Writing and the connection achieved by it sometimes have a transformative effect that’s often magical. It’s often how you discover your true tribe.
“Writing, if nothing else, is a bridge between two people, a bridge made of language. And language belongs to all of us. If I enjoy a poem, that just means I am recognizing within it something of myself, something I must already possess. Therefore, to love a poem is to love a part of myself revealed to me by another person…I really believe that writing is the closest thing we have to true magic. Where else, but in words, can we discover each other out of thin air?”
The title of the post might make you puzzled. But I would like to take you through a small journey of thoughts and discover the secret embodied in the title! It’ll be good if you can be distraction-free for two minutes as you read this, as this is a very important reality that can blow your mind! I value your time. Let’s think together : )
Today, we are adding a slice into our Ponder Series. I read something along these lines about a decade ago through several books that profoundly changed my perspectives on how we perceive the world. If you haven’t read about this theme before, this could possibly be a key that could unlock many secrets of thoughts and perceptions about people and things around you and everything happening to you. Right now, you’d be reading these words on your phone/tablet or PC. If it’s the phone, for example, you’d be now scrolling with your fingers on the phone screen or touching your mouse/touchpad if you’re reading on a computer. Reality for most people is what they can see with their eyes & touch with their hands. You touch your phone now while reading this and believe that it’s real. This is the normal conception of reality that has conquered generations and their views. But there’s a deeper side to it if we ponder deeply. Everything we confront and experience – everything – the chair that you sit on, the bed you sleep on, the window of your room, the buildings near you, roads, cars, people you see, spaces, cafes, your loved ones, the experiences we go through in life, in short everything is perceived through our five senses. We know this well, but have you wondered how this magic really happens! Let’s ponder on how the information of the exterior world reaches you through your senses.
You and me have five sensory faculties – sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. If we think about it from a scientific point of view, all these senses work in the same way. For each sensory faculties, stimuli from objects in the external world and taken through these senses and nerves carry them to the sensory centers in the brain. These stimuli that induce these signals include lights (for vision), sounds (for hearing), smells, tastes, textures (for touch). These stimuli reach the brain only as electric signals.
Let’s take our vision as an example. Light rays (photons) emanating from different objects around you reach the retina at the back of your eye system and passing through several stages, they get converted into electrical signals. These signals then reach the brain’s vision centre through the nerves. This colorful and bright three-dimensional imagery that you see is formed at this vision centre, which is only a few cubic centimeters. So, when you hold your phone in your hand, you’re perceiving the “image” of the phone at the back of your brain in a minuscule space. This system of electrical impulses broadly applies to our other senses as well.
When you taste a glass of fresh orange juice, cells on your tongue surface transfer the stimuli into electrical signals that we perceive as taste. The aroma of the fresh orange juice near you is transformed into electrical signals by the cells in the epithelium of the nose. When you touch the glass cup, there are special sensors that are lodged beneath the skin surfaces that transform touch impulses and sensations of hardness/softness to electric signals. Similarly, your ear also have a similar mechanism that converts sounds into electricals signals. That’s how you hear the sound of the glass when you place it on the table. You perceive that you are drinking an orange juice when all these senses cohesively and harmoniously work together with these electrical signals for different senses.
Now is the important concept that needs to be thought about. Whether the orange juice exists or not cannot be known by us. The “orange juice” that youknow is a blend or collection of its taste sensed by the tongue, its odour sensed by your nose, the color, and shape captured by your eyes, and only its attributes perceived through these senses is what is accessible to you. You don’t have access to the “original” version outside. It shows the limitation of ours to reach the physical world. Everything around us we are in touch with and our experiences are a compiled effect of different perceptions such as sight, hearing, and touch. All we can do is process the data of electrical impulses in our brain’s sensory centers of our brains. So, instead of the “original” of the matter, we are confronting its “copies” inside our brain. At THIS point, we tend to believe that the copies that we experience are the real matter outside, which is not the case as we just examined 🙂
Orange juice that you drank is only a simulation. Which orange juice is real? The one that is formed by your senses or the real one on the table? It’s no doubt that we are experiencing an aggregate of our perceptions throughout our lives. From every object you touch to anything you experience are perceptions. So whatever you touch, hear, smell and define as “matter”, or what you think as “the world we live in” is nothing else but an interpretation of electrical signals in our brain. The “original” cannot be reached, but only its copy is experienced in your brain! So that means if your olfactory nerve from the nose receptors are disconnected, you cannot feel the sense of smell.
Similar concept shall be extended to the sense of space and distance as well. When you read these words on this page, the distance between you and this page is emptiness perceived in your brain. When you think of stars or moon, you think they appear distant in the sky, but what you’re actuallyseeing is within you, in your vision center. So, as you sit and read this blog post now, you are technically not inside the room you think you are in, but the room is inside you! The body deceives you in thinking that we’re inside it. Like the orange juice we just discussed, your physical body is also a set of images or perceptions formed in your brain!
You may be able to comprehend this better when you think of how you dream. When you dream, you may experience that you’re riding a horse for example, but in reality, you’d realize that you were on the bed when you wake up from your slumber.
That brings us to the conclusion that ouraccess to the external world is very limited. Now you would understand why saints say that the universe is within you! The way we look at our world changes when we understand and comprehend that our soul is experiencing and watching everything on a screen. Everything is inside you. Think about it. Ponder about this magic happening every single moment. Thank you for reading Ponder Series with me 🙂
Some of the chapters from the Ponder Series that you can read on :
I photographed this with Netta from the Andaman Islands. What I like the most about this photograph is how the sun rising is spreading its light across everything. From the soothings waves to the rocks to the pebbles, we see its light on everything. This resonates with a theme that I read recently. On a particular note, the example of sun is provided where the sun encompasses numberless things with its light. It says that a comprehensive outlook is required to behold the sun itself in the totality of its light. For the sun not to be forgotten, its manifestation is displayed on every shining object by its reflection. Further I read that all lustrous objects have a refleciton of sun’s attributes such as its light, heat and the seven colors in its light (From the Words). The sun’s attributes is encompassing all things facing it. The same allegory is extended to divine mercy we find around us in several manifestations and specifically in man’s mirror like essence. From the food on our table, to the clothes we wear to our comforts, there’re manifestations of divine mercy everywhere.
It’s about having the eye to see the internal within the external. It’s to probe purpose and beauty in chaos and noise. It requires patience, intention, and humility.
“Intellect is the knowledge obtained by the experience of names and forms; wisdom is the knowledge which manifests only from the inner being; to acquire intellect one must delve into studies, but to obtain wisdom, nothing but the flow of divine mercy is needed; it is as natural as the instinct of swimming to the fish, or of flying to the bird. Intellect is the sight which enables one to see through the external world, but the light of wisdom enables one to see through the external into the internal world.”
This resonates well with my take on it. Remember when we talked about the vision? I had written that this space is a virtual studio of arts, ideas and minds built on the idea of embellishment of childish curiosity that we’re born with and to manifest it through fine writings, arts, visuals, and moving images. You cannot touch this space, but if you have been reading me, this humble space, which we call “The Border of a Mind” is in your memory, in an intangible realm of your mind. Keep reading and I’d put my heart and soul in curating this garden of ideas. God bless : )
“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Choke
illustration based on a portrait taken by dear friend M.H.P
“A man is born gentle and weak; at his death, he is hard and stiff. All things, including the grass and trees, are soft and pliable in life; dry and brittle in death. Stiffness is thus a companion of death; flexibility a companion of life. An army that cannot yield will be defeated. A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind. The hard and stiff will be broken; the soft and supple will prevail.” (Quote by Lao-Tzu)
Wanted a smile that melts you down right now?
This sweet little angel appeared when I was on a bus while on a visit to Istanbul in 2014 and this little one kept smiling at me. Subtleties and details such as me being in that bus seat at the right moment of time and for this cute one to be exactly there to smile back and to capture that exact little moment! I believe in Almighty’s magical way of delighting us with details unconceivable. Everything happening in our life has a reason and a purpose, regardless of whether we can envisage it or not. Let’s be somebody’s reason to smile 🙂 | God bless.
Recently I read a very interesting post on what really matters on what you build and long for. It can be anything – it can be a product, a service, experiences, personal connections, travel spaces, mindset, you name it.
“Do you see all those people who whipping their smartphones out as soon as they get on the train or stand in a queue? They’re not just avoiding boredom, they’re searching—but not only for information, or laughs, or updates. They are searching for a feeling of connection.
We want places to go and places to be. Places to kill time and places that make us feel a little less lonely in the moment. Places to learn. Places to share. Places that make us feel safe, or smart, or welcomed, or funny, or hopeful for the future. But most of all, we want places to belong and places where we feel like we matter.
Those places used to be our family homes, our dinner tables at 6 pm, or football games with friends on Saturday afternoons. Increasingly they are digital spaces.
Whatever you’re building, think beyond features, functionality and design and think first about how the person you serve wants to feel when she arrives at the place you’ve built.” [ source ]
This is exactly on the nail on how I conceive and present the soul of The Border Of a Mind to you as a valuable reader. As I wrote previously, I put my heart and soul into every little word, graphic and theme that you find inscribed here. In this world of bustle and commotion, I always love to prepare this place as sort of a virtual garden of my thoughts and whisk it with some spice of original arts and photography.
This post is inspired by a quote I heard in some interview on Youtube. I’m not able to clearly recollect the video or else I could link it here. It’s a very interesting thing to ruminate over. It’s about multitudes in ourselves.
Do I contradict myself?Very well then I contradict myself;(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
“Song of Myself – Leaves of Grass” (1892-92) | The Walt Whitman
If we think about it, that’s a truly profound talk. We are different versions of ourselves in different arenas of our lives. There’s a version of yourself that talks to a better half and there’s a version of yourself interacting with a colleague and it’s the same you who can chat with a 5-year-old and it’s again the same you who can play with a pet dog. In fact all of the people whom we meet in our lives, be it anywhere has a different version of “you”. A person may be outgoing and talkative at home whereas he may be reserved and and introvert at school or work. Likewise, we have different point of views which may not necessarily mesh or intertwine together. Every human is a universe unto themselves. The same goes true with a book or a piece of art. It’s basically about being embracive about the innate nature of being self-contradictory instead of being embarrassed by it.
And yet, in the privacy of our interior lives, the reality of the self seems inescapable — sometimes maddeningly so. For each of us, the entire enormity of life unfolds within the tiny locus of consciousness we experience as our very own self. So where is the line between the inevitability of the self as a focal point of experience and its mutation into an imprisoning ego-shell which, in the words of the great Zen teacher D.T. Suzuki, “is the hardest thing to outgrow”?
By large, containing multitudes and having these contradictions within ourselves would be perhaps the most moving part of the human experience and existence. Have a beautiful day.