brain misinterprets because of its limited ability to clearly see what-is.

What are some of the reality illusions you run into in your apprehension of what-is?

Cool image, and great question. Reality illusion--how about the incredibly powerful feeling that the ground is motionless beneath our feet (except during an earthquake!), when the truth is we are hurtling through space at tens of thousands of miles an hour (at least)!

Re: Illusions

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:59 am
by snowheight
rachMiel wrote:Image

These little squares make four perfect concentric circles. But our brain doesn't interpret it this way. Can't interpret it this way, even when it knows the "truth."

Like optical illusions, there are "reality illusions." Things that our brain misinterprets because of its limited ability to clearly see what-is.

What are some of the reality illusions you run into in your apprehension of what-is?


:lol: this is fantastic.

If I close my right eye and squint with the left the co-centrics appear.

In the case of this illusion we have a clear objective actuality.

(** smiles **)

Re: Illusions

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:04 am
by snowheight
KathleenBrugger wrote:
rachMiel wrote:These little squares make four perfect concentric circles. But our brain doesn't interpret it this way. Can't interpret it this way, even when it knows the "truth."

Like optical illusions, there are "reality illusions." Things that our brain misinterprets because of its limited ability to clearly see what-is.

What are some of the reality illusions you run into in your apprehension of what-is?

Cool image, and great question. Reality illusion--how about the incredibly powerful feeling that the ground is motionless beneath our feet (except during an earthquake!), when the truth is we are hurtling through space at tens of thousands of miles an hour (at least)!


uh-oh, I've got a theme goin' with ya'. :D

Trees are really obviously just extensions of the Earth ... where does the earth stop being the choas of the ground and start being the order of the roots?

Seems different to us 'cause we can move our feet, and while it is possible for us to separate ourselves from the Earth, we have to bring the weather with us. :P

Perhaps the illusion in this case is the cognitive one that the body is other than the Earth.

Re: Illusions

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:43 am
by KathleenBrugger
snowheight wrote:
KathleenBrugger wrote:
rachMiel wrote:These little squares make four perfect concentric circles. But our brain doesn't interpret it this way. Can't interpret it this way, even when it knows the "truth."

Like optical illusions, there are "reality illusions." Things that our brain misinterprets because of its limited ability to clearly see what-is.

What are some of the reality illusions you run into in your apprehension of what-is?

Cool image, and great question. Reality illusion--how about the incredibly powerful feeling that the ground is motionless beneath our feet (except during an earthquake!), when the truth is we are hurtling through space at tens of thousands of miles an hour (at least)!

uh-oh, I've got a theme goin' with ya'. :D

Trees are really obviously just extensions of the Earth ... where does the earth stop being the choas of the ground and start being the order of the roots?

Seems different to us 'cause we can move our feet, and while it is possible for us to separate ourselves from the Earth, we have to bring the weather with us. :P

Perhaps the illusion in this case is the cognitive one that the body is other than the Earth.

Oooh I love that. I will be meditating on where the tree stops and the earth starts for some time! That makes me think of something I read earlier this year about plants. It was mostly about plants having intelligence and even consciousness, and included the idea that we need to stop thinking of trees as separate individuals, because the truth is trees in a forest are linked in an underground network: "trees in a forest organize themselves into far-flung networks, using the underground web of mycorrhizal fungi which connects their roots to exchange information and even goods. This 'wood-wide web,' as the title of one paper put it, allows scores of trees in a forest to convey warnings of insect attacks, and also to deliver carbon, nitrogen, and water to trees in need." The article is by Michael Pollan and is well worth the read (it's long).

Re: Illusions

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:10 am
by rachMiel
KathleenBrugger wrote:
rachMiel wrote:Reality illusion--how about the incredibly powerful feeling that the ground is motionless beneath our feet (except during an earthquake!), when the truth is we are hurtling through space at tens of thousands of miles an hour (at least)!

Nice. Physics decided, mercifully, not to exert force unless a body is accelerating/decelerating.

How about the illusion that we are standing on a flat surface? Or a solid surface? Or any surface at all?

Re: Illusions

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:17 am
by rachMiel
KathleenBrugger wrote:That makes me think of something I read earlier this year about plants. It was mostly about plants having intelligence and even consciousness, and included the idea that we need to stop thinking of trees as separate individuals, because the truth is trees in a forest are linked in an underground network: "trees in a forest organize themselves into far-flung networks, using the underground web of mycorrhizal fungi which connects their roots to exchange information and even goods. This 'wood-wide web,' as the title of one paper put it, allows scores of trees in a forest to convey warnings of insect attacks, and also to deliver carbon, nitrogen, and water to trees in need."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pando_%28tree%29
http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... is-fungus/

Kathleen, I bet you'd love this book:

The Sacred Depths of Nature, by Ursula Goodenough (what a last name!)

Re: Illusions

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:25 am
by ashley72
A very subtle illusion I've become aware of is variation of projecting onto others.

As example:

You may be feeling nervous or awkward when talking to someone.... you first have this judgment about your own self-concept, because the person is close by and within earshot of your own self-talk, you then falsely project that self-concept onto the other person and attribute your own self-concept to their own self-talk.

image example https://www.dropbox.com/s/4yeo4c9okjwdjzz/speech_bubble_faces.jpg?dl=0

Re: Illusions

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:02 pm
by snowheight
KathleenBrugger wrote:Oooh I love that. I will be meditating on where the tree stops and the earth starts for some time! That makes me think of something I read earlier this year about plants. It was mostly about plants having intelligence and even consciousness, and included the idea that we need to stop thinking of trees as separate individuals, because the truth is trees in a forest are linked in an underground network: "trees in a forest organize themselves into far-flung networks, using the underground web of mycorrhizal fungi which connects their roots to exchange information and even goods. This 'wood-wide web,' as the title of one paper put it, allows scores of trees in a forest to convey warnings of insect attacks, and also to deliver carbon, nitrogen, and water to trees in need." The article is by Michael Pollan and is well worth the read (it's long).


"wood-wide web" ... love it! Echo's of Treebeard. :P

The metaphor first occurred to me in an instant of opening my eyes from a meditation, and landing them on a landscaped tree surrounded by grass.

Re: Illusions

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:05 pm
by snowheight
ashley72 wrote:A very subtle illusion I've become aware of is variation of projecting onto others.

As example:

You may be feeling nervous or awkward when talking to someone.... you first have this judgment about your own self-concept, because the person is close by and within earshot of your own self-talk, you then falsely project that self-concept onto the other person and attribute your own self-concept to their own self-talk.

image example https://www.dropbox.com/s/4yeo4c9okjwdjzz/speech_bubble_faces.jpg?dl=0


Yes, projection of any sort is a great example of the type of illusion rach' was referring to.

Re: Illusions

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:27 pm
by rachMiel
What about self? The sense one has of being an enduring evolving individual entity that was born, will live out its life, and die.

On the one hand, this is all self-evidently true: We are all born, we all live, we all die. We all evolve = change, both physically and mentally. Each of us has a unique body and mind: thoughts, emotions, memories. When I slipped in the driveway yesterday and hurt my arm, none of you felt it. Likewise, none of you knows what I'm thinking/feeling right now.

But is that the end of the story? Or is self an illusion, perhaps the grandest illusion of them all?