Page Created: 7/29/2014   Last Modified: 3/21/2017   Last Generated: 2/7/2024
There is only one place in the world outside of our imagination were magic resides, only one place in the Real world, and it is in our ability to narrow our context, to impose ignorance upon ourselves, so that we may see something as if we were an innocent being.
Early in life, my HyperSystemizing mind cut through illusion, stripped away the layers until it found the core, and once that was done, it moved its focus to unexplained enigmas and tried to cut away those layers, too.
One of first illusions I discovered was Santa Claus. I discovered that Santa was not real very early on, perhaps around 4 years old or earlier. It was at so young of an age that I cannot actually remember when I believed Santa was real.
And I saw other children around me that believed. I remember many times withholding my knowledge from them. I didn't want to take the magic away from them. Who was I to corrupt them?
But while I knew Santa was an illusion, at least how adults tried to portray him to us, I also knew that something far larger was at work here. I believed that if we have the idea of such a wonderful being in our minds, a being that brings joy and gifts to people, then it must be real somewhere, someplace. It lives in some kind of imaginary, spirit form. Santa was real, but far more real than any of us could comprehend.
Because what I found in all things when I broke them down to their components, was that I suddenly lost my ability to see the whole. I was deep down into the machine where the whole is a long journey back home again.
My family got me a microscope when I was young but quickly stopped using it. I saw that there was a hidden, biological world of strange beings that supported my world. But it was repugnant, grotesque.
I could not stand to look at microscopic organisms or living cells. In biology and zoology classes I was frequently disgusted. But when I encountered something geometric, like the crystalline structures of chemical compounds, or the geometric shape of the volvox↗, it was beautiful.
I found that if I reduced my magnification, or increased it further, this "grotesque zone" disappeared. These zones, or patterns, manifest at certain levels. You can even see them in magnifying the mathematical Mandelbrot Set.
When I was young, I would look at things upside down, stare at the ceiling for hours, imagining that it was the floor, or look at faces upside down, and they also became grotesque, where my brain's pattern recognition system didn't tell me that it was a face at all, but just a collection of fleshy parts.
My grandfather and I liked to discuss the spelling of English words. He used to say that he could tell that a word was misspelled just by looking at it, that it looked funny. I could also see this as well.
But he said that if you looked at the word too long that it would start to look very strange, almost like it was totally misspelled, and he was right. The more I stared at a word, it began to transform into a foreign word. He said that I needed to look away from it for a while before looking at it again.
It was as if my brain's pattern recognition circuitry suddenly turned off. This is known as semantic satiation↗.
This effect, to me, was far more powerful than an optical illusion. This was an illusion of cognition, not just perception.
I could see the layers of my mind assisting me, trying to decode pattern, and then telling me what they saw. And sometimes I worked them too hard, or gave them conflicting instructions, and they began to reveal themselves.
As an adult, I have found that if I focus for several minutes on someone's face or someone talking, I can "turn off" my pattern recognition system briefly for a few seconds at a time. English words will turn into a string of sounds, like a foreign language, and a face will turn into fleshy moving parts, a form of prosopagnosia↗. My brain fights to turn this circuity back on, so I can't maintain this state for very long.
But this has given me a very tangible insight into the reality of my existence, not just theoretical. Our brains are full of multiple sub-systems that try to convert lower-level stimuli into higher-level abstractions. But like a lot of "smart" electronic devices, they sometimes try to be "too smart" and get in the way of reality. Sometimes they apply themselves where they are not applicable, turning the beautiful into the bizarre.
When I was young, for a short time, I hid around corners and darted in on people to see if they acted differently when I was not there, as if the world was one big game that was being played on me, that I could catch others with their guard down, like actors back stage. I had to be sure that people were real, and were experiencing the world in the same way as myself.
As an adult, after I read and listened to the experiences of others, I concluded without doubt, that other people think and perceive in the same way as myself, that we could not come to similar conclusions about so many things if we were much different inside.
People were as real as myself. For if they were an illusion, then I must be too.
The world was full of illusions, and I couldn't see the true forms of others, but I could be certain that there were other entities here, inside various costumes and masks, sharing this world with me.
If I did not have my memory, I would never know the whole existed at all. A mountain climber that bumped his head on the way down might never remember his experience at the top.
Our brains provide us with a wonderful gift, we can suspend those memories for a short while, and perceive these lower worlds as if that is the only world we ever experienced, and some of these worlds are wonderful places.
For if we did not have this gift, we would be crippled by knowing we are trapped inside a world that we cannot control, a world full of starvation, suffering, disease, and death. Every living being feeds on the body of another, trapped in cycles of competition. Violence, war, and evil run rampant.
Some people tend to remain in lower worlds for long times, and suspend their disbelief for most of their lives, a form of self-delusion. This is dangerous, as they can sometimes forget that the world they perceive is not real, and when they do become lucid again, the dread overwhelms them.
In some ways, though, as individuals, we weren't meant to climb to the top of the mountain. Like the home of Olympic gods, it was meant only for them. Therefore many people find their perch on the side, somewhere midway up.
But I always made the trek back up to the top again. I knew that if I didn't periodically break the grip of my mind, that was clinging to my little outcropping, that I may one day lose the ability to do so, as it had a very strong grip.
And every time I reached the top of the mountain, I knew that this peak wasn't the highest, that there was something even higher, above the sky.
Perhaps the horrors I see from that mountaintop are those same grotesque forms that suddenly become beautiful if I was just a little higher up, could abstract just a little more.
In an NDE (near-death experience), many people state that they didn't want to return to their physical body, which is isolated, heavy, and in pain. Perhaps higher beings coming down into our world is similar to them looking through a microscope, seeing our forms as ugly and unappealing.
Sometimes I see this grotesque zone in everyday life. It is a middle zone between a beautiful lower zone of pattern, discovery, creativity and beautiful higher zone of principles, ethics, love, compassion. It is the middle zone where the middle age usually dwells, like an ignorant bully. It is not purely imaginative nor wise, but a corruption of the interface.
It is grotesque to me, but I know, being mathematical in form, that there is no part of our fractal world that is not beautiful and that I must be limited in my ability to see it. Like the sub-systems I rely on to see beautiful faces or beautiful words, I must lack the sub-system for this domain.
Suspending disbelief in a play is, in a way, analogous to suspending judgment in life.Comments