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The Tinkered Mind
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May 22nd, 2021
There is a variety of optical illusions which present two different images simultaneously, but which cannot be perceived simultaneously. One of these is the drawing of an old woman’s face which is also a drawing of a young woman sitting. The brain’s ability to comprehend the image flips back and forth between the old woman and the young woman, but it’s not possible to perceive both at the same time.
Another example is a drawing of a duck that slowly spins and suddenly the brain perceives a rabbit’s head. Again, it’s not possible to see both the duck and the rabbit at the same time. These are mutually exclusive perspectives that likely have to do with the involuntary activation of different sets of neurons in the visual cortex.
The incompatibility of such perspectives that seem to exist in such close proximity to one another forms a valuable analogy for other kinds of perspectives. The ability to see opportunity, for example, or rather the inability to see opportunity. There is, for each and every individual a set of actions perfectly possible within each person’s life circumstance that would drastically improve that person’s life. Seeing the opportunity of those actions is the real trick, and a tricky one for most.
We are, for the most part, locked into a perspective that is biased against a great deal of these potential actions. The simplest form of this is the person who fails to see a chance because they are too preoccupied with the idea that they never seem to get a chance. The real opportunity that actually does arise is often completely invisible to the person who is convinced they never get opportunities.
Our perception and perspective filters reality into a simplified experience that is our life. What this means is that our experience of life is completely and totally limited by the perspectives we can inhabit and look through. Our perspective blacks out parts of reality and underscores others. In some sense it's a bit of a luck of the draw for what combination of underscoring and black out you have. But, just like the slowly rotating duck can suddenly seem like a rabbit, it’s certainly possible for all that black out and underscoring to snap into opposite functions. Suddenly all the hidden opportunity is underscored and all the negative considerations get blacked out. They are mutually exclusive perspectives, because it’s simply not possible to be simultaneously blind to an opportunity and take that chance.