empty canvas : wondering mind | book two

believing is seeing


1  the amazing artifice of perception
2  pictures
3  puzzles
4  perceptual illusions
5  correspondences
6  references


(pdf 926 KB)

The mind stands in the way of the eye.
– Arthur Stern

Excerpt from:  the amazing artifice of perception

Artifice is the clever use of tricks and devices.
– Collins Dictionary

WHAT WE EXPERIENCE – OUR REALITY – depends upon what we believe

WHAT WE BELIEVE depends upon what we perceive

WHAT WE PERCEIVE depends upon what we’re looking for

WHAT WE LOOK FOR depends upon what we think

WHAT WE THINK determines what we perceive

WHAT WE PERCEIVE determines what we believe

WHAT WE BELIEVE determines what we take to be true

WHAT WE TAKE TO BE TRUE determines our experience – our reality

and so on, ad infinitum …

It comes as a shock to most of us when we realize that the way we individually perceive and understand the world is not necessarily shared or even consistent within cultures. And between cultures the differences are even more marked. Perception, as E H Gombrich noted, is a learned, acquired phenomenon. What I see when I look at the world is the view determined by my experience within the social, economic and geographic context I inhabit. My gene pool might have a say in it as well. Since no two humans have identical life experiences, perception varies from person to person – and often radically.

The closed mental circuit above was looped together by Gary Zukav in The Dancing Wu Li Masters. The dynamic of the loop is the process of thinking. And the tidal flow of expectations is the product of one’s acquired knowledge – one’s conditioning. The entire archive of conscious and unconscious memory fuels the surge of this incessant movement.

So what’s all this got to do with creativity and blank canvases and wondering minds? Well, in the introduction of this series a few of the insidious myths about creativity at loose in the world were set out, and this little e-book hopes to provide a few tools with which we can begin chipping away at those which might be sabotaging our own practice. […]

– miriam louisa simons

We now appreciate that most brain hypotheses
are largely at variance with the realities of physics.
Perceptions are, in any case, only approximations;
there is always some error

which usually goes unnoticed.
– Richard L Gregory

return to
e-books – empty canvas : wondering mind