Illusions


Stumbled across this in my blog archives while looking for something else. I posted it in 2008 but realize that many of my readers are new since then.  I hope you find it fascinating  too.

“For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.

“PURPORT

“A person in Krsna consciousness certainly sees Lord Krsna everywhere, and he sees everything in Krsna. Such a person may appear to see all separate manifestations of the material nature, but in each and every instance he is conscious of Krsna, knowing that everything is a manifestation of Krsna’s energy. Nothing can exist without Krsna, and Krsna is the Lord of everything — this is the basic principle of Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness is the development of love of Krsna — a position transcendental even to material liberation.”

Bg 6.30

Why don’t we see Krishna everywhere? Take the test in this video to find out why (fully realized souls, go ahead and skip this exercise).

 

See comments for a purport.

If you want to know why this phenomenon works as it does, go to this website.

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Original  article

Thanks to animation tools, a face can be made to morph into another. But a new illusion created by Rob van Lier and Arno Koning from Donders Institute in the Netherlands shows that your eye movement can affect how dramatic the transformation appears to be.

In the video above, follow the moving red dot superimposed on the face. When it stops moving, fix your eyes on the stationary spot. Did the morphing seem to be more pronounced?

According to van Lier, when our eyes are tracking a moving object we are less aware of changes in the scene, in this case moving eyebrows and colour fluctuations. He says:

The processing of incoming retinal information is attenuated. For example, try tracking your eyes when standing in front of a mirror – it’s hardly possible

When focusing on a stationary spot, the morphing effect is much stronger and can even appear to be blown-up. “We chose to use faces because small variations in features can induce completely different facial characteristics,” says van Lier. The team came up with the illusion while trying to combine different visual stimuli.

Try figure it out using your eye alone, but then use a ruler to confirm your conclusion.

“In the transcendental realm there is no creation and no destruction, and thus the duration of life is eternal unlimitedly. In other words, everything in the transcendental world is everlasting, full of knowledge and bliss without deterioration. Since there is no deterioration, there is no past, present and future in the estimation of time.

“It is clearly stated in this verse that the influence of time is conspicuous by its absence. The whole material existence is manifested by actions and reactions of elements which make the influence of time prominent in the matter of past, present and future. There are no such actions and reactions of cause and effects there, so the cycle of birth, growth, existence, transformations, deterioration and annihilation — the six material changes — are not existent there. It is the unalloyed manifestation of the energy of the Lord, without illusion as experienced here in the material world.”

SB 2.9.10

Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately two thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children.. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.  (See original article here, quite fascinating,) The questions raised: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made….. How many other things are we missing?

(end article)

” In that land all speech is song, and all walking is dancing, and one’s constant companion is the flute. Everything is self-luminous, just like the sun in this material world. The human form of life is meant for understanding this transcendental land of Vrndavana, and one who is fortunate should cultivate knowledge of Vrndavana and its residents. In that supreme abode are surabhi cows that overflood the land with milk. Since not even a moment there is misused, there is no past, present or future.

“An expansion of this Vrndavana, which is the supreme abode of Krsna, is also present on this earth, and superior devotees worship it as the supreme abode. However, no one can appreciate Vrndavana without being highly elevated in spiritual knowledge, Krsna consciousness. According to ordinary experience, Vrndavana appears to be just like an ordinary village, but in the eyes of a highly elevated devotee, it is as good as the original Vrndavana. A great saintly acarya has sung: ‘When will my mind be cleared of all contamination so I will be able to see Vrndavana as it is? And when will I be able to understand the literatures left by the Gosvamis so that I will be able to know of the transcendental pastimes of Radha and Krsna?’ ”

Teachings Of Lord Chaitanya 31: The Supreme Perfection

Do you hear the flute?

Interesting Video

http://video.ted.com/talks/podcast/DanAriely_2008P.mp4

From an article in the New York Times which at 8500+ words may not be for everyone but I found fascinating to read from start to finish.

“Which of the following people would you say is the most admirable: Mother Teresa, Bill Gates or Norman Borlaug? And which do you think is the least admirable? For most people, it’s an easy question. Mother Teresa, famous for ministering to the poor in Calcutta, has been beatified by the Vatican, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and ranked in an American poll as the most admired person of the 20th century. Bill Gates, infamous for giving us the Microsoft dancing paper clip and the blue screen of death, has been decapitated in effigy in “I Hate Gates” Web sites and hit with a pie in the face. As for Norman Borlaug . . . who the heck is Norman Borlaug?

“Yet a deeper look might lead you to rethink your answers. Borlaug, father of the “Green Revolution” that used agricultural science to reduce world hunger, has been credited with saving a billion lives, more than anyone else in history. Gates, in deciding what to do with his fortune, crunched the numbers and determined that he could alleviate the most misery by fighting everyday scourges in the developing world like malaria, diarrhea and parasites. Mother Teresa, for her part, extolled the virtue of suffering and ran her well-financed missions accordingly: their sick patrons were offered plenty of prayer but harsh conditions, few analgesics and dangerously primitive medical care.

“It’s not hard to see why the moral reputations of this trio should be so out of line with the good they have done. Mother Teresa was the very embodiment of saintliness: white-clad, sad-eyed, ascetic and often photographed with the wretched of the earth. Gates is a nerd’s nerd and the world’s richest man, as likely to enter heaven as the proverbial camel squeezing through the needle’s eye. And Borlaug, now 93, is an agronomist who has spent his life in labs and nonprofits, seldom walking onto the media stage, and hence into our consciousness, at all.

“I doubt these examples will persuade anyone to favor Bill Gates over Mother Teresa for sainthood. But they show that our heads can be turned by an aura of sanctity, distracting us from a more objective reckoning of the actions that make people suffer or flourish. It seems we may all be vulnerable to moral illusions the ethical equivalent of the bending lines that trick the eye on cereal boxes and in psychology textbooks. Illusions are a favorite tool of perception scientists for exposing the workings of the five senses, and of philosophers for shaking people out of the naïve belief that our minds give us a transparent window onto the world (since if our eyes can be fooled by an illusion, why should we trust them at other times?). Today, a new field is using illusions to unmask a sixth sense, the moral sense. Moral intuitions are being drawn out of people in the lab, on Web sites and in brain scanners, and are being explained with tools from game theory, neuroscience and evolutionary biology…”

“We all know what it feels like when the moralization switch flips inside us — the righteous glow, the burning dudgeon, the drive to recruit others to the cause…”

“Many of these moralizations, like the assault on smoking, may be understood as practical tactics to reduce some recently identified harm. But whether an activity flips our mental switches to the “moral” setting isn’t just a matter of how much harm it does. We don’t show contempt to the man who fails to change the batteries in his smoke alarms or takes his family on a driving vacation, both of which multiply the risk they will die in an accident. Driving a gas-guzzling Hummer is reprehensible, but driving a gas-guzzling old Volvo is not; eating a Big Mac is unconscionable, but not imported cheese or crème brûlée. The reason for these double standards is obvious: people tend to align their moralization with their own lifestyles…”

“People don’t generally engage in moral reasoning, Haidt argues, but moral rationalization: they begin with the conclusion, coughed up by an unconscious emotion, and then work backward to a plausible justification…”

“When psychologists say “most people” they usually mean “most of the two dozen sophomores who filled out a questionnaire for beer money.” But in this case it means…”

“The psychologist Philip Tetlock has shown that the mentality of taboo — a conviction that some thoughts are sinful to think — is not just a superstition of Polynesians but a mind-set that can easily be triggered in college-educated Americans…”

“According to Noam Chomsky, we are born with a “universal grammar” that forces us to analyze speech in terms of its grammatical structure, with no conscious awareness of the rules in play. By analogy, we are born with a universal moral grammar that forces us to analyze human action in terms of its moral structure, with just as little awareness…”

“Violations of purity repelled the people who judged the morality of consensual incest and prevented the moral vegetarians and nonsmokers from tolerating the slightest trace of a vile contaminant. At the other end of the scale, displays of extreme purity lead people to venerate religious leaders who dress in white and affect an aura of chastity and asceticism…”

” Last month a British woman teaching in a private school in Sudan allowed her class to name a teddy bear after the most popular boy in the class, who bore the name of the founder of Islam. She was jailed for blasphemy and threatened with a public flogging, while a mob outside the prison demanded her death. To the protesters, the woman’s life clearly had less value than maximizing the dignity of their religion, and their judgment on whether it is right to divert the hypothetical trolley would have differed from ours. Whatever grammar guides people’s moral judgments can’t be all that universal. Anyone who stayed awake through Anthropology 101 can offer many other examples…”

“All this brings us to a theory of how the moral sense can be universal and variable at the same time. The five moral spheres are universal, a legacy of evolution. But how they are ranked in importance, and which is brought in to moralize which area of social life — sex, government, commerce, religion, diet and so on — depends on the culture…”

“Evolutionary psychologists seem to want to unmask our noblest motives as ultimately self-interested — to show that our love for children, compassion for the unfortunate and sense of justice are just tactics in a Darwinian struggle to perpetuate our genes…”

“Morality, then, is still something larger than our inherited moral sense, and the new science of the moral sense does not make moral reasoning and conviction obsolete. At the same time, its implications for our moral universe are profound…”

“The science of the moral sense also alerts us to ways in which our psychological makeup can get in the way of our arriving at the most defensible moral conclusions. The moral sense, we are learning, is as vulnerable to illusions as the other senses. It is apt to confuse morality per se with purity, status and conformity. It tends to reframe practical problems as moral crusades and thus see their solution in punitive aggression. It imposes taboos that make certain ideas indiscussible. And it has the nasty habit of always putting the self on the side of the angels…”

“Far from debunking morality, then, the science of the moral sense can advance it, by allowing us to see through the illusions that evolution and culture have saddled us with and to focus on goals we can share and defend. As Anton Chekhov wrote, ‘Man will become better when you show him what he is like.’  “

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