See your face… Move your hand… Break the mirror…

Photo by Jason Stewart from Pexels

Given the limited capacity of our attention, we only process a small amount of the sights, sounds, and sensations that reach our senses at any given moment. Research suggests that certain stimuli – specifically, your own face – can influence how you respond without you being aware of it.

In an experiment, participants looked at a cross symbol displayed in the center of a computer screen while a picture of a face appeared on each side of the cross. The face on one side of the cross was the participant’s own face, while the face on the other side of the cross belonged to a stranger. The participants were told to focus their attention on the cross and ignore anything else that might appear.

The findings showed that participants automatically attended to their own faces when they appeared on screen, despite the fact that they were instructed not to do so. Importantly, the findings also showed that participants automatically attended to their own faces even when they weren’t aware of them. (1)

We know our self.

We sense our self.

Some only see their self.

Everywhere.

Even when we are told not to.

Yet, these people will not see what they look for.

For you need to look to others in order to see you.

Look closer.

They are not obstructing you from seeing better.

Instead, they provide the only window to yourself.

These are not ‘other’ people.

They are you.

You are them.

Mirrors of existence, mirroring what cannot exist.

Look at the mirror.

Move your hand.

No, the mirror does not reflect you.

You ARE the mirror…

Stay still. Move. Logos. Silence.

Photo by Sushil Ghimire from Pexels

Quantum mechanics is truly weird. Objects can behave like both particles and waves, and can be both here and there at the same time, defying our common sense. Such counterintuitive behaviour is typically confined to the microscopic realm and the question “why don’t we see such behaviour in everyday objects?” challenges many scientists today.

A team of researchers developed a new technique to generate this type of quantum behaviour in the motion of a tiny drum just visible to the naked eye. The details of their research were published in New Journal of Physics. In the quantum world, a drum can vibrate and stand still at the same time. However, generating such quantum motion is very challenging. Lead author of the project Dr Martin Ringbauer, said: “You need a special kind of drumstick to make such a quantum vibration with our tiny drum”. To that end, scientists used laser light as a type of drumstick. (1)

Moving and yet standing still. Vibrating and non-vibrating at the same time. Talking while staying silent. The meaning of the cosmos is revealed in the irrational.

Yes, in the beginning there was Logos.

But who said it consisted of logic?

The meaning of life is manifested in the meaningless.

As I listen to you, I start to remember now.

That I know that voice. I’ve heard it before.

In the songs of the birds.

In the rustling of leaves in the morning breeze.

But most of all, I hear my voice in the forest.

In the deafening morning silence…

Hearing internal voices. The same as listening to other…

As far our brain is concerned, talking to ourselves in our heads may be fundamentally the same as speaking our thoughts out loud, new research shows. The findings may have important implications for understanding why people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia hear voices.

UNSW Sydney scientist and study first author Associate Professor Thomas Whitford says it has long been thought that these auditory-verbal hallucinations arise from abnormalities in inner speech – our silent internal dialogue. “This study provides the tools for investigating this once untestable assumption”, says Associate Professor Whitford, of the UNSW School of Psychology.

Previous research suggests that when we prepare to speak out loud, our brain creates a copy of the instructions that are sent to our lips, mouth and vocal cords. This copy is known as an efference-copy. It is sent to the region of the brain that processes sound to predict what sound it is about to hear. This allows the brain to discriminate between the predictable sounds that we have produced ourselves, and the less predictable sounds that are produced by other people.

“The efference-copy dampens the brain’s response to self-generated vocalisations, giving less mental resources to these sounds, because they are so predictable”, says Associate Professor Whitford. “This is why we can’t tickle ourselves. When I rub the sole of my foot, my brain predicts the sensation I will feel and doesn’t respond strongly to it. But if someone else rubs my sole unexpectedly, the exact same sensation will be unpredicted. The brain’s response will be much larger and creates a ticklish feeling”.

The study, published in the journal eLife, set out to determine whether inner speech – an internal mental process – elicits a similar efference-copy as the one associated with the production of spoken words.

The research team developed an objective method for measuring the purely mental action of inner speech using electroencephalography (EEG). The researchers found that, just as for vocalized speech, simply imagining making a sound reduced the brain activity that occurred when people simultaneously heard that sound. People’s thoughts were enough to change the way their brain perceived sounds. In effect, when people imagined sounds, those sounds seemed quieter.

“We all hear voices in our heads. Perhaps the problem arises when our brain is unable to tell that we are the ones producing them”. (1)

I speak to you. I speak to me.

I know I speak to you.

So why am I confused when I speak to me?

Why does it matter who speaks to me anyway?

Me, you, someone else…

We are all conscious beings.

Why feel different when someone else is talking to me?

At the end, there are no different people at all.

What is the difference between you and myself?

There is not you or me.

Just you. Just me.

Conscious being(s) filling the universe.

Light spreading through the cosmos.

Not different beings.

Just universal Being.

Transcending everything.

Don’t be surprised by it.

You feel it every day.

You are just too preoccupied with talking…

Collective opinions…

How are we affected by other peoples’ opinions? To answer this question, scientists at the CNRS, Inra and Université Toulouse 1 Capitole conducted a study in France and Japan, quantifying this impact on our decisions. They identified five behaviors common to both countries: the majority of subjects make a compromise between their opinion and that of others (59% of people in France), some hold to their opinion (29% in France), whereas others follow faithfully, amplify or contradict the information they receive. The study also shows how social information can help a group collectively improve its performance and the precision of its estimates. From this analysis, a model has been developed that reproduces the results of the study and predicts the performance of a group depending on the amount and quality of information exchanged between its members. The long-term goal would be to develop algorithms for decision-making support tools. The results of this study were published on November 6, 2017 in PNAS. (1)

We do not decide on our own.

Even when we think we do.

The ghosts of others are always with us.

Either as a force of reassurance or as a force of reaction.

The only way to think is by not thinking.

Because what you feel as your thought,

is not your own at all…

Sick. Healthy. Hallucinations. Truth. [Are you humble enough?]

It’s a local news story that Stephen King could take notes from: Five people fell ill and started hallucinating, one after another, following contact with one woman who started seeing things in the dead of night.

The caretaker of a 78-year-old woman called the police in North Bend, Oregon’s pre-dawn hours to report people vandalizing her vehicle, KVAL news reports. The cops came and went, finding nothing, only to be called back at 5:30 a.m. for a similar complaint. The officers suspected she was hallucinating, and took her to the hospital, where she was given a clean bill of health and discharged.

But as the day wore on, everyone who’d come in contact with her started showing similar symptoms of mental distress: Both deputies, the 78-year-old woman, and a hospital employee all had to be hospitalized for similar symptoms.

That afternoon, a hazmat team descended on Oregon’s Bay Area Hospital, and the home where it all started, decontaminating vehicles and clearing the emergency room. They turned up nothing. “No source of the contamination has been found,” Sgt. Pat Downing told KVAL. “The vehicles, equipment and uniforms have been checked with no contaminates identified or located on or about them.” Not a blip in the patients’ blood samples, either. (1)

We are the others.

The others are us.

Sometimes we believe this holds true at a metaphorical or symbolical level. Only when we truly realize that this is true at the lowest literal level possible (as it is the case with all great philosophical truths), will we be able to let go of our prejudices and see others as they truly are.

Are we healthy?

Or are the sick healthy instead?

Are you humble enough to accept the unacceptable?

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