Ming the Mechanic:
Stand still and look until you really see

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Stand still and look until you really see2003-10-27 10:30
picture by Flemming Funch

Roland quotes Dave Pollard who's writing about how to trick your left brain (anylytical, iconic) into getting out of the way so that you actually can see what you see in front of you, and allow your creativity to flow. Good stuff there, including this from Dave Pollard:
"Here are some exercises that I've found can help left-brainers to 'really see':
  • Move in close, so you divert attention from individual objects and start to see instead colour, texture, shape, shadow, reflection, pattern
  • Find an unusual perspective from which to look -- get down on the ground and look up, look at something through trees, through a microscope, or by candlelight, anything that will let you see things differently from usual
  • Look at things under unusual conditions -- in the fog, at night, right after a heavy rain, just at dawn or dusk
  • Stimulate your other right-brain senses -- get your nose up close to things, listen to birds, or insects, or train whistles, or music, walk in your bare feet
  • Walk or bicycle without a pre-determined destination, direction or time limit
  • Study something -- birds at your bird-feeder, time-lapse of a flower over the course of a day or a week, a spider-web, how moving or dimming the lights in a room changes its character, how a bottle looks different when viewed from different angles
In the book Easy Travel to Other Planets, Ted Mooney describes a future world where people are so bombarded with meaningless information, abstract facts that don't really matter, that they become psychologically paralyzed, unable to focus on anything, and succumb to what Mooney calls 'information sickness'. In some ways we are already there. The trappings of our society and culture have already separated us from, and deadened us to, most of what is real in this world, and surrounded us instead with artifice -- bland, manipulative, numbing 'entertainment', office and home lighting (and air conditioning, and jobs) that are artificial, news that shows wars as light-shows instead of people dead and dying, cars that insulate us from any exposure to real people or real weather."
Great stuff. Yes, a lot of us are hiding from most of what is real, just condensing it into symbols, then thinking the symbols are real, and drowning ourselves in too many symbols that we think we must do something about. Where we often might be better off by just slowing down and perceiving what actually is here.

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