Inspiration

“Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour films, music, books, paintings, poems, photographs, conversations, dreams, trees, architecture, street signs, clouds, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work will be authentic… Don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. Remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”

Paul Arden

The Importance of Dots

It is often the little things that are the basis of progress… So let me tell you a little story about the tiniest thing on earth: the dot.

Thousands of years ago, a man in his solitude scanned the night sky and saw all those dots shining like so many still fireflies and, perhaps for fun, he decided to join them together to form shapes. This is how zodiac signs and astronomy were born.
Far away, in ancient India, the dot symbolized beauty and the eye of knowledge. But even more, the dot they called “shunya-bindu” represented what we nowadays know as zero. It was first a placeholder and then a fully fledged number, for when it is added to the right of the representation of any given digit, the value of the digit is multiplied by ten. This is how our current numbers and decimal numeration system were born. Continue Reading

Fantastic Optical Illusions

Cover Fantastic Optical Illusions

“Everything we see hides another thing;
we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.”

– René Magritte

My book “Fantastic Optical Illusions” (ISBN: 178739235X) features all the best and most interesting illusion types: ambiguous and impossible figures, hidden objects, color and brightness effects, length, size and shape misperceptions, illusory moving patterns and image paradoxes.
This best-selling book has been first printed in 2004, since then I have made important updates on the latest discoveries in the world of perception, to be sure the book will continue to amaze both the young and the adult reader.
Available from Amazon UK and Amazon USA.

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Optical Illusions, An Eye-Popping Extravaganza of Visual Tricks

Reality is merely an illusion,
albeit a very persistent one.
— Albert Einstein

Everything you “see” depends strongly on the context and attention you give to it. The mind and the world you experience are inseparable, as it is your 3-pound brain that make the world meaningful. Seeing isn’t some kind of direct perception of reality. Actually, our bairns are cnostanlty itnerperting, correcting, and giving srtuctrue to the viusal ipnut form our eeys. If this were not the case, you would not see any colors (consider that all the beautiful colors you see don’t really exist), and you would probably see the world upside-down! Moreover, you would notice in your visual field a very large dot, called the “blind spot,” where the optical nerve enters the eye.

A Zen master said once: “If you pour water into a cup, water becomes the cup; if you fill a bottle with water, it becomes the bottle!” Likewise, the context shapes the appearance of the world surrounding you. Your brains work by comparing information and stimuli: contrasting colors, shapes, depth in a dynamic changing environment … that’s why perception is relative and not absolute. Continue Reading

THE FIRST GREATEST ILLUSION

The very first illusion is to believe that there is one, unique world of perception. The mind and the world we experience are inseparable, as it is the mind that makes the world meaningful. Our mind IS our world. Despite the fact that our mental construct of what is perceived is distinct from the objective reality, our mind accepts it as real.

Every organism, man as well as animal, lives in its own subjective spatiotemporal world that semiotic philosophers call ‘Umwelt’ (from the German Umwelt, ‘surrounding world’, or ‘life-world’). According to the biologist Jakob J. von Uexküll, organisms and their life-world shape each other in a functional loop (see fig. below): interactions between the subject and the outer world, mediated through the sense and effect organs, determine the world framework of the subject. Thus, a particular stimulus which has a perceptive cue or meaning to the subject induces always a purposeful reaction.

feedback loop of information

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Move Away From the Past You Need to Leave Behind

leave the past

Two Zen monks noticed, at the edge of the river, a beautiful young maiden sat weeping because she was afraid to cross the river alone. She begged them to help her. The younger monk turned his back. The members of their order were forbidden to touch a woman.

The older monk picked up the girl without a word and carried her across the river. He put her down on the far side and continued his journey. The younger monk came after him, scolding him and berating him for breaking his vows. “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that girl on your shoulders?” He went on and on like this for a very long time. The elder monk didn’t say a word.

Finally, the elder monk, exasperated, turned to the younger one. “I let her go as soon as we crossed the river. Why are you still carrying her?

How often do we carry around past hurts, holding onto resentments when the only person we are really hurting is ourselves.