1. Stare at the red dot on my negative image for 30 seconds
2. Look at the white box, continuously blinking your eyes
3. Watch me turn from a negative into a positive!
This is a well understood and documented retinal phenomenon.
“An afterimage is a non-specific term that refers to an image continuing to appear in one’s vision after the exposure to the original image has ceased. An afterimage may be a normal phenomenon (physiological afterimage) or may be pathological (palinopsia). Illusory palinopsia may be a pathological exaggeration of physiological afterimages.” wikipedia
This little experiment sorta makes me wonder what other things my eyes (mind) are deluding me into believing are real or not real. For that matter, what the heck is ‘real’ anyway?
I can’t help but think that I’m supposed to be figuring something out that’s really important while I idly languish here in this physiologically-based existence. Something I had to see to believe. Or disbelieve.
Have I been overexposed to a false reality so long that I’ve forgotten or can no longer ‘see’ the real deal no matter how long I blink my eyes to focus my vision?
What’s it going to take to refocus my view on what I cannot readily see? Maybe the “pathological exaggeration of a physiological afterimage” is our mind’s attempt at trying to recall the true nature of an existence we know so little about.
And we’ve been conditioned as to what we are to believe is “reality” by our dear parents’ rearing, our schools and television — a proliferation of the same dot matrix of memory delivered to our neighbors next door, our friends at school our bosses and our co-workers. The bus driver, the cashier at the grocery store, the old lady who lives alone in the apartment downstairs and the homeless guy that sits outside your apartment building every morning to hit you up for some change. Our lovers, siblings, cousins, friends and internet acquaintances, all processing through the same eternal/internal conditioning to believe only what is right before our eyes.
I can continue staring at the red dot, only occasionally turning my head for a blinking, fleeting glimpse into an alternative to my present reality. Or, I can turn full on into that blank space and like the true Voyager I am ( that we ALL are ) go in search of possibly that One Inevitable Truth I once knew but was destined to forget. That truth that secretly calls to all of us, frightening and intriguing at the same time.