Seeing better. Through not seeing. Descartes and the wisdom of Silenus…

Visual acuity is normally thought to be dictated by the shape and condition of the eye but these new findings suggest that it may also be influenced by perceptual processes in the brain. “We discovered that visual acuity – the ability to see fine detail – can be enhanced by an illusion known as the ‘expanding motion aftereffect’ – while under its spell, viewers can read letters that are too small for them to read normally”, says psychological scientist Martin Lages of the University of Glasgow. (1)

We train our eyes to see things which do not exist.

In order to see things which do.

This reminds me of Principiorum philosophicorum part. 3, artculo 47 hic verbis by Descartes: Whatever we have set as a starting point, whatever assumptions or axioms we use to start examining something, we will always end up in the same conclusion one way or another.

Leibnitz disagreed with that idea in his letter to Philipp on January of 1680. His objections were mainly related to the nature of God and the discussion of good and evil. I believe this discussion must be made on a more abstract philosophical level: Do we need to start from a specific starting point to see something? Or will we see it someday somehow no matter how wrong is the path we have chosen?

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Seeing small letters. Because your eyes do not work as they did.

Not seeing anything. Because your eyes work as they use to work.

Will you finally see the letters?

Will you finally get blind?

Does it matter?

Sitting down in the forest. Touching the earth below. What you feel is you. Going back and forth from that cursed meeting with Silenus. The purpose of this world lies not within this world. There is nothing to read in these letters…

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